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Staying Away from Moral Judgments as Part of Quitting Smoking


Many approaches try to shame people into quitting smoking by indicating that smoking indicates a character flaw of weakness or self-centeredness. Improve your chances of quitting by staying away from philosophies that don't work for you. Consider adopting a philosophy that is free of moral judgment to help you quit smoking.

If you are quitting smoking, do it for self-centered reasons about your own health, your own financial savings and your own self-image. Decide that you deserve to be smoke free. The flip side of this philosophy that uses moral finger-pointing to persuade you to quit smoking is less effective because instead of focusing on why you deserve to live smoke-free it focuses on the harm you're causing to others by smoking. This creates a tendency to immediately think of behaviors in society, from lying and cheating to alcohol consumption that are tolerated in society and arguably cause more harm to others than your smoking.

You should incorporate activities that make you feel positive and calm into your life such as meditation or staying away from situations and people where you experience conflict, to encourage yourself to quit smoking. The flip side to this approach usually involves cultivating fear about what illness you're going to get or how you'll lose your job if you don't stop smoking, which increases the physical withdrawal symptoms of quitting such as anxiety and can make quitting harder.

Devise a positive mantra or phrase you can bring to mind each time you resist having a cigarette. The flip side of this is shaming you into feeling weak or inadequate because you haven't been able to quit smoking.

Criticism and scolding frequently fail because you'll quickly identify individuals who overeat or drink too much alcohol or abuse prescription drugs and you'll find yourself defending smoking instead of being incentivized to quit.

Decide that you deserve to be able to rest when you're tired or take some time off if you're feeling grumpy or have an off day. The flip side of this approach is when people argue that your smoking is taking time away from your ability to work because you have to take a cigarette break, implying you're some sort of free-loader for smoking.

Choose to stay away from certain kinds of people who annoy you or whom you find offensive and permit yourself to avoid certain types of people. The flip side of this argument occurs when people on dating sites or in social situations describe how they can't be around smokers.

Choose not to smoke in social situations in order to support your commitment to living smoke-free. The flip side of this argument is that you're setting a bad example for the world at large because you're smoking.

Choose healthcare providers whose approach encourages you to do healthy behaviors while avoiding blaming you, rather than some of your behaviors for your health issues. The flip side of this includes healthcare providers who blame you for every illness you have because of smoking or who threaten not to treat you if you don't quit.

Remove yourself from places and philosophies that judge your moral character as deficient because you smoke in order to increase your chances of being able to quit smoking. Use the tips above to seek out positive reinforcements for quitting smoking.