Dr.Hays

Why you can’t hide cigarettes “just in case”

Blog Post created by Dr.Hays on Jul 12, 2017

Have you ever stashed cigarettes in the closet or the freezer just before quitting?

 

Some smokers reason that a secret stash will give them “peace of mind” to focus on quitting, kind of like a security blanket. Others believe quitting in the face of temptation will only make them stronger.

 

This is faulty reasoning!

 

Keeping cigarettes around when you quit is not empowering; it’s sabotage.

 

If cigarettes are just a drawer pull away when a craving hits, you’re likely to act on impulse. You probably won’t stop and think: I’ve saved $350 this month not smoking or I’m really going to regret blowing my quit.

 

Nope, in the moment, when your chest is tightening or your mouth is watering, you’ll tell yourself: Eh, what’s one cigarette going to hurt?

 

Of course, “just one smoke” leads to another and another. . .

 

Sure, you can always head out to buy cigarettes, but unless you live next to a convenience store, making your purchase will take more than 5 minutes, which is how long a craving typically lasts. That 5-minute buffer is important. It gives you the time to think more clearly.

 

The problem with hiding cigarettes goes beyond temptation. It’s sending the wrong message to yourself. If you keep a pack hidden “just in case,” you’re conceding that you might smoke again.

 

You’re giving yourself an out — essentially preparing to slip up.

 

Instead, prepare to succeed by making a firm commitment to quit! Go full steam ahead, and destroy or give away every cigarette and ashtray you possess. Show yourself that you mean business — that you’re not just trying to quit. You are quitting.

 

What if you relapse? You’ll deal with it. Chances are, you’ve dealt with setbacks before. Most ex-smokers have blown a quit — or 20.

 

What’s important is committing 100% right now.

 

If you’re an ex-smoker, let us know: What did you do with your cigarettes right before you quit? What advice do you have for folks who are in the process of planning their quit?

Outcomes