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The first five days of quitting smoking are the hardest, but this quitter stuck it out and is nicotine-free now. Would you like to quit cigarettes too? Read on for advice on how to quit and to remind yourself of the benefits of being a non smoker.

Day 1: Goodbye, cigarettes! 

My name is Olivia, and I am a nicotine addict. It has been roughly 24 hours since my last cigarette. I have smoked on and off since I was a teen, sometimes for a few months, and other times for several years. I started off as a social smoker convinced I wasn’t addicted – a trap familiar to many. My current bout of smoking has lasted a year now. I am definitely addicted. I am quitting for my children, who are subjected to second-hand smoke (even though I always open the window when I smoke), and for my own health. 

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Quitters’ “propaganda” advises those who want to stop smoking to identify their personal triggers, and to either avoid those things altogether or find something else to do to resist the urge. This will be tough for me, because my two triggers are working on the computer and being around other smokers. As a writer, I spend a lot of time on the computer, so I decided to replace cigarettes with lollipops. And in company, I will just have to tough it out. 

There’s still a half-smoked packet of cigarettes sitting on my desk next to my iMac. The nicotine will take around three days to leave my body, and hopefully not smoking will get easier after that. In the meantime, here are my plans for when I have the urge to light up:

  • Doing a few minutes of push-ups or ab crunches. 
  • Washing the dishes
  • Drinking a glass of water
  • And, when I have to work on the computer and feel like smoking, I have lollipops. They should make my hands and mouth feel a little less empty :). 

But I will kick this addiction! Instead of smoking while writing, I will now write about quitting. Sharing the gory details will hopefully make the quitting process a little easier, and will keep me accountable.

Day 2: Still managing

It has been 48 hours since I last smoked now, and I am doing better than I was yesterday. I have had the urge to light up a few times, when I started writing. Not smoking while blogging was easier today than it was yesterday. I was not as distracted and didn’t think about cigarettes at all. I did use a lollipop as a replacement.

Have you ever seen pictures of a smoker’s lungs? They can be pitch black, like a human ashtray. I didn’t want my lungs to look like those in the pictures I saw in my daughter’s biology workbook recently. Every smoker knows that cigarettes can kill them, but the threat seems too far in the future to care. Let’s be honest and admit that we are puffing ourselves, and perhaps those around us, into an early grave.  

Some of the benefits of quitting smoking take a while to materialize – or actually I should say that the negative consequences of smoking stick around for a long time. But 24 hours after quitting, the chances of having a heart attack already decrease. At 48 hours, the point I am at now, a quitter’s sense of smell and taste improves and damaged nerve endings begin to repair. 

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