How to Quit Smoking After Smoking For 40+ Years

By on August 4, 2020
Quit smoking

Most people assume that smoking for decades means quitting is nearly impossible. While it’s certainly true that your nicotine addiction is well-cemented after 40+ years, it’s never impossible to quit smoking for good and take back your health. After decades of smoking, you’ve likely done extensive damage to your lungs, heart, and other internal systems. 

The good news is that the body has an amazing ability to heal itself. After just a week of ditching the smoking habit, you’ll notice increased energy, lung function, and your lungs will begin to health themselves. That’s pretty amazing, right? Just imagine how well you’ll feel after six months, a year, or twenty years smoke-free! 

Let’s take a closer look at some effective tips for quitting smoking after 40+ years of the habit. You might feel like you’re leaving a part of you behind, but leaving poor qualities and habits behind is all part of personal growth. 

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Understand It’s Never Too Late

The first mistake that most older smokers make is thinking they’re too old to quit. What’s the point, right? It’s probably already too late. This is a falsehood. It’s never too late to quit smoking, and the benefits are almost immediate. Taking care of your body doesn’t have an age limit, and the older you get, the more important it becomes. Even if you’ve been smoking for sixty years, you can quit and enjoy the benefits of a smoke-free lifestyle. 

Don’t get stuck in the “it’s too late” mentality. There are thousands of resources available for people of all ages looking to quit. In fact, there’s never been a better time in history to give up cigarettes. With COVID-19 sweeping the globe, there’s just one more incentive to giving up the habit for good, as smokers are more prone to contracting the disease and developing complications. 

Stop Procrastinating

You can start the quitting process tomorrow. After just one more cigarette. Ok, maybe just one more pack. Notice a theme here? Procrastination is the death of progress, and you’re only holding yourself back from a brighter future. Just because you’re middle-aged or in your golden years doesn’t mean you can’t set aside bad habits and live out the rest of your life happy and healthy. 

The key to stopping procrastinating is to jump in head-first. Giving up well-cemented habits is difficult and often scary, but it’s worth it in the end. So, what are you waiting for? Your health and happiness lie just beyond that final pack of cigarettes. 

You don’t have to quit cold turkey, either. There are plenty of products available to help ease the cessation process. Some people choose tobacco-free products (like Black Buffalo), nicotine patches, CBD, or even nicotine gum. 

Start With A Goal

It’s time to set a goal for your cessation journey. Sometimes, it’s better to start small, taking smaller steps toward the larger goal of quitting altogether. While some try to quit cold turkey all at once, they usually don’t experience success. Quitting requires patience, determination, and no small amount of courage. Nicotine withdrawal can be a nasty experience, and you’ll need all of your willpower to beat it. 

Start with a small goal. This could be as simple as smoking just one less cigarette per day or only buying one pack for the next week. You’ll experience some withdrawal symptoms, but they won’t be nearly as intense as if you were to put down the habit all at once. 

Using a cessation app is a great way to track your progress. Or, if you’re a bit more old-fashioned, you can track your progress and milestones via a calendar. Be sure to mark your successes! If you’ve gone two weeks without a cigarette, remind yourself of how far you’ve come. 

Support Is Crucial 

Giving up a habit like smoking is always easier with support. Whether it’s friends and family or an actual support group, having someone to help you along the way can increase the chances of succeeding in your journey. Support groups are excellent resources because they provide judgment-free zones where you can freely express yourself with like-minded people. 

Don’t be afraid to ask your friends or family members to help you out, either. While they can’t be responsible for your personal decisions, they can still offer support and gentle reminders when things get tough. 

Change How You View Failure

Most of us seem to have a very negative relationship with the word failure, but changing your perspective can alter that relationship for the better. Let’s say you’ve been smoke-free for two weeks, and you just had a relapse. You’re probably feeling like you’ve failed, right? 

The truth is that failure is only failure if you give up and learn nothing from the experience. Fail forward, not backward. Yes, it hurts. The ego is fragile and failing only throws stones at that glasshouse, but you can’t move forward without making a few mistakes along the way. And that’s ok. You’re human. You’ve got this.

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How to Quit Smoking After Smoking For 40+ Years