Ten months have passed since I last smoked a cigarette, depending on how one counts – weeks or calendar month anniversaries. Either way, July 23 to June 1 is a pretty long time.
Apart from when I came off the Nicorette patches, I haven’t found abstaining from cigarettes too difficult. Formerly, I smoked between thirty and fifty a day, usually roll ups. I smoked for at least twenty-five years. In the evenings, I would chain smoke. I even smoked through bouts of pneumonia and flu. I’d tried lots of times to give up. The longest – three weeks. Day Three always proved the most difficult, and I found myself in a constant cycle. Stop for thirty-six hours….feel awful…buy a pack of tobacco and start smoking again.
Ex-smokers try out a number of methods, ranging from ideas set out by Allen Carr at one end of the spectrum, to using Nicorette, which delivers small doses of nicotine to the body, often via the lining of the mouth rather than through the lungs. Although some ex-smokers don’t agree with the idea of nicotine replacements (the Carr position), I feel the end has to justify the need: avoiding cigarettes at all costs by whatever means. For me, the Nicorette Inhalator has proved invaluable during the last ten months.
I’ve also used various relaxation techniques, including the practice of slow or deep breathing, and Progressive Muscle Relaxation, a method devised by the late Edmund Jacobson, a psychiatrist and doctor famous for telling the American public that they needed to relax, I think in around 1934. As well as producing nice, peaceful feelings, these methods also have various physical benefits, so I believe.
As the first year anniversary of not smoking approaches, I look forward to many more years of living smoke-free.