You can give up smoking – Day 24


Some handy links:

I really want a cigarette

no smoking 

Why do you smoke?

You can control your smoking once you know why you smoke. Here is a checklist provided by world renowned chest physicians based on their experience. Check the probable reasons that come closest to yours in the list given below and also go through the ways you can cope with this problem if you want to quit smoking.

1. Smoking gives me more energy.

If you answer “often” or “sometimes” to the following questions, this is one reason you smoke.

  • I smoke to keep from slowing down.
  • I reach for a cigarette when I need a lift.
  • When I’m tired, smoking perks me up.

Many people use tobacco like they use coffee: to help them wake up, get moving, keep going when they feel worn out. The nicotine in tobacco, like the caffeine in coffee, is a stimulant. But you can find other ways to get more energy. These tips can help.


  • Get enough rest. With a good night’s sleep you’re more likely to feel fresh and alert.
  • Exercise regularly. Regular exercise raises your overall energy level, so you may feel less need for a boost.
  • Take a brisk walk instead of smoking if you start feeling sluggish. Moving around is a drug-free stimulant.
  • Eat regular, nutritious meals. Healthful foods are a great natural source of energy.
  • Drink lots of cold water. It will refresh you as it helps clear your body of nicotine.
  • Avoid getting bored, which can make you feel tired. Keep your mind active, perhaps by calling a friend, reading a new magazine, or playing a game.

2. I like to touch and handle cigarettes.

Quiz: Do you smoke for this reason?
If you answer “often” or “sometimes” to the fol-lowing questions, this is one reason you smoke.

  • I feel more comfortable with a cigarette in my hand.
  • I enjoy getting a cigarette out of the pack and lighting up.
  • I like to watch the smoke when I exhale.

This type of smoker gets physical pleasure from handling cigarettes and the rituals of smoking. It just “feels right” to have a cigarette in his hand or mouth. In fact, many smokers say they’ve gone back to smoking because, “I had nothing to do with my hands.”

Getting over this obstacle can make it easier to quit smoking and stay smoke-free. The tips below suggest other ways to satisfy the handling urge.


  • Pick up a pen or pencil when you want to reach for a cigarette.
  • Play with a coin, twist your ring, or handle whatever harmless object is nearby.
  • Put a plastic cigarette in your hand or mouth.
  • Some have a minty taste to help you focus on how fresh your breath is without tobacco.
  • Hold a real cigarette if the touch is all you miss. But if handling a cigarette makes you want to light up, stick with the substitutes.
  • Eat regular meals to avoid being hungry. Don’t confuse needing to eat with the desire to put a cigarette in your mouth.
  • Take up a hobby that keeps your hands busy.
  • Try knitting, carpentry, painting, or making bread.

3. Smoking is a pleasure.

Quiz: Do you smoke for this reason?
If you answer “often” or “sometimes” to the following questions, this is one reason you smoke.

  • Smoking cigarettes is pleasant and enjoyable.
  • Smoking makes good times better.
  • I want a cigarette most when I am comfortable and relaxed.

Almost two out of three smokers say they just plain enjoy smoking. When you associate smoking with “the good times,” it can strengthen your smoking habit. But it can be easier to quit when you focus on enjoying yourself without tobacco. The tips below offer some ideas to help you miss cigarettes less.


  • Enjoy the pleasures of being tobacco-free.
  • Spend the money you save on cigarettes on another kind of pleasure: a shopping spree, a night out, a party to celebrate your success.
  • Remind yourself of the health benefits of quitting.
  • Giving up cigarettes can help you enjoy life’s other pleasures for many years to come.

4. Smoking helps me relax when I’m tense or upset.

Quiz: Do you smoke for this reason?
If you answer “often” or “sometimes” to the following questions, this is one reason you smoke.

  • I light up a cigarette when something makes me angry.
  • Smoking relaxes me in a stressful situation.
  • When I’m depressed I reach for a cigarette to feel better.

Lots of smokers use cigarettes to help them through bad times. If you’ve used cigarettes as a crutch, finding another way to cope with stress can help you stay quit. Otherwise, you may want to smoke again whenever problems arise. The tips below include ideas that have helped former smokers handle tense times without tobacco.


  • Use relaxation techniques to calm down when you are angry or upset. Deep breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, and imagining yourself in a peaceful setting can make you feel less stressed.
  • Exercise regularly. Studies show that exercise relieves tension and improves your mood.
  • Remember that smoking never solves the problem; figure out what will, and act.
  • Avoid or get out of stressful situations that might tempt you to smoke.
  • Get enough rest. Take time each day to relax, no matter how busy you are.
  • Enjoy relaxation. Take a long hot bath. Have a massage. Lie in a garden hammock. Listen to soothing music.

