Self-Help: Kicking Nicotine For Good

As you hiss and suck all available air through a piece of rolled paper and tamped down tobacco, the rush of nicotine through your body is undeniable. That much anticipated hit,  vital,  all-consuming, engulfs you in a powerful haze. You sigh. Ahh. Life is so good at that moment.

You flick the cigarette as you lean back, exhaling what little smoke your lungs grudgingly give up. You look at the embers at the tip of your cigarette, and you wonder for the thousandth time, how you can ever give up something so damned good.

Cigarette smokers know what I mean. Smoking is a difficult habit to break. The craving for nicotine is all consuming. It beckons when you’re happy and partying, it gives solace when when you’re hurting. Cigarette smoking helps you focus when writing at 3 AM. It longs to be between your fingers when you’re drinking coffee. In short, it wants to be with you as much as you want to have it.

How do you end such a habit?

Nicotine patches, e-cigarettes and tapering your cigarette consumption are but three of the many ways to quit smoking.

Are they effective?

To an extent, yes. If you finally stopped smoking then the product worked. The downside to using these techniques is that smokers often find themselves reaching for a cigarette no matter how much time has passed between sticks.

So you think quitting smoking is impossible?

No. Quitting smoking is possible and actually has a good success rate if you change your habit. Smoking is as much a habit as an addiction, you see. Your body is trained to the cues you’re feeding it. Take for instance how a smoker reaches for a cigarette when a cup of coffee is placed before him. Note how after meals, smokers would excuse themselves from the table and light up.

Now think about how you can change your reactions to these non-verbal cues. Can you NOT smoke while drinking coffee?  How about some mints after a meal? I hear a resounding NO from smokers reading this. I am not done yet.

Here is a last ditch effort to help yourself quit that dreaded cancer stick:

Go cold turkey. No excuses. Throw out every pack of cigarette you have right now. Throw out all the ashtrays too. I’m not kidding. Prepare yourself for the agony of withdrawal. Breathe through it. Keep busy, do something else and do it everytime you want a cigarette.

You can wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it every time a craving for cigarette hits you. I believe for a smoker putting away 1-2 packs a day, this would leave your wrists raw.

Quit any way you can because I did.

How I did it:

The same way I told you. I threw everything out,-reams, packs, sticks, ashtrays. I told my friends who are smokers that I quit. I told them not to smoke when I’m present because it’s killing me (with envy).

Was it hard?
It wasn’t so hard. It was awfully hard. The need for nicotine is real. But here’s the thing, you are stronger than your desires. And you can beat this nicotine demon. It was a matter of will over habit. Every time I’d crave for a ciggy, I’d gulp a glass of ice-cold water. It hurt but it was good.

Do I miss it?
I believe my fingers miss holding a slim cylinder between them. I miss balancing a cigarette on the edge of my drinking glass. I miss the instant camaraderie an unlit cigarette between my lips brings. In the early weeks after I stopped, my friends laughed at how I unconsciously crush cookies in ashtrays when we go out for coffee.

Do I crave for a cigarette now? No.
Do I ever think of smoking again? Yes, it crossed my mind. Fleetingly.

How many months am I smoke free?
5 X365 days and more baby!

3 thoughts on “Self-Help: Kicking Nicotine For Good

  1. I did cold turkey myself and it wasn’t bad. At the peak of my smoke belching I could easily consume two packs at a time when I need to write, or when I am at parties. I came up with all sort of excuses that many agreements, lively debates and fruitful exchanges actually take place at the smoking room (NOT at the boardroom) and I can’t imagine myself being LEFT OUT. I think that was (for me) apparent when I decided to quit. I went to Japan for a training in July 2012 and one speaker posed one question to the crowd to illustrate sacrifice as an attribute of a leader and he put it so simply. “Supposed you wanted to change, what are you willing to give up now?” he asked. Some said they can change their attitude about managing time better. Some wrote about putting more time into their work. Everyone wrote it in a short wood plank which we need to break with our hands karate-style (bushido?). We each took turns showing our answers (and breaking ’em) and when it was my turn, I wrote that I would quit smoking. I dont know why wrote it (I guess I honestly wanted to try it and thought perhaps I can get affirmation here) but the room erupted into a roar, some were laughing, some were gaping in disbelief, some just looked on blankly (waiting for their turn haha). I almost broke my wrist because I couldn’t break the plank in half during my first try (I wasnt born Japanese OK?) But I told myself : I will show you I can do it. That was a one year and 8 months ago. Everytime I see someone smoke its like watching them eat green mangoes with shrimp paste. You can actually taste the insides of your mouth going sour at the thought.

    What the heck, I don’t like mangoes anyway haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 🙂 i don’t like cigarette smoke at all. but i respect other people who smoke. when i take a walk and someone who i’m going to pass is smoking, i immediately cover my nose and hold my breath. haha. but congratulations ate! ^_^


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