Whether you have been smoking for 2 years or 20 years, part of the difficulty of quitting is in breaking the habit of thinking like a smoker. When cravings hit, it is easy to revert back to this smokers’ thinking and rationalize the need for a cigarette. However, you must remember that the benefits of quitting far outweigh the benefits of that last cigarette.
When you’re faced with “smokers’ thinking,” it is important to defeat these thoughts and fight the urge to smoke. Smokefree.gov provides a number of useful rationalizations to smokers’ thinking that may help you in this process:
Smokers’ Thinking: I just need one cigarette to take the edge off my cravings.
Clear Thinking: With every day you do not smoke, cravings become weaker and less frequent. Even one puff of a cigarette will make cravings stronger.
Smokers’ Thinking: It’s been a long day; I deserve a cigarette.
Clear Thinking: You do deserve a reward after a long day, but there are better rewards than a cigarette. For instance, a good meal, a funny movie, or a hot shower will help you relax without compromising your attempt to quit smoking.
Smokers’ Thinking: The urge to smoke is too strong; I can’t stand it.
Clear Thinking: Even the strongest cravings will last less than three minutes. This urge will go away whether you smoke or not, and smoking will just make future cravings more frequent.
Smokers’ Thinking: I blew it; I smoked a cigarette.I might as well go ahead and finish the pack.
Clear Thinking: You are still learning how to be a nonsmoker. It’s normal to make mistakes, but you don’t have to smoke that next cigarette. You can learn from this mistake and keep going.
Smokers’ Thinking: I am doing really well. Just one cigarette won’t hurt.
Clear Thinking: You have never smoked just one cigarette before. One always leads to another, and you don’t want to undo my progress by smoking now.
Smokers’ Thinking: It’s too hard to quit smoking. I can’t do this.
Clear Thinking: Roughly 40,000 American have quit smoking. If other people can do it, so can you. It is too important to give up on.
For people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic lung conditions, the importance of quitting cannot be stressed enough. By arming yourself with these positive thoughts, you will ensure that cravings will be put to rest and you will be well on your way to being a nonsmoker.