I have never been a smoker. I did try in my teenage years to be ‘with the crowd’ and smoked at parties or when with a group of smokers. I can’t say I enjoyed it, so it was no effort at all to stop. It never became a habit and I’ve been forever grateful for that.
So what would you know about it, you say? I did have family members and many friends who smoked continually – it was just something everybody did! I’m going back a few years now but that was when there were no restrictions on smoking, nor did anyone realise the damage that was being done to their health.
A great percentage of people smoked to their heart’s content in pubs, clubs, offices, cars, buses, ‘planes, restaurants – you name it. Temptation was everywhere you went, and especially noticeable when you were trying to break the habit. I don’t think there was ever a movie where someone didn’t ‘light up’.
Consequently the failure rate for quitting was very high. It was too easy to accept the offered smoke at the club or restaurant after dinner, and once you relaxed your resolve to quit, you were back to square one.
There was little talk of the harmful effects of smoking until the 70’s, but, when sensible people realised the harm they were doing to themselves, more and more quit the habit. Many very heavy smokers just gave up on the habit – among them my Dad and my Brother – and cold turkey was the only way to go in those days. One day they were smoking, the next they weren’t.
Those who chose to go ‘cold turkey’ and make a complete break overcame the desire to smoke more quickly and were soon enjoying the satisfaction, sense of wellbeing, good health and the financial benefits of being a non-smoker.
It must surely be easier to quit now when smokers are in the minority and smoking is banned in so many of the old places where it was once so popular.
Here are a few relevant facts about the smoking habit:
* One out of every two recreational users will become addicted.
* Smoking is more addictive than heroin, cocaine or alcohol.
* The majority of smokers begin smoking before the age of 19.
* Young people are twice as likely to smoke if their parents smoke.
* Symptoms of addiction, that is having a strong urge to smoke, feeling anxious or irritable, feeling depressed or trying unsuccessfully not to smoke, can appear within days of becoming an ‘occasional’ smoker.
* Almost half of all urban litter is tobacco-related.
Now here are 7 No Fail Steps to Quitting:
1. It is vital that you firmly make up your mind to quit. This is of paramount importance – nothing, but nothing, will happen until you make up your mind that you will never ever have another cigarette.
2. Analyse your reasons for quitting – Is it the cost? Are you concerned about your health? Are you worried about what other people think?
3. Visualise the benefits – you’ll be amazed how good food tastes. Your sense of smell will come back, you’ll feel better and you’ll be more fit and active. (This won’t happen overnight, but rest assured, it will happen.)
4. Know clearly why you want to quit, and make up your mind to do so.
5. You must adopt the attitude and belief that you are a Non-smoker; I DO NOT SMOKE!!
6. Never, ever, light a smoke again – NEVER EVER.
7. You can do it, and once you make up your mind, once you are committed, the quicker you do it the better. Don’t procrastinate – just do it!!