Archive for Before You Quit

Snapping Cigarettes: A Powerful Psychological Technique

When it comes to your Quit Date do you plan to:

  • Smoke every last cigarette you have?
  • Save any left over cigarettes for use in emergency?
  • Snap any left over cigarettes and throw them in the trash?

If you answered the latter, then there’s a good chance you’ve already improved your chances of quitting.

You see, snapping those leftover cigarettes gives your brain the powerful message that you intend to stop smoking once and all.

Smokers (in general) are very protective over their cigarettes and hate to see them wasted. I know I certainly was when I smoked! I would be mighty pissed if if I discovered I’d lost my fags or accidentally dropped one in a puddle.

During the final 24 hours as a smoker, you have a great opportunity to tell your brain that cigarettes are worthless and that you don’t need them – and you do that by snapping (or destroying in some other way) your leftover cigarettes.

If you try to smoke all the cigarettes you have or put any leftover cigs in a cupboard, you’re telling yourself that cigarettes are still of great value to you and you may still need them in the future. Why else would you make sure every last cigarette was either smoked or stored away?

Snapping cigarettes may seem like a small thing but I believe it is a very powerful and liberating technique and would urge anyone that has decided to quit to do it.


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Ten Reasons To Stop Smoking

We all have our own personal reasons for quitting smoking and one person’s reasons may be vastly different to another’s reasons.

Many people find it useful to write down the reasons that they’ve decided to quit so that they can refer back to them during particularly difficult times during the quitting process.

This post contains a list of ten of the most common reasons that people decide to stop smoking.

#1 Health

Many people decide to become a non-smoker because of the health benefits it provides. I won’t bore you with all the details of how dangerous to your health smoking is – you only have to look at the warning labels on your cigarette packets to see that – but small things like getting rid of that morning cough or not having yellow saliva can also be a good reason for many to quit.

#2 Wealth

Smoke 20 cigarettes a day at around 6 quid a packet and you’re burning away around £180 per month. For most of us, that’s a lot of money!

#3 Smell (1)

A by-product of smoking is that it makes our skin, clothes, furniture, house and breath smell like an ashtray (which is not ideal). Personally, I didn’t care too much about smelling of cigarettes (most of my friends were smokers too so they couldn’t really smell it on me) but there’s plenty of people that have quit smoking primarily to smell better.

#4 Smell (2)

A different kind of smell this time – your sense of smell. Smoking weakens your sense of smell by damaging the nerve endings in your nasal passages. Many smokers notice an improved sense of smell when they stop smoking.

#5 Taste

Similarly, smoking also damages your taste buds and ex-smokers benefit from being able to enjoy the taste of food and drink more.

#6 Control

Smoking can make you feel out of control because you feel as though you have to rely on tobacco to feel normal – you may even feel envious of non-smokers as they go through their daily lives without needing a smoke. For some people, the thought of regaining control of their lives and not having to rely on tobacco can be all the motivation they need to quit.

#7 Relationships

Many people have someone close to them that will periodically urge them to stop smoking, whether it be a friend, parent or partner. If you have children, as they get older and start learning about smoking and it’s adverse effects to health at school they will often ask you to stop smoking and it’s really hard to tell them ‘No’. For me, I think the worst part was when my daughter asked me why I smoked and I couldn’t give her a sensible answer other than “I’m addicted”!

#8 Pregnancy

I know of many people (both men and women) that have stopped smoking when they discovered that they were having a baby. It’s as if some parental switch as flicked in their brain that told them they didn’t need to smoke any more. Unfortunately, not everyone reacts this way (including myself) – and I’m definitely not advising you start having children to try and quit smoking!

#9 Time

Have you ever thought about how much time you spend smoking? For example, let’s assume you smoke 20 cigarettes a day and each cigarette takes on average 6 minutes to smoke. Over the course of 24 hours, you will have spent 2 Hours Smoking! That’s two hours of your day gone up in smoke. If you roll your own cigarettes or have to move location to get to somewhere that you’re allowed to smoke, that’s even more time wasted on your habit! Like regaining control above, reclaiming your time can be a strong reason to kick the habit.

#10 Stains

In addition to the bad smells that smoking causes, it can also create dirty looking yellow and brown stains on your skin (nicotine fingers), in your home and on your teeth. The desire to look more aesthetically pleasing is a great reason for many people to stop smoking.

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Preparing for the Day You Quit Smoking

So, you’ve decided to stop smoking and have chosen the date on which you’re going to quit.

Whether you have a day, a week or a month before your quitting day arrives, it makes sense to be well prepared so that those first hours and days of being a non-smoker run as smoothly as possible.

This post explores some of the things that you can do beforehand to ensure that “Quit Day” is as easy as possible.

Get In The Right Frame of Mind

With “Quit Day” looming, it is easy to begin to feel uneasy or even scared about how you are going to cope – after all, tobacco has probably been a big part of your life for a long time.

The trick is to forget all the doom and gloom and concentrate on the good things that will come from you being a non-smoker. You’ve made a conscious decision to stop smoking and you’ve chosen to do it for a reason (or multiple reasons). Whether your motivation is to save money, improve your health, stop smelling like an ashtray or one of the myriad of other benefits that are the result of quitting smoking, this is what you should focus your mind on.

The small discomfort caused by the withdrawal of nicotine from your body and the tiny adjustments to your daily schedule are a small price to pay for the benefits of being a non-smoker. And the withdrawal pangs only last for a few minutes in the early days and as time goes on, you won’t feel them at all!

There’s a lot more things to feel happy and excited about “Quit Day” than there is to be sad or anxious about.

Know Why You’re Quitting

We touched upon some of the reasons for quitting smoking in the previous section and many people find it useful to write down a list of these reasons before they start.

The reasons for quitting tobacco vary from individual to individual, so it is important to make a list that is personal to YOU. Getting rid of nicotine-stained fingers may be the main reason one person wants to quit, whilst another may not care about their yellow fingers but want to start having more money to spend on other things.

Take a small piece of paper that will fit in your wallet or purse (the back of a business card works well) and write down your own individual reasons for quitting. Look at your reasons as often as you can and imagine the benefits that will be derived from them. For example, if you’ve quit to save money, think of the holiday that you’ll be able to afford with the extra cash or if you’ve quit to make your kids happy, imagine their smiling faces proudly looking at you.

Decide How You’re Going to Quit

Don’t leave it until the last minute to decide which methods you are going to use to help you to quit. Choose whether to use your willpower, Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), prescription medication from your doctor or a less common method such as hypnosis or acupuncture.

If you decide to use NRT to get yourself out of the habit of smoking before tackling the nicotine addiction, you’ll also need to choose a method of getting nicotine into your bloodstream. This could be patches, e-cigarettes, gum, tablets, an inhalator or a nasal spray.

Get Enough Treatment To Last

If you do decide to use treatment, make sure that you get enough supplies to last at least two weeks or (preferably) three months – you don’t want to run out of nicotine gum when you’re in the middle of quitting!

Similarly, if you’re getting help from a professional (such as a hypnotist or a acupuncturist) to stop smoking, be sure to schedule regular appointments with them beforehand – you don’t want to find out that their fully booked part-way through the quitting process.


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