OK, so what is the best way to stop smoking? Well, it depends on who you listen to. There are lots of ways to quit smoking. The best way to stop smoking is ultimately the one that works for you.
How long have you smoked? How many cigarettes do you smoke each day? How many times have you tried to quit? I smoked 3 to 4 packs of cigarettes every day for 20 years. I seriously tried to quit dozens of times.
The first few times I tried to quit smoking, my idea was to limit the number of cigarettes I smoked every day, then gradually reduce the daily number until I completely stopped. This rationing method was an interesting test of my willpower. For example, instead of lighting up immediately when I got up each morning, my plan was to wait at least 30 minutes before I had my first cigarette. And then to smoke only that ONE cigarette before I left for work. Does this sound familiar?
Not every smoker knows exactly how many miles it is from their house to their job. But, every smoker knows EXACTLY how many cigarettes it takes to get from their house to their job. So, my rationing method included allowing myself to smoke only ONE cigarette on the way to work. This allowed me the flexibility to smoke that cigarette immediately after I left the house, or maybe halfway to work, or even when I was just pulling into the parking lot. I’ll bet you know EXACTLY how many cigarettes it takes to get you to work:-)
Then, throughout the day, I divided the number of cigarettes I was rationing to myself by the number of hours I would be awake to determine how many cigarettes I could smoke each hour. At the very least I would have a goal and would be aware of how often I smoked a cigarette and also how many cigarettes I was smoking every hour. Of course, the goal was to smoke one less cigarette every third hour, then every other hour, then every hour until I was finally able to stop smoking.
Well, stopping smoking by rationing is an interesting theory. Maybe you have tried this method to stop cigarette smoking. Maybe this way to stop smoking worked for you. But, let me tell you, it was a disaster for me, primarily because I lacked the intestinal fortitude to stick with the plan. I failed time after time after time using the rationing method.
During my 20 years as a smoker, I tried the cold turkey method, Smokenders, sunflower seeds, rationing, and other things to stop smoking. When I finally quit smoking for the last time (21 years ago), I was very motivated to quit. I wanted to see my kids grow up, get married, and have kids (my grandchildren). I wanted to stop smelling like smoke. I wanted to stop spending money on cigarettes. And I wanted my wife to quit telling me that kissing me is “like licking the bottom of an ashtray”.