Rav Avigdor Miller on How to Quit Smoking 

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Q:
How can a person succeed at quitting smoking very quickly? 

A:
I’ll tell you this: נדרים סייג לפרישות – “Making vows are is a protective fence for abstinence”  (Avos 3:17). Hakodosh Boruch Hu gave us a gift, the gift of a neder. If you’re serious about it, then a neder is a great to’eles. A neder means like this: You say, “I smoked ten cigarettes yesterday. Today, if I don’t stop at nine, it’s going to cost me fifty dollars to a yeshiva.” Now, pick a yeshiva that you don’t like. Let’s say your a Satmarer – so you say, “Fifty dollars to a Lubavitcher yeshiva.” And a Lubavitcher – “Fifty dollars to a Satmarer yeshiva, payable today.”

So now you still smoke nine cigarettes today. But you’re going to control yourself when it comes to number ten. The next day you say, “I’m going to try to smoke only eight today. And if I smoke more than eight, then I’m going to pay fifty dollars again to that beloved yeshiva.” Fifty dollars is a big deterrent. And if you smoke that extra one, you pay the fifty dollars, and you make that same neder again. And that’s how you’ll quit smoking if you really want to.
TAPE # E-121 (October 1997)