Eight years ago today, I smoked my last cigarette. Before that, I smoked at least a pack a day for twelve years. My smobriety—yes, that's the actual, hilarious word some smokers use to talk about their non-smoking lives—has been a relatively easy one. I haven't been tempted to smoke a cigarette at all in the years since I quit. I'll occasionally still have dreams in which I'm smoking, and then I realize what I'm doing and I get annoyed at the fact that I'm going to have to quit all over again. But I never wake up from those dreams craving cigarettes. I know for a fact that I'm never going to smoke another cigarette again.
I quit smoking thanks to a book by Allen Carr called The Easy Way to Stop Smoking. It worked for me because it explained exactly why my body wanted a cigarette (it wasn't anxiety or stress I was feeling, it was a craving for another hit of nicotine) and it explained exactly what the process of quitting would be like. That turned out to be the most important part for me; taking all the drama out of the quitting process and laying it out, in plain and supportive English, for me to understand. The book hasn't worked for all of my smoker friends. I know people who've quit smoking using just about every method that there is. (Except for e-cigarettes, which I think are just a clever way to lure people back into smoking with the gimmicky sheen of technology.) There's no one definitive way to quit smoking.
Life without cigarettes is better. I have more money. I don't stink like old cigarettes. Everything feels less stressful. I can go for long walks without worrying about losing my breath. People aren't trying to bum cigarettes off me all the time. There is no downside to being a non-smoker. I love not smoking.
Every smoker has a come-to-Jesus moment where they decide they're through with smoking. If you're ready to quit, you should think about it a lot. Investigate the different methods and choose one that's right for you. Think about the other times you tried to quit smoking, and about why this time is different. Set a date. Talk to your friends. See if any of your friends will quit with you. Read about people who successfully quit smoking. Envision what not smoking will feel like. (And if you know someone who smokes, don't nag them to quit. I swear, every time someone nagged me about quitting smoking, I smoked at least another pack in retaliation.) If I—a sedentary jackass with no willpower—can quit smoking, you can, too.