After around a month or so most smokers report that they rarely get strong cravings, instead they experience occasional fleeting thoughts of smoking. At this point it’s time to really embrace thinking and feeling like a nonsmoker.
A nonsmoker is someone who sees no real use for cigarettes in their life. If you can find that you’re enjoying life more and managing better than when you were smoking, and can’t think of any situation where you’d be better off reaching for a cigarette, then it’s unlikely you’ll ever go back to smoking.
Over time you’ll no longer miss cigarettes if you can find other activities to meet your needs.
Revive a hobby or start something new
Revive an old hobby or interest now that you have more time and money. Or take up something that you’ve always wanted to: learn a musical instrument, a new language, take art classes, do a short course, start a blog, investigate your family history, start a new sport or other hobby. Find something you really enjoy as it will help you to relax and take time out.
Occasionally it may not be possible to find a replacement for smoking. Dwelling on how much you miss smoking will bring on cravings in much the same way as thinking about food can make you hungry. Challenge those memories of smoking. Were all the cigarettes you smoked that good? What about the hassles of smoking that you’re now free of?
Does quitting feel like losing a friend? Challenge just how good a friend the cigarette was.
Take your time
Keep reminding yourself, as you put more and more distance between the old smoking you and the new nonsmoking you, how far you’ve come and all the benefits you’re enjoying.
It takes time to feel comfortable and embrace the new identity of a nonsmoker. It also takes time to put the habit behind you for good. Give yourself time but remind yourself of all the good reasons you’re doing this and how they’ll keep paying off. Tell yourself “I’m a nonsmoker now and I’m proud of myself”.
Be on guard against the occasional urge to smoke. Have your personal emergency plan in place for crises e.g. is there someone you can call for support, day or night? Expect that you might occasionally have thoughts telling you a cigarette would be nice. Tell yourself that it’s just a memory flash, a thought from the past, and nothing you need to act on.