25 years of smoking. I kinda knew what would make me stop but I didn’t know how it would come about. I noticed a pattern: some traumatic medical scare precedes the “stop smoking” of everybody I knew that quit. One person had a heart attack scare (no heart attack but thought it was), another had a bad nose bleed for days that wouldn’t stop, another had chronic coughing for two months that just wouldn’t quit, another had stent surgery, but what was mine going to be? Turned out it was a cracked tooth and my absolute terror of getting dry socket pain. That was my traumatic medical scare.

25 years of smoking. I kinda knew what would make me stop but I didn’t know how it would come about.
I noticed a pattern: some traumatic medical scare precedes the “stop smoking” of everybody I knew that quit.
One person had a heart attack scare (no heart attack but thought it was), another had a bad nose bleed for days that wouldn’t stop, another had chronic coughing for two months that just wouldn’t quit, another had stent surgery, but what was mine going to be?
Turned out it was a cracked tooth and my absolute terror of getting dry socket pain.
That was my traumatic medical scare.
I kept the 1/2 a carton in my drawer sticking up so I could always go back to it. As it grew staler and staler, I knew my chances of reaching for it grew less and less but it was always there. I never said “I quit smoking”. I just “put it on pause” – for the tooth fear of course.
Two years later, the cigarettes are still there. Waiting for me.
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But with your research, you may just succeed. I believe you can. You can do a lot with willpower and knowledge — finding the CORRECT “self-talk” I find is super super significant;
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Like, for me, my self talk was: “I’m not quitting. I’m just pausing it”. And anytime someone said, “OH YOU QUIT SMOKING?” I’d say to them: No, I didn’t quit. Just pausing it for a day.
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  • and I may still pick it up again one day.
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  • I think what helps me is “not” having closure with it. Some people work better with closure; They want the absolute, the final, the absolute exit, over, done, finished.
    But I think I work better having it always open. Am I lying to myself? Yeah. Will I pick up cigarettes again? I could. The likelihood is astonishingly small though. But not 0. And that’s freedom to me – door’s not closed, just no reason to go through it

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