“Giving up smoking is not easy” I replied to my friend who lives in blissful ignorance of what it is like to quit smoking having never smoked a legal tobacco product in his life.
Patronising people like him really bug me and for at least 10 seconds the friendship is over! Okay I’m not that shallow but why do so many non smokers believe that stopping smoking is easy and especially for those of us who have smoked for many years?
I will allow that it is easier to stop smoking now than it ever was but it still isn’t easy. There you are struggling to stop and wanting to slap all of those who tell you that you need more willpower grrr. You need to buy some cigarettes just to stop exploding and injuring a section of the human race.
Unless you are super human it isn’t about willpower for most of us. It’s about making the decision to quit smoking and taking one day at a time. If you don’t think that you can go cold turkey then forget the superhuman willpower stuff and seek out a stop smoking aid and if that isn’t helping try another and another until you find what is right for you.
There are plenty of choices out there: nicotine patches, nicotine gum, hypnotism, laser therapy, acupuncture, audio tapes, tablets and even electronic cigarettes. As you can see there is absolutely no need to torture yourself and those around you with horrible withdrawal symptoms unless you are that way inclined!
Other friends who bug me order me not to start smoking again. The pointless conversation usually goes something like this:
“How are you doing with the stopping smoking?” or “Are you still not smoking?”
“Fine” or “Yes” I reply while wanting to throttle my friend for reminding me.
“Good – don’t you dare start again, you know how bad smoking is for you”
‘Of course I dare start again you fool’ I think while I force a smile knowing that my friend is well meaning.
The point that I’m making here is that I want to forget about smoking for as much of the day as possible and asking for progress reports really does not help those who are trying to stop.
On the other hand if somebody who has stopped offers information such as how long it’s been since they had a cigarette then praise them. Tell them how well you think they are doing, ask them something intelligent like “Do you feel better for it?” or “How much have you saved?” Make them feel good, not annoyed enough to go out and buy a pack.
The worst type of friends an ex smoker can have are those who offer them cigarettes.
“Go on, take it. One won’t do any harm”
Yes it will be harmful. One leads to another and ex smoker becomes a smoker again. You don’t want that – or do you?
At least this type of friend can be avoided to a certain extent if you live in a country where smoking is now banned in public places. You can dodge going outside with them or into an area where smoking is allowed.
Giving up smoking is easier nowadays with the smoking bans and more aids, but it becomes harder if those around you don’t help. Addiction to nicotine is harder to break than any other type of addiction and you need all of the help that you can get.
Realize some ways to stop this unhealthy, smelly habit by going to my giving up smoking website at http://smokersstop.co.uk. Discover how I stopped smoking after 40 years, read my stop smoking diary.
Cut out harmful chemicals with electronic cigarettes.