Quit by Choice

while you still have a choice.

Q and A

Do you want to quit, but you just don’t know where to start?
This is easy: Start right here; it’s the only place you can start. Start by making a list of all the reasons you want to quit and all the reasons you still want to smoke, like I show you in this post.

Does it seem like there’s never a good time to quit?
Actually, you have that one backwards: there’s never a good time to smoke. As long as you keep telling yourself there’s never a good time to quit, that will be your reality. Here’s a better thought for you: the best time to quit is right now. Because, as long as you’re not smoking right now, you’re not smoking.
Do you really want to quit, but most of your friends still smoke, so you know you won’t get much support from them?
You’re absolutely right: You’ll never get support for your efforts to quit from people who are still practicing addicts; you’ll have to look elsewhere. Fortunately for you, you have an internet connection, and there are lots of support groups on the internet; here are a few to get you started:

  • QuitNet — featuring a set of old-school threaded message boards, this is the biggest quit community that I know about; there’s always someone on the boards here, any time, day or night.
  • Quit Smoking Journals — this is a unique site, based around the idea of quit journals; good people and a very supportive community.
  • Quit Smoking Support @ woofmang.com — this is the quit support community I started back in 2002; great community with super supportive members.

Join one (or join them all) and see which one suits your style best.

Are you sick of using smoking as a crutch and caving in to the craves whenever you’re stressed out (or otherwise triggered to light one up)?
If so, then you have to start making different choices. Start by realizing that there’s no such thing as an irresistible urge to smoke; once you give up that particular myth, things get a lot easier.
Are you wondering where to begin?
Well, I’ve got great news for you: You already have begun; you’re looking for answers. Keep going.
Are you wondering how to begin?
Here’s the first principle: you have to want to quit more than you want to smoke. So the first thing you have to figure out is what will motivate you to build that desire? Figure that out, and you’re halfway home. (See the first answer up there for a link to a good place to start.)
Are you wondering, “Once I do quit, how do I make it last?”
That’s another one that’s easy to answer: Once you quit, just don’t smoke again, no matter what. Most craves last less than five minutes. Knowing that, here’s my 100% guaranteed, never been known to fail two-step quit plan.
Do you want to try to quit without quitting aids?
First of all, good for you: Quitting aids are just a crutch (and, in my opinion, unnecessary at best). And whether you believe they can actually help you quit or not, you can’t use them forever, and when you stop using them, you’re faced with the same challenge you faced when you started: how to get through today without smoking.

And the crutch does nothing to help you prepare for this challenge: I can’t tell you how many people I’ve known who tried to quit smoking by using one of these crutches and then went back to smoking as soon as they put the crutch down (and I won’t bother telling you how many times that happened to me personally).

The only real problem I see with the above statement is the word “try.” Did you ever see the first Star Wars movie? In a pivotal scene, the Jedi master, Yoda, is teaching Luke about using the Force, and he tells Luke to lift his spaceship out of the swamp using the Force. Luke looks at Yoda like he’s nuts, but he finally says, “I’ll try…” Yoda explodes: “No! Do, or do not! There is no try!

And Luke lifts his spaceship out of the swamp using only the power of the Force.
It’s the same thing with quitting; if you say you’re going to try quitting, you’re only giving yourself an out in case you fail. Do, or do not. There is no try. The only thing you need is the power of choice; whenever you get the urge to smoke, choose not to smoke in response to it. The more you do this, the easier it gets.

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