My Dad was a chain-smoker.
He was smoking cigarettes from the age of 13, and before he gave it up for good, he smoked 70 cigarettes a day! He was 46 years old when he quit.
A pack of 30 Gunston filter, a pack of 20 Texan plain, and a 20s tin of Mills. To smoke 70 cigarettes in a day, you practically need a lit cigarette between your fingers every waking minute.
I remember a time when us kids were in the lounge, watching as my father fell asleep in his armchair with a lit Texan Plain cigarette, still between his fingers. We were watching with anticipation, wondering what would happen when the coal reaches his fingers, having no filter tip to prevent it from burning all the way down. As the hot coal touched his fingers, he gave out a yelp and jumped out of the chair, flailing the injured hand around like it was engulfed in flames, all much to the delight of us kids!
One day, my dad took all three packets and popped them into the cubby of his car and said:
That’s it. No more.
He kept them in that cubby, in case. After a few months of not smoking, he threw them out and never touched another cigarette in his life again. My mother also stopped cold-turkey and never looked back.
With two parents that smoked, together with peer pressure – it was like a rite of passage in the 70s and 80s – I became a smoker. And like my father, I took it up in earnest. At the height of my addiction, I was smoking – and inhaling – 10 cigars a day! I knew I had a problem, and I also knew that quitting was going to be tough.
“Inside every smoker, there is a non-smoker dying to get out!”
I hated that I smoked. I hated how it made me smell. I hated how it tasted. I desperately wanted to stop. I tried going cold-turkey, and failed miserably. I went on an 8-week course to try end my nicotine addiction, and for 8 months I denied myself a cigarette. Only to light one up, offered to me at a wedding. That ended 8 months of living in denial. Denying yourself of something – even something as poisonous as a cigarette – and living each day in that denial, is a tough way to go through life.
When I was 43, I went to an Allen Carr’s Easyway Clinic.
It was held on a Saturday morning and I remember not having prepared myself mentally for giving up smoking. I went along not knowing what to expect, but desperate to give up. The session lasted 3 or 4 hours, in which I recall almost finishing a whole pack 20 cigarettes! You had no pen, no paper, no note taking, no leaflet to take home, nothing. There were no images of blackened lungs or tracheotomy patients. What I do remember, was the councilor speaking to us from the front of the room, taking us outside often to smoke while talking to us. At the close of the session, you all throw our cigarettes and lighters into a large suitcase filled with half packs of cigarettes and lighters from previous sessions.
It’s a symbolic ritual of cutting ties to smoking forever.
I became a non-smoker.
Not an ex-smoker.
My biggest dream had come true.
Recently, my son’s girlfriend wanted to stop smoking. After hearing about Allen Carr, she downloaded an app by Jason Vale called Stop Smoking in 2 Hours –IOS and Google. The free app is similar to what you would learn at the clinic, only online. It has been several months and she has experienced no withdrawal, no increase in appetite and no craving.
She is now a non-smoker.
If you are a smoker, or know of someone who would desperately like to stop, but are afraid of not having enough will-power, I urge you to give these a try.
This New Year you can give up smoking forever. Make 2018 the year you made your Best New Year’s Resolution ever – and stuck to it easily!
If I can do it, so can you.