When you consider the long list of potential “bad habits,” smoking almost always ends up at the top of the list, and for good reason. Smoking is one of the most detrimental bad habits around, wreaking havoc on your health, finances, and often relationships.
If you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume you want to quit smoking or perhaps you’re worried about a loved one’s smoking habit. Whatever the case, we’re not here to judge you. No one wakes up and decides “I want to become a smoker today,” and yet millions of people all around the world continue to smoke despite wanting to quit.
Perhaps you’re one of those people.
Fortunately, with the right tools, resources, and support system, you can make your smoking habit a thing of the past – and we hope this guide will help you do just that.
But first, a few facts about smoking.
Stats on smoking
When it comes to quitting bad habits, statistics are commonly used to ‘scare’ people into quitting, but historically they aren’t very useful to get people to quit for good.
Because the truth is they aren’t relatable.
Reading statistics about how bad smoking is, is one thing. But when you have that urge to light up, your brain quickly does everything it can to convince you that you’re special.
“One cigarette won’t hurt.”
That being said, knowing the truth about your bad habits, particularly smoking, can be a great first step to building awareness.
We’ll say it again. Pavlok isn’t here to judge you.
Having helped hundreds of people all around the world break their bad habits, we know people come from all different levels and walks of life. What matters is your desire to commit to seeing the results you want.
Here are a few statistics about smoking around the world.
- Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke.
- In addition, smoking-related illness in the United States costs more than $300 billion a year, including nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults and $156 billion in lost productivity.
- Tobacco is directly related to the cause of death of over HALF its users, killing around 6 million people each year.
- Nearly 80% of the world’s smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
- Many tobacco users don’t know the true cost of smoking. For example, a 2009 survey in China revealed that only 38% of smokers knew that smoking causes coronary heart disease and only 27% knew that it causes stroke.
- One person dies every 6 seconds from tobacco-related diseases.
- Over 20% of all deaths in the US are from Tobacco.
- Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 harmful chemicals.
We could go on.. and on.. and on.
Regardless of whether you just started smoking, or have been a tobacco user for years, the best time to quit is today.
Why quitting is so difficult
We’ve shown you the statistics about how harmful your smoking habit is.
But why is it so difficult to quit?
First and foremost, it’s important to recognize smoking as an addiction.
No one wakes up each day saying “Wow, I’m really glad I’m a smoker.” And yet millions of people continue to smoke on a daily basis.
There are a few reasons why the habit is so difficult to kick.
First, the tobacco industry has spent literally billions of dollars on marketing and chemicals designed to make you addicted.
They market cigarettes as being the end all cure all of your stress. But as any smoker will tell you, smoking never makes life stressful, but in fact makes it more so.
Second, nicotine in cigarettes is one of the most addictive substances on the planet, which is why so many smokers have withdrawals after going only a few days without lighting up.
One of the worst things you can do when trying to quit is beat yourself up.
Quitting smoking is hard, but entirely possible with the right approach.
In fact, there are millions of people who have successfully quit the habit. We want to help you be the next one.
Now that you know what you’re ‘up against’ let’s look at some of the best tips on how to quit.
When it comes to finally quitting smoking, it’s important you give yourself the best chance to succeed.
This means doing everything you can to make sure you go from “former smoker” to “smoke-free.”
Here are a few helpful tips to help you be successful in your journey.
Tips on How to Quit
Slow down and be present
Smoking is a habit. Maybe you always have a cigarette with your coffee, or maybe you light up after having that weekly meeting with your boss. Regardless of your smoking routine, becoming aware of your triggers will be immensely helpful in giving yourself the best chance to succeed.
Whenever you have the urge to smoke, take a deep breath and focus on the present.
No.. we’re not trying to sound all new age on you, but being present gives you a moment to reflect and thus interrupts your smoking patterns.
Close your eyes, breathe in and out. And recognize that you’re in control.
Exercise is also an incredible method to combat your smoking habit.
It’s been proven time and time again, that exercising regularly forces your brain to produce feel-good chemicals such as dopamine.
This will give you a pleasant “high” without the negative side effects of smoking.
Not only will you be in a better mood and have more energy, your overall health will also quickly improve.
Every time you have the urge to do a few jumping jacks, squats, or pushups and you’ll often notice the desire to smoke is no longer there.
We recommend some awesome exercise apps here.
Call a family member or friend
By nature we’re social animals and a great way to improve your chances of quitting is by asking your friends and family for help.
This alone won’t always do the trick, but when you publicly commit to stop smoking it’s a powerful reinforcement for when you have an intense craving.
Tell your friends, boss, and or significant other that you’re no longer a smoker. Tell them to call you out each time they see you smoking.
