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“Giving up” smoking is a term that smokers use to tell everyone else how much effort they are putting in.
Before I start, I am an ex-smoker for almost 3 years (is there anyone worse); but I am not going to give you a list of scary facts like:
“Half of all smokers die from their addiction” – 50% odds on survival, would you have surgery at those odds?
(I promise that’s the only one, point made)! If you are a smoker then you already get enough hassle in your life (I know I did) and you do that thing where you promise the annoying people in your life that you are going to “give up” but then something happens and you say “it’s not the right time” OR “I’ve been too stressed” or you just don’t really mean it. I’ve been there and it took me two years to decide to quit.
So let’s make one thing clear!
You are NOT giving up smoking, you ARE quitting !
Giving up implies that you have a good thing that you are sacrificing and let’s be honest, you don’t and you know it. It’s an addiction and when you stop smoking (I’m an optimist), you are not giving anything up, you are not losing anything and you certainly don’t need cigarettes in your life (how do you think the rest of the world functions without them?).
To help me quit, I read “Allen Carr’s Easyway to stop smoking” to help me quit (Don’t worry I am not going to give you a sales pitch) and it did work for me. It is still only a book, but it did change my attitude and perspective towards smoking and I learned a few things:
- It’s not as hard as everyone says it is
- If you want to be a non-smoker then don’t smoke
- Pay attention to what your actually doing
- It is nobody’s fault but your own
This last point helped me out the most! The book actively encourages you to smoke whilst you’re reading it (which is what I spent most of my time doing) but it asks you around halfway through to pay attention to what you are doing:
When was the last time you actually tasted the cigarette in your mouth when you are smoking?
The first time we tried cigarettes it was; stale, throat burning, made you cough and tasted disgusting. We didn’t put a cigarette in our mouths and start blowing smoke rings, we thought “eww I’m doing that again” and yet for whatever reason we forced ourselves to carry on…and the rest they say, is history.
Cigarettes don’t taste any different from the first time you had one, so what has changed? the nicotine tells you it needs more and YOU use an excuse to listen.
It takes 3 days for the nicotine to leave your system, after that it is down to you, by month 3 your brain chemistry is back to the way it was before (no matter how long you’ve been smoking)
So what is the problem? it’s actually you!
For whatever reason, YOU decided to carry on smoking, and continue. Smoking is a crutch in some form or another (I convinced myself I needed them to be happy so I could have an excuse to socialize and make friends). Until you figure out what that is, you’re going to find it very difficult to quit smoking (it’s why a lot of people do).
Once you realize that it is YOU that is smoking, it is your body, your life and your CHOICE!
If you want to carry on smoking then that is down to you. I’m not going to be one of the hundreds of people in your life telling you to quit, but if you do, here are some of the best tips I can give so you can get on with your life.
Quit Smoking tips
Don’t Wait For A Parade!
A lot of smokers quit and expect (like losing weight and other goals) that you will reach “a point” or “the end”. When you quit, you quit, life moves on, quitting doesn’t magically change your life – you are now cigarette free, go live your life, well done, don’t live for the praise otherwise, it will fade and so will your motivation to stop.
It IS Your Fault
Make sure you take responsibility for the fact that you are the one who is keeping yourself smoking – not your boss, not your stressful job…YOU. Once you own that then it’s entirely in your control to quit.
Don’t Make An Announcement
If you make a big fuss about it, you put pressure on yourself. Everyone else makes a “thing” out of it one way or the other and when all the praise dies down you’re going to want to quit and get all the attention all over again.
Support is Fine
Getting help and support is ok too, if you need to talk to someone or you are quitting with a friend that’s great, as long as you realize that no one can do it for you.
It Will Come Up
You can’t just avoid smokers and other people smoking – maybe for a couple of days but that’s it – learn to live with it, move on and don’t let it bother you, you decided to quit so it’s not going to stop you.
When you decide to quit and you have your last cigarette, focus on those 10 minutes entirely, breathe it in and out – taste it and remember how it feels in your mouth, throat and how you feel afterwards – the actual effects on your body. Trust me, it serves as a reminder if you ever get a “niggle”
Ultimately it is down to YOU and YOU ARE STRONG ENOUGH!
*If you have any concerns about your health or quitting smoking, you should seek advice from a doctor*