It’s no exaggeration to say that quitting smoking is one of the hardest things you can ever do. Your addiction is psychological as well as chemical, and is often a habit you’ve developed over a number of years. It’s taken a hold of your life, and it’s not going to let go without a fight.
Popular techniques include going cutting down one cigarette at a time, going cold turkey or using medical techniques like nicotine replacement therapy. These six crazy techniques might not seem as sensible, but they’ve worked for some so consider these if you’re thinking of quitting. Maybe.
1. Eat Dog Biscuits
Perhaps one of the weirdest on the list, but it’s not uncommon and it has some (bizarre) logic behind it. Every time you get a craving for a cigarette, eat a dog biscuit instead.
Dog biscuits aren’t the tastiest of things (don’t ask how I know), so you’ll end up associating cigarette cravings with the flavour of a Pedigree treat and eventually kick the habit. In a post on Health.com, one woman claimed to have kicked a 20 year addiction this way!
2. Make A Bet
Getting your friends and family involved with your attempt to quit is a great way to generate a bit of support, and making a bet that you won’t smoke again is a great way to give yourself another financial incentive. Offer to take your friends out for dinner or a movie if they catch you lighting up – you’ll be surprised how quickly your cravings will disappear if taking a puff means you buy dinner for ten people!
3. Maroon Yourself On A Deserted Island
One British man wanted to quit smoking so bad that, in the autumn of 2009, he decided to isolate himself on a deserted island. Notice it wasn’t a ‘desert island’; there are no palm trees, sandy beaches or cocktails served in coconut shells where he went.
Instead, 56-year-old Geoff Spice opted for the far more remote Scottish island of Sgarabhaigh, in the Outer Hebrides. The former merchant banker managed for a month on the island with no electricity, no water supply and (most importantly) no cigarettes.
4. Start Blogging
Starting a blog or diary of your journey can be a great way for you to realise the progress you’ve made, and also share any difficulties you have with other smokers trying to quit. There are great blogs and communities out there offering mutual support for ex-smokers. Much like losing weight, making it a shared experience can spur you on to succeed.
5. Bury Your Cigarettes
One New York woman admitted to putting a single pack of cigarettes in a plastic bag and then burying them under the soil in a plant pot. “[I did this] so that I would have to dig them up, extract a cigarette, and rebury the pack every time I wanted a smoke,” she told Health.com. That was 18 cigarette-free years ago!
6. Check Out YouTube
This one sounds far too easy – it’s not difficult to waste hours of your day watching videos of dancing cats, foul-mouthed babies and stylish Korean pop stars but remember that smoking is a psychological addiction as well as a chemical one.
Watching emotional case studies of people who lost their fight with smoking-related diseases and touching anti-smoking commercials from around the world, such as this fantastic one from Thailand, can be extreme enough of a wakeup call to make you put out cigarettes for good. Browse YouTube for an hour and see if you still want to light up.