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How to Quit Smoking - Lessons Learned

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Updated August 01, 2011

When we quit smoking, most of us don't realize we're embarking on a journey that will teach us lessons far beyond the simple mechanics of smoking cessation.

The personal stories I've highlighted here are all educational -- each one offers insight into the enlightenment we experience when recovering from the addiction to nicotine.

As members of the support forum here at about.com Smoking Cessation like to say:

"An educated quit is a successful quit."

Use these accounts as a resource for your own quit program, and if you have knowledge you'd like to pass on, follow the link below to share your story.

1. Patience with the Process

Michelle

From Michelle:
"I think there is an element that is crucial to attaining and maintaining smoke-freedom. It is said that “Patience is a virtue,” but in breaking the chains of nicotine addiction, I think patience is absolutely vital."

2. Mind Games Go Both Ways When You Quit Smoking

Beth

From Beth:
"Your quit can be a horrible, difficult, torturous period of penance that may end with you becoming a smoker again because you really want to be smoking but feel you can't. Or, your quit can be a somewhat uncomfortable but exciting path leading to new opportunities and higher self-esteem."

3. Lessons Learned from Alcohol and Nicotine Addiction

Maggie

From Maggie:
"I am certain that I will never drink again. That certainty is not cocky — it is contingent upon fidelity to my A.A. commitment. I recognize that, with a one-year nicotine quit, I have a fragile freedom. I am confident that, if I “keep it green,” stay humble, pray, maintain a peaceful vigilance and try to help others who desire to recover from nicotine addiction, I will remain a non-smoker."

4. This Too Shall Pass

Jared

From Jared:
"Do not be jealous of people who can smoke. Don’t look at quitting as a sacrifice. "I can not smoke." Instead, look at it as, "I can not smoke." Two sentences made up of exactly the same words, but with two hugely different meanings. The former suggests deprivation. It says that you want to smoke, but simply cannot. The latter, a more optimistic view, says that you finally recognize that you can do this."

5. No More Excuses -- Myssi's Story

Myssi

From Myssi:
"You must make up your mind to either make the firm commitment to not let stress be your excuse to light up, or resign yourself to keep smoking and wondering which cigarette will be the one that gives you cancer...or emphysema...or heart disease...or any of the multitude of smoking-related diseases that follow nicotine addiction."

6. Overcoming Weight Gain fom Smoking Cessation

Dee

From Dee:
"I hope to make this message one that will inspire someone to stay focused on their quit program in the face of weight gain. I want to tell you my story of the journey of my last two smoke-free years, and I hope that when I am done, anyone thinking they need to smoke to be thin will find the strength, hope and belief to stay the course of smoking cessation."

7. Forgiving Myself -- Five Years Smoke Free

Michelle

From Michelle:
"This past year for me has been about coming to terms with the fact that my active addiction to nicotine caused me lasting harm. It’s about regrets and the role they played in my recovery process."

8. All That I Learned in One Year Smoke-Free

In this milestone account from About.com Smoking Cessation forum member Jen, she shares the tips and tricks that helped her most. At a year smoke-free, Jen knows just how important education about nicotine addiction is.

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