COLD TURKEY:  universally understood to mean to quit smoking abruptly, often without forethought or preparation, nor a gradual reduction in amount smoked. Most people also assume cold turkey means to quit smoking without using any smoking cessation aids such as nicotine gum or patches.

Today, I’m officially smoke-free for 14 days. Not that long, but quite a peat for someone who used to consume 6-10 sticks per day. I started this habit in 2004, when I started working. From a stick per day, my consuption gradually increased through the years. I didn’t think of giving it up, not even once.

Until now.

It started during the prayer and fasting week in the first week of January. I committed to omit from my diet the following: rice/meat/softdrinks/ and cigarette. It ran for seven days and I made it! That’s when I decided to stop altogether.

It wasn’t easy. But the hardest part was perhaps the first 2-3 days of no smoking. These are the days when the craving to grab a stick is too strong and you need all the motivation and willpower to stop.

At the end of the day, the success of this cold turkey method or any other intervention depends on the willpower and motivation of the person to stop. And I’m glad it worked for me.

Thinking of quitting with the cold turkey method? Here are a few guidelines:

  • Anticipate withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, tiredness and more. After just a few days, it will lessen already.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Keep candies or gums handy to keep your hands and mouth busy.

  • When cravings hit, close your eyes and count down from 10 to 0, very slowly. Breathe deeply with each count.
  • Call a friend when you feel like reaching for a smoke. Divert your attention.
  • Take a quick walk, even if it is just to the bathroom or mailbox.
  • GOOD LUCK!!!!


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