an online service of the cancer institute NSW
Until recently, smoking was very popular. In fact, for many of us smoking was a fundamental part of our life; smoking with friends, smoking after dinner, smoking to deal with stress, smoking while we have a drink or a nice cup of coffee. We spend so much time smoking, it's like a part-time job, only we pay.
Many smokers may feel that a proportion of their thoughts, feelings and memories are related to smoking. Smoking can feel like part of who you are.
If you are about to quit smoking, or you have just quit smoking, one of the biggest transitions you can make is to see yourself as a non-smoker.
Some smokers say it can help to take on this view right from the beginning of your quitting process.
The theory is that when you call yourself a non-smoker, you begin to think and feel like a non-smoker. It might feel strange to do this after many years being a smoker but that's OK, because it is a time of transition.
One key benefit of this strategy is that it may influence not just how you see yourself, but also how other people see you.
For example, if someone offers you a cigarette and you say 'No thank you, I'm a non-smoker', it confirms that position to yourself and to others that you really don't smoke. They view you as a non-smoker.
Just as it takes practice to be a non-smoker, it also takes practice to think of yourself as a non-smoker. So start practising today!
Dealing with risk
What does it mean to you to be smokefree?
From the day you quit, take on the view that you are a non-smoker.