Once you decide to quit smoking, the first thing to work on is a game plan. The most successful place to start is with a realization that it is not the Lord’s will that any should damage their body and mind with this habit nor be enslaved by it. God has given great and precious promises to help those who have made a decision to change bad and addicting habits. “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Mark 9:23, 24. It is important that the smoker believes he/she can quit smoking and give any remaining doubt to the Lord—help my unbelief! Fear of failure is also common, and a great text to help with this is Isaiah 41:10: “Fear thou not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Lastly, it is critical for the smoker to realize that he/she is not strong enough on his/her own to do this, but with Christ as the Helper success is guaranteed: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13. With this dependence on God, the smoker is ready to develop the game plan.
Any plan must be initiated, so it is important to set a date to stop smoking. Remember, procrastination is the enemy of accomplishing anything worthwhile, so the sooner the better. It is important to prepare your home and surroundings to eliminate all roadblocks to success. Totally rid your house, vehicle, and work area of all cigarettes and smoking paraphernalia. As quickly as possible, wash your clothes, including dry cleaning winter coats or suits, bedding, and things that carry the odor of cigarette smoke. Vacuum your house, furniture, and vehicle thoroughly. Wash or dry clean your curtains, as these hold the smell of cigarettes and can hinder your quitting efforts.
Many people just do not know what to do with their hands or mouths when they stop smoking, so be sure to have carrot or celery sticks to chew on. Others have found that flavored toothpicks help. Have a calming, soothing, decaffeinated herbal tea available to drink. If you enjoy crafts, woodworking, mechanics, etc., plan to have a project that you can begin on your quitting day. It is also helpful to pick a day that you will remember, your birthday, the birthday of a loved one, just something to know that from this day forward, you are a non-smoker, and finally, begin to tell everyone you know that with the Lord’s help you are going to be a non-smoker.
It is also important to identify why you smoke. This varies and will affect the game plan. If someone smokes because of stress, then the plan must include some stress reduction modalities. Make a list of reasons why you smoke and then tailor part of your plan to address these reasons.