5. I crave cigarettes ; I am addicted to smoking

Quiz: Do you smoke for this reason?
If you answer “often” or “sometimes” to the following questions,this is one reason you smoke.

  • When I run out of cigarettes, it’s almost unbearable until I get more.
  • I am very aware of not smoking when I don’t have a cigarette in my hand.
  • When I haven’t smoked for a while I get a gnawing hunger for a cigarette.

Many smokers are addicted or “hooked” on the nicotine in tobacco. When addicted smokers quit, many go through a withdrawal period. They may have both physical symptoms (feeling tired and irritable; headaches; nervousness) and an emotional need for a cigarette. One ex-smoker compared his continued craving for cigarettes to the longing you feel for a lost love.

It isn’t easy to get over an addiction to tobacco, but many people have succeeded often on a second or third try. But once you’re back in control, you won’t have to beat smoking again. For many ex-smokers, that’s a powerful motivation to stay tobacco-free. The tips below include ideas to help addicted smokers make it through withdrawal and stay away from cigarettes for good.


  • Ask your doctor about using some medication to help you avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Smoke more than you want to for a day or two before you quit. This “overkill” may spoil your taste for cigarettes.
  • Tell family and friends you’ve quit smoking. Ask for help if you need it. Keep away from cigarettes completely. Get rid of ashtrays. Destroy any cigarettes you have. Try to avoid people who smoke and smoke-filled places like bars if you’re having withdrawal symptoms or cigarette cravings.
  • Think of yourself as a non-smoker. Hang up “No Smoking” signs.
  • Don’t relive your days as a smoker.
  • Remember that physical withdrawal symptoms last about two weeks. Hang on!

6. Smoking is a habit.

Quiz: Do you smoke for this reason?
If you answer “often” or “sometimes” to the following questions, this is one reason you smoke.

  • I smoke cigarettes automatically without being aware of it.
  • I light up a cigarette without realizing I have one burning in an ashtray.
  • I find a cigarette in my mouth and don’t remember putting it there.

If you are this kind of smoker, you are no longer getting much satisfaction from your cigarettes. Unlike people who smoke for pleasure, you might not miss it very much if you stopped. The key is breaking your smoking patterns. The tips below can help.


  • Cut down gradually. Smoke fewer cigarettes each day or only smoke them halfway down. Inhale less often and less deeply. After several months it should be easier to stop completely.
  • Change your smoking routines. Keep your cigarettes in a different place. Smoke with your opposite hand. Don’t do anything else while smoking.
  • Limit smoking to certain places, such as outside or in one room at home.
  • When you want a cigarette, wait one minute. Try to think of something else to do instead of smoking.
  • Be aware of every cigarette you smoke. Ask yourself: Do I really want this cigarette? You may be surprised at how many you can easily pass up.
  • Set a date for giving up smoking altogether and stick to it.

Stop smoking – what to expect from nicotine withdrawl

Smoking skeleton

Stopping cigarette smoking is not always easy. If you quit cigarettes abruptly or for that matter, if you gradually decrease the amount of cigarettes you smoke, you ought to suffer from nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

The physical withdrawal symptoms caused due to quitting smoking is a temporary phase. Nonetheless, you can not ignore the amount of discomfort it may cause. The more the phase lasts the more uncomfortable you may get. This phase of withdrawal is given the nickname of ‘quitter’s flu’ as you may suffer from a cold or a mild case of flu during this period.

If you know about what to expect when you quit smoking and you are conscious about the symptoms, you can cope with them in a better way as you can pre-plan your reaction towards these symptoms.

Following is the list of the most common symptoms of nicotine withdrawal:

1) Your craving for smoking increases as time passes since the last puff that you smoked.

2) You may have trouble sleeping  and may, sometimes, suffer from insomnia.

3) You may suffer from fatigue.

4) You may find it difficult to concentrate.

5) You may have a severe headache.

6) You may suffer from cough and a  sore throat.

7) You may have a dry mouth.

8  You may have a constant postnasal drip.

9) You may feel a tightness in the chest.

10) You may become irritable and cranky. You may also suffer from constipation, stomach pain and gas.

You may suffer from any one or some of these withdrawal symptoms. But the chances are rare that you may have all of them at the same time. Different persons may suffer from different types of withdrawal symptoms. But, these discomforts are quite short-lived.