If you’re still a smoker, it can be scary to think about quitting. Not only is it one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do, but many smokers also think that it will be expensive. After all, nicotine replacement therapies, like patches and gum, aren’t cheap!
I, myself, am still a smoker.
*GASP!* I know. Yuck, right?!
It’s not something I like to admit, and it’s definitely not a habit that I’m proud of! The good news, though, is that I’m finally ready to quit! I know that smoking cessation aids can drastically increase the chances of staying smoke-free. With money being a little tight these days, however, I simply can’t afford to run right down to the store and pick up expensive patches, gums, and other fancy schmancy smoking cessation aids.
If I’m going to quit smoking, I’m going to have to quit smoking on a budget – much like everything else I do!
After doing lots of research and over-analyzing the subject, I’ve decided that you don’t have to spend a small fortune to quit smoking. It’s entirely possible to quit smoking on a budget!
Find out What Smoking is Costing You
As frugal-minded people, cold hard numbers can really be a wakeup call and a great motivator. The simple fact of the matter is – smoking is a complete and utter waste of money! Seeing just how much of your money is going up in smoke, so to speak, can be the kick start you need to quit smoking and stick with it.
For example, let’s say that you smoke a pack a day and each pack costs $5. (A conservative estimate, of course!) How much do you spend on cigarettes? $35 per week. $150 per month. $1,825 per year. A whopping $9,125 in five years! That’s an awful lot of money wasted! Write down the cost of your own smoking and keep the numbers posted where you can see them daily. Better yet, put the money saved from not smoking in a dedicated savings account.
If you’re looking to quit smoking on a budget, or quit smoking in any situation, it can help to go public with your efforts. You may be amazed at the amount of support and encouragement you receive, and a little accountability never hurt anyone.
I guess you could say that this is one of the ways that I’m going public with my quit smoking plans. I now have lots of people aware of my plans to quit, and failure would be pretty embarrassing to say the least! You don’t have to make a huge announcement to the world, though. Even just letting a small group of family and friends know about your efforts may be enough. If you spend time on social media, you can also post announcements and updates on your efforts on your Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Join Free Quit Smoking Communities Online
Support is a must when you’re trying to kick the habit, especially when you’re trying to quit smoking on a budget. Smoking cessation communities offer loads of support!
Not only are most of them free, but you’ll also be able to connect with others who are going through the same thing you are. Many non-smokers should also be able to give you lots of great tips and tricks to help you quit smoking on a budget. All you have to do is ask.
Have a Quit Plan
You wouldn’t just head to the grocery store without a plan when you were on a tight budget, right? No, becasue you’re setting yourself up for failure. You’d check sales, match coupons, make a list, and check it twice. Quitting smoking on a budget is kind of similar.
Make sure you have a quit plan. You can find lots of great free quit smoking plans online. Most of these quit plans are very similar, and have steps like identifying reasons to quit, picking a quit date (September 25th, 2014!), telling others your decision, and removing smoking reminders from your environment. There are lots to choose from, so pick a plan that’s right for you or make your own plan!
Join a Clinical Trial
If you live in a large area, you may be able to become part of a smoking cessation clinical trial. These clinical trials usually include free smoking cessation therapy and sometimes even free nicotine replacement therapies. A few smoking cessation trials may even compensate you for your time.
Check with local universities and ask if they have any upcoming smoking cessation clinical trials scheduled. You can also check ClinicalTrials.gov. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and can help you easily find information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies, including smoking cessation.
Search for Free Smoking Cessation Aids
Many state governments now offer free smoking cessation aids and counseling to individuals who want to quit smoking. You may be eligible to receive free nicotine replacement therapy products like nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges.
To find help in your area, do a search for your state + “free nicotine replacement therapy”, or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Calling this toll-free number will connect you directly to your state’s quitline. You can get live online help via chat through the National Cancer Institute’s LiveHelp instant messenger.
Visit Your Local Drug Store
Many people often overlook their local drugstores as a source of medical information. Pharmacists at many drugstores, though, are a wealth of information. Many pharmacists can give you loads of tips and advice to quit smoking on a budget. Some pharmacies, like CVS, will also give you a free assessment and help you develop a quit plan.
Your local pharmacy might also be an excellent way to get free or cheap smoking cessation aids like nicotine replacement therapy products. Smaller family-owned drugstores might be able to provide you with free samples or at least get you a good deal on smoking cessation aids. Also, be sure to keep your eye on national drugstore chains’ weekly ads, like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid. They will periodically run promotions on nicotine replacement therapies, and you can get them for dirt cheap or even free! Stack manufacturer coupons with store coupons and rewards for the best deals. You’ll usually find the best deals in January, since that’s when everyone’s making their New Year’s resolutions, but it’s not uncommon at all to find sales during the rest of the year as well. In fact, this week, CVS is offering free nicotine patches after ECB’s!
If you’re still a smoker, are you looking to quit? What tips would you offer to someone trying to quit smoking on a budget?
Also, if you’re looking to quit smoking as well, I welcome the company! We can quit together! If anyone else is interested, I can post daily or weekly updates and you can post yours in the comment section. You can also find me on BecomeAnEx.org.
FREE Quit Smoking Resources: