The Process

Photo by cottonbro on

Tomorrow I start my patented stop smoking process. Well, not really patented, but this process is one that I came up with the last time I stopped smoking. It worked then and I know it will work this time. The trick is to stay stopped which is as hard as stopping. My doctor has agreed to keep me on Wellbutrin for a year this time. Last time, I was on it for three months and within a week or so after stopping Wellbutrin, I started smoking again.

I’ve been on Wellbutrin for two weeks now and definitely get a bad taste in my mouth from smoking. Time to start the weaning process. First some prep work. I get a brand new carton of cigarettes and tear off the top of the carton. Usually I keep my cigarettes in the car, but this time I’m keeping them in the kitchen.

Day 1 (tomorrow) First thing in the morning, I pull one pack out of the carton. There are twenty cigarettes in the pack. Before I go to bed tomorrow night, I will smoke all twenty of them. Once the pack is empty, I’m done for the day. Last thing I do tomorrow night is I open the next pack of cigarettes. I take out one cigarette and place it in the now empty pack. Then I label the top of that pack with a 1 and place it back in the carton.

Day 2 (Sunday) – I grab my pack for the day. It has nineteen cigarettes. Once I smoke all nineteen, I’m done for the day. Then I open the next pack and take out two cigarettes and place them in the empty pack and label it with a 2. I continue with this until I’ve opened all 10 packs. Each day smoking 1 less.

On day 11, I grab the pack that is labeled 10 and that is all I smoke for the day. At the end of the day, I throw that pack away. At the end of twenty days, I’ll be down to only 1 cigarette for the day.

Why so elaborate of a system? I don’t have to count how many cigarettes I’ve smoked each day. When the pack is empty, I’m done. I’ve tried in the past to count how many cigarettes I’ve smoked in a day. That works for two or three days and then I forget and smoke way too many. This way, in the evening, I can look at how many cigarettes I have left and figure out how to stretch them to last the rest of the evening.

By the time I get down to the 14 cigarette day, I’m now counting the time between cigarettes in order to make it last. Each day, I gradually extend the time between cigarettes.

One last thing. I found in the past there was a day or two where I’m about ready to go to bed, but I still have cigarettes in my pack. Instead of saving them for the next day, I stay up and smoke all of them until the pack is empty. To me, it’s important to keep to the ritual of having an empty pack each night. Otherwise, I’ll be tempted to carry them over to the next day and defeat the whole process of smoking 1 less each day.

This is my plan. I’m sticking to it because it worked before.