The First Week

Days One through Seven
Hell week with the NicoDemon on your shoulder is really not as bad as all that some people would have you believe. After all, I quit after smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day for much of over 32 years... and did it Cold Turkey! I know I will never have to smoke another cigarette if I just do it one day at a time. I don't smoke today because I choose not to add more poisons into my body. My freedom from this insidious all-pervading addiction is so precious to me and it can be for you, too.
To help you make your way through this first week, I suggest you print out these pages, but use them only one at a time. If you are on Day One, just read Day one. Hang it on the refrigerator or on your bathroom mirror... wherever it will survive the day.
Enjoy your new freedom... you are going to love it!




Waking up to Day 1:

Today's the big day! Round up all your cancer sticks and twist and shred them all over a toilet bowl and flush the Nicodemon. You'll get a certain satisfaction in doing this instead of lighting up.
Eat Breakfast and if you can do so, substitute orange juice, milk or tea for the coffee. It can be a trigger for smoking. Cut coffee consumption by about half, if you cannot. After meals, go for a walk, play with the kids or pets, work on a hobby or project, call a friend or go put your name and today's date on the Ash Kicker's Wall of Ex-Smokers, listed at the end of this article.
Give away or trash all your ash trays and toss your lighters, too.

What to substitute for cigarettes:
sunflower seeds
celery sticks
ice water
carrot sticks
swizzle sticks or plastic coffee stirrers (these are great for in the car!)
butterscotch disks or Werther's
Tic-Tac's or other small mints
chewing gum - sugarless is best
ice cubes or crushed ice to suck on

To Help with Cravings
Drink lots of water - about 8 glasses a day for 3 - 4 days to flush toxins and nicotine. This really helps, so DO IT.
Make a written list of all the reasons you want to quit and stay quit. Read it every time you have a craving. It will help tremendously.
Remind yourself that urges to smoke will pass in 3 to 5 minutes and they are not commands to be acted upon. They are only feelings.

Other Helps
Make a list of things that acted as a trigger to smoking for you. When did you want to smoke today? What were the circumstances?
Try to keep stress at a minimum today.

Hooray!
Reward yourself for a fantastic job of staying smoke-free for the past 24 hours with not even a puff! Get yourself something like a new CD, a nice meal out, see a good movie and pat yourself on the back!

Quit Tip for today:
GIVING UP - Unless you give up on quitting smoking, the ONLY thing you are "giving up" is a lifetime of slavery, sickness and death due to burning of tobacco and inhaling it into your lungs and/or mouth. Perceived pleasures in doing this do not count... is that kind of "pleasure" worth dying over?




Waking up to Day 2:

You now know how not to smoke for ONE day! Great!! Now put on your patch or pop a cube of gum or get started on your Zyban or other quitting aid if you are using them. Eat breakfast the same way as yesterday. Cut coffee consumption by about half, if you cannot eliminate it altogether.
After meals, exercise or go for a walk or run, play with the kids or pets, mow the lawn or shovel snow, go to the Ash Kickers' Forum for support or find an offline support group in your town, like Nicotine Anonymous.
Add your name and quit date to the Wall of Ex-Smokers if you haven't done it yet. Go to work via a different route today, or clean the windows of the room most used to smoke in. You'll be surprised at how brown they are.

What to substitute for cigarettes:
sunflower seeds
celery sticks
ice water
carrot sticks
peanut butter on a spoon
swizzle sticks or plastic coffee stirrers (these are great for in the car!)
butterscotch disks or Werther's
Tic-Tac's or other small mints
chewing gum - sugarless is best
ice cubes or crushed ice to suck on
Diet soda

To Help with Cravings
Drink another 8 glasses of water today to be sure toxins are flushed. Read your list of all the reasons you want to quit and stay quit every time you have a craving. Can you see how this helps you?
Take some deep cleansing breaths when you feel irritation coming on.
Keep reminding yourself that urges to smoke will pass in 3 to 5 minutes and they are not commands. They don't have to be acted upon. They are only feelings.

