Remind Yourself: You’re Better than Tobacco

It’s hard to break up with tobacco but reminding yourself why you left in the first place can help you stay away.

For most people, completely quitting tobacco takes more than one try because life is stressful (understatement) and stress can cause a slip. The people who successfully quit, learn from each try and keep quitting (and quitting…) until they stay quit. If you slip up and use tobacco once or twice after a quit, don’t throw in the towel. Here’s how you can avoid a setback and stay quit for life:

  • Remind yourself how much cash you’re saving by not buying tobacco products. Add up your savings and post the number on your wall, mirror or wherever you’ll see it often. Treat yourself every now and then with the money you’ve saved.
  • Think of the example you’re setting for others. Fellow Service members, younger siblings, your children and other family members – they all look up to you for your strength and leadership.
  • Reflect on how much better you feel since you quit. Can you take deep breaths without coughing? Get your PT in without losing your breath? Feels pretty good, huh?
  • Think about your improved performance and readiness. Without tobacco, you have more stamina, your night vision is sharper and you heal faster if you get hurt. It’s a win, win, win!
  • Weigh the pros and cons of having to quit again if you’re tempted to start up. The first week or so after you quit tobacco is usually the worst. You don’t want to go through “hell week” again, do you?
  • Remember that no one wants to kiss an ashtray or plug of tobacco. By quitting smoking or chewing tobacco, you’re keeping your mouth clean, fresh and kissable.

The more you remind yourself of how quitting tobacco has improved your life, the easier it will be to beat cravings and stay quit. If these ideas don’t work for you, make a list of your own and keep it where you used to keep your tobacco. Take out the list and read it whenever you feel in danger of slipping.