I have been a confirmed smoker and nicotine addict for more than 30 years. But on June 21st this year I smoked my last cigarette. Counting today it has been 82 days since I quit smoking.
So how was I able to finally quit? This is the question I will answer in this article.
In no particular order of importance, the concepts that helped me quit were the following:
- I kept telling myself that I am a puff away from a pack (of cigarettes) a day. The only way to quit and stay quit is to stop and not have even a single puff. Telling yourself this may make staying off smokes a little difficult in the beginning since you are putting some pressure on yourself (and the stress causes you to think of cigarettes). But it is essential. If you cheat and have a smoke from time to time you are only prolonging the agony of the withdrawal pangs. Now I hardly ever think of smokes and this is because I have completely abstained and not had even a single puff.
- The second concept or rather resource that helped me quit is the book The EasyWay to Quit Smoking by Allen Carr. This book is hands down the best book I have read on the topic of quitting smoking. Allen Carr was a 100 smokes a day person and a chain smoker for more than 40 years. Thanks to the method which he discovered and which he explains in his book he was able to quit and not experience the dreaded withdrawal pangs that can make a mouse out of a brave man.
- Allen Carr’s basic concept is that cigarettes (or tobacco more generally speaking) create the discomfort that a person feels when he (or she) is deprived of smokes. For example confirmed smokers are uncomfortable if they cannot have a smoke just after a meal. What creates that discomfort? Carr says that it is the cigarettes themselves that cause the craving. Non smokers do not have any discomfort. Why is it that only smokers feel uncomfortable? It is because the smoker is addicted to nicotine.
- And the way to be free of the addiction is simply not smoke and not have even a single puff. The discomfort will fade away in due course. There is much more that I can say about Carr’s book but you would be better served if you buy and read that book yourself.
- The last concept which helped me during the times that I felt the withdrawal pangs was the concept of self mortification. I have written an article on the subject of self mortification earlier. The link is below. Basically I thought of the withdrawals that I was experiencing as Karma or the Will of God. If this is what my karma requires me to experience then it is what I had better experience that with as much good grace that I am able to muster.
Now I have the confidence to think of myself as a confirmed non smoker. But I must make sure that I do not lower my guard. As Thomas Jefferson said – The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
I’ll end here. Please explore this site for more articles on Self Help, Spirituality and Politics. If you wish to contact me the link is below.