Other Helps
Keep track of what acted as a trigger to smoking for you. When did you want to smoke today? What were the circumstances? Hang in there!
Try to keep stress at a minimum today.
Take a long hot bubble bath or shower, whichever you prefer.
Listen to soothing music while relaxing or meditating.


Hooray!
You did it!! Congratulations for going 48 hours without even a puff of the NicoDemon's Sickarettes!
Don't forget to reward yourself for a fantastic job!

Quit Tip for Today:
NERVOUS HANDS - What do you do when your hands don't seem busy enough? When you're itching to "hold" something. You've brought your hand to your mouth thousands of times while you were smoking, far more than you do when eating. So, now what do you do? Swizzle sticks, like those used in mixed drinks at times did the trick for me. Sunflower seeds were very handy for me, too. Other suggestions might be to nibble on carrot sticks or celery, peanuts, or other low calorie, low carbohydrate food. You can also get your hands very busy with housework, dishwashing, gardening, play solitaire or even electronic games and typing on the computer. Busy hands stay smoke-free.




Waking up to Day 3:

You are getting to be an old pro at this! You'll be just fine, so get ready for your New smoke-free day... You ARE doing it!
Have a great breakfast and enjoy it. Remember about the coffee.. not too much! If you get a craving, cut coffee consumption by about half, if you cannot eliminate it altogether. Juice, milk and tea are still great, too.
After meals, exercise or go for a walk or run, play with the kids or pets, mow the lawn or shovel snow, go to the Ash Kickers' Forum for support or work an online jigsaw puzzle. Whistle while you work today, or take the living room drapes to be dry cleaned to get the smoke smell out or shampoo your carpets. It's good exercise, too!

What to substitute for cigarettes:
sunflower seeds
celery sticks
ice water
carrot sticks
peanut butter on a spoon
swizzle sticks or plastic coffee stirrers
butterscotch disks or Werther's
Tic-Tac's, Altoids or other small mints
chewing gum - sugarless is best
ice cubes or crushed ice to suck on
Diet soda

To Help with Cravings
Drink another 8 glasses of water today to be sure toxins are flushed.
Read your list of all the reasons you want to quit and stay quit every time you have a craving.
Can you see how this helps you?
Take some deep cleansing breaths when you feel irritation coming on. Leave the area if you feel like screaming at someone. Count to 10 instead.
Keep reminding yourself that urges to smoke will pass in 3 to 5 minutes and they are not commands. They don't have to be acted upon. They are only feelings. This is very important. The NicoDemon can be persistent. Ignore him and get busy doing something else.

Other Helps
Learn to avoid your triggers. Keep track of what acted as a trigger to smoking for you. When did you want to smoke today? What were the circumstances?
Try to keep calm and relaxed while avoiding stress today.
Take a long hot bubble bath or shower, whichever you prefer.
Listen to soothing music while relaxing or meditating. Take a nap.
Get a Quit Meter to track the time you have been quit, and how much money and life have been saved.

Hooray!
You did it!! Congratulations for going 72 hours without even a puff of the NicoDemon's Sickarettes!
Don't forget to reward yourself for a fantastic job! Go out to dinner and a movie.

Benefits:
Are you noticing that you can breathe better now and are not stinky from cigarette smoke anymore?
Bet you're getting more hugs now, too!

Quit Tip for Today:
FEEL YOUR FREEDOM - You are not "giving up" anything. Instead you are GAINING everything. If you are feeling deprived, you are looking at your recovery from nicotine addiction with the wrong glasses on your eyes. Open them and you'll see you should be thankful and grateful instead of wishing you could smoke "just one". Be FREE and be happy you ARE smoke-free.




