It’s that time again. Anniversary, celebration. Eighteen months ago this weekend, I quit smoking after more than twenty-five years of complete dependence on cigarettes. Often, I would chain smoke, going through five or more cigarettes an hour, and I always smoked through colds, chest infections and bouts of flu. Whenever I tried to give up on other occasions, I would find it impossible to get past the third day (the same happens with many smokers attempting to stop).
In the early days of quitting, I used a number of relaxation methods, including Progressive Muscle Relaxation devised by the late Edmund Jacobson, a psychiatrist and doctor, famous for telling the general public that they must relax (1934). In PMR, the client or recipient tenses, then relaxes groups of muscles on the understanding that if tense muscle cause stress and vice versa, then the opposite must also be true – i.e. relaxed muscles lead to a calmer mind.
I’ve also used Nicorette. Smoking Cessation experts have varying opinions on the use of Nicorette. Some recommend it, knowing that many people who give up smoking fall into the smoking trap again, usually after trying “just one” at a party or celebration. So common. Keeping a regular supply of Nicorette helps in those circumstances. Others disagree with the idea, arguing that people who want to give up smoking should quit cold turkey – i.e. just stop without relying on props, which in their view will only prolong the psychological difficulties associated with giving up smoking.
Either way, the aim remains the same…abstinence from inhaling smoke in any form.