What I’m thinking right now

My stop-smoking guidelines

1. Remember, once you quit smoking you can concentrate on weight. Quitting smoking is PART OF THE PROCESS of losing weight.
2. Try everything. If lozenges and microtabs don’t work, try Champix. If that doesn’t work, try hypnotherapy.
3. This is MORE IMPORTANT than anything else, including a new job. This will win you twenty extra years to fulfil your dreams – perhaps more.
4. Remember how it felt not to be able to breathe.
5. If you really have to, eat shit rather than smoke a cigarette.
6. If you buy cigarettes, don’t open them. If you open them, don’t light one. If you light one, take just one drag. If you smoke it all, throw the rest away. YOU WILL CRACK SOMETIMES; Don’t let it stop you.


It's time.

I can’t believe this isn’t already in my goals list. This has been a goal of mine since I was 18, only a few years after I started smoking. I don’t think I ever really felt OK with smoking. How could I? It’s disgusting, it’s expensive, and it kills you.

And it’s that last which is really beginning to eat away at me. I lost my mother to cancer, and though that wasn’t because of smoking, it let me see first-hand just how agonising that disease is. I’ll be 30 in a few weeks, and I’m beginning to realise, cliche though it is, how short life is. I’m already so behind schedule in achieving the things I want to in life – how can I keep doing something which could shorten my life by years, or decades? My father died when he was less than twice my age: he smoked, and was overweight, and both contributed to his death.

I’m putting aside my primary rationalisation: that stopping smoking will cause me to put on even more weight. It might. But stopping will free me to focus on my weight, and give me more energy for exercise. And if – when – I succeed, it’ll be a tremendous confidence boost.

My methods? Mostly, I only crave smoking in certain situations. One is late at night, at home. My smoking flatmate has agreed not to give me cigarettes or tobacco when I ask for them, and to keep the living room free of smoking materials. And the other is social. I’m fully prepared to dial down my social life for a while, if that’s what it takes. I’ll use nicotine lozenges, microtabs, and whatever else works to handle cravings. If they don’t work, I’ll try pills or hypnosis. I’m fully prepared to spend money, if that’s what it takes. And, if I sometimes need to stuff down a cream cake so as not to smoke, I will.

It won’t be easy. But people who smoke 20 a day manage it. How can I not manage it, when I only smoke once or twice a week? Most crucially, I have to get back on the wagon if I fall off: if I smoke one cigarette, throw away the rest of the packet. I can’t tell myself that’s a waste of money: smoking is a waste of life.

It’s time.