How I Stopped Smoking
Why I Started Smoking
In this lens I want to share with you how I stopped smoking and why.
It still seems incredible but it really is true that I have finally become an ex smoker and at the time of writing (8 August 2011) I have not smoked for 5 weeks.
I hate to admit it, but I had been smoking cigarettes for most of my adult life. I started smoking when I was just 13 years old. Me and two of my school friends used club together and buy cigarettes to share. I actually didn't really enjoy smoking very much and soon stopped, but then I discovered menthol cigarettes and I liked the taste of them. So I started smoking again and soon I was hooked on nicotine.
But I enjoyed smoking, it seemed a cool thing to do and I liked being a rebel and sticking two fingers up at the world!
Why I Stopped Smoking
Tired of Being a Rebel
So over the years I was a smoker and that was who I was. I never really gave it much thought.
But over the last few years smokers have been made to feel more and more like social outcasts, cigarette prices have risen at a ludicrous rate. At every budget cigarettes are a soft option for the government to target and make yet another increase in the price and cigarettes packets now have horrible scary pictures plastered across them.
But smokers get hardened and immune to all of that. We are hardy, we brave the elements to go outside for a ciggy and tough it out!
Then one day it become all too much for me . Cigarettes were killing me. I was beginning to feel tired and run down all the time, I had no energy. My house smelt of cigarettes and my windows and curtains were always yellow. i was getting tired of forking out huge amounts of money just for stupid cigarettes. I had even started to replace some packets of cigarettes for tobacco and roll my own (ugh). Then there was my teeth - forever getting brown stains and making me feel nasty.
Then there was also that dark fear that I kept pushed in the back of my mind. The fear that one day I would get a terrible illness and die, all through smoking cigarettes.
My chest was also getting wheezy and I couldn't run anymore. Things were getting dire and I was beginning to feel old before my time!
The Easy Way To Stop Smoking
A friend who had recently stopped smoking recommended this book to me. Apparently lots of people have read this book and then stopped smoking straight after. My friend said she had also stopped smoking after reading the book, had no withdrawals and felt fine!
So I read the book too but unfortunately it did not work for me. I only managed to stop smoking for an hour and a half, then had really bad withdrawal symptoms and starting smoking again. But I think reading the book did help me to get in the right frame of mind for when I finally did manage to stop smoking. So I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who seriously wants to stop smoking.
How I stopped Smoking
It is my dentist who I have to thank for leading me in the right direction to give up smoking. One day when I was in his surgery to have my teeth cleaned he mentioned how smoking had really stained my teeth. I said I would like to give up smoking and he said he could refer me to a NHS Stop Smoking Clinic.
It had been on my mind for quite some time to try to stop smoking, so I told my dentist I would give it a try. What had I got to lose?
When I attended the Stop Smoking Clinic, the first thing I had to do was to blow into a kind of Breathalyzer to measure the carbon monoxide in my lungs. Of course because I was a heavy smoker, the reading was very high. Afterwards the counsellor told me about the different options I could use to help me give up smoking. I decided to try patches and lozenges and so he wrote me a prescription to take to the chemist. I also decided on a date to stop smoking.
The night before my stop smoking day I felt very nervous and could not sleep. I was worried about how the patches would affect me, would they work and would I really be able to quit smoking. I had smoked all my cigarettes bar three and in the end I had to get up and have a cigarette to calm my nerves. That would be my last ever cigarette, I told myself.
Unfortunately the next morning I smoked my last two cigarettes when I got up and hated myself for it. I had failed before I even started. I had some tobacco left and rolled some cigarettes and smoked them too and hated myself even more.
All morning I continued smoking and felt a complete failure. Then I thought why not begin now? It was 1.35 pm and I smoked what would be my final cigarette. I decided this really would be my last one and the next time I wanted a cigarette I would have a lozenge instead and this is what I did. Then I put on the nicorette patch and I become a non-smoker!
It felt really strange not smoking but it also felt ok too. So I got through the rest of the day without smoking and my partner was so proud of me.
When I went back to see my Stop Smoking Councillor the following week and blew into the breathalyzer machine the reading was a low 3. I was so proud to tell him I had managed to stop smoking.
Every two weeks I go and see my Councillor to talk over how I have been getting on and also pick up my prescription for my patches and lozenges. It is great that I can get my patches and lozenges on prescription and not have to pay the full price for them.
I find it very helpful having the support of my Councellor and that I can talk over any worries or concerns I have.
Stop Smoking Poll
Did You Find It Difficult to Stop Smoking?
Help For Stopping Smoking
It's Easier To Stop Smoking With Support
One of the reasons I never tried to stop smoking before is because I was worried about the withdrawal symptoms and also I didn't want to put on weight.
But now days the help and aids to stop smoking are extremely good.
One of the methods I was offered to stop smoking is the drug called Champix. Apparently it works by blocking the nicotine receptors in the brain and reduces the symptoms of withdrawal. It then reduces the pleasure a smoker gets from a cigarette so in the end a smoker gets no satisfaction at all from smoking. I seriously considered this option, but decided against it as I didn't like the thought of taking drugs (lol).
I decided to try Nicorette patches along with NiQuitin Mini Lozenges. In the past smokers were only offered the option of the patches on their own. I know for sure that the patches alone would not have worked for me.
The Nicorette patches give a steady supply of nicotine throughout the day and the Lozenges can be sucked whenever required (up to 14 lozenges but I found 6 to 8 to be sufficient).
Of course you still need willpower and determination to stop smoking, but I found the patches and Lozenges to be a good combination to help me give up.
For UK readers, to contact NHS Stop Smoking Services:
Phone 0800 1690169 or
Text: GIVE UP plus your postcode to 88088
or visit their website at www.NHS.uk/smokefree
The Benefits of Stopping Smoking
Smoke Free Me
Since I stopped smoking I feel so much better in so many different ways. I feel all sort of new and pure again!
I feel cleaner and my mouth feels fresher. My teeth are no longer stained with nicotine and my tongue is getting nice and pink again.
My skin feels and looks nicer and friends and family have said I look more healthy.
My chest is no longer wheezy and my breathing is deeper and I can feel the breathe through my nose.
I have more energy and can now run again
Of course I also have more money too! So I am able to buy more new clothes!
I have also been buying more fruit and vegetables and eating a healthier diet.
I know for sure that I never ever want to smoke another cigarette again, but temptation is always lurking. I even dreamed I was smoking a cigarette the other night and woke up in a panic! But I know that just one cigarette will lead to another and then another. I would hate to waste all the hard work and effort I have put into becoming an ex smoker.
Smoking is like an ex partner. Sometimes something will jog your memory and remind you of them and you will feel nostalgic about the past for a moment or two. But you know in reality that the relationship ended for a very good reason and you never want to go back there again!
Dried Fruit to Help Stop Smoking
Since I stopped smoking I have been buying more dried fruit to eat as a snack. So when I fancy something sweet I reach for the dried fruit instead of eating cakes and sweets.
The Dangers of Smoking
Are You Ready To Stop Smoking?
I'm not going to talk about the dangers of smoking because most smokers already know the risks. It is drummed into us!
I actually think there are other things much worse than smoking, like drinking too much alcohol. When do you ever hear of someone smoking too much and then going out to pick a fight or cause mayhem?
Then there is carbon monoxide emission from cars and nuclear power plants causing pollution.
But when someone is ready to stop smoking then they will try and stop but until that person is ready, no amount of scare stories, bullying or cajoling will work.
What I will say is if you are a smoker and are ready to stop, then get support. The help and support you can receive to help you stop smoking is much better now days than in the past.