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New Year resolutions: giving up smoking

Its nearly the time for those New Year resolutions. If you are thinking of quitting smoking It is possible to give up. And it is possible to get healthy again. You just need to know how to avoid the bullshit.

First, I am writing this from the point of view of a reformed smoker. I gave up 12 years ago.

Giving up smoking is one of the hardest things to do. There is no easy fix. You do have to tough it out.

Giving up is worth it, though. You already know that, right? But the primary benefits are not all the usual shit reasons you’ll of no doubt heard.

So let me kill a few of those myths off right now.

You’ll have more money

While that might be true in some ways, but it’s not like you’re going to open your wallet and find wads of extra cash.

The money you don’t spend on cigarettes will be quickly eaten up by other demands on your money.

So, if you give up just for the money, you’l find yourself coming up short.

You’ll enjoy your food more

This was a particular favourite of mine. The argument here, is based around the fact that smoking deadens your taste. So not smoking reinvigorates it.

Er, no. Your food will taste much the same. So don’t give up on the basis of this one.

You’ll feel healthier and fitter

Why would you suddenly feel more healthy? If you were unhealthy before you quit, you’ll still be unhealthy after you quit.

Smoking, like excessive drinking or eating, is a lifestyle problem and an addiction.

You’ll feel better when you do better for yourself. Quitting the smokes is only a first step in that process.

Your chances of survival of higher

I can’t argue with this one. We all know smoking is a killer. But this reason on its own, won’t be enough to stop you from lighting a new smoke.

How to quit - the right way

First, acknowledge that you’re an addict. When my local chemist told me that, I nearly punched him. My internal dialogue was all indignant: “I’m not an addict. I don’t take drugs or anything like that. I just like a smoke…”

And then you realise. Smoking is an addiction. You can get ahead of the game by just admitting it.

The next step is to find your own reason for wanting to quit. And I don’t mean one of the bullshit ones listed above.

For me, it was realising I’d been a slave to nicotine. I didn’t want to be controlled by a substance any more.

I didn’t just go cold turkey, though. I used 24-hour patches to help. Use what you have to, there’s plenty of stuff out there to help you break the habit.

But just make sure you are breaking the habit. That means those e-cigarette things aren’t the answer. You’re just changing what you’re addicted to.

Look forward to being a non-smoker

I used to love to smoke. It helped me think. It helped me calm down in stressful situations. It gave me chance to contemplate life.

And all those things are possible without cigarettes. You don’t need to smoke to have clarity of thought.

You don’t need to smoke to enjoy life.

And you’ll never stress about running out of smokes and trying to find a shop open to get some more.

Believe you can

It took me a few weeks, but eventually, I started to believe I could quit.

Two weeks after that, I had quit. Yeah, it was hard at times. And yeah, I nearly gave in a couple of times.

Believe you can and you will. But you have to believe you can.

I go running now. You could say it’s my new addiction. If it is, it’s a lot better for me that smoking was.

You can quit smoking, but don’t believe the hype. Find your own reasons and then you’ll do it.