I’m a day away from an important anniversary – two years of not smoking. That means complete cessation, no secret cigarettes or drags of cigarettes. As I sometimes tell people, yes, I smoke, but only in my dreams. A pretty unpleasant dream that occurs from time to time.
I took up smoking in my early teens and continued for years – I’m reluctant to give an exact figure. I smoked during a serious bout of pneumonia and several of flu. In fact, I couldn’t envisage the thought of never having a cigarette again.
Then, two years ago, I went on a special quit-smoking program that required total abstinence from any tobacco product. Everyone had to undergo regular breath tests to see if they’d stuck to the rules. We also received Nicorette prescriptions to help with withdrawal symptoms, and admittedly I do use small doses of Nicorette now. People have strong opinions on the use of Nicorette,(for and against), but I personally don’t see how Nicorette can carry any of the risks associated with smoking. Pretty safe, in my opinion.
Which brings me to the next point. A person has to have a compelling reason to give up smoking. For me, health mattered more than anything else, especially when a nurse measured my true lung age and found I had the lung function of a seventy-five year old! Decades out, but horrifying, and this give me the determination to stop smoking and never touch another cigarette. Since then, the lung function has increased substantially – in fact, after three months of not smoking – and I lost my long-term morning cough after just twenty-four hours of stopping. Pretty impressive.