LIFESTYLE by KRISS on 21 october 2015

WHY AND HOW TO QUIT SMOKING So this is a nice glamour picture of cigarettes isn’t it ? No, you don’t think it is, but this is what cigarettes do look like and why you should definitely quit.
Because it’s bad, it smells bad on your breath afterwards, and it causes cancer and it is a very expensive habit and blah blah blah.

Still not convinced, I get it I wasn’t either.
I have been enjoying my cigarette breaks or cigar breaks on occasions a lot and receiving my liberating nicotine dose through this sweet sensation of a silk hit through my throat was so nice.
Why should I ever give it away ?

The first time I quit smoking was out of guilt, my first child was born and I decided that he should not witness me smoking ever so I decided to quit before he was old enough to understand I had ever been smoking and it worked so fine for nearly 2 years.

Then one night at a dinner party at neighbors a good soul came along with a couple of cuban cigars a friend of his had just brought back.
Kate and I who had stopped smoking and didn’t give a shit about it for months didn’t really fancy trying these out but his speech on how cigars were so completely different and wouldn’t get us back on smoking at all was so convincing that we smoked a few puffs.

Well, this is what you need to understand about nicotine addiction, once your body knows, it doesn’t forget.
And soon, I think a week, we though a lot about the nice time with the cigars, it even became obsessive on my part and less than a week later I was buying cigars, just for the week end and this worked for about 2 weeks.
Then the week end started on thursdays and evenings were replaced by lunch and dinner and a month later I was smoking cigars from morning to night and Kate was back on cigarettes.

That was about 10 years ago.

Many attempts to cut back on smoking during this time, at best managing 5 to 6 cigarettes a day (and lying it down to 2 cigarettes) at worse close to 2 whole packs (only a few weeks of that nightmare).
On an average I was smoking 2 packs every 3 days I think.

At some point smoking gave me pleasure that outweighed the discomfort but it unfortunately didn’t last very long.
Smoking quickly became a bad habit again, having me driving down to the closest bar or restaurant that had a cigarette machine working on sundays, you know the usual for a smoker.

Then our kids came along and so did the concerns, mainly from our eldest, our son and his first attempts to have us quit smoking dated a few months ago.
I simply felt ashamed to be putting my kids through that and no kid should ever have to ask their parents to stop smoking.

But nicotine addiction is a strong bitch and that didn’t stop me from smoking straight away.
I tried to make it less obvious to them that I was smoking but kids are clever and often they would try to stay close to me and miraculously appear every time I went for a smoke.
Which effectively spoiled the moment and at the end I very seldom enjoyed any cigarette.

And actually people I think that’s the key to being able to stop smoking and one of the secret of any potential success:

You have to be at a point in your habit where you are not enjoying smoking anymore or on very rare occasions.
That way, smoking becomes very frustrating and I think your brain starts associating smoking with more hassle than pleasure.

Of course it is never all black or white and your brain will not forget that easily how good the first smoke of the day feels for instance but this will help you get there.

Second, many people will tell you to choose a relaxed moment like on holidays to stop smoking but I would strongly advise against it.

What the heck are you going to do on holidays unless you have very busy holidays ? Spend the whole day just thinking about one thing : smoking ! Not only will these be your worst holidays ever but this is very unlikely to work out for your quitting smoking.
You will only have spoiled a few days of your hard earned (I love that one) dollars holidays.

Seriously, choose a moment when you are busy and cannot even afford to have a cigarette break that easily.
A moment when you are close to continuously doing something and thinking about something real, you brain won’t have time to think too much about smoking and it will be easier on you.

At last, never tell yourself you are quitting smoking but this is an ultimatum most of us can’t cope with.
Simply tell yourself you’ll smoke one later on.
On the first couple of days you may find yourself smoking one, two maybe four or five cigarettes, just cut down and don’t set yourself goals like ‘I will smoke one after dinner’ - this doesn’t work.
Just keep postponing the next cigarettes as much as you can.
In fact it is very likely that once the first full day has passed, you will not smoke again.

Of course you will at times get very upset not to be allowing yourself a smoke because you will crave for one (and less and less) but if your mind thinks you still have the choice, this will definitely make it easier !



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