Thirty-six-score-and-ten days ago I stopped smoking.
- I stopped picking them up.
- I stopped buying them.
- I stopped doing things that made me want to smoke.
- I stopped cold turkey. No NRT, no e-cigs.
I just stopped and braced for the worst.
And I was expecting the worst.
It took me quitting to realise that it was probably that fear of unworldly cravings that kept me smoking for 10 years. When I got to 4 weeks without any nicotine I realised hadn’t been that bad at all… Anything that says otherwise is probably either trying to keep you smoking or is trying to sell you something to do instead.
Quitting is easy, just stop smoking and you’ll realise that
And this isn’t a silly confidence trick. I’m not going to get all happy-clappy and woosah about this. Just stop smoking and you’ll see that after a week you won’t physically crave (the worst bit), after two or three you stop thinking about them, and after four weeks you’re awesome…
Just don’t start smoking again. A sober, smoke-free mind is jubilant you’re not smoking, and under its sole influence you’ll do anything to avoid clouds of smoke… But have a couple of drinks and you can very quickly find yourself drifting intimately close to smokers.
I’ve also heard from more than a couple of people who “tried to quit” but were still surrounded by cigarettes. Quitting does take willpower and few have enough to resist that “emergency packet” especially in the first couple of weeks. Chuck them all, avoid your triggers and make it easy on yourself.
You have to be vigilant. And consistent.
One cigarette is the end of the world. No, you cannot have a cigar.
Two years smoke-free in numbers
Now onto the fun stuff. There’s a silly little tray application called QuitCount in the Ubuntu repos that I set up when I quit. It just keeps track of the number of days, an accumulated number of cigarettes (based on my rate of ~13 a day) and works out how much that would cost, as well as using some formula to work out how much less dead I’m going to be.
- 9490 cigarettes have gone un-smoked
- 94.9g of tar not in my lungs
- An extra £3368.95 cluttering up my bank account (I wish), which is good because I also get:
- An extra 66 days cluttering up the planet.
And I wasn’t a heavy smoker. If you’re on 20 or 40 a day, those numbers could be a whole lot higher if you quit today.
Photo credit: mendhak