Many Christians who have been heavy smokers for years can readily empathize with the plight of anyone looking for how to stop smoking and can fully understand the struggle experienced by those who desire to quit. Quitting is certainly not easy, but it can be done. Many two-pack-a-day smokers are now smoke-free and can attest to the fact that it can be done when we turn the matter over to God and rely on His strength and power.
Those who have determined to quit smoking should understand that, humanly speaking, stopping smoking is one of the most difficult things to do. Research has shown that nicotine is very addictive, even more addictive than heroin, some say.
But the addictive nature of nicotine need not discourage us. Paul tells us, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, NKJV). Even though it is difficult, and full withdrawal may take time before one no longer desires cigarettes, as Christians we are to look to God from whom our help comes. We set our hearts on things above and pray the Lord will give us the strength to gain the victory in this trial. Some people leave the Lord out in their attempt to overcome bad habits, and that is a huge mistake. Prayer helps in these types of situations, and we are invited to take our problems directly to the throne of God and to Him who can solve them (Hebrews 4:16).
These steps numbered below are crafted to help anyone trying to quit just about anything. Maybe you’ve never thought of using them to help quit smoking, but they can be extremely helpful when combined with seeking wholeness through a relationship with Jesus Christ. What have you got to lose? Whether it’s you or someone you know who wants to quit smoking for good, give these steps a chance to change your life forever. When working this program, do take it a step at a time – not all at once in the beginning.
Here Are 12 Steps On How To Stop Smoking
Step 1 – If you’ve tried more than once to quit smoking, you may have tried the gum, lozenges, pills, and maybe even hypnotism. But you’re still smoking. It’s got you; you don’t have it. Just get real and say, “I admit I am powerless over smoking cigarettes.” Believe it, because it’s true.
Step 2 – Do you believe that God Almighty is able to give you a life without cigarettes? Or are you stuck believing that there is no power great enough to get smoking out of your life? If you believe God has the power, then meditate on His ability to do marvelous works. Stop listening to doubt and the enemy’s constant reminders of your failed attempts. Simply believe in God’s ability, not your own.
Step 3 – Through the working of the Holy Spirit, CHOOSE to hand this battle over to God. He is your only chance, your mighty warrior! Any time you feel the urge to smoke, pray instead! This is choosing to turn your life and your will over to God. Tell Him when you want a cigarette. Tell Him that you trust He can do a better job of keeping you from smoking than you can. Ask the Lord to take it from you and thank Him as you trust that He will be willing and able to set you free. Believe in the power that you feel when you pray to God. The enemy has kept a powerful grip on you through your inability to quit before and he will remind you of that during this time. Don’t believe the lie. Call out to the Lord and claim through the name of Jesus Christ that you will not be held in bondage by cigarettes. Choose to pray until the urge is over. Pray each and every time the desire comes again.
Steps 4 & 5 – Take a look at the patterns in your life that send you into, “I’ve got to have a cigarette” mode. This is a moral inventory. Are these moments that really belong to God instead of your cigarette? The kids are driving you nuts, another costly car repair is needed, you found out about someone doing you wrong, you are caught up in a sin that you know is wrong – are these times for a smoke? Have you made smoking your God? He deserves to hear your problems, your confessions, and be your comfort! Can you confess to God and to another human being that you’ve been treating God like He’s not as much comfort as your cigarettes? If you can, you’re taking steps in the right direction!
Steps 6 & 7 – Will you allow yourself to be entirely ready to have God remove all your desire for smoking? Can you picture your life without cigarettes? Will you get on your knees before Him and ask Him to remove this life pattern of smoking to deal with your issues in life? You might want to ask the Lord Jesus to go to the deeper places of your soul and remove your pattern of seeking this kind of relief; expose to you the truths of why you have done this for so long. Maybe you are having a hard time believing you can live without cigarettes. Take your unbelief to Christ. Ask Him to take your destructive behavior away and let you live with God as your sole source of refuge.
Steps 8 & 9 – Make a list of all the people you can remember who asked you to please quit smoking. Believe it or not, it hurt some of them that you kept on smoking. If your children begged you to quit, they may have felt they were the reason you smoked or that you didn’t love them enough to quit or some other reasoning they took to heart. They may have wanted you to love yourself enough to quit increasing your chance of getting cancer and it hurt them to see you not love yourself. Your spouse, parents, siblings, employers, employees, old friends – do a thorough list of who you may have hurt. Some may have been irritated by the smoke and felt disrespected that you chose to keep smoke in their environment even though they complained. Go to them (if you can) and tell them you’re sorry.
Step 10 – Now that you’re allowing God to remove this from your life, you will be convicted of new ways that you’re substituting your old pattern. Maybe now you eat too much when you’re sad or anxious. In step 10, you continue to take personal inventory and when you see yourself choosing a destructive pattern, you admit it right away and turn away from it.
Steps 11 & 12 – Stay close to God. Stay closer to Him than you did to cigarettes. Continually seek to know Him and His will for your life. Think of the number of times you picked up a cigarette each day. In your changed life, you will find the blessing of praying that number of times each day instead. What a glorious new life without smoking! You smell better, breathe easier, and cough less. Plus, you’ve gotten closer to God. Now tell others how you did this with God’s help. Your personal testimony is your 12th step. How did He get you clean from cigarettes? He can use this truth to touch lives through the working of His Holy Spirit that you’ll never know about.
Relying on the power of the Holy Spirit does not necessarily mean that medical stop-smoking aids cannot be used as well. Many have received great help through patches, gums, pills, etc. After prayer and consultation with a doctor, if God gives you peace about using a medical stop-smoking aid, there is no biblical reason why you cannot.
God has declared that His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). Where we are weak, He is strong. Our desire for cigarettes will be reduced as we grow and gain strength in the Lord. The power of God will work within us to alleviate the pressure to smoke, all to His glory. God will give us the strength to put Christ first and ourselves last. In this we will find that what we give up will be more than compensated by what we gain.
Being immersed in the Word of God is essential for the Christian who desires to quit smoking. Here are some verses to memorize and meditate on—verses that have helped others gain the victory over a smoking addiction:
John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
1 Corinthians 6:19–20, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
Hebrews 12:1–2, “Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
Romans 13:14, “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”
1 Corinthians 9:27, “I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Ephesians 4:22, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires.”
Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Can you see working these steps to quit smoking? Have you ever tried to quit this way before? Please feel free to post your feelings on this topic!