There’s no doubt about it: smoking is expensive, both because of the product itself (cigarette prices have risen dramatically in the last few years) and because of the associated health costs from smoking. But there are financial costs to quitting, too, especially if you use nicotine replacement therapy, or attend counseling sessions… right?
Well, not necessarily. Quitting doesn’t have to cost a lot—or anything in some cases. You really can learn how to stop smoking for free. In fact, the most important factor in how to stop smoking cigarettes—the firm decision to do it—is something that you do on your own, and that doesn’t cost anything! Those who succeed in stopping smoking are separated from those who fail by this one critical factor: the unwavering desire to quit.
Find Your Support Group
Some smokers join groups like Nicotine Anonymous or something similar, but you don’t have to have a formal, dues-paying arrangement to benefit from the support of other people who want to help you quit. If you’re a veteran, check out the free support provided by the Veterans Administration. Many smokers first learned to smoke during their time in the military. One of the best ways to start learning how to stop smoking for free is to simply tell people about your decision. Having people around you who know you’re quitting and who are “in your corner” will create positive momentum for your new life that doesn’t cost a thing! You may need to find people at work who either have never smoked or who are former smokers. Take breaks with them instead of with the old, smoking crowd. Have a friend or family member you can call when the urge to light up is strong; often, just “talking it through” can help you resist a temporary craving.
Keep a Journal
For some smokers, keeping a journal is a great way to keep track of how to stop smoking—and it’s free! Just start jotting down things you notice about your behavior or cravings: what activities trigger the desire to smoke; what times of day are the hardest; what is working for you; what you’ve tried that didn’t work so well. Looking back at these entries can help you see how your stop-smoking quest has freed you up for other activities.
Diet and Exercise
Improving your diet and exercise can be an important step in how to stop smoking for free. For example, increasing your intake of water and juices can help flush toxins out of your system more quickly and reduce the time spent dealing with withdrawal symptoms. Exercise can increase arterial, lung, and cardiovascular health, returning your body to its “non-smoker” condition more quickly.