The Power of Choice

I used to be a smoker.

On November 19th, 2001, I started making some new choices for myself: I started choosing life. I started choosing health. I started choosing strength, and self-control, and freedom. I started choosing not to smoke, just for today.

I remember hearing “older” quitters saying that if you stuck it out long enough, there would come a day when you’d forget that you had quit smoking. That, in fact, there would come a day when you’d forget that you’d ever been a smoker at all.
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Write a Goodbye Letter to Your Cigarettes

One of the exercises contained in the American Lung Association’s “Freedom From Smoking” program was to write a goodbye letter to your cigarettes. They suggested that we begin our letters by listing all the things we thought we’d miss about smoking, and end it with all the reasons we were quitting and why we thought it would be better for us to quit. They also encouraged us to post our letters on the program’s message boards.
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Developing Awareness

Although I think the slogan, “Kick the Habit” is about as wrong-headed as it can be, there is a very strong habit component associated with smoking for all long-term smokers, and the habitual nature of a lot of our smoking can be a real stumbling block when we quit if we’re not prepared to deal with it. This is why I keep talking about eternal vigilance and being conscious and aware of what you’re doing. Continue reading Developing Awareness

How Not to Quit Smoking

You’ve tried it all — the pills, the patches, the potions — and none of it has worked for you. You’ve begun to think that maybe you’re doomed to be a smoker until it kills you; after all, you’ve followed your family’s urging, your friends’ suggestions, and your doctor’s advice, and you’re still puffing away, even though — when you stop to think about it — you hate every single minute of it.

You wonder,

“What’s wrong with me?”

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Worry That You Could Quit Smoking

Did you ever decide that you were going to quit smoking on a certain day, and you were totally determined that this was it, that this was the one that was going to stick, that this was the one where you’d finally succeed? But there was this little voice in the back of your mind, saying, “maybe this will be too hard”; “maybe I won’t be able to do it”; “maybe I’ll fail”…

But you were determined to go ahead and quit anyway; you planned; you committed; you even told your friends and family that you were going to do it, that this was going to be the one! But the little voice kept whispering in the back of your mind, and as your quit date got closer, you became practically certain that it would be too hard; that you wouldn’t be able to do it; that you would fail.

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