One year ago today I quit smoking. It was not the simplest thing in the world to do but wanting to do it was the very first step. Every smoker will tell you of ways to try and rid your lungs of the cancer sticks, fags, ciggies, tabs, coffin nails, call them what you like. Will power can only get you so far, it needs to be tactical and you need to have yourself readied. You see, smoking is not just a case of lighting up. It's a way of life, a relationship, a ritual. I was never a morning smoker and would normally wait until afternoon before choosing to kill myself slowly. I would organise my schedule around when it would be convenient to have a cigarette. Any smoker will tell you that after a meal its bliss to just blaze a ciggie and have a coffee or tea and the world will seem pretty f**king good. Ah, wrong. You may be craving the nicotine but its the habit of that after-meal smoke that is harder to break. Nicotine is gone from your brain in 40 minutes and out of the system in less than a week and that's for heavy smokers. Where people falter is breaking that habit. The lighting up first thing in the morning, having a cig with coffee, after meals, waiting for a bus or just to stave off boredom. These are the times when your hands and reach for the packet and you are reminded that you don't smoke anymore. This automatic reaction lasts a lot longer than the addiction to the drug itself.
Quitting smoking is all about approaching it with logic, you need the guts to go through with it yes but replacing it with fruit, sport, doing a crossword etc will help break the hold of dependence that hovers over you. Of course if you are a non-smoker then this post is all Dutch to you. But smokers......... You know I'm talking about.
I'll leave it to one of my heroes, Bill Hicks, to summarise. Years ago I used to listen to this and laugh at runners because the butt (pun of the year, surely?) of the joke was running guru Jim Fixx. And here I am a non smoker and avid runner, what would Bill have thought? Hope you enjoy it and have a laugh, the language might be not to your taste if you are easily offended though :)
Looking forward to many more years of not smelling like and ashtray.