Quitting Smoking

RE: Happy Endings Daily Challenge

Quitting Smoking:

  • Difficulty: Highly Variable – typically Hard
  • Main Methods: Cold Turkey; Scheduled Reduction
  • Difficulty Reducers:
    • Know Thine Enemy: be prepared for the withdrawal symptoms. Know their duration and severity.
      • For instance, cravings can be powerful. The natural expectation that the feelings will just worsen until the next smoke can be intensely disheartening. Fight that with the knowledge that:
        • This Too Shall Pass.
    • Exercise:
      • You need to exercise more.
      • You need to exercise more. (Twice isn’t quite enough but it’ll have to do).
      • It’s important that you exercise more. (Sorry for lying a moment ago.)
      • Frankly, our stress levels are generally higher than we’d like. So are our blood pressures, and our waistlines. We don’t need to be quitting smoking to have a pressing need to exercise. However, if I know smokers, you’re either an Israeli soldier or a huffing, out-of-shape mess. Let that serve as additional motivation and get to the damn gym.
      • The tautness and irritability we experience throughout the course of our efforts are much lower when we can “siphon off” our tension via exercise.
      • Don’t tell me you can’t afford to go to the gym. Even if your cigarette money isn’t enough to cover it, there’s a great instructional video on how to turn a barn into a world-class training facility called Rocky IV.
    • Enlist Those Around You:
      • The people in your life can be your biggest source of stress or comfort. Make it the latter.
        • This can be achieved by blowing smoke in everyone’s faces until they very much want you to succeed in quitting.
        • Alternatively, can achieve this by describing your goal and asking for extra leeway, understanding, or space.
    • Make Your Goal Vivid:
      • Write down and display prominently:
        • Why it’s important that you quit
          • What benefits you hope to accrue
          • What harms you hope to avoid
          • How lack of dependency / addiction itself will provide benefit or avoid harm
  • Misc Observations:
    • Substitutions can be easier and more enduring that outright eliminations
      • e.g. add new items to your schedule, and substitute some 5min activity (like Sudoku) for the cigarette breaks you’d otherwise take
      • e.g. harm yourself socially, financially, and physically in a creative new way
        • This can be done by, respectively:
          • Avoiding deodorant like a vegan Frenchman
          • Vote for Justin Trudeau
          • Drag one bare foot behind you as you walk

Good luck!

P.S. Ask your doctor about meds like Champix if you really need the assist. I’ve heard many good reports secondhand – it seems to reduce cravings and withdrawal.

P.P.S. Re using E-cigarettes to quit – if you can do so with nicotine-free e-liquid, I recommend it. My heavily-smoking friend has been non-smoking for several years after quitting that way, and he was able to wean himself off the e-cig quite easily. However, while e-cigarettes with nicotine e-liquid are certainly a great improvement over cigarettes, you lose out on one of most noticeable benefits of quitting: lack of dependence. I’ve personally quit using the latter route, and while it lasted about 5 months, I had an e-cigarette sticking out of my mouth and various related paraphernalia jangling in my pockets for the majority of those months. Furthermore, when after five months I inevitably experienced technical issues, the difficulty I had acquiring what I needed quickly prompted my return to cigarettes. As such, I’d recommend making dependence a strong elimination target in its own right.

Quitting Smoking

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