No Smoking Day and How I Quit

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Today is No Smoking Day, meaning there’s lot of promotion and advice on how to go about kicking the habit.  Pre-Teddy, I used to smoke 25-30 fags a day and even though I kind of wanted to quit (I liked the idea of it, at least) I never really thought I would.  Then I found out I was pregnant and didn’t want to risk anything horrible happening to my baby, so I quit.  That was almost 2 years ago and I haven’t had a cigarette since.

That isn’t to say that I don’t often think about smoking.  I speak to ex-smokers who talk about how repellent they find smoking (etc, etc) but I’m yet to reach that point and I doubt I ever will.  When anyone walks past me smoking I always take a deeper breath and I still love the way it smells.  I don’t think this is something that will ever pass, but it’s honestly so minor that it doesn’t bother me; it’s never reached the point where I’ve been genuinely desperate for a fag and I do believe that’s due to the approach I took to quitting.

I went completely cold turkey when I quit.  By this I mean I didn’t replace cigarettes with anything – no Nicotine Replacement Therapy or lollipops of chewing gum – I just spent 3 days feeling like I was living my worst nightmare, then everything started to feel normal again.  This was a very abrupt way of informing my body that there would be no more nicotine and the short, sharp slap seemed to work as after those initial 3 days, smoking was in the past.  So many people quit and hover just above the point where they’re about to start smoking again and I believe this is because (in my very humble opinion) the body hasn’t really been told that something as dramatic as drug withdrawal has happened, so it never really experiences the full change.  Consequently, NRT or similar replacement products are just delaying the change, which risks it occurring when the person who is quitting is unprepared, such as when they come off NRT having been off the ciggies for however many weeks or months.

The key, for me, is that I’ll always be an ex-smoker rather than a non-smoker, so I’ll always be prone to the occasional craving.  I do sometimes think if having ‘just the one’ but that’s a slippery slope back into smoking, plus I have an app that tells me how many days, hours and minutes I’ve been smoke-free (well worth downloading as a motivational tool) and I don’t want to ruin my record! If you really want to quit and you can’t quite manage it the first time, just keep trying.  It’s worth it in the end and it isn’t half as scary as you think it’ll be.  Good luck!

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4 Comments

  • Judge Beauty
    March 11, 2015

    A big congratulations to you! I’ve had to quit various vices – big and little – in my life and it isn’t easy. I hope you are very proud of yourself.

    Also, I really liked it when you said you’re an ex-smoker, not a non-smoker – very smart. Your self-awareness about being tempted by someone else smoking is great as well. Knowing what your triggers are can be a big help, as is having someone in your life who has a sympathetic ear if you feel the urge to smoke.

    I wish you continued success with your impressive accomplishment.

    • Sascha
      Judge Beauty
      March 12, 2015

      Thanks so much! I think quitting smoking is seen as quite minor as ciggies are legal, so I don’t think people realise just how unbelievably hard it is. Congrats to you for your accomplishments too – we’re a pair of quitters! 😉 xx

  • Minty
    March 11, 2015

    An ex smoker here too. Like you I get the odd pang of wanting a ciggie- i walked past a lady today sat outside a coffee shop with a ciggie & a book. For that moment i really wanted one- but like you I am motivated to stay off the evil weed by wanting to see my little boy grow up. From past experience I know “just one” is the way back to 20 a day.
    Glad I gave up though – the benefits far outweigh the odd pang

    • Sascha
      Minty
      March 12, 2015

      Children are such a motivation aren’t they? I think my recent Cancer scares have also motivated me a bit further as I really want to be around to annoy Teddy for as long as possible. Every week I used to sit outside a cafe for coffee, cake and lots of ciggies when the sun was out and it was so lovely – I still do it, but I don’t think it’s the same fag-free, sadly! Having said that, I’m always relieved I don’t smoke any more. Well done to you too for managing to stay off them xx

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