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I'm looking for words ( or word groups) that can be used to say "I stopped smoking", or "I stopped taking drugs" or, in other words, "I got rid of some bad and unhealthy habit".

I have found "relinquish" , "get out" , "give over", but I'm not sure if they can be used that way. Of course, I'd like to see more examples, if they are present.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Kick the habit or kick the XXX habit where XXX is a suitable descriptor of the type of habit.

Cambridge Dictionary Online:

To give up something harmful that you have done for a long time.


To voluntarily end any habit or custom, especially a drug habit. (See also knock the habit.)

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So, can I say "Kicked the smoking habit" and/or "Kicked the bad habit"? – Highstaker Feb 19 '13 at 4:35
Also, can I say "Yesterday I kicked a bad habit" , if I don't want to specify what exactly was the habit I kicked? – Highstaker Feb 19 '13 at 4:38
You can. Adding the word "bad" is okay. It adds emphasis but it's not necessary. Generally, using the word "kicked" is emphatic on its own that it was some sort of bad habit. As for naming the habit, as with "the smoking habit", yes you can do that. For example, if some offers you a cigarette, you can say "No thanks, I kicked the (smoking) habit..." (Either way.) – Canis Lupus Feb 19 '13 at 4:53
@Highstaker I don’t think one would ever say that one had kicked a good habit. One doesn’t kick good things, only bad ones. – tchrist Feb 19 '13 at 4:56

The easiest thing to say is "I quit smoking"

quit :
4. To abandon or put aside; forsake
5. To cease or discontinue


give up : To desist from; stop

I quit smoking two years ago.
I gave up smoking when my daughter was born.

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If you want to add some emphasis to the statement that describes your pride in the effort, you can go with, "I finally conquered my nicotine addiction!" or "I got the caffeine monkey off my back!"

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