Are you a new mom eager to put an end to your smoking habit? Then try these five easy ways to kick the habit for good.
Breaking your smoking habit can be quite a challenge. Despite all we know about the adverse health effects and the dent it puts in our pockets, it’s still just not an easy habit to break. It can feel like quite the stress reliever, boredom blocker, appetite suppressant, and sometimes, it’s just dang delicious.
When I was younger, and before my days of motherhood, I found it rather therapeutic to go on long country drives, think to myself, listen to music…and enjoy every bit of smoking my cigarettes.
However, as time passed and cigarettes became more costly, I had to think twice about my unwavering desire to smoke. I didn’t have children yet, but I was a waitress, constantly working irregular hours and living very much on a budget.
At the time, I swapped out pricey packs of name-brand cigarettes for loose tobacco, cigarette tubes, and a cigarette roller from my nearest tobacco outlet so I could roll my own cigarettes instead. It was not as desirable an option, but it was cost-effective, allowing me to continue my habit; hence, it was a happy medium of sorts.
Fast forward to my days of becoming a new mom, and I’ve finally managed to kick the habit altogether.
If you’re interested in doing the same, keep reading. I’m going to tell you five easy ways I managed to break my smoking habit for good!
This post is all about easy ways to kick your smoking habit to the curb.This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read the full disclosure here.
Easy Ways To Break Your Smoking Habit
1. Start smoking less
Instead of trying to quit cold turkey, let yourself cut back on the number of cigarettes you smoke initially.
In the past, I convinced myself it had to be all or nothing to achieve my goals. That way of thinking always felt so overwhelming, daunting, and impossible to adhere to that I ultimately gave up.
My recent success has resulted from realizing that it is okay, and also far more efficient to accomplish goals little by little, one day at a time.
These small efforts will compile over time into something far larger and tangible.
Instead of imprisoning yourself to the all-or-nothing mindset when trying to quit smoking, make a conscious effort to smoke fewer cigarettes.
Initially, I was able to cut back from smoking a whole pack per day to only smoking half a pack.
As my cravings decreased, I gradually cut back to about five cigarettes per week. Right before I quit altogether, I was down to smoking five cigarettes per month.
If smoking less seems like a challenge in and of itself, I have some suggestions that worked well for me.
Ways To Cut Back On Smoking
- Leave your cigarettes in your car (and smoke them outside or in your car, too) – this strategy requires you to get up and go outside to smoke rather than having your cigarettes at your side to mindlessly smoke just for something to do (I used to find myself smoking a lot just for the sake of something to do). In addition, there’ll be many times when going outside to smoke just won’t feel worth the effort. Over time, the more you do this, the more these fleeting urges will fade away until they’re gone completely.
- Start rolling your cigarettes instead of buying packs – get rolled cigarettes. They don’t taste as good, and since it takes more effort to smoke them since you have to roll them first, it’ll force you to cut back. You can get a bag of loose tobacco, cigarette tubes, and a cigarette roller. Or, for just a few bucks, you can buy the small bag of loose tobacco that comes with a small pack of rolling papers.
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2. Find alternatives for the moments that trigger you to smoke the most
I was triggered to smoke most often when I felt frustrated or highly agitated.
My initial substitute was my favorite drink, mocha moo lattes, from Dairy Queen.
The instant I felt the level of irritation that made me want to smoke, I’d be like, “I need a mocha moo latte!”
I would hop in my car, cruise to Dairy Queen, and savor my delicious beverage, having never touched a cigarette.
Eventually, my drink evolved into black decaf coffees and then hot tea. I did that to avoid packing on a bunch of pounds from consuming too many high-calorie drinks.
Another alternative I began to do was take deep breaths and pop tic tacs (the wintergreen flavor is my favorite).
I’d also try to think of something other than what was irritating me. So, I might go for a short drive, put on a show I liked, or do the dishes. *Note* doing dishes is NOT my favorite thing to do. However, I always feel so much better once it’s done.
