Chewing gum is passé, and so is the nicotine patch. Smokers—and even non-smokers—know all too well how hard it is to kick the nicotine habit. In the battle against addiction to cigarettes, it is time to get creative and resort to alternative ways to combat the urge to smoke.
For starters, replace photos of yourself or of your loved ones in your wallet with that of a diseased lung. Yes, those blackened organs plagued with lung cancer and other pulmonary sicknesses brought about by smoking. The more advanced the damage, the more revolting it appears, the better.
With every glimpse of the picture in your wallet, remind yourself of the medical payments you can expect if you continue smoking. Think of the big ticket items you can buy with the money you spend on cigarettes like a laptop or even an overseas vacation.
You can also try hanging a picture of a longtime chain-smoker on your bathroom mirror, preferably someone who closely resembles your facial features. Better yet, make it your desktop background or screensaver slideshow in your home and office computer. Imagine that it is you who has, or will have, those yellow teeth and deep wrinkles brought about by premature aging that smoking causes. Not only do they look unattractive, but eventually you’ll also spend a fortune on cosmetics just to conceal those imperfections if you don’t stop smoking.
If you have access to digital design programs like Adobe Photoshop, try having your photo edited to get a sense of how you’ll look when you factor in the effects of smoking on your appearance.
To make quitting smoking fun, start a bet with your friends. Round up friends who want to quit smoking and bet on who can kick the habit successfully and consistently. Sweeten the pot to make it more motivating. Or find someone who likes to see you fail and wage a bet. Try your hardest to prove that person wrong.
Watch television shows and movies that feature the evils of smoking and of tobacco companies like Michael Mann’s film “The Insider,” starring Russell Crowe and Al Pacino. Not only will you be entertained, but you will also be educated on how big companies are making bigger money at your expense. Think of how that all-powerful drug, nicotine, has control over you and has been making money out of you since you’ve become addicted.
Try to date attractive (and better yet, outspoken) non-smokers. Ask them why they prefer to stay off smoking, and listen well. It could be the foul smell on clothes and bad breath that come with a nicotine habit. You might just increase your chances of going out with them again if you stop smoking. And maybe even score a kiss or two.
If you’re unconcerned about the negative effects of smoking on your health, try thinking about the consequences of your addiction on others. Spend time with non-smokers you deeply care about, especially those highly vulnerable to secondhand smoke like asthmatics and those with heart disease. Play with children to get your mind—and hands—off cigarettes. Stay near pregnant women or adults who have children with them when you feel the urge to light a stick—and make a mental list of the possible dangers you are exposing them to because of your actions. Feel the guilt, and put away that stick.
No one can say quitting smoking is easy, but nobody also said it is impossible. With a dash of creativity and an iron will to discipline oneself, one won’t run out of ways in being successfully smoke-free.