Saturday, December 26, 2015
HOW TO QUIT SMOKING
IT IS NOT SUPPOSE TO BE EASY
My wife and I both quit smoking at the same time – she was thirty-two and I was forty-four. Between us we were averaging three packs of smokes a day.
We were teaching school in an Athabascan Indian village and usually bought cartons of cigarettes at the military base when we would travel to Fairbanks. At the end of summer, before heading back into the village, we decided we would quit. I was miserably short of breath and my wife knew smoking wasn’t good for either of us.
We just quit. We went into the village without cigarettes (though you could purchase them in the village store for four times what they cost in Fairbanks.) No patches, no electronic smoke, no nicotine pills – just quit.
It is not the nicotine you miss; it is the habit of smoking. What do you do the first thing in the morning? You light up a cigarette. What do you do immediately after a meal? You light up a cigarette. What do you do while drinking coffee, or playing cards, or driving in the car? Unconsciously, you light up a cigarette. And then immediately after sex – what, no cigarette!
Not smoking leaves a big hole in your daily routine - in the habits that you have acquired over the years - and for a while you feel lost at these times. But it only takes about two weeks of not smoking until you feel an adjustment and the control.
Using nicotine substitutes only prolongs the dependency and makes you feel your success depends on pharmaceutical companies to taper you off. If you are cutting back, using a patch, sucking water vapor, taking pills – looking for a crutch - you are just fooling yourself.
You just have to put on your big girl’s panties, get rid of the smokes, and quit. If you do you will get over it sooner than you think – and more permanent.
If you aren’t serious about quitting, just admit it. It’s your choice.