I find it easy to remember how long since I last smoked. Not because I have some obsession with counting the days since my last smoke or I’ve one of those tedious counters on my desktop. It’s quite simply because I gave up just before my second child was born. I remember the day vividly and even the last cigarette I smoked, despite the fact that my son is now thirteen years old. He’s never seen me smoke and in fact still doesn’t believe that I ever did. It’s odd that something that’s so completely intrinsic to your life like smoking can disappear completely like that.
Before I gave up, I had classified myself as one of those life long smokers – someone who was completely incapable of living life without a cigarette. Many of my friends had tried to give up and often succeeded before relapsing but I never even got that far – I never even tried. In the end it’s simple, in fact very simple – to become a non-smoker just stop smoking cigarettes. It sounds obvious, but that statement reveals the truth.
There’s no real reason anyone can’t give up smoking, the nicotine addiction subsides relatively quickly. Simple tough it out for a couple of days and you’re potentially free, that’s when it becomes clearer slowly. The reality that all the ‘benefits’ of smoking – relaxing, reducing stress, pleasure are all complete lies. What they are is a relief, a relief from the nicotine withdrawal feelings that all smokers must suffer. That stress reducing cigarette you pop outside for, is only the stress being relieved caused by the falling levels of nicotine in your body. That cigarette which relaxes you is exactly the same your body relaxes because it is not craving nicotine while you are actually smoking.
Watch people smoking and you’ll see this is true, watch the relief across the face as the first shot of nicotine is ingested. After those first few puffs, the perceived pleasure is gone as the withdrawal symptoms have gone too – what you are left with is the true smoking experience which is frankly rubbish. Compare the look on people’s faces who aren’t addicted – look at people casually smoking on the TV or in movies – there’s loads of examples on movies on the US Version of Netflix – here.
It is a trap and a very cunning one at that, the reason is that you create all the arguments for staying addicted. The benefits aren’t really benefits, they are temporary relief from the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine but that’s not how it seems.