How To Quit Smoking For Good
Okay, first of all, let me make it clear that i'm not one of those friggin' annoying ex smokers who smoked socially for 5 minutes, then gave up and now proceeds to tell everyone how easy it is to give up. I was a heavy smoker and i started smoking regularly when i was a very young teenager in school. Smoking felt almost as natural to me as breathing air, and i can tell you right now that giving up was extremely hard, almost like performing surgery on myself while wide awake.........with a blunt butter knife. It had previously been impossible for me to give up, even with the strongest will in the world, because i used to spend a hell of a lot of my time in bars and clubs with one band or another, and especially my Bon Jovi tribute band, Bon Jovie. Back in those days there was no smoking ban, and like every smoker will tell you, if you're having a drink, you want a smoke! Luckily, these days there is a smoking ban, and that is a little help to you if you're trying to quit.
I have previously tried several different methods and products to help me quit with limited success ranging from the extremely pathetic 30 minutes i managed not to smoke one time.....to 4 months, which were then followed by a big rock n' roll weekend in Cyrpus gigging at a couple of festivals which saw me smoking even more than i used to before i gave up! I'll tell you right now that the most important thing, the most vital thing to your success in giving up smoking is that you truly need to have, OR FIND a very good reason to give up, and remind yourself of that reason when the going gets tough. There are obvious reasons of course, such as the ridiculous costs involved and health reasons, and if you have a brain you would do well to really think about the health angle. You always hear things like "my uncle Wilf smoked for 50 years and he died of natutal causes." Good for uncle Wilf, but the reality is you can't be inhaling 200 odd chemicals and burnt paper into your body, into your lungs and not expect there to be potentially serious consequences. Think about it.....you're paying out shit loads of money you don't have, to destroy your insides, that's ridiculous. I was getting out of breath just walking up a flight of stairs. WTF? that's not natural, that's not normal, that's not acceptable unless you're in your 80's.
This reason to quit smoking that i have mentioned you need to have, should be something on the lines of "i'm a dad, i can't take the chance that i'm going to die young, i need to be here for my little girl." It has to be a reason that really matters, so when the going gets tough you can pull out that reason, you can see that little girl smiling, etc, etc, in your head. You then have to back up that very important reason to give up with a method that works for you. I have tried all kinds of things before, from will power to patches and inhalers, etc. The method that worked best for me by a mile was the inhaler. The reason for this is that it is the closest replacement to actually smoking. If you think about it, how is putting a patch on your arm equivalent to smoking? Sure the patch will give your body the nicotine it is craving, but an inhaler does that as well as give you something to hold and something to inhale, just like a real cigarette. You don't have to sit in a bar with an inhalor in your mouth if you feel self conscious about it.......but i guarantee you it is the closest thing to smoking.
Okay, so we've covered having an important reason to quit smoking, we've covered choosing a method/ quitting smoking aid......but there is one more thing you've got to do to ensure success. You need to first of all make sure you break routines. You smokers know what i mean. If you get stressed, you will want to smoke......if you have a big meal......you'll want to smoke. So, basically, try not to get stressed. Remind yourself of what you're trying to do and ask yourself if a problem you currently face is really worth getting stressed over. Ideally, try to manipulate situations so that you stop the stressful situation from happening in the first place. If you have that big meal, think about something you can do straight afterwards that might help take your mind off smoking a cigarette. It would probably help you if you temporarily didn't hang around other smokers too much, maybe don't go out as much, maybe get a little hobby. After the first few weeks, it all becomes a lot easier. The first few days, the first week are the hardest, get over that and you have a chance. I chose to count my progress on a daily basis, as in i took things day by day. That was my target.......and that was hard enough.
Combining quitting smoking and exercising has made a real difference to me. I no longer get out of breath walking up the stairs, in fact i can sprint up the stairs while singing and then think to myself "what stairs?" I aslo don't spend a fortune every month on something that i burn and inhale into my body. For my American friends, did you know a pack of 20 Marlboro can cost around £8.69 here? That's like around $17!! The best thing for me though is that i can once again, after a few years of not being able to......now hit the high notes when i'm singing with either my original band or my Bon Jovi tribute. Bottom line guys, if i managed to quit.....you can do it. YOU CAN DO IT. Go on.....give it a shot. :)