The endless battle with smoking finds its way into your life as a normal behavior. How did this happen? How can you change it? How can you quit? The addiction to nicotine that makes you crave more and more until one cigarette is one too many and one hundred thousand is not enough. The nervous fidget of a cigarette between your fingers that somehow gives your hand meaningful purpose as you flick the ashes, or carry it just so like a movie star in a film waiting to make a secret rendezvous with a spy or an agent from the other side on a dark night under dimly lit lamp post.
Who are you? Who are you pretending to be? Smoking is romantic. Like the way Don Draper in AMC’s Madmen lights a smoke in the office on a tough day or after having a love affair with his wife or another of his many conquests. I remember seeing a young Matt Dillon smoke in Francis Ford Coppola’s film “The Outsiders.” He was too cool for school. Hollywood has put the idea of smoking in many young vulnerable minds that smoking a cigarette equals glamor, romance, love and seduction.
If you are a smoker in today’s world chances are good you saw your parents smoke cigarettes and it was an acceptable behavior in your home growing up. Maybe you started as a teenager or a twenty something at college, but there was a point where the once and a while cigarette became a regular daily habit. Smoking became something to go with a cup of coffee. Smoking became something to do when driving. A good smoke was the finishing touch to a great meal, be it lunch, brunch, supper or dinner. Smoking became your friend when you were lonely and your comforter when you were upset. Smoking cigarettes over time became a part of your everyday life.
So now that you are forty something or even moving across the fifty mark and have decided you would like to live on this earth another twenty or thirty years suddenly you are up against the pressure of quitting smoking, saying so-long to an old friend. How do you go about this grand act without going crazy or driving all those around you completely nuts? Many have tried, many have quit, but many have failed and vow to try again. How many times has a spouse or a child even asked, “When are you going to quit smoking?”
So what do you do? You go to the doctor hoping there is a new medication that will ease the mental anguish and physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, but there isn’t. You can now buy the patch or the nicotine gum in any drugstore without any prescription. It is all right in front of you – all you have to do is commit.
I took the leap two months ago and smoked my last cigarette. I have my crutch to lean on, by no means am I super-human. I have gone to the electronic cigarette, which according to my health insurance carrier (BSBS) rates me as a non-smoker. Yes, in January 2013 Blue Cross surcharged my wife’s coverage from work $240.00 or $20.00 per month for my smoking. I had to make six phone calls to a “Quit for Life”program counselor to get the surcharge lifted. But I thought I actually had to quit. And my wife and children had been begging me to quit for years, they hated the smell of smoke from my office. And secretly I wanted to quit, I want to be one of the lucky ones and live to see 75 or 80.
The electronic cigarette had four toxins in it, based on all I have read. A real cigarette has 4000 toxins. You still get nicotine from the Electronic cigarette and it gives me something to do with my fingers. Yes, I tried the patch. I tried the gum. But they did not work. The E-Cig works, for me. And when I get sick of it in six months or a year I will quit it too. Smoking was starting to cost me almost $4000 dollars a year at $9.50 a pack in Connecticut. The Electronic cigarette costs me a little over $50 a month after the first month $100 fee setup costs. This year I will bank a minimum of $3000 extra dollars. That is a vacation getaway for my wife and I to the mountains of Colorado or the shores of the Bahamas.
I am making progress. I smoked for more years than I want to admit. But now at age 52 those days are behind me. If nothing has worked for you and your life sounds anything like mine, try the Electronic Cigarette. I use E-Cig, you can find on the internet. And I also use Logic ECig Power Series I can buy at my local Mobil station Mart. Quit today, your life is worth it and depends upon it. I hope it is not too late for me. I hope I quit in time for my lungs to heal themselves. But I cannot undo the past, only learn from it and grow into my future a better person.
However now I can set an example for my children that is a positive one. And make my wife happy, I no longer smell like cigarette smoke, nor do my clothes, or my office, or the house. I am already reaping the benefits of being a non-smoker by having a much more happy family. My wallet always has a twenty dollar bill or two in it. And guess what, an added bonus, I feel better and I am almost ready to seriously hit the gym.
My advice, get your courage up, try again, and say good-bye to cigarettes.