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How to Quit Smoking ‘Cold Turkey’

What is ‘Cold Turkey’?

Quitting smoking ‘cold turkey’ is when you stop smoking abruptly, without using any quit smoking products or professional support.

All you use is your own mental strength to quit and combat cravings. This mental strength is also known as ‘willpower’.

You can learn more about willpower here

How do you quit smoking ‘cold turkey’?

When people quit smoking ‘cold turkey’, they usually develop their own tactics and strategies. These might include:

  • Setting a quit date or quitting spontaneously without any prior planning
  • Using your own natural mental strengths (willpower) to overcome cravings

To be successful though, ‘cold turkey’ quitting will usually require a bit more planning, such as:

  • Avoiding situations where you used to smoke
  • Trying out new activities to replace old smoking habits
  • Changing routines that you associate with smoking
  • Being supported on your quit journey by a friend or family member
  • Setting aside the money you save from not smoking to reward yourself later on

Is ‘cold turkey’ an effective method of quitting smoking?

Although it’s a popular strategy, the ‘cold turkey’ method alone has a much lower success rate compared to other quit smoking methods.

For a better chance of quitting successfully, it’s a good idea to combine ‘willpower’ with other methods, like the ones listed here.

Remember though, that willpower is still a very important part of making that initial decision to quit smoking – and then staying quit for good.

Prepare yourself to quit smoking ‘cold turkey’

If you’re considering quitting smoking ‘cold turkey’, it helps to be prepared and have strategies in place for more challenging times. Here are some tips and tricks:

  • Check out these three ‘mental strategies’ that might help you combat cravings and stay motivated.
  • Think of your willpower as a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it gets! But keep in mind that just like real muscles, your willpower muscle can get tired too…
  • If you feel your willpower fading, remind yourself of the reasons you wanted to become a non-smoker and acknowledge how far you’ve come.
  • Or, give your willpower a chance to recover by trying to avoid common smoking triggers or testing out a new quit method.

Rest assured that over time, your willpower muscle will get stronger, meaning it will become easier to manage cravings and resist the desire to smoke.

Check It Out

Going ‘cold turkey’ can be difficult for most people. Why not try combining your willpower efforts with evidence-based quit methods like these:
Nicotine Replacement Therapy >
Prescribed Quit Smoking Medication >

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