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It's always a great time to quit smoking

Quitting smoking has been one of the best things I’ve done for myself. I quit on January 1st 2005, almost 2 years ago now, and haven’t had a puff since.



It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution, actually; it was an accident. I was planning on quitting, but I was planning on doing it late January, on the 27th if I’m not mistaken. But then I just didn’t feel like smoking on the 1st, didn’t smoke on the 2nd, either, and then I knew I was almost home free. 3-4 days without smoking is really all it takes to be free of the physical dependency. Then remains the social and psychological house-keeping.



Before that, I’d quit once before, for 4 months, but the ease of quitting led me to think I could take a whiff at a friend’s wedding. I could, but it started me down a slippery slope that within a few months had me smoking full-time again, and then I was a smoker for another 2 and a half years, till I finally quit again.



It’s been a strong reminder to me to not even try it this time. I don’t especially mind other people smoking, and I don’t especially mind being in smoky bars. That is to say, it’s awful and I’m looking forward to the April 1st ban on smoking in public places here in Denmark, but it doesn’t make it any harder for me to not smoke. Every time I see other people smoke, I smile inside from knowing that I don’t anymore.



The one thing that can truly upset me is when I see advertisements for quitting with nicotine gum or patch. It’s such a scam. It’s not about the physical dependency. It’s all about the emotional, psychological, social dependency.



It’s the trigger that you have to have a cigarette with coffee or alcohol or after a meal. It’s the belief that you need a fag when you’re stressed or down. It’s the story you tell yourself that the 5-minute break is good for you, or that you need it to look cool. There’s usually at least 15 different triggers of this sort, and they’re all there to lure you into lighting another one, so you can get back on the physical addiction track.



Limiting the nicotine intake is addressing the wrong problem, while raking in giant profits for the makers of these things, complete with the sanction of the established medical community who still don’t seem to have a clue, overall. The recommendation was more along the lines of will-power and “eat a carrot each time you want a cigarette”, rather than addressing the core issue.



What is the core issue? The core issue is the belief that a cigarette will give you something you want, when the truth, obvious to any child and sane person out there, is that it doesn’t. Simple as that. Cigarettes give you nothing you could possibly want, and plenty you don’t. Once that fact sinks in, quitting is easy as pie.



I used two books to help me through this, and I took quite some warm-up time before I managed. The first was You Can Stop Smoking by Jacquelyn Rogers, and while it had the right approach and did help me quit the first time, I liked The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Alan Carr better, because of its clarity, even though, technically, it didn’t help me stop, as I didn’t read it until a few days after I’d already quit. It did help me stay quit, though, which is, as you could imagine, mighty important.



If you happen to get a copy of this book from me, it’s because I believe you want to quit, but you don’t know how. The fact is, it’s super-easy when you know how. So I hope you’ll set aside some time and do yourself this favor, and I know you’ll be grateful you did. Good luck, and Happy New Year!

7 comments

Lars, You're absolutely right. Good page! Nicotine is only one small part of addiction which is why patches, inhalers and gum have a high failure rate. I'm a non-smoker, but I personally know some heavy smokers. My mother lost a good friend to lung cancer at 54. A friend of mine had a bad stroke less than 2 years after quitting a heavy smoking habit. I know somebody else who's now 65 who recently went blind in one eye from a stroke and had an implantable defribulator installed. He used to be a 3-pack-a-day smoker. Here in Florida, I will often see a sick older person on oxygen getting around on an electric scooter. I have no doubt how they got that way. Even though I don't smoke, I too used to go to smoke-filled night clubs when I was in my 20s, but I won't set foot in any such place now. When I was serving in the US Army in Germany in the 1980s, the clubs there were especially bad. I don't think smokers necessarily think cigarettes will give them something they want other than a nicotine high if they enjoy smoking. I do know a heavy smoker who tells me he likes smoking. For most I think it's just a bad habit.
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Thanks for the feedback, Fred, I appreciate it. Funny you should mention Germany, that country has always struck me as particularly bad with second-hand smoke, too. Feelings can be deceptive. There's always many layers. I do believe that most, if not all, smokers really want to quit, but they won't admit that, because that means admitting they can't or don't know how, admitting failure. To say you enjoy smoking is to be in denial. I know that's easy for me to say, and there's no way to ever find out for sure, but I believe this to be true. And I do believe that people smoke because they think it'll make them smarter, cooler, prettier, happier, or any of a wealth of other positive emotions, emotions that are stronger and more present than all the bad emotions, such as guilt and fear of dying.
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well done.
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About time Lars! Denmark has been a nation of puffers for way too long. I was always - and still are - puzzled by the idea that somebody's right to smoke somehow is more important to another person's right to not be affected by second-hand smoke. Nowhere I have lived have I found a higher concentration of seemingly intelligent - but in this sense blind - people than in Denmark. A Danish friend of mine has been working (in institutions) with young Danes who have problems. Interestingly, some children actually get good help in terms of sorting themselves out but if they weren't a smoker when they went into the institution, then they were when they came out. Why? Because many of the people that work in such places smoke themselves, during their work, near patients, and near other non-smokers. Chalk another one up to "advanced" Denmark!
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P.S. Forgot to say that it's time to move country, Lars. You look like having way more potential to just plod along in The Comfortable Place™ :o)
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Mark Aufflick

I was thinking the same thoughts when I saw an ad for Nicotine gum here on TV. The image was an attractive woman riding a Harley-Davidson and the slogan was something like "enjoy the same excitement and energy in your new smoke free life". It wasn't encouraging you to give up nicotine at all - it was encouraging you to switch delivery methods!
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JP Richards

Wanna stop smoking in 2007? I have something that will help you STOP SMOKING for LIFE, guaranteed! Interested? It's called "Stop Smoking Today", and I will GIVE YOU THE $49 product for FREE... you can even become affiliate if you want to. If you review the product on your blog. Interested? Come check out http://www.stop-smoking-today.com Sorry about the spammy post, I'm just trying to get to spread the word about this life-saving product without pills, cravings, or failing again! Warmly, JP
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