Stories & experiences


I have spent most of my life smoking

Posted in Staying quit 26 Apr 2016

I am going to be 50 years old this year. I've spent most of my life smoking. I starting smoking when I was 14. I gave up smoking for a few years in my late teens and once or twice in my 30's for a while but overall, I've smoked for about 30 years. This means that I know more about a life filled with smoke than a life without it. My whole life has been surrounded by cigarette smoke. Its my smoke, the smoke from my friend's cigarettes and smoke from smoking rooms. When I was young, it was very cool to smoke. There was Clint Eastwood and those adverts with some guy on the back of a horse telling us to come to Marlboro country. Its only more recently that smoking has become less popular. Some of you will remember that we used to be able to smoke on planes, trains and even in the cinema! You can't blame people of my generation for wanting to smoke. Its not fair if you do! When we were children, we were surrounded by smoke!! What did we do? We gave in and ended up becoming smokers ourselves.

Its now 2016 and I am 55 days cold turkey without a cigarette. I think that most of the people who know me can't believe I've given up smoking. I mean, I am the die hard example of an addict and a smoker who simply can't give it up. Some people might look at me and judge me thinking "he has no willpower, he will never give up smoking" and "its too late already, he's smoked for so long, what difference does it make now?"

By hook or by crook I want to prove to myself I can give up, prove it to them and prove it to the rest of the world. Some people say that if you give up smoking, you should only do it for yourself. I'm not entirely sure that works for me. Reason is, we did not "start" smoking for ourselves - we started smoking for others. Peer pressure caused us to practice inhaling smoke until we could show others we could easily breathe cigarette smoke into our lungs.

If you are a heavy smoker, you will know the kinds of questions people ask you in social circles. Things like " How many cigarettes do you smoke a day?" ... Why do you smoke?" Well, normally I used to hate those questions and felt it was none of their business. My answer to "Why do you smoke" was normally "Its my human right!"

OK, I've already established that I am this die hard smoker that you've seen in public who has more smoking years to his life than years without smoke. I am the least likely candidate to give up smoking, especially giving up cold turkey. I think this time I want to win. I need to win. I should win! It will be good for me and everyone else! I'm 55 days without a cigarette today, without a patch, without and tobacco or ecigs. For 55 days I have been totally nicotine free!

I read somewhere that we need to be away from nicotine for at 3 months to be able to call ourselves certified non smokers. I think thats a good goal don't you? This means I've got more than a month to go. I look forward to the day where I can post on here and tell everyone I have 90 days behind me.

There is something different about me giving up this time. This is the first time in my life where I have realised that the real culprit is not really smoking. No! The real culprit is nicotine. A few years ago, I switched from real cigarettes to ecigs for about 7 months. In those 7 months I thought I'd given up. I was telling people how I'd given up smoking and how ecigs were less harmful. Well, without getting into that debate I know one thing for sure. As long as those ecigs contain any amount of nicotine, they are feeding my addiction. Nicorettes feed my addiction as does chewing tobacco, dipping or any form of nicotine. This time round I see the culprit = nicotine. We are not really smoking addicts , we are nicotine addicts.

Maybe someone who knows about this well can post here and share what nicotine does to the brain/body and how it tricks us. I know now that if I feel like I need a ciggy (craving) its only going to last a short while. I have to remind myself that taking the first drag on a ciggy may indeed satisfy my craving for a few seconds but after that its going to start a horrible chain of events.

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  • storm, Murrumbidgee April 26, 2016 | 21:29
    Congratulations manchild
  • storm, Murrumbidgee April 26, 2016 | 21:40
    Also wanted to say, I turned 60 earlier this month, I also started age 14. I am 42 days smoke free, although I am using Champix, I have found that I have been able to stay focused on this journey. We all use whatever means that are available to us to give us the biggest chance to succeed, so I wish you well on your journey
  • manchild April 27, 2016 | 0:21
    Thank You Storm and Well Done with the 42 days. Yes, whatever it takes we should quit smoking. I wish you and I and anyone reading this the biggest chance of success.
  • Fullofhope, South Eastern Sydney April 27, 2016 | 22:23
    Great Post (again). Yu are exactly the same as me. It does get easier but it is not easy yet. However, you are saying all the good things that keep yourself and others motivated and I reckon you have it licked.

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