Waking up to Day 4:

Breathe a sigh of relief! You are half-way through "Hell Week" so get ready for your New smoke-free day... You ARE doing great!
Have a super nutritious breakfast and enjoy it. If you like coffee, have some as a reward today, but if it causes a triggering for an urge for a cigarette, better forego coffee until later. After meals, exercise or go for a walk or run, play with the kids or pets, mow the lawn or shovel snow, go to the Ash Kickers' Forum for support or try our new Word Search game.
Burst out in song sometime today and clean out the car top to bottom, not forgetting the interior windows... they are brown with tar from smoke.

What to substitute for cigarettes:
Everything from the first 3 days and others of your own invention.

To Help with Cravings
Read your list of all the reasons you want to quit and stay quit every time you have a craving. Can you see how this helps you? It should become automatic in time.
Take some deep cleansing breaths when you feel irritation coming on. Leave the area if you feel like screaming at someone. Count to 10 instead.
Keep reminding yourself that urges to smoke will pass in 3 to 5 minutes and they are not commands. They don't have to be acted upon. They are only feelings. This is very important. The NicoDemon can be persistent. Ignore him and get busy doing something else.

Other Helps
Learn to avoid your triggers. Keep track of what acted as a trigger to smoking for you. When did you want to smoke today? What were the circumstances? Keep writing these down.
Try to keep calm and relaxed while avoiding stress today.
Take a long hot bubble bath or shower, whichever you prefer.
Listen to soothing music while relaxing or meditating. Take a nap.
Hug someone today and smile a lot. They'll wonder what you're up to.

Hooray!
You did it again!! Congratulations for going 96 hours without even a puff of the NicoDemon's cancer sticks!
Don't forget to reward yourself for a fantastic quit! Buy yourself a new outfit. You deserve it!.

Benefits:
Have you noticed that you can taste food a little better now? That will improve and so will your sense of smell if it hasn't already! You begin to notice how bad others who smoke smell when they are nearby.

Quit Tip of the Day
SAVING MONEY AFTER QUITTING -You can save a lot of money by quitting smoking, even if you use quitting aids to stop. If you have insurance that helps you pay for your prescription cessation medicines, you save even more. Consider that patches cost about $120 per month and the gum costs around $50 for 100 pieces. If you compare them with the cost of smoking (going higher all the time!) a pack a day, you'll find that smoking costs at least $90 per month and around $1100 per year. Since you only need the cessation meds for a few weeks or months, you'll save a lot of money by quitting now.




Waking up to Day 5:

All Riiight! Five days ago you started on the road to Freedom and you are going strong and sure! Keep up the progress. Remember this is a process! One day at a time works for those who work it. Start with a creative nutritious breakfast and enjoy it. Try drinking orange juice or milk today. After meals, exercise or go for a walk or run, play with the kids or pets, mow the lawn or shovel snow, go to the Ash Kickers' Forum for support or how about a game of tic-tac-toe?
Call someone you love whom you haven't seen for a long time. Tell them you quit smoking.

What to substitute for cigarettes:
Everything from the first 4 days and others of your own invention.

To Help with Cravings
Read your list of all the reasons you want to quit and stay quit every time you have a craving. This is a good habit and it should become automatic in time.
Take some deep cleansing breaths when you feel irritation coming on. Leave the area if you feel like screaming at someone. Count to 10 instead.
Keep reminding yourself that urges to smoke will pass in 3 to 5 minutes and they are not commands. They don't have to be acted upon. One puff can very well lead back to a pack or more a day. You've come too far to go back to Day one.

Other Helps
Have you found yourself anticipating your triggers more? Good! Awareness will help you prepare. You should be feeling better at this point.
Take time to read something interesting and engrossing.
Listen to soothing music while relaxing or meditating.
Avoid alcohol as it tends to be a strong trigger to smoking.

Hooray!
You did it again!! Congratulations for going 120 hours without even a puff of the NicoDemon's cancer sticks! Whoooeee!
Don't forget to reward yourself for a fantastic quit! Pamper yourself tonight!

Benefits:
Climbing stairs, raking leaves, bending over pulling weeds, shovelling snow are all things that can cause us to be short of breath if we are smokers. Have you noticed the improvement in your breathing since you quit?

