The Power of Choice

I used to be a smoker.

On November 19th, 2001, I started making some new choices for myself: I started choosing life. I started choosing health. I started choosing strength, and self-control, and freedom. I started choosing not to smoke, just for today.

I remember hearing “older” quitters saying that if you stuck it out long enough, there would come a day when you’d forget that you had quit smoking. That, in fact, there would come a day when you’d forget that you’d ever been a smoker at all.
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Choose Life

Have you tried to quit so many times, in so many ways, that you just don’t know what to do any more? Have you tried all the different programs, pills, patches, potions, and plans? Do you feel like there’s no hope for you? Like the addiction is too strong for you to control?

Does it ever seem like you’re not even conscious of buying cigarettes? Do you quit and stay quit for a week, or a month, and then something suddenly clicks and you’re smoking again before you realize what you’re doing?

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Romancing the Smoke

Has this happened to you? You quit, and you were going along really strong for the first 3 weeks, or even 3 months, and then you found that the urge to smoke got stronger and stronger?

At that point, did you start missing that first cigarette of the day, or how having a smoke could really calm you down when you were under stress? Did you start to think, “Hey, I’ve got this thing under control; maybe I can just have one cigarette now and then…”?
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Welcome Your Craves

When you get a crave, do you put a lot of energy into trying to get your mind off of it?

I think many (if not most) of the problems we have around craves are the result of trying to get our minds off of them. We put all this effort into pushing the craves away, when it actually takes far less effort — and would be better for our quit in the long run — to face the crave in the moment that it’s happening, accept it, go through it, and come out free on the other side.
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Write a Goodbye Letter to Your Cigarettes

One of the exercises contained in the American Lung Association’s “Freedom From Smoking” program was to write a goodbye letter to your cigarettes. They suggested that we begin our letters by listing all the things we thought we’d miss about smoking, and end it with all the reasons we were quitting and why we thought it would be better for us to quit. They also encouraged us to post our letters on the program’s message boards.
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