I started smoking when I was 15, and I continued for the next 27 years. I'm proud to say that I've been clean for the last 10 years.
Does it still look cool?
Growing Up When Everyone Smoked
Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s it was not uncommon for almost everyone you knew to be a smoker. The television commercials told you it was cool to smoke. Virginia Slims were for women, and Marlboro was for men. They made the women look sexy and the men tough. If you didn't smoke, you were a nobody. Smoking was permitted in all public places; the movie theaters, grocery stores, bars, public transportation, hospitals, not just in the lounge areas but in the patient's rooms! I remember visiting my father in the hospital after having a heart attack and when we walked into the ward (a larger room that held 4 to 6 patients) there he was along with the other patients sitting in bed smoking a cigarette. My mother lit up too and nobody thought anything bad about that. I am not quite sure anymore, but I kind of remember the doctor smoking when he came in to see my dad.
I remember walking past the teacher's lounge at school and the teachers were sitting there smoking during their lunch break or between classes. Smoking was as common and accepted as seeing someone with a bottle of water today. My Minister at church always smoked a cigar and he kept one lit so he could smoke while the choir sang.
I started to smoke when I was 15 years old. I was permitted to take my cigarettes to school but under no circumstances was I allowed to smoke in school. Yeah that made sense! I continued to smoke for the next 27 years. I tried quitting a few times and around the 3 month period I couldn't take it anymore and would start up again only to smoke more than I used to. At one point I did quit for 2 years and I wanted one every day until one day I started up again. I finally quit for good after finding a way to quit without getting the urge ever again. The following steps is how I was able to do that and I am proud to say that I have been clean from cigarettes for 10 years now and when I am near someone that smokes I find the smell repulsive. I no longer have any urge to smoke again.
The Formula For Success
The following steps need to be followed for this to work. The time for you to quit may differ slightly from someone else depending on how much you currently smoke per day vs. someone else. When I quit I was smoking about 2 full packs per day so that is 40 cigarettes. My method is the "break your routine and step down method". Here is how that works.
Start with the amount that you normally smoke and every 2 days that number will be reduced and divided up throughout your normal smoke day. The smoke day is your normal day. So if you get out of bed at 6:00 in the morning and go to bed at 11:00 at night, that is your normal day. So when I refer to the breakdown of the day it is during the hours that you are awake and also during the hours that you normally smoke. For example if you do not smoke at work then only count the time of the day that you normally would smoke when you are out of work. This is your normal smoke day. If you can smoke at work, do not smoke during a normal break or lunch when you were used to smoking or you will not break that habit.
Since I was smoking 40 cigarettes a day then I will start my plan with 39 cigarettes. This will take some work on your part to actually count your cigarettes out each day and only smoke that amount; no more and no less.
My normal smoke day was from 6:00 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. before going to bed. I was able to smoke throughout the day so my smoke day was the full 17 and a half hours. So for me the formula is based on the 17.5 hours or for an easy calculation break it down into minutes; 60 X 17.5 = 1050 minutes. The key to succeeding in this plan is to break all habits of smoking during or after a meal, sex, or smoking while having that morning coffee, etc. If you were in the habit of smoking during any such event that stops now. To figure out when you will smoke during the day you need to divide the 39 cigarettes into the 1050 minutes for my normal smoke day. That amounts to smoking a cigarette approximately every 27 minutes rounded off. This isn't perfect to the minute but that is ok. So in order to break habits don't smoke right when you get out of bed. Smoke your first cigarette 27 minutes after getting up or at 6:27 a.m. based on a 17.5 hour smoke day. Now smoke a cigarette every 27 minutes after that no matter if you want one or not. Do that schedule for two days.
Day 3 starts a new calculation. Reduce the number of cigarettes by 1 cigarette and recalculate when you will smoke. So now you are down to 38 cigarettes in a 17.5 hour day or 1050 minutes. Remember if you cannot smoke at your job divide your time during the hours that you can smoke and follow the same system during those hours. So 38 cigarettes over 1050 minutes allows you to smoke one every 27.63 minutes or round it off between 27 and 28 minutes. Do that for 2 days. If at any time the breakdown interferes with something that you always smoked while doing, then adjust the time to not smoke during that time.
