I had quit a few times before but always ended up falling off the wagon after a couple of months. Just 1 won’t hurt but as always I would eventually return to full-time smoking. I was a habitual smoker and always smoked after coffee, after dinner, with a pint etc.
The initial reason for my latest quit was the most selfish reason. I work in a pub and with the smoking ban coming into effect in July 2007, I wouldn’t be able to smoke at the bar while keeping an eye on customers who might want serving. I was left on my own most times and couldn’t just go out for a cigarette as there would be no-one to cover for me. The thought of going without a cigarette for over 4 hours filled me with dread. When I look back now, I am disgusted with myself that this was my initial trigger for wanting to give up smoking again. The secondary reasons were my health, money, and being a bad role model to my son. That was the nic demon inside me. It makes you a very selfish person. If I was deprived of my nicotine fix, I turned into an absolute monster. The quit was to start on 1st July 2007.
I had analysed my failings on my last quit and was determined not to fail this time. The key to this quit was ‘Not a single puff!’ If I ever got tempted (Usually when out drinking) I would say this to myself. I even wrote myself a note to carry around in my wallet in times of temptation. The note would remind me why I quit and how stupid I would be if I had a cigarette. It would also remind me that I couldn’t be a social smoker and eventually I would return to smoking full time if I had a puff. And in big capital letters it would say ‘NOT A SINGLE PUFF’. I was smoking up to the last minute of 30th June, even though I had a bad chest at the time.
I enrolled myself in the NHS stop smoking clinic which was basically reporting to a advisor every fortnight to check the levels of carbon monoxide in my blood and get my patches on prescription. Patches worked for me before so I thought I would use them again. My problems normally began after the 10 week course had finished. While the patches dealt with the nicotine craving, I concentrated on breaking the habit.
The quit was going well! I kept to my rule and even managed a few enjoyable nights out. The smoking ban helped in the way that I could sit in a pub and not have the temptation of everyone smoking around me. We had a surprise in August with the news that my wife and I were going to have another baby. I guess my sperm were quite inactive while I smoked as my last quit was responsible for my first son. I think it was more than just a coincidence.
Something changed my quit in October. My dad a heavy smoker for most of his life was diagnosed with terminal lung and liver cancer in August (Due to smoking and heavy drinking). While we thought he would live for at least a few months, he had a fit while in hospital and died in October, He was 62. When I heard the news that he had died I was round my mums, all I wanted to do was have a cigarette. My mum wouldn’t let me. I’m glad she didn’t.
Losing my dad at the age of 28 to a smoking related illness, made me rethink my quit. I was definitely doing this for my son and at the time my unborn son. I don’t want them to lose their dad like I did, I want to watch them grow up to to be men.
As time has gone on I have changed the way I think about smoking. After losing my dad, I read Allen Carr’s ‘Easy way to stop smoking’. I don’t know if it would of helped me with my initial quit but has certainly change my views on my addiction.
A year after my quit I began to not count the months so much. I had used this forum and another forum previously. the support from other quitters is so valuable and I have made some friends as well. I don’t post on here so much these day’s as I am not a big forum user anyway, but do like to pop my head in to say hi every so often.
I’m coming up to the 2 year mark in a month and so naturally, this forum and all my old quit buddies have popped into my head.
I’ve put on a stone in weight which I am still struggling to shift, but I no longer snore, I hardly ever need to use my inhaler anymore and more importantly I am no longer killing myself. gippro