There are many articles about why smoking is bad for you and how to stop it. My opinion is that giving up smoking has to be decided in your mind; you must have a very solid reason to win this battle with this addiction. Here is my story and what worked for me.
I started smoking when I was 17 years old. I remember, I got angry with the World and decided to try a cigarette from my father`s cigarette box. My first cigarette was so stinky and the taste was awful. I got nauseous. But this is how I punished myself. When I got angry, I had a cigarette. Then meeting with mates I was the one usually who could bring a packet of cigarette and we smoked together. We were the cool gang. My father caught me smoking soon after I started, but he was very relaxed, even bought me a packet so I wouldn’t steal his cigarettes. Well, yes, caring fathers tell their children, smoking is bad for health, mine bought a packet.
At college, I did not have much money, so chain-smoking was not an issue. Then when I got into my first job in a factory where drinking and smoking were natural with the colleagues, I got into these habits easily. Smoked about 20-25 cigarettes a day. Then when I got into better jobs, worked in an office where I had cigarette breaks one every hour, but still managed to smoke a packet a day. I was 26 when we moved to the UK. While in Hungary I smoked lighter cigarettes (0.3 Mg Nicotine), in the UK they have much stronger cigarettes (1 Mg Nicotine). I smoked a little bit less not just because of the strength because it costs 4x more.
Even though I had better-paid jobs, smoking was too expensive. So I switched to electric cigarettes. I remember working during the night and was smoking that electric cigarette continuously. Often the back of my head would feel like it was about to blow up!! I needed the same result that I received smoking traditional cigarettes but the e-cigarette wasn’t cutting it, so I had to smoke it more. Luckily I did not have any problems because of the overuse. Later I read about accidents caused by this device.
Once you are addicted, you will experience nicotine cravings. An empty, irritating sensation-rather like feeling hungry-but wanting to smoke instead of eating. This will end up making you a chain smoker.
I was 34 years old when I had enough of coughing in the morning and regular chest pains. Being addicted to cigarette caused me often to be stressed. You cannot smoke while flying, sitting on a bus or train, during work, while at the doctor and these daily situations cause you anxiety; always thinking about where and how to smoke! I was tired of this. I got up in an autumn morning and said, that`s it! I did not light up another cigarette since this day (2014).
So what made me stick to give up smoking? Here are my top tips.
- We attach the picture of smoking to a nice way of spending time, a pleasure, something to relax with. You first need to change your way of thinking about smoking. It is killing you! If it is not saying enough looking at the picture on the cigarette package of dead body parts (that is trying to catch your attention by reason), sniff into the ashtray and think about what this stuff is leaving behind in your lungs.
- Next time when you are about to go out smoking, go out but leave the cigarette inside! Often, we go out smoking because we are stressed and the cigarette is something that is calming us down. But this is not true. You are stressed because of the addiction and you are calmed down partly by giving nicotine to your body but also because of the deep breathing exercise during smoking while enjoying your break outside. Next time, without the cigarette, slowly inhale the fresh air 6-7x.
- Every time when you feel the need for smoking, smell into the ashtray and think about the damage in your lungs and in your body.
- Smoking is bad and killing more than 8 million people a year worldwide! More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Today we have the Covid-19 pandemic, which to date had killed nearly 3 million people since it has started at the end of 2019. You wear a mask in order to not to spread the virus and catch it, because you want to live, right? Why do you take the cigarette into your mouth then, that is even more lethal than not wearing the mask!
- If after reading this post, you are still tempted to go out smoking, imagine your own grave in 10 years (yes, I know how morbid) because smoking likely kills you sooner. Now imagine your family, your loved ones standing around your grave crying, why did you leave them this soon! Why didn`t you stop smoking! Now get back to the Now and take action. Say NO to smoking and YES for a long and healthy life.
- Money matters. It’s the first step of losing a lot of future money for a costly and pointless addiction that does not even make you feel permanently satisfied and it will still destroy your health. It’s a stupid habit that makes no sense. You will feel free and full of life once you stop this addiction. For me it was a strong reason to quit smoking when I did the calculations, I had spent the same amount on cigarettes that I had on my breakfast and lunch together. Buy a money jar and save that you would spend on cigarettes daily, will change your whole life. Using those savings you can treat yourself annually with a luxury holiday and can turn this bad habit into awesome memories.
- Bad breath. Smoker’s mouths smell like an ashtray. It also will affect the dental health of a person (yellowing and browning of teeth eventually make teeth fall). First impresson is important, stopping smoking will treat this uncomfortable condition.
- Lastly, cigarettes are a classy way to commit suicide. Do you really want to kill yourself and harm others?