I’m 31 today and began smoking at the age of 13. It definitely isn’t a number to be very proud off. Never in my wildest dreams as a 13 year old boy did I think I would still be smoking at 31. I first would smoke my Dads cigarette buds in the ashtray as a 8 year old. The first time I bought my cigarettes was as 13 year old during our bicycle rides to the beach. We’d pick a few loose cigarettes from the store nearby and head to the beach. There we’d light up our smokes and feel like men. My life as a smoker is aptly represented in the picture and caption below :
It was a fun ritual. I am often asked if I would do that again and without hesitation I can tell the world I would. Over the years though, smoking has begun taking it toll on me, the breathlessness, the laziness, the random headaches, the aging of my face, are all signs that smoked too much too young.
In my cleansing period now, I’ve given up smoking and there are a few things I’ve learnt which are very important to quit this habit.
1. Quit Drinking.
The only way to let go of smoking to completely quit drinking completely. Everytime I sit to drink I invariably need to light a puff. To get rid of this desire I had to change my taste of drinks. I moved from black rum & lime to white rum and lime. Soon I moved to only lime&soda. This altered only the alcohol content of my drink and not the flavour. At parties, I would have my lime-soda and smokes while the rest of the folks had their liquor. A few weeks of this and one day I quit smoking too.
2. Quit Smoking cold turkey.
The idea of reducing those cigarettes as days progress makes no sense. A smoker smoking 3 cigarettes a day is an addict and so is a person smoking 30. The only difference is the time between each nicotine hit. The power to quit smoking is the mind. The only way is to wake up one day and believe you are non-smoker from that day. Also, subsitutes like nicotine replacement therapy etc do not let go of you’re addiction.
3. Read Allen Carr’s ‘Easy way to quit smoking’.
This badass book is one of the best reads to quit smoking and believe me there are dozens of them out there in the market. Conventional books tell you all the reasons to quit smoking. Carr’s book follows the approach to debunk all the reasons give ourselves to continue smoking. This would in turn give us no reason to smoke anymore.
4. Announce it to your friends, family & the virtual world
I’ve always felt that announcing a decision or act creates the additional pressure for you to stick to your word. Though your friends would offer you that puff or drink, deep down they would envy that you don’t smoke anymore. Even the one’s who’d try to put you down would be in secretly in awe of your success. This motivation has primarily helped me to not smoke.
5. Find a girl who doesn’t smoke.
Though some may claim that smoking shouldn’t matter if you love someone. I’ve deliberately chosen only to fall in love with the girls who don’t smoke. It always helps to have non-smoking partner as a support system if at all you feel the odd urge.