Even if you don't want to quit smoking, you know you need to. "The bottom line is that smoking has absolutely no redeeming properties," says Loretta Braxton, Ph.D., director of the Stop Smoking Clinic at the VA Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and a former 12-year smoker. More than 400,000 people die from smoking-related health problems every year, says Braxton, and the habit literally affects every part of your body. To protect your health, use strategies to force yourself to quit smoking, whether you like it or not.
Give yourself a reason to quit that you believe in, advises the NYU Langone Medical Center. Whether it's for your family, for yourself or to save money for a vacation, believing in the reason makes it easier.
Consider taking a doctor-prescribed regimen of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant medication in the weeks before you stop smoking, notes Mark Ketterer, Ph.D, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Detroit, Michigan's Henry Ford Hospital. "It makes people calmer, it helps them sleep, and studies have shown that antidepressants decrease the possibility of a relapse by about 30 percent," he says.
Figure out how many packs of cigarettes you smoke in a week, then multiply this by four to figure your monthly cost. Multiply your monthly cost by 12 to calculate your yearly cost. Most likely, you're unaware of exactly how much you spend on cigarettes, says Barbara Miller in the book "How to Quit Smoking Even If You Don't Want To." Keep this figure in your mind as you work on quitting.
Taper off the number of cigarettes you smoke per day, and decrease your smoking frequency. If you like to smoke right after you wake up, try delaying it for half an hour, suggests Miller. Any time you feel the urge to smoke, make yourself wait.
Assess the environments that trigger your urge to smoke, and make changes in your routine to avoid these triggers, advises Ketterer. If you like to smoke after meals, get up immediately after eating and work on the dishes. If you like to smoke while drinking, try going to bars that outlaw smoking.
Drink eight 8-oz. glasses of water per day to help flush the nicotine out of your body, suggests the NYU Langone Medical Center. When you feel a cigarette craving coming on, breathe deeply while counting to 10.
Try nicotine replacement therapy, such as a nicotine patch or gum, suggests Auburn, New York family physician Dr. Davidd Levy.
Talk to your doctor about other medication to help you quit. The antidepressant Wellbutrin gives cigarette smokers a 40 percent chance of success, says Levy. The NYU Langone Medical Center also suggests talking to your doctor about the drug varenicline, also called Chantix, which blocks nicotine receptors in your brain.
How to Quit Smoking When You Don't Want to