If you’re a health buff, you probably already know that smoking is never a good idea. In fact it is one of the worst ideas as it never contributes anything, PERIOD. Studies have shown that a glass of wine or a bottle of beer a day is okay and can even be beneficial, but I’m pretty sure you won’t turn up anything similar about smoking.
Unfortunately, I am someone who had been lured by the pleasures, or rather, image that smoking offered. I started as early as 16 and had been around 10 sticks per day. Had to have a smoking chimney hanging from my lip, just to look like a tortured youth rebelling against something (forgive me, it was the 90′s). You might say that 10 per day isn’t a lot, but then again I was born with asthma and had really nasty, life threatening attacks until my early teens.
Now some smokers out there might begin to rationalize, saying “I don’t smoke that much” or “I’m healthy, I exercise, that has got to cancel it out”. My friends, you are sorely mistaken, smoking is a dead end in more ways than one, why?
Smoking hurts you physically – No doubt about this one. Smoking primarily damages your lungs and throat, but it also hurts your eyes, damages your teeth, gives you halitosis, discolors your fingernails and gives you a bad odor overall, for starters.
Smoking hurts you financially – Not only do you spend on cigarettes, but for gum, teeth whitening, dental cleaning, cough medication and eventually, hospital bills. You’re a sure bet for tuberculosis if you’re a smoker, and as I recall, I had to take a cocktail of rifampicin, isoniazid and pyrazinamide as preliminary treatment for it. You’ll have to take 3 times a day for 6 months, and at around $3 a day, it definitely isn’t cheap.
Smoking hurts other people – Especially if you are a parent. My dad was a smoker, a factor that probably compounded my asthma. I grew up thinking that it was a cool thing to do, because children learn mostly through imitation. It is a vice that directly hurts the people you are close to both physically and financially.
These might be pretty obvious, but some people do need to see it in writing before they accept it.
By the way, I’ve been working the night shift for about 5 years already, and that in itself is already bad for the lungs, but since quitting 3 years ago, I can honestly say that I feel much better now. I am more productive, less irritable and have a brighter outlook on life. I used to fall asleep at my job almost all the time back then. I fell asleep during long commutes and even got robbed because of it. Why? My lungs had to work extra hard to get oxygen into my system; if you don’t get enough air, you get sleepy.
I also got nasty chest and back pains back when my tuberculosis worsened. It isn’t something you can get rid of with pain killers and it is just unbearable when you have to work in front of the computer for 8 hours a day.
Another huge point to consider: smokers have NASTY breath. You seriously reduce the demographic of people you can kiss to fellow smokers.
Now a lot of smokers may balk at this, saying that it is close to impossible to quit because cigarettes are addictive, but personally I don’t quite buy into that whole story. The whole reason why I quit was primarily because I couldn’t go to work anymore because I had such a difficult time waking up! No work, no pay and at that time I was trying to save up for stuff (TV, mobile phone, rent, etc) and at that time, those things just mattered more to me! If conventional quitting methods (nicotine gum etc) don’t seem to work for you, then try mine:
You have to have a good reason to quit – This is the very first thing you have to do. After all, your mind is what commands your body and rarely the other way around. Basically, you are satiating your desire when you smoke, ergo, you are smoking for yourself. You’ll have to find a more compelling reason that runs contrary to this desire, and it also has to give you a kind of satisfaction that is far greater than what you feel when you smoke. You can then remind yourself of this reason every time you are tempted to smoke. In my case, money was just more important to me than the desire to smoke, so every time I was tempted to buy cigarettes, I just put aside the money in a special place in my wallet which I then put in a jar at home. The satisfaction of seeing money in that jar grow everyday was definitely more than the satisfaction that I got from smoking.
Train your mind and body to generate an adverse reaction to smoking – This might seem cliche, but meditation really does wonders. While it is true that meditation is used to gain a spiritual experience in some religions, here we use it solely to “train” the mind to become averse to smoking. One good way would be to find something you absolutely loathe, and associate it with smoking or cigarettes. Say for example you hate the taste of liver, for 10-15 minutes a day, just situate yourself somewhere quiet where there won’t be any disturbance of any sort, and just relax yourself. Close your eyes and just imagine that cigarettes taste like liver. Reciting a mantra will also help. Just keep on repeating to yourself “Cigarettes taste like liver” while you meditate, and focus on that thought. Just like when you exercise, you’ll have to put all your effort and concentration into it in order to get the desired results.
Now this is a technique that helped me a lot. I find that there are food and drinks that go well with cigarettes, and there are those that don’t. For me, the taste of coffee and liquor go well with smokes, which is why I avoided them entirely during my quitting process. Every time I got a craving, I always reach for fruit: oranges, apples, usually anything fresh. Somehow, the taste of cigarettes really doesn’t agree with the taste of fruit at all. I also don’t really like smoking after brushing my teeth. You’ll need to find something that really disagrees with the taste of cigarettes in order to put you off your craving.
Stay away from people who smoke and keep the company of people who don’t – This might seem really cold, but you won’t be able to quite if you are constantly around people who knowingly and unknowingly drag you down. Peer pressure can be a good thing, you probably won’t be able to smoke if you’re constantly around people who hate smoking.
George is a writer who occasionally does work for Eyeglasses4all.com, an online vendor of prescription glasses and designer sunglasses. He likes to remind everyone that it’s okay to be a tortured and rebellious soul, as long as you take it out on paper and not on your body.
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