How to quit smoking

I posted this in response to a question on the TxD forums and it seemed to be helpful to the person asking, so I’ll post it here as well. The question was, “How did you quit smoking?”

I quit smoking on my birthday in June 2000, after about seven years. I was smoking about 1/2 to 3/4 pack/day.

If you want to quit, the first thing to do is pick a date a few weeks in the future and say that’s it. Knowing that in advance will help you get used to the idea, if even only on a subconscious level. Tell all your friends too, that will be an added incentive to stick to it. For those couple weeks, start cutting down by skipping the first cigarette of the day and the last in the evening, if you typically have one before bed. Cut down a bit more if you can, but don’t worry about it too much. It’s not time to start fighting yet.

Once quitting day rolls around, throw out all your cigarettes, lighters, etc. I can’t really tell you too much about this part; it’s hard, but not impossible, and you usually get over it after about two weeks. Tell people around you that you’re quitting, if appropriate, so they understand why you’re cranky and irritable. For about the first week, I occasionally (like one or maybe two times in a day) took a single drag from a friend. I’m sure most people wouldn’t advise that but it seemed to help on some level.

I think the most important thing is to prepare yourself beforehand and, in doing so, make sure that you’re 100% committed. The people who “try to quit” are the ones who don’t. You simply need to not be a smoker anymore, period. Be sure of that. Once you realize this, you’re three quarters of the way there.