How To Quit Smoking Cigarettes

Want to know how to quit smoking cigarettes and have long term success (i.e to stop and stay stopped)? There is only one price to pay: You have to want to do it!

Do You Really Want To Give Up?

Really want to! Stop, stay stopped - QUIT - completely.

Why? Well, just for the moment, forget about willpower, products, aids and programs. If you attempt to do anything half heartedly, the most likely outcome is failure.

It takes far less effort to make a determined effort to stop when you want to do it and you're in the right frame of mind, than a half baked attempt when you don't really want to. You just can't get your head around it.

Don't waste time and effort going through the motions if you don't want to stop. It's like waiting for a bus you know is unreliable to get you somewhere on time - setting yourself up with a lame excuse to blame for failure.

Hopefully, you are serious about quitting but, before you commit to setting a date there is another important step you should take in order to prepare: finding a source of motivation.

What's Your Reason?

If you can find real reasons to quit smoking that mean something to you and you will be well on your way.

This is so important, because knowing why you are quitting will serve as a motivator to help you through withdrawal symptoms and difficult moments arising from stress, social situations and peer pressure.

Make a note of at least one key reason why you want to give up.

Try and make it as specific and personal as possible. Use the following examples for inspiration. Apply them to your own circumstances and try to picture how they affect you and those around you.

You may just find hidden but constructive and very real reasons to stop.

  • It's anti social. Finding places to smoke in public is becoming a joke and it's an unnecessary strain when I eat out, go to the cinema and even shopping.
  • I can't afford it. The money I spend on cigarettes could buy a nice used family car every few years. When I don't have enough money I think about how much I'm wasting.
  • I don't want to smoke around my non smoking family and friends. It's unfair. They don't smoke but face increased risk of ill health because of my smoking.
  • I want to stop feeling ashamed. My clothes, car and house smell because of it. The ceilings in my house need repainting and my curtains look grimy. Even my fingernails and teeth are stained.
  • I want improve my health. Stopping reduces the risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease and lung cancer. My family will suffer and their feelings will be hurt if I get ill.

OK. I'm sure you've got the idea.

Now, write down ‘why I want to quit smoking cigarettes’ on a sheet of paper or make a note in your smart phone, laptop or whatever and number it 1.

A sentence or two is enough but if, as you start to write, you find yourself wanting to write more then go with it. Prolonged reflection often leads to good things and the conclusions you come up with will be useful when you are ready to plan your next steps.


Sorry for shouting, but you have nothing to gain by leaving this task for another day.

Activity is considered crucial in education for the way it works with the mind and memory and taking action is a big part of what giving up is really all about.

Make a note of at least one key reason why you want to quit smoking cigarettes. Try and make it as specific and personal as possible e.g.

"I want to quit smoking cigarettes because I've seen the grief it caused when so-n-so died from lung cancer. I don't want to put my kids through that"

Remember to write it down and number it 1.

So what are you supposed to do with this piece of paper when you are done...?

Develop a Quit Smoking Action Plan!

This page has outlined your first step for creating a realistic and totally achievable plan.

Now you know you really want to quit smoking cigarettes and you can you explain why, which is a far better start than some muddled, wishy-washy notion without any substance, you are much closer to facing the reality of what it is going to take.

When you are ready to commit to the challenge, success can and WILL be yours. It will mean life without cigarettes but if you can consistently defeat each and every urge to smoke you will succeed.

The next step, planning to quit smoking, helps you to identify why YOU smoke which will get you thinking about issues that often cause smokers to relapse AND planning what you will do to avoid the same fate.


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