Naturally, you won’t want to disappoint your friends and loved ones which will motivate you to quit smoking for good.
Think about your why
Whenever the urge to light up strikes, take a few moments to reflect on WHY you want to quit.
Is your health suffering? Would you like to have more money in the bank each month?
Be as specific as possible. Many former smokers found it helpful to write down their reasons in a journal or write them down on an index card.
The more you think about YOUR why behind quitting the more likely you are to succeed.
Use all the resources you can
One of the most common reasons people fail to quit smoking is that they believe that they can just rely on willpower to get things done.
Of course, some people are able to quit smoking from willpower alone, but you want to give yourself the best chance to quit.
So while making your plan to quit, be sure to include a variety of suggestions and commit to taking action.
How Pavlok can help
We’ve listed several tips on how to quit, but we’ve saved the best for last.
Pavlok has helped hundreds of people reduce their cravings and stopped smoking for good.
One Pavlok user Simon used Pavlok to quit smoking in 1 week.
For over 5 years he smoked a half pack of cigarettes each day until he started struggling to do what he loved best — running half marathons.
“I used to run for both pleasure and exercise. I would run half marathons, and it was very meditative for me. But when I started smoking cigarettes, my cardio really suffered”
He used the Pavlok as a base to break away from his smoking habit and ritual.
Within just a few days, he started gaining control of his cravings but continued to use the Pavlok to overcome that random nicotine pang.
After quitting he shared an incredibly insightful thought
“To really want to quit is a fine line of being honest with yourself. Breaking through that veil is really crucial because it is so easy to continue to rationalize. Once you’ve broken it, you look back and realize it was all shrouded by dependency. For me, it was just a little shock in my arm that helped to wake me up and really blow the smoke away from my cigarette habit”.”
So how ‘exactly’ can Pavlok help you quit smoking?
The 3-step, 5-day process
For the first 5 days of using Pavlok, you continue smoking your normal amount of cigarettes, but while doing so, you zap your arm every time you inhale.
You can also zap yourself when buying a new package of cigarettes when you go to light your first one, and during each inhale of your cigarette.
Throughout the day, whenever you get a craving but aren’t smoking, you can also zap yourself to help increase the effectiveness.
As you continue with the process, you should notice you have less and less desire to smoke.
Continue recording your urges throughout the 5 days using the Pavlok app.
After 5 days, check in with yourself and determine your progress. Your urges should be virtually nonexistent, but you can still use the Pavlok to battle the occasional craving.
Continue using this process until you feel an aversion towards the habit – and you no longer want to light up.
P.S. If you’re worried about the ‘strength’ of the zap don’t worry, the zap strength is 100% customizable based on your preferences. However, we do recommend you choose a setting that is slightly uncomfortable.
That’s it. You’ve now used the Pavlok to reduce your smoking behavior and in many cases get rid of it completely.
Testimonials: How Pavlok helped Marty live a smoke-free life
Before I started using Pavlok, I was smoking about 18 cigarettes a day. With Pavlok, I’ve [in the first week] been averaging about 7 a day. [… Week four] is my first week not smoking at all… whenever I drive by a gas station and think, ‘Maybe I’ll get a pack’, I just shock myself.
I used Pavlok to quit smoking and I am proud proof that it actually did work. You do have to be committed to the process but I […] couldn’t be happier. I can honestly say with no hyperbole Pavlok has really changed my life.
As we’ve mentioned before, when quitting smoking you want to make use of as many resources as you can.
Here are two resources we’ve heard great things about from former smokers all around the world.
Use them by themselves, or in addition to the Pavlok process as well.
Allen Carr’s The Easy Way
THE go-to-quit-smoking book, Allen Carr’s The Easy Way has sold tens of millions of copies, and helped thousands of people around the world end their smoking habit for good.
While his approach might not work for everyone, it’s an incredible resource to lean on when you feel like breaking your commitment.
We highly recommend you give it a read.
Quit Smoking Apps
If you search the Apple or Google Play store you’ll find hundreds of apps to help you quit smoking.
We recommend choosing an app that you’ll use on a regular basis and that offers you statistics on “how much you’ve saved” and “how much you’ve improved your health.”
Tracking your progress is an incredible way to build awareness and keep your motivation high.
Here are a few of our favorites.
Regardless of the reason you started smoking, the best choice you can make now is to quit smoking today.
The journey certainly won’t be easy, but many years from now you’ll look back at today as one of the most important days of your life.
No matter how many times you’ve tried to quit, or how many times you told yourself “You can’t.” You have the tools and resources you need to succeed.
Make today the day you change your life.