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Using Boundaries To Help You Overcome Smoking

I’ll be frank with you; I still smoke. Nevertheless, I think I manage to reduce my smoking habit significantly. Four years ago, I was on three king size boxes a day. Effectively smoking 60 cigarettes daily.

Now, one box lasts for two days, sometimes three. On Fridays, I’d only buy a smaller box containing 14 sticks, and they usually last until the following Monday afternoon.

Here I’ll share with you what I call the Boundary Method which I’ve been using to reduce my smoking habit and hopefully kick it altogether some time soon.

The Three Boundaries That’ll Help You Overcome Smoking

1) The People Boundary

Would you kill your loved ones just for a buzz? Think of that question the next time you have the urge to light up when you’re with your spouse or kids. Because that’s exactly what you’re doing if you smoke near them.

Set a People Boundary to your smoking habit by implementing these steps:

  • Don’t smoke when in the company of people you care about
  • Include people for whom you want to project a positive image to
  • Spend more quality time with people in your People Boundary

Start with immediate family members and close friends who are non-smokers. Include business associates and colleagues as you spend more time with them. Before you realise it, you’ll probably be smoking alone with nobody for company, thus killing the nicotine buzz experience.

2) The Places Boundary

Do you smoke in hospitals or when commuting in public transports? I don’t think that even the most hardcore of chain smokers will do that. Such places are protected by society norms and in most cases local laws from being public smoking areas.

Implement your own Places Boundary and strictly ban yourself from smoking in those areas. Here’s some steps that will help you get started:

  1. Set strict no smoking zones in your home
  2. Gradually increase the no smoking zone coverage
  3. Place your “stash” in inconvenient places

I started by designating my room as the only smoking area in my house. Being the only room in the house with a PC, my family members would use it for the occasional web surfing and checking their emails. Since I’m the only smoker in my family, complaints about the smell of the place rubbed on me.

I then removed the ashtray and kept my cigarettes in the car. This alone reduced my urge to smoke at home significantly due to the inconvenience of getting out of the house, unlocking my car and retrieving the cigarettes.

Now I absolutely don’t smoke at home. First it was due to inconvenience, but now it has become an accepted part of my lifestyle.

3) The Time Boundary

There are certain times of the day, along with specific events that trigger the urge to smoke. I’d be honest with you, I still look for opportunities to go for a quick puff.

The key to overcoming this weakness is by reducing this window of opportunity. Observe the timing as well as events that lead to you to smoke. Find ways to to avoid reaching to that tipping point.

I reduced the time I spend smoking by setting a specific Time Boundary using the following methods:

  • Setting up specific no smoking times in my daily schedule
  • Narrowing down my “smoking time” gradually
  • Set “expiry dates” for purchased cigarettes

I used to take a cigarette break every hour at work. Now, I only go for one pre-lunch and two post-lunch cigarette breaks. This exercise significantly reduces my at-work smoking time by 50%.

Consequently, this reduces my daily cigarette comsumption rate by roughly 30%. This means I’ll be buying cigarettes less frequently because a box takes much longer to finish.

The thing about cigarettes is that they tend to taste funny if an opened box is kept too long. Therefore, rather than waste money by discarding the expired ones away, it’s better to buy them in a smaller pack. You’ll not only be healthier, but you’d save quite a lot of money in the process as well!

Expanding the Boundaries

The good thing about boundaries is that it is a measurable way to track your progress towards reducing, and hopefully eliminate, your smoking habit. Being boundaries, certain sections of each boundary will overlap as illustrated below:

Initial Boundary Overlaps

Success in overcoming the smoking habit can be measured by a few factors of your People, Places and Time Boundaries, namely:

  1. The size of each Boundary
  2. The size of the Boundaries’ overlapping areas

We should aim to improve on both factors so that our boundaries and overlaps will resemble the following illustration:

Improved Boundary Overlaps

Have your own tips and success stories on quitting the smoking habit? Please share them in the comments.

13 responses to “Using Boundaries To Help You Overcome Smoking”.

  1. papajoneh Says:

    My experience of smoking since school like 20 years ago..i stopped for 5 years already…its the mind control thing. No.1 in evrything. it can be connected to your no.1 boundary. people.
    You have to think that smoking is bad for your own self and family. thats good enough for me to stop. the rest is just not my problem. i stopped right before midnite. i stop when the dunhill still half full. i shud have kept it for everyone to see.
    it’s all in the mind. you want to stop or not, no one can decide that for u. you want, you stop, you half hearted, like ok i stop for one month.. definitely you can stop for one month but afterward, you’ll increse double in the first day you start again. i know. i’ve been there. so its a good start to slow down smoking if thats what you wish for. but from a friend like me, i advice stop at once while u can. friendly advice from Papa. 🙂

  2. » Blog Archive » Damn Office Wireless! Says:

    […] How to overcome smoking! […]

  3. kucau Says:

    most of my patients stop successfully using cold turkey method. Ask Google M.D about it 🙂

  4. Site Admin Azmeen Says:


    Been there done that… thrice! The first time, I stayed off for a year. Then relapsed due to boredom.

    The second time around, got me off for slightly over a month. Again, relapsed… mostly because of boredom yet again.

    Third attempt lasted only a week.

    I’m probably fated to smoke forever. I’ve accepted this probability. Therefore I’ve set a not so lofty target of reducing my smoking.

    I’m aiming for one stick a week. Wish me luck!

  5. kucau Says:

    u may need a newer drug to help u stop smoking 🙂 . yeah , good luck dude . its a die hard habit

  6. kucau Says:

    one more thing . wish for this for ur next birthday gift

  7. Stop Smoking Cold Turkey Says:

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  8. Stop Smoking Blog Says:

    This is a really unique way to think about quitting. But all in all, it’s all about mental toughness to quit, because you’ll get over nicotine in a few days physically.

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  11. Johnathon_Alex Says:

    Nice post. Thanks for sharing such a good information shared here. Have you heard about the site which is one of the best site helped me to stop smoking through hypnosis and made tremendous good changes in my confidence and self control.

  12. rygestop Says:


  13. stop smoking Says:

    Great illustration and awesome points. Although I think that it’s great that you reduced your smoking intake by a large portion, I believe it would be smart to go all the way with it and eliminate it completely.

    Good luck, and stay smoke free! (eventually)