Day 5 starts a new calculation. Now you are down to 37 cigarettes. Your schedule will slowly get longer in time before being able to smoke another cigarette. For this calculation divide the 37 cigarettes into the 1050 minutes and now you will smoke every 28.38 minutes or about every 28 and a half minutes. Remember not to smoke when you wake up so wait for 28 and a half minutes to smoke the first one. Do this for 2 days. You are doing good! In just 1 week you went from smoking 40 cigarettes per day down to 37 cigarettes per day and you are breaking the habit by not smoking during times that you were used to smoking.
Keep following this routine by reducing the amount of cigarettes by 1 every 2 days and recalculate the amount of minutes throughout the day when you must smoke them. Let's jump down the line a few weeks to day 30. One month after starting this program assuming that you started the program when you were smoking 2 packs a day, you will now be smoking 25 cigarettes per day or every 42 minutes based on the 17.5 hours. On days 39 and 40 you will be down to just 1 pack a day, or 20 cigarettes. You are on your way to being a non-smoker! As long as you are still redoing the calculations each day and not smoking during events that you always smoked such as, after meals, sex, driving or any other time that you normally smoked you will soon be a non-smoker! You are doing great! Keep it up!
In contrast if you were only smoking a pack a day with the same smoke day, you would be a non-smoker by day 39. I know by doing this method to quit, by the time you get down to the last few days the cigarettes are getting harder and harder to smoke. They taste terrible. By the last cigarette you hardly can finish it. This plan does work! I quit by using it and so did my wife. At times it is hard to wait for the next cigarette until you start breaking away from the habit and then it gets hard to force yourself to smoke them. Trust me, it is true!
The chart below is based on a 2 pack a day smoker and having 17.5 hours a day awake time and able to smoke during that time. Remember that your first cigarette each day is the amount of time in the last column of the chart after your waking time which should be the same each day. So based on my example of waking up at 6:00 a.m., on day 15 my first cigarette will be at 6:33 a.m.. This way it always changes and you can break the habit.
Sample Plan Based On A Two Pack A Day Habit
|Day of plan||Amount to smoke based on 2 packs a day||Time between cigarettes based on a 17.5 hours smoke day|
Days 1 and 2
Days 3 and 4
27 to 28 minuets
Days 5 and 6
Days 7 and 8
Days 9 and 10
Days 11 and 12
Days 13 and 14
Days 15 and 16
Days 17 and 18
Days 19 and 20
Days 21 and 22
Days 23 and 24
37 to 38 minutes
Days 25 and 26
Days 27 and 28
Days 29 and 30
Days 31 and 32
Days 33 and 34
Days 35 and 36
Days 37 and 38
Days 39 and 40
52 to 53 minutes
Days 41 and 42
Days 43 and 44
Days 45 and 46
1 hour 2 minutes
Days 47 ad 48
1 hour 6 minutes
Days 49 and 50
1 hour 10 minutes
Days 51 and 52
1 hour 15 minutes
Days 53 and 54
1 hour 21 minutes
Days 55 and 56
1 hour 28 minutes
Days 57 and 58
1 hour 36 minutes
Days 59 and 60
1 hour 45 minutes
Days 61 and 62
1 hour 57 minutes
Days 63 and 64
2 hours 11 minutes
Days 65 and 66
2 hours 30 minutes
Days 67 and 68
2 hours 55 minutes
Days 69 and 70
3 hours 20 minutes
Days 71 and 72
4 hours 23 minutes
Days 73 and 74
5 hours 50 minutes
Days 75 and 76
8 hours 45 minutes
Days 77 and 78
Anytime you want to.
Days 79 and forever
Results Of Using My Plan
You did it! You are a non-smoker! Now think about the health benefits. You drastically reduced your risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and many other things. I don't claim to be a doctor but it is common knowledge that the benefits of quitting are great. Talk to your doctor to know more about the benefits and also advise your doctor, your family and your friends that you are going to quit so you have a support system.
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By quitting you also have a great deal more money to save or to spend on better things in life that are not as detrimental to your health. Just at $4.00 a pack (prices could vary) if you were a 2 pack a day smoker you will be saving about $240.00 a month. I'm sure if you are like most people that is some nice pocket change. By the end of the year you are almost $3,000.00 ahead.
