billboard quit smoking

RECLAIM YOUR INDEPENDENCE

Are you ready to quit smoking?

You’re smart. You’re probably even witty, fun-loving, creative, attractive, stylish, or otherwise possess all kinds of traits you’re proud to showcase to the world. Yet you also have a lingering habit that you don’t exactly brag about. You happen to be a smoker.

Knowledge Alone Won't Cut It

Yeah, you know. Smoking is bad for your health. Horrible for the environment. And it even puts your kids, pets and clean clothes at risk with all that second-hand smoke. But no matter how much knowledge you amass on this habit, you still keep lighting that next cigarette. What gives?

Being educated on the dangers of smoking is good, but sometimes it’s not enough to break the smoking habit.

Nicotine is a highly addictive drug that may have a bigger hold on you than you may have imagined. That doesn’t mean, however, it can’t be beat. That’s what this page is all about.

Here you’ll find tons of information, resources and even a story contest for those interested in quitting smoking to reclaim your independence today.

Why Nicotine Overrides Logic Overcoming Temptation and Triggers Speeding Up Nicotine Detox 5 Quick Tips to Reclaim Your Independence Quitting: What to Expect (and How to Deal) Why Do You Want toQuit Smoking? Tell Us and Win $60 Timeline: Benefits of Quitting Resources and Solutions

Why Nicotine Overrides Logic

Nicotine is one heck of a trickster when it gets to your brain. Your brain contains billions of nerve cells that communicate through neurotransmitters. And nicotine has the same shape as the neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine. While masquerading as acetylcholine, nicotine has the power to prompt the release of hormones and other neurotransmitters that affect mood, appetite, memory and other attributes.

Nicotine is one heck of a trickster when it gets to your brain. Your brain contains billions of nerve cells that communicate through neurotransmitters. And nicotine has the same shape as the neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine. While masquerading as acetylcholine, nicotine has the power to prompt the release of hormones and other neurotransmitters that affect mood, appetite, memory and other attributes.

TIP: The first week or so after quitting is typically the toughest for nicotine withdrawal and cravings. As long as you can hold firm during that initial bumpy ride, it tends to get easier over time.

Overcoming Temptation and Triggers

As if dealing with the nicotine addiction isn’t tough enough, most folks have any number of triggers that can automatically prompt you to reach for a cigarette. Triggers are behaviors or situations associated with smoking that tend to set off the psychological desire to light up a cigarette. Examples include:

  • When drinking coffee or tea
  • When drinking beer, wine or other alcohol
  • While drivintg or in the car
  • When working or thinking
  • While watching TV
  • When seeing other people smoke
  • After eating or sex
  • When nervous, anxious or angry
  • When pondering a problem
  • To socialize with other smokers
  • To relax or take a break

TIP: TIP: Make a list of all the situations that trigger your urge to smoke. Then find a substitute for smoking you can use in those situations instead. Rather than smoking after dinner, for instance, brush your teeth and/or take a walk. Replacing an unhealthy habit with a healthy one can be an effective technique to use on your quest to quit.

Speeding Up Nicotine Detox

If you’re aiming to get nicotine out of your system entirely, you can speed up the process with a number of methods. Use them all for best results, then imagine your body as a squeaky-clean, nicotine-free machine you don’t want to pollute moving forward.

5 Quick Tips to
Reclaim Your Independence

  1. Use past experiences to your advantage. If you tried quitting in the past but failed, review what you did that didn’t work – then do things differently this time around. Think of your past attempt as a stepping stone that got you to where you are today.

  2. Don’t think you have to do it alone. There’s strength in numbers, and this particularly holds true when you’re trying to change a habit. Alert your family and friends of your intention to quit so their support can make it easier. Support groups are also available, as is expert help from various organizations.

  3. Quitting cold turkey is only one option. And it’s probably the toughest. The American Lung Association reports only 4 to 7 percent of folks who try to quit cold turkey end up succeeding. You are not weak if you use tools to slowly wean you off nicotine, and there are plenty of tools available. Medications like nicotine gum or patches can help, as long as you follow the directions. That means using the recommended dosage for the recommended length of time.

  4. Establish a plan. You’re more likely to succeed at reclaiming your independence from smoking if you establish a plan of action going in. Steps in the plan can include:

    • Setting a quit date
    • Building a support network
    • Determining what you’ll do when urges hit
    • Learning how to relax and control weight
    • Rewarding yourself for milestones along the way (And no, lighting a cigarette is not a reward!)
  5. There’s no one-size-fits-all magical solution. Quitting smoking is an ongoing process, and the longer you stick with the process, the stronger you’re apt to become. There’s also no single solution that works magically for everyone. What works for one person may not work for another. A wise strategy is to engage in a combination of techniques to find and stick firmly to the ones that work best for you.

