If people were meant to smoke they would be born with chimneys instead of lungs which are not designed to deal with nicotine or tar. This is a lesson I learned slowly. I smoked cigarettes for about 18 years before I managed to quit the habit for the last time nearly eighteen years ago. At that time I was smoking between 20 and 30 a day, and it was a habit, not something I enjoyed. That was the main reason why giving them up was so easy.
I didn’t wake up one morning and decide that’s it, I’m not a smoker anymore. I had tried that method a few times before and quickly realized giving up habits which are highly addictive in that manner is torture.
How I stopped smoking.
I decided to give up smoking months before I actually gave them up, I didn’t know the exact date I was going to kick the habit, I just knew my smoking career was coming to an end. That was the first step on my journey.
The second step was to create locations where not smoking was the norm, I chose my car. I drove to and from work every day and generally had at least two cigarettes on each journey. I change my car that year and decided I really didn’t want it to smell like an ashtray. Within a few weeks the car became an area where I didn’t consider smoking.
The third step was to increase the number of places where I felt comfortable not smoking. The next location I chose was the sitting room. Every time I felt like smoking a cigarette I had to get up off the comfortable couch and leave the room. Over time I extended this to the rest of the house.
During this time I didn’t cut down on my smoking habit, I just smoked more often in the areas I had designated as smoking areas. This had two effects; as most of you smokers realise, regardless of how much you like smoking, if you smoke too many close together they will make you feel awful. This created the second effect of hating cigarettes even more.
At the time I eventually decided to quit I was working the night shift. I bought a pack of cigarettes on the way to work and said, “as soon as I had smoked them I was never going to smoke again.” That was a Tuesday night, the next morning after getting out of my car, I smoked the one remaining cigarette before going in to my house to get some sleep.
I woke up that Wednesday and had no desire to waste any more money on cigarettes. The following two days went the same way. Then it was the weekend, the big test, could I go out and have a few beers and not smoke? At the time you could smoke inside in all public bars. I passed the test, I woke up the following afternoon and I just knew I would never smoke again especially after I smelled my clothes and realized I’d spent years smelling like an ashtray too.
As I mention earlier that was eighteen years ago, to this day not smoking is easy, however, I will never take that for granted because I know how difficult it is to quit for most people. If it was easy to quit nobody would smoke.
- “If you love to smoke, you will always be a smoker.”
- “Learn to dislike the things which are not good for you.”
- “The day you change your mindset is the day you change your life.”