If you’ve ever been a smoker and tried to give up, then most will know that other people can’t make you quit.  Endless nagging from a partner, is unlikely to achieve the desired result.  Disapproval from friends and family will normally just make the smoker miserable but carry on smoking.   Those who do try and give up on behalf of someone else will probably fail.

Giving up smoking is actually not that hard to once you’re in the right mindset.  Half hearted attempts will always fail, simply because the battle will never really be won.  When smoking I always used to look with jealousy at the friends who seemingly could give up at will.  The people who would chain smoke for a few days and then not smoke for a week or two.  Whereas I was never really brave enough to even attempt quitting.

Now closing in on my decade as a non-smoker, those casual giver uppers are still smoking – and I’m not jealous any more.  The reality is that you will know in yourself when you can give up, you’ll know when you’ve had enough of the risks, the smell and the expense.  That is the point when you should simply give up, it’s really that simple.

Mine built to a crescendo when we were expecting our second child.  The guilt of smoking near children was getting hard to bear, even though I never smoked inside the house or near them.  There was also a growing self awareness of what smoking actually entails, and the realisation it wasn’t actually very enjoyable.  One day I was looking through a house clearance sale near my house, primarily as i started collecting silver in the Summer. There were some lovely pieces but unfortunately a beautiful silver sweetmeat dish has been wrecked by a previous owner using it as a ashtray – you can see what a perfect specimen looks like on this site – http://anythingsilver.org/.  It was just a minor thing, but in my mind yet another example of how smoking just seems to spoil stuff.

It was like a little pair of silver scales in my mind, on one side the benefits about smoking balanced against the disadvantages.  At that point the scales tipped over to the disadvantage side. When you reach that mentality and more importantly embrace it, there’s only going to be one outcome – giving up. You can avoid it like many smokers obviously do by avoiding the issue or simply by procrastination.  But it is the time when you can ’just give up’. You’ve heard people who’ve been smoking for years say that – well I’m one of them.   It was straight forward, simple and involved very little stress.  The man who simply couldn’t imagine a life without cigarettes (that’s me) just stopped one day in March about 9 years ago.  Now it just seems natural not to smoke and just seems to hard to remember the appeal – incredible really but if you’re a smoker it really can be  the same for you I promise you.

There is no need for cigarettes to play such an important part in anyone’s life, but unfortunately they do.  Ask any smoker, if ciggies are important and they will almost certainly say yes – in reality it’s simply an illusion but a compelling one.   If I think back to when I was a smoker, I honestly couldn’t imagine enjoying any experience without a cigarette, and now that seems ridiculous.  I do worry about stuff, you know money, my children, career choices and stuff like that.  Last week I got paranoid about all the stuff I do online, after all safe browsing is one thing but so many firms keep announcing they’ve been hacked (ebay this week) that it’s bound to get people worried.  But what I don’t worry about is having to top my body up with nicotine every hour or so, and it’s been such a huge release that I still smile 10 years later.