Good luck with quitting. Don't give up and you too can be a non-smoker in a short time from now.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Allen Williams (author) from Pennsylvania on December 01, 2014:
@Brittany - You need to estimate what hours you are going to be up and use that time block for your calculation. Keep up the good work and you will be a non-smoker soon!
Brittany on November 28, 2014:
I am on day 14 smoking 13 cigarettes a day. But I am confused on what to do when on weekends or days off, I am not awake as many hours on those days, than I am on work days. How do I figure that out so I'm not screwing this up?
Allen Williams (author) from Pennsylvania on November 17, 2014:
@Wendy, Yes, you can only smoke when it is permitted but not during a normal break time. If you choose to smoke during a time when you normally would then you will not break that habit. The point is to break the habit of smoking at certain times while at the same time cutting the amount that you smoke for the whole day. It is hard at first but it gets very easy soon.
Wendy on November 16, 2014:
I'm confused about what I'm supposed to do when I am not allowed to smoke during work, only at break. I work an 8 hour shift and can only smoke during my 15 minute break and again during my 30 minute lunch. You say to not smoke during my normal smoking times. Am I supposed to go 8 hours of not smoking right from the first day ?
Allen Williams (author) from Pennsylvania on December 22, 2013:
John, thanks for reading and for your comments. I hope you can quit again by just throwing them away but if you find that hard to do, try this plan. It does work.
john on December 22, 2013:
I just quit one day after 15 years just through the pack away that eazy but i had brain cancer now im smokeing again bad now its time to do it again its a hard task but i want yo live some people can just walk away hope i can do i again for my kids
Allen Williams (author) from Pennsylvania on April 10, 2013:
@ Beri: Calculate your smoking day by the amount of hours that you are awake and smoking. It doesn't have to be broken down to a perfect science. Just estimate the hours that you are smoking and use that for your calculations. The most important thing is that you are smoking at different times and breaking away from the times that are a habit rather than a need to smoke, such as after your meals, or during a stressful situation, etc. Once your habits of smoking are broken, then your desire for them decreases. Thank you for your interest and best of luck for success in quitting.
Beri on April 09, 2013:
A question for you, Allen. What if you smoke more when telecommuting from home than when at work? I don't know how to calculate my smoking day...
Allen Williams (author) from Pennsylvania on August 24, 2012:
Follow this plan Donna and I am sure it will help you quit. It helped me and my wife quit for good for 9 year now. Thank you for reading and good luck!
Donna Houltberg on August 24, 2012:
I have been trying to quit smoking for awhile now but have not yet stopped
Allen Williams (author) from Pennsylvania on April 27, 2012:
I wish you the best of luck quitting feenix. It is tough at first but toward the end, you really are forcing yourself to smoke them and they become less and less enjoyable. Stick with and good luck. Thanks for reading it and commenting.
feenix on April 27, 2012:
This just might be the most important post I have ever read on HubPages.
Due to the fact that I am longtime smoker who is ready to quit, this article has provided me with a very workable and sensible plan to do just that.
I am very grateful to you for taking the time to write and publish this piece and I am going to get started on the plan right away.
I will keep you posted concerning my progress.
Allen Williams (author) from Pennsylvania on April 18, 2012:
Thank you Suzi. If you stick with it, it really does work. This plan helped me quit and that was after trying other ways a few times before without success. It is now over 8 years that I don't smoke since using this plan. Good luck to you.
Suzi on April 18, 2012:
This is a great idea! It probably helps with withdrawal symptoms too. I also smoke 2 packs a day and cannot wait to quit. I will post if this works for me!! Thanks!!
Allen Williams (author) from Pennsylvania on November 09, 2011:
Thank you tammyswallow. I appreciate the comments and good luck on quitting. It takes some work on your part but I know it works if you stick with it. Each day gets easier.
Tammy from North Carolina on November 09, 2011:
Very well written and useful. I will try this. I HATE smoking!
Allen Williams (author) from Pennsylvania on August 30, 2011:
Thank you very much, I do appreciate that! I wish your sister and her husband luck with quitting. If they use my plan and it is successful for them, I sure would love to hear about it.
LaDena Campbell from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on August 30, 2011:
Great plan...I am going to share this with my sister and her husband who have tried to quit smoking for years...this sounds like a plan they could live with..great hub...vote up and useful!