Most smokers I talk to want to give up the weed and make the same resolution every New Years day to stop. They then find themselves back on it in a matter of days, hours or even minutes. So how come some are able to give up and others not? As a one-time smoker, albeit many years ago, maybe my small contribution will help someone, somewhere win in their battle with tobacco.

People ask 'how do I give up smoking?' 'What's the best way to give up smoking?' as well as trawling the Internet for stop smoking aids, like nicotine patches such as Nicorette. but without a real reason to give up coupled withsomething to break the cysle of daily activity that reinforces smoking, in my opinion these attempts are doomed to failure.

I was smoking nearly forty cigarettes a day and preferred the stronger brands like ‘Marlborough’. Of my eleven work-mates, ten of us smoked and at our daily briefings the air was thick with smoke. The only person who noticed and sat at the back of the room near the ventilation unit was of course the non-smoker.

Over the many years I had smoked I had ‘attempted’ to stop many times. Each time I failed miserably. I tried every trick in the book except the nicotine patches, which weren’t available back then.

I was at the time vying for promotion. I happened to pick up a copy of the Daily Telegraph that had an article in it on what management selection boards were looking for. One of the things that caught my eye was that they were looking for people with ‘moral fibre’ and inner strength, with one of the measures being that a non-smoker or ex-smoker shows more resolve than a smoker.

Whether that is true or not I never really found out. But because what I wanted above all else was to secure that promotion I was prepared to do anything (legal and moral) to get it.

The first day was very bad, and the following seven days almost intolerable. But the cravings that normally nagged e in a minute by minute basis gradually waned. But they did come back redoubled every few days for an hour or so. But the vision of my reward was at the forefront of my mind.

But there were also immediate and pleasant side effects to giving up. I had effectively given myself a pay rise and had more money to spend on my young family. My clothes no longer stank of stale tobacco. My teeth were whiter, my breathe smelt better and that irritating hacking cough that had developed over the years disappeared.

About 3 months after I gave up I was selected for that promotion. The next thing I knew I was packed off on a course and a whole change of life-style. The resulting turmoil, far from driving me back to smoking, actually made it seem more remote and easier to do without.

Every year on or about the anniversary of giving up I got a return of the cravings with the last of these being seven years after ditching the weed. I also had a recurring nightmare during those years, I’d wake up in a cold sweat from a dream where I’d succumbed to the cravings and started smoking again.

What worked for me is that i had a cast iron reason as I saw it to give up. But I also had a complete change in my day today life also that helped me wriggle free. So, give yourself the edge. Identify the real reason you need to give up. Then change your day to day routine to help you break that cycle of activity that is locked in to your smoking habit. These will give you the psychological edge to beat the weed.

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