How to quit smoking the engineers way
Giving up smoking really should be the easiest thing in the world , given we know the statistics about how harmful it is. The truth unfortunately is quite the opposite, quitting smoking is hard, really hard. It involves months of feeling down, irritable, depressed and a whole host of other negative feelings. To give up smoking you really have to want to quit, know how to quit, and you also have to prepare yourself for it. A good way top prepare yourself is reading the Allan Carr book quit smoking. The author read this book several years before finally quitting smoking, I had the book for at least a year before I actually read it. The truth is quitting smoking takes preparation mentally, and the key to staying quit is a mental attitude which you need to change. As we all know, engineers do things differently and make difficult tasks look very easy. Why is that we ask ourselves, it is about having a plan and being methodical, good engineers know there are no shortcuts. I hope this short blog helps you live a longer and healthier life.
How I did it.
- Before I share my secret with you, here is my story and how I prepared for quitting which could be the most addictive habit on the planet. A friend of mine whom is no longer with us, a former heroin addict once told me that giving up heroin is easy compared to giving up smoking!
Ok back in 2005 a friend who was a doctor studying the content of cigarette smoke told me that if I was planning to give up smoking I would probably need to use some kind of nicotine replacement therapy. The reason she explained to me was not what I expected to hear. Cigarettes contain chemical compounds that are developed and added to tobacco just to keep you hooked on a particular brand. Every brand does this. Tobacco companies can add what ever they like, the FDA lets them do what they want because it brings in a huge amount of money in tax. I think in the future things will change, but right now, that is how it is. Nicotine Replacement Therapy helps you wean yourself off the other addictive chemicals whilst still giving you some nicotine. Then you decrease the amount of nicotine over a controlled period, usually about a month. After this weaning off, you have to go cold turkey from the nicotine, which is not as bad as you might think.
The Authors story
I was a smoker from being about 12 years old up to being 43 years old. Giving up smoking is easy, I know I have done it many times! You have heard that joke before right? Well in that joke lies the crux of the matter, giving up is easy, staying given up is the hard part. I learned one simple trick that made me give up for good, read on and I will share with you the one thing that made me quit and probably added years to me life expectancy. I hope it can do the same for you. Beware though, giving up smoking does have it’s down side believe it or not. What could possibly be the down side to being free from those awful cigarettes? As soon as you quit smoking your body starts to change, you start getting healthier and a consequence is your metabolism improves and you need about 10% less food to maintain the same body weight. Great, you can save money by eating less right? No, cigarettes, or the drugs inside are hunger suppressants so you immediately have a better appetite. Another factor is your sense of smell improves, which in turn improves your sense of taste and you can easily end up eating more than you normally would. This happened to me, I gained quite a bit of weight and it has taken me a few years to start to lose it. I can’t offer a solution to this, I just want you to be aware, and make your own plan to deal with it, maybe a gym membership might be the answer, or going for a walk after a meal and skipping dessert.
You smoke because you enjoy it
When I was a smoker I thought I loved smoking, in truth all you get from smoking is relief from the craving, break that cycle and you have cracked it. I read the Allan Carr book about stopping smoking and I must say it is a must read for all smokers, truly inspiring. When I decided to quit, I set myself up mentally to pack in the fags (fags is English slang for cigarettes)once and for all. As a last treat to myself, a kind of fond farewell to my beloved cancer sticks I bought myself a small selection of fine cigars. At that time my fiancé was living in Amsterdam and I was living in China. In Amsterdam there is a tobacconist on a street at the end of Damrak past Dam square is street called Roken (which in Dutch means smoking). In the tobacconist the aroma of tobacco is nothing short of delicious, fresh tobacco has a wonderfully sweet aroma. If ever you find your self in the vicinity it is worth going in for the aroma alone. This tobacconist dates back to the 1700’s and is probably a listed building. I went in and had a lengthy chat with a very amicable and friendly salesman and spent well over a hundred Euros on selection of Ten cigars from around the globe, I was surprised to learn that Nicaragua produces some of the finest cigars money can buy
By smoking one cigarette, you have decided to start smoking again!
- Upon my return to China I made a plan, set a date to quit and it was like this. Ten days from my quit date I will start smoking one cigar a day, last thing at night before I went to bed. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed each and every Cigar to the full. For those of you that don’t know, you do not inhale cigar smoke, you just hold it in your mouth and the nicotine is absorbed through the mucus membranes in the mouth. Cigars only contain tobacco, that is why the flavor is so much more enjoyable than cigarettes. When I put out my last cigar I was not sure if I was sad or delighted, but I knew one thing for sure I was never going to touch another cigarette again. 5 years later I have not had one single puff. Well that fateful night, I put on my full strength nicotine patch, and I must say without it I could not have managed. The rest is history, I went through the hard times like you must and after three months, the clouds parted and the sun came out, and it is still shining. The one secret that kept me going is this. When I quit, I told myself this “if I choose to have one cigarette it is a decision to start smoking again full time”. All the hard work and suffering is out of the window and if I want to quit I will have to do it all over again. Every time I have quit in the past, just one cigarette triggered my addiction again. And I started all over again. This, this little idea helped me kick it for good. Nicotine will try to trick you, be ready for its tricks !
An alternative to quitting.
Since I quit I have started a business doing what I love most and do best, making things from metal. I have a customer that makes Vaping mods, I had no idea what they were when I started making machined parts for him. I have learned that they are an alternative way to get a nicotine fix and get a hit just like smoking. Vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking for those that are not ready to, or don’t want to quit. Of course the tobacco makers will disagree, but as we all know they cannot be trusted, and the “studies” discrediting vaping or “e cigarettes” will be funded by them. Vaping is a growing market and some of the devices out there are nothing short of works of art. If I was going to quit now, I would opt for vaping for sure. I have some friends that do it and they say some of the Vaping tastes wonderful ! Many of the devices available are adjustable and you can finely tune the settings to suit your taste. Not everybody is the same, some like to smoke the ultra light cigarettes whilst others would go for none tipped full flavor cigarettes the same goes for vaping. The vaping scene is growing bigger by the day, with many mod makers creating new devices to cater to the tastes of the increasing market. In Beijing vaping is very popular and is expected to spread across China in the months and years to come. China has many smokers, I read recently that more than 50% of men smoke in China, of course the youth follow suit, but will soon learn that smoking is a very bad idea. Vaping started in China, however the Chinese love foreign made products, if the vaping device and juice makers are savvy enough, they could have a huge market ready for their products. If you cant quit outright, why not try vaping, it’s got to be better than smoking. And one big bonus is, it does not smell, so your partner will have one less thing to complain about!!!