Usually, if I could do this for about 10 minutes, many times less than ten, I’d forget that I had ever wanted a cigarette in the first place.
Eventually, you’ll find that your trigger moments won’t make you think of smoking anymore, and you’ll rarely need to lean on the alternative option.
3. Stock up on mints and chewing gum
Many people’s smoking habit is orally fixated, meaning they find something very satisfying about the mouth movement (and the repetitive hand-to-mouth action) throughout the smoking process.
I kept them in the driver’s door, cupholder, and console to reach for as soon as I started the ignition. So keep yours where you like to smoke the most.
Before you know it, you won’t be thinking about smoking. You’ll just want your mints, and eventually, you won’t care about them either.
And instead of chewing yucky expensive nicotine gum, have some regular gum. I know my smoking habit was more about my enjoyment of the overall smoking experience, not so much a need for nicotine, so regular gum worked fine.
I tried the nicotine gum; it tasted terrible, cost too much, and burned my throat.
4. Let yourself snack more
It’s no secret that smoking cigarettes has an appetite-suppressing effect.
So, when you’re cutting back and completely cutting out cigarette smoking, you’ll experience more frequent bouts of hunger sensations.
When you smoke, these small bursts of hunger go away, or you avoid experiencing them because immediately after smoking, your appetite is suppressed (unless you’re legit super hungry).
To deal with this issue as you transition into becoming a full-fledged non-smoker, just keep lighter snacks on hand, so you don’t feel like you’re inadvertently going to pack on pounds in your quest to quit.
Satisfy that hand-mouth action that is so desirable and habit-forming with snacks like grapes, 100-calorie packs of nuts, low-calorie packs of chips, and dehydrated fruits.
You could also try individual boxes of raisins, cranberries, or yogurt raisins.
5. Let go of the excuses
It can be so easy to feel like you need to smoke to deal with stress, anxiety, work, people getting on your nerves, nervousness about different obligations, etc.
As a waitress, I also felt the need to smoke after dealing with a rude customer (or co-worker or manager).
When I was in college, I would get so nervous before test time and begin chain-smoking within the half-hour or so before the beginning of the exam.
There were a variety of situations that I felt were easier to deal with if I had my trusty little handy dandy cigarettes.
But as a mother, I noticed an overwhelming sense of guilt and inappropriateness wash over me every time I would give in to my desire to smoke.
Personally, I felt as though it set a negative example.
I didn’t think my kiddos should witness me smoke or have to spend time away from me so I could go out and smoke. Likewise, I didn’t want them to smell me or the car wreaking of smoke.
I felt like I’d prefer them not to grow up and smoke.
However, witnessing my smoking habit would likely pique their interest about smoking. Bearing witness to my habit could possibly make them more likely to become smokers later in life.
Also, I noticed that each cigarette I smoked took me approximately seven minutes to smoke.
I couldn’t help but multiply that by the number of cigarettes I smoked daily. I thought about how ten cigarettes equals to a good 70 minutes of wasted time.
Seventy minutes I could’ve been spent more productively on studying. Or tending to a chore(s), or spending some quality time with my sweet, innocent kiddos.
Not to mention the high cost of purchasing a pack of cigarettes a day. In my state, a pack a day equals approximately $300 per month. It can easily cover a few of my bills which is far more beneficial and necessary for my family.
When I truly embraced how much I disliked the negative feelings I associated with my smoking habit and the copious amounts of time I could devote more productively to other areas of life (instead of wasting it to smoke), it just made letting go of my smoking habit so much easier.
It gave me such an undeniable shift in mindset. Even when I think of smoking now, it generates anxiety that makes me shudder at the thought of picking up another cigarette.
Sounds dramatic, I know, but it’s true.
And there you have it! Five easy ways I was able to finally kick my smoking habit to the curb as a new mom.
I was once a pack-a-day smoker and truly enjoyed smoking. Now, I adore the freedom of not smoking more than ever, and the money that now stays in my bank account.
So, if I can do it, you can too, Mama! Good luck!