How I Quit Smoking And How You Can Too*

*This is a collaborative post*

A journey in a nutshell of one man's struggles with quitting smoking and how he finally overcame this most hideous demon.

Growing up as a young boy I was surrounded by smokers. Everyone in my family smoked. Everyone. All eight of my blood aunts and uncles, mum, dad, grandparents, older brother, everyone; And I detested it. My younger brother and I would draw and make non-smoking signs and stick them to the front door of the house, in every room, on the windows and furniture, even one’s which we folded to sit without falling on the dashboard of the car. As an adolescent, sports took over my life and I was absorbed into a really healthy lifestyle; I eventually went away to university to study for a degree but also to enjoy the tremendous sporting opportunities on offer there. Unfortunately in my very first game for the university's rugby league team I seriously injured my shoulder which had to be reconstructed and so for 18 months I had a metal hook plate and screws holding me together. Gone was the rigid discipline of training and playing all kinds of sports and so it was during this dark dark time when my guard was down and I was carefree in enjoying the nightlife and fun that being a student offers that someone offered me a cigarette outside a bar an offer which I drunkenly foolishly obliged and thus partook in smoking it.

I guess you could say that was the first step. It was a gradual process I suppose reflecting on it now. You have the occasional cig while drunk and before you know it you’re buying ten packs before a night out then twenty packs then a ten every few days then everyday. Then you tell yourself, ‘this really isn't economically sensible to waste money buying ten cigarettes everyday’, so then you convince yourself the ‘wise' move is to purchase a twenty pack every other day but then twenty is gone in no time at all and now suddenly you're buying a pack of twenty little white death sticks every single morning.

Looking back it was really such a seamless transition from non-smoker to social smoker to full time chimney. Smoking cigarettes is a complete hypocrisy of the everything I believe really in terms of looking after one's own health, so earlier this year after failing my New Years Resolution of not smoking a single drag from midnight on; (On which note, I vividly remember mentally instructing myself to be strong and not give in to such pitiful vices, that this is my ultimate one and only ‘Cannot-Fail’ mission of 2017, no matter what!). I think if I remember rightly that by about two minutes past I had a lovely Davidoff cigarette handed to me, one of the posh coloured ones which I smoked in celebration of the new year . . . any excuse.

Such were the depths of my affair with the cigarette, such was the level of absolute self-delusion, and my absolute weakness of mind in conquering this horrible habit which I knew was not worth the fortune spent nor the bad breath. So earlier this year, being a great believer in the old saying, ‘if at first you don't succeed try and try again', I remained staunchly undeterred by my prior failure in quitting at the turn of the year and the several hundred failures previous to that; I can now officially state that I no longer smoke cigarettes. And no, I'm not going to go all Uncle Buck on you and now disclose a five year plan to quit completely which goes along the lines of now that I've quit cigarettes I’m onto cigars now, then I’m going to move on to chewing tobacco etc. I mean I quit smoking tobacco full stop, cold turkey-ish. I didn’t utilize any of the free services to help quitters on the NHS nor did i use any patches or gum. I just decided to bite the bullet and stop. But, but, but . . . How? . . .Why? I can hear you ask.

Thanks to my friends who introduced me to vaping is the simple answer. It was a little odd to get used to at first as it is a little different to smoking a real cigarette obviously but the effects from the nicotine are the same. I also like the fact that you can gradually work your way down to taking in no nicotine at all if you are so inclined as I was. I'm disappointed I didn't find out more about vaping sooner, the benefits are so clear. Already a few months in and I don't cough half as much as I once did especially first thing in a morning. Of course seemingly everyone knows about vaping but if you find yourself in a position like me where you are struggling to quit smoking but still would like to quit then I would recommend you use whatever help you think you might need, the patches, the gum all that, but I would also recommend to anyone considering quitting smoking and/or switching to vaping to do so. I know for me personally vaping made giving up cigarettes so much easier.

If like me you cannot even imagine going a day without a cigarette or if you have failed to quit before, it is important to remember that everyone fails; In fact most of the successful people on earth are driven on by their failures. So let yours drive you and take control of your health, enjoy your life and put smoking firmly in the rear view. If I can do it anyone can. Set the right kind of example to your kids. My parent’s generation didn't know any better, but now we do and we should do whatever we can to prevent the next generation from following such a terrible lead.

*Written by Michael David.  


1 comment :

  1. This is such an insightful post. I've never smoked but my mum did for 40 years or more and I'm so happy that she quit.


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