The point of telling you this wasn't to shame current smokers or hurt feelings. I'm a firm believer in the phrase "To each his own." I'm telling you this because I wanted to share the great methods I've been using to curb my cigarette cravings and get healthier.
First, I bought a disposable electronic cigarette (E-cig) in menthol flavor and started cutting back on cigarettes. I set my quit date for January 13, 2013, and I held on for dear life as that date approached. I wasn't just addicted to the nicotine, but also to the hand-to-mouth motion of smoking, those wonderful breaks conveniently placed throughout my day, the stress relief, and being able to go outside often. I can still do those things with the E-cig, minus the carbon monoxide and tar. Electronic cigarettes are available in different nicotine levels, so you can slowly taper off instead of quitting cold turkey (read: Mama's not going crazy). The vapor that they produce is not toxic or harmful and tastes much better than smoke.
These are what the electronic cigarettes look like:
Aside from the electronic cigarettes, you know what helped the most while trying to quit, starting a new semester of college, raising a 2 year old, and writing for 4 newspapers? Coffee and tea. I can't sing their praises enough. Sure, maybe I'm just transferring my addiction from nicotine to caffeine, but caffeine is cheaper. Plus, I strongly feel it makes me a nicer person. I decided to treat myself and buy expensive coffee because of all the money we're saving. And expensive coffee tastes so much better than cheap coffee. A friend of my husband's gave us a Bodum Assam Teapot with some awesome loose-leaf teas, which I've also been using the crap out of.