Smokers will tell you how much they want to quit smoking. The rising prices, the negative effects on health, the time spent, the dependency and those nights where you are craving a smoke but you’ve run out of them — all of these things are unnecessary and can be avoided if you quit. 

But it’s not the easiest of things to do, otherwise pan tapris won’t be so commonly present across the country. But it’s possible. We ask real people how they managed to kick the butt, so that probably, you can learn from their experience too. 

“I read somewhere that the secret to breaking any habit is to love something greater than the habit. For me, that line struck home and I realized why I needed to quit smoking for my family,” says Nikesh Mishra, a banking professional who quit the habit after being addicted for more than 7 years.

A lot of the people that we asked swore by this wonderful book called Allen Carr’s Easyway To Stop Smoking. “It says that instead of reducing stress, cigarettes actually increase stress. It impedes concentration, it increases boredom and does not add in any way to your happiness. Also, the best part about the book is that it asks you to smoke as you read through the chapters, and as you move towards the end, you lose the desire to pick up another one,” says Rajesh Sharma, a stock broker. 

Then there are people who believe that it’s important to not take the withdrawal pangs too seriously, otherwise they only increase in intensity. “You have to let the pain pass through your body. Don’t fight it. Whether you are stressed at work or have to meet someone important, remember to accept the pain like you would accept the pain if you had a small gash on your hand. It’s going to stay there for a while, but if you don’t quit, that niggling pain will follow you for the rest of your life,” says Kumar Sethi, a senior PR manager. 

“It’s advisable to download an app like QuitNow! so that you can track the number of cigarettes you haven’t smoked, health benefits you’ve garnered and the money you’ve saved,” says Amar Joshi, a lawyer. 

“As far as substitutes are concerned, I found oranges to be really useful. Nicotine gums are good, but use them very sparingly, because you want your body to lose its dependency. If you have a meeting to attend, or you need to do something mentally challenging, using a gum is fine. But don’t have 10 gums a day, if you were having 10 cigarettes a day. Also, you should not have gums for more than a week, by which time your nicotine dependency should have dropped drastically,” says Paritosh Jha, a journalist with a leading organization.

Also, among the many methods that people have used to quit smoking, cold turkey works best. “Gradual reduction is not the best idea. You need to smoke your last cigarette, and say, ‘cheers! I am a non-smoker.’,” says Harish Pillai, a travel agent. 

Another problem that affects people is that they will lose their smoke buddies if they quit smoking. “If you quit in a proper manner, you won’t be tempted to smoke even if you see your friend smoking. And if your friends don’t talk to you, if you don’t smoke with them, then such a friendship isn’t worth more than your lungs. In fact, a true friend will be inspired to quit after seeing you,” says Sonia Gupta, an air-hostess. 

Relapsing is another problem that quitters need to take care about. After all, you don’t want to quit for 20 days and get back on the bandwagon. “If you’ve quit for a while, don’t think that smoking just one to get over a hard day is fine. This will bring the junkie sitting in your head into action, and you will keep finding excuses to smoke more and more,” says Mukesh Dighe, a software professional.  

(Names have been changed to protect identity.)

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