I had people torment me to quit and I didn't want to hear it, which is why I kept it in the closet for the most part, no one likes to hear people lecture. In fact, its quite the turn off.
I had friends who used meds to quit, and I heard the horror stories of the side effects, scared me to death, not to mention, what are the long term health effects of taking those drugs, even for a few weeks? Does anyone really know?
I started doing yoga regularly, and the breathing exercises, pranayama, mimicked the same breaths we take when we smoke cigarettes. The only difference is, I was getting fresh, healthy air..not smoke. Now I did not put 2 and 2 together, until I had already quit and my friend pointed it out to me that this was the breathing I was doing in yoga. (thank you Kory)
In any case, I was doing yoga, not even thinking about quitting smoking when a friend from work (who is also one of my yoga teachers) sent me this picture. (Thanks Tina, you were my inspiration, you held the key and I did not even know it at the time)
She had been a smoker and kicked the habit. She never hounded me to quit, I don't even think she once said to me, that I should quit. One day, out of curiosity I asked her how she did quit. Drug free, she just did and she mentioned using a pen as her way of getting the feel of having one. I kept this picture and set a date. I didn't tell many people right away. My date was for the middle of the month. In the beginning of the month I was to quit, I ran out of cigarettes and decided..I was just going to do it now, why prolong it. I didn't buy another pack and have not looked back since.
At first, there was the desire, when I talked on the phone, or had a glass of wine...and I would just tell myself, I AM A NON-SMOKER. That was all it took, the desire was gone. I stopped hanging with my smoker friends, both at work and in my personal life for a time. I explained to them why. They understood.
Here are the steps that worked for me...I hope they help at least one person kick the habit.
1. If you want to quit, set a date...tell people, people who have kicked the habit will support you. People who have never smoked aren't much help, as they never had the desire to understand, so try to find someone who has done it. Listen to people's stories, who have quit, they hold keys that can save your life. I was lucky to have a few friends who quit. (Tina, and Teresa were my go to's with questions I had)
2. Start doing yoga, or at the very least the breathing exercises associated with yoga. Breathe in deep, (like when you take a drag), hold for a second and then breathe out. Pause and repeat.
3. Avoid the smokers for awhile. If someone in your house smokes, you may wish to ask them to not smoke around you, or in the house anymore.
4. Avoid situations where you smoked...you may love to chat on the phone and have a cigarette...stay off the phone for a few weeks..keep the calls short and don't hang on the phone.
5. Do not cheat! Not once! You are right back to day one if you do.
6. Tell yourself over and over, every time you get the desire...I AM A NON-SMOKER and say it proudly!