Quitting Tip of the Day:
NICOTINE WITHDRAWAL - Worried about the symptoms you're experiencing now that you've quit smoking? Symptoms may include: headaches, irritability, sweating, coughing, fatigue or tired all the time, unable to concentrate, constipation, increased need for sweet or salty foods, tobacco cravings. Are you still in your first or second week? You're just going through nicotine withdrawal, which takes different forms with different people. Please be patient, it might take from a few days up to a couple of weeks for some of them to abate, but they will go away. Drinking plenty of water will help.




Waking up to Day 6:

Quitters are winners and you sure are winning now with SIX big days without even a puff!! This is indeed a miracle! Did you ever think you could amass a whole 6 days without those addictive cigarettes? One day at a time works for those who work it.
Start with a creative nutritious breakfast and enjoy it. Try drinking orange juice or milk today. Have coffee if it's not a trigger for you.
After meals, exercise or go for a walk or run, play with the kids or pets, mow the lawn or shovel snow, go to the Ash Kickers' Forum for support or how about a visit to our library?
Arrange to go someplace special this weekend with your significant other or a friend.

What to substitute for cigarettes:
Everything from the first 5 days and others of your own invention. You should be feeling less of a need to hold something now, but munchies may still be a factor. Keep it healthy foods to avoid putting on weight.

To Help with Cravings
Daily: read your list of all the reasons you want to quit and stay quit every time you have a craving. This is a good habit and it should become automatic in time.
Take some deep cleansing breaths when you feel irritation coming on. Leave the area if you feel like screaming at someone. Count to 10 instead.
Keep reminding yourself that urges to smoke will pass in 3 to 5 minutes and they are not commands. They don't have to be acted upon. One puff can very well lead back to a pack or more a day. You've come too far to go back to Day one.
Never make a decision to smoke again without checking in with your quit buddy or sponsor first.

Other Helps
Have a plan ready of what you will do under any triggering situation instead of smoking. Write it down on the back of the list of reasons why you quit.
You will be feeling much better at this point.
Take time to be helpful to others every chance you get.
Listen to soothing music while relaxing or meditating.
Avoid smoky places as it tends to be a strong trigger to smoking.

Hooray!
You did it once more!! Because you went without even a puff of the NicoDemon's cancer sticks, you now have 6 Days! Yes!
Don't forget to reward yourself for a fantastic day! How about a night out with friends?

Benefits:
As a result of better breathing, you'll notice that you are beginning to have a lot more energy since you quit.

Quitting Tips of the Day
BENEFITS OF QUITTING - Keep in mind the positive things about quitting. For instance, think about how much you like yourself as an ex-smoker, the health benefits for both you and your family, and the new role model you've become for those around you. This positive attitude will help you during the rough times. To see the financial benefits of becoming an ex-smoker, start a money jar with the money you save by not buying cigarettes.




Waking up to Day 7:

Can you imagine it?! You now have 7 days of not smoking, not even a tiny puff! The Ole NicoDemon is in misery because he's losing you. And YOU are gaining your freedom! Way to go!
Start with a creative nutritious breakfast and enjoy it. Try drinking orange juice or milk today. Have coffee if it's not a trigger for you.

Hooray!
Don't forget to reward yourself for a fantastic week!! Without smoking, of course!

Benefits:
You should have a real feeling of accomplishment and self-pride every single day you go without smoking. You should feel especially happy for having accumulated 7 of those 24 hours in a row. You go! Congratulations!

Quitting Tip of the Day
EX-SMOKER'S SNACKS - Some nutritional snack ideas for ex-smokers. They are great anytime. Frozen pops: For a real treat, use a paper cup to freeze either: apple sauce
fruit juices...can be mixed for a taste sensation
crushed pineapple
combination of chopped fruit and fruit juice.
Don't forget to put a wooden stick in the center of the "pop" before freezing. Enjoy!






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