Quitting: What to Expect
(and How to Deal)

A number of physical and mental side effects typically hit while in the process of quitting. You’ll be better able to deal with both if you’re properly prepared. Ready?

The Physical Side of Things

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms are big on the physical side of things, and they can include:

  • Anger, anxiety, depression
  • Sadness, grief, a sense of loss
  • Impatience and frustration
  • Irritability and trouble concentration
  • Boredom and restlessness

How to deal: Nicotine replacement methods can make the process less painful by slowly weaning your body off nicotine.

The Mental Side of Things

The psychological, emotional and mental side of addiction to smoking involves the feelings, rituals or people linked to smoking. Here you’ll find the triggers associated with smoking that can include drinking your morning cup of coffee, unwinding after work or taking a long drive down the highway. The ritual may be so engrained that you perform it without even thinking about it, automatically lighting a cigarette each and every time.

How to deal: Support can be a major help when dealing with the mental side of addiction. Joining an organized smoking cessation group, attending one-on-one or group therapy and reaching out to family members and friends can help you through the roughest mental challenges.

The Urges

Even when the cravings have subsided after your first week or so, sudden urges to smoke can pop up for months, or even years, after you quit. They are completely normal – and completely beat-able. Simply don’t cave into them. Busy your mind with an unrelated activity until the urge has passed.

Why Do You Want to
Quit Smoking?
Tell Us and Win $60

Top 10 Stories Get $60 Each

Contest Form

Maybe your lover refuses to kiss you until you stop tasting like an ashtray. Or your pets run when you light up. Or perhaps your little daughter saw your cigarettes and simply said, “I don’t want you to die.”

Why do you want to quit smoking? Whether it’s a single event, like a heart-attack, or an ongoing process, like how it takes more and more effort to climb a single flight of stairs, give us your heartfelt tale.

The more heartfelt, the better, as the 10 stories we find the most compelling, captivating and completely touching will win a cool $60 each.

To be eligible for the contest, you must meet a few requirements, complete an online form, and submit the story of why you want to quit smoking.

Contest
Instructions

The most important aspect of your story is that it has the power to make up sit up, take notice, and say, “Wow.” The louder we “Wow,” the better your chances of winning.

That said, please submit a story that also:

  • Is original and true – no fiction
  • Is typed, double-spaced
  • Is between 300 and 500 words in length
  • Is saved as a Word doc or PDF and uploaded with your entry form where indicated
  • Includes a photo or video if you feel either adds value to your submission (optional)

Contest Deadlines

Black Note is accepting contest entries on a rolling basis until August 31st. The sooner you send in your story, the sooner you can wow us while ensuring you’re in the running for a top prize.

Story Winners and Notification

Story winners will be notified on August 31st to receive their prize.

Eligibility Requirements

Contestants must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have an honest desire to quit smoking
  • Submit a story as outlined in Instructions, signing your story with your full name and address
  • Submit only one entry form and one story per person
  • Be legal residents of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia

Disclaimer: Black Note does not claim that vaping is a smoking cessation strategy, nor are our contest prizes being offered to promote Black Note vaping liquid as a smoking cessation aid. The primary goal of our story contest is to raise awareness of smoking dangers, struggles and reasons for quitting while contributing to the movement toward a smoke-free world.

Timeline:
Benefits of Quitting

The perks of quitting smoking can start to surface in as few as 20 minutes after you put down your last cigarette – and keep on coming for decades. Here’s a rundown from the American Lung
Association:

  • 20 minutes after you quit smoking: Heart rate drops to normal level

  • 12 hours after Carbon monoxide levels in blood drop to normal levels

  • 2 weeks to 3 months after Lung function improves; risk of heart attack deceases

  • 1 to 9 months after Lung function improves; risk of heart attack deceases

  • 1 year after Risk of coronary heart disease dips to half the level of a smoker

  • 5 to 15 years after Risk of stroke decreases to level of nonsmoker; risk of mouth, throat or esophagus cancer decreases to half the level of a smoker

  • 10 years after Risk of getting bladder cancer and dying from lung cancer both dip to half the level of a smoker; decrease in risk of cancer of the larynx, kidney, pancreas or cervix

  • 15 years after Risk of coronary heart disease matches level of nonsmoker

Resources and Solutions

Alternative Methods

From acupuncture to hypnotherapy, a number of alternative methods can be part of your quit smoking arsenal.

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Stop Smoking

The American Lung Association serves up helpful info for successfully kicking the habit.

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Texting for Quitting (and more)

Smokefree.gov provides info and professional assistance for support, including a free texting program.

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Guide to Quitting Smoking

American Cancer Society’s bastion of information and resources to help you stay away from tobacco.

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