Quit by Choice

while you still have a choice.

Question from Yahoo! Answers

I recently came across this question on Yahoo! Answers, and, since it’s a couple of months old, I thought it would be more worthwhile to answer it here (after all, the original poster, Victor, probably stopped checking for answers some time ago, but I know a lot of smokers have questions very similar to this one). Here’s the original question:

I have tried to go without Cigarettes for a couple of days, and people at my Job noticed that I was a little bit more irritable than Usual. Also I have purchased Nicorette gum and even called a Cigarette smokers quit line and got free patches. I have tried everything, and I really don’t know what to do. I wouldn’t be so worried about it, but it has taken a toll out on my lungs and breathing. This girl, who i really like an adore, asked me if i wanted to go running with her. (She is sort of more of an experienced runner than I am.) Well to make a long story short, I got winded very quickly and I was embarassed in front of her, because i wanted to show her up and be like this Heroic athletic guy, and I totally failed due to the stupid cigarettes. I feel like a fool, but I really want to quit. I want to start excercising and becoming a Health fanatic, but as long as I smoke my dreams may never come true. I can’t believe how strong and potent Nicotine is. I should have never started in the first place and I really don’t want to get cancer down the line. I feel like all hope is gone and I am a failure. Please help is there anything I can do to stray from this disgusting and horrible Habit. I really don’t want to jeopardize my health but I am so hooked that I find myself always asking people for a cigarette at work when I don’t have one. The physical part of quitting I believe I can do, but it’s the mental aspect of it that always gets me.. Please hep I really don’t want to continue down this road.

My Answers to Victor: Be Ready to Apologize

First of all, Victor, when you’re in withdrawal from nicotine, it’s normal to be a little more irritable than usual. You don’t come right out and say it, but I can assume from my own past experience that some of your coworkers gave you a hard time, maybe even going so far as to suggest that you were easier to get along with when you used to smoke. Am I right?

One thing that helps to defuse this kind of situation (and actually gets you more support from a lot of people) is to simply say, “Hey, sorry I’m a little on edge here; I just quit smoking. Please forgive me; I didn’t really mean that. I’ll try to do better.”

NRT is Not the Answer

Secondly, nicotine replacement isn’t going to help you quit and stay quit long-term: it only prolongs the agony, and keeps your nicotine addiction alive and well while you’re waiting to go back to smoking full-time again. See the articles I’ve written here, here, and here for a lot more on this subject.

You Have to Go Through It to Get Through it

The bottom line is you have to stop feeding your addiction to nicotine, and you have to face the withdrawal head-on and deal with it. It’s tough at first, but, like anything else, the more you practice, the easier it gets. The key is to not try to fight it; just let it happen and let it go. I’ve written articles here, here, and here that go into a lot of detail about the mindset to bring to this practice.

You’re right about the mental aspect of it being the one that’ll get you, but if you approach it with the right mindset, it’s definitely doable, and you can do it, too.

Link to the Original Question

Here’s a link to the original question (and the answers offered by others to it); what do you think?

How do I quit smoking? – Yahoo! Answers

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