Originally Posted by goz83
In a way, you've answered your own question. You say you smoke 3-4 times per year, always when you're out, fitting in. Well that's your crutch and your association with cigarettes. Most smokes, over time develop many more crutches and associations with cigarettes and they are usually learned by other smokers. Smokers effectively learn smoking behaviours from other smokers. You might have only one association with cigarettes, but it's surprisingly easy to develop more, without realising it. Before you know it, you're smoking more often and at times you never had before. Very few people manage to stay smoking as little as you are smoking at the moment.
Many will disagree and this is a debate, but I don't believe nicotine to be the main factor (on the ingredients end) to keep people addicted. I firmly believe that it is the glucose (sugar) they put into the cigarettes, which keep people smoking consistently. The glucose helps to keep the cigarette burning (unlike a cigar for example). It improves the taste and it gives a false sugar hit, which is why most people pile on the weight when they stop smoking. The mind finds a way to replace the perceived loss of sugar into the body, resulting in sugary foods being consumed, sometimes uncontrollably. Ask yourself how many people you know that are addicted to nicotine patches/inhalers/gum. The chances are, you know nobody addicted to these, with the rare exception of nicotine gum with sugar in it.
I work in this area and help people to give up smoking almost every day. It's a tough habit to kick and many people have cravings decades after quitting unless they correct the original sub-conscious suggestions learned when they started smoking.
I dunno, i wont disagree with you as you say you work in this area and all i can offer is my own experience of giving up smoking.
I smoked since i hit first year in secondary school. I used to smoke 20 B+H a day and then 20 started turning into 30 and i was growing weary of smoking. My eldest child started complain about me smoking so i started to despise the fact that i smoked and hated that i was so chronically addicted to them.
I set a date, with a friend at work about 4 weeks away and we smoked our little heads off until we reached that date. When that date arrived we both threw our cigarettes away and neither of us have smoked since. That was 1st Sept '10.
I could go into details about how hard it was, yes we did it cold turkey, i believe it is the only way to do it. I was a wreck the head, my mate was legend. She practically carried me through it. We did it though, if you want it badly enough you will do it and it really boils down to that.
Now i want to address the weight issue. This is where i really disagree with you. I have lost almost 4 stone since i stopped smoking. Smoking was one of the main reasons for my being over weight. I couldint fecking breathe to go for a walk! A smoke was naturally followed by a coffee and a biscuit or something calorific, coke, chocolate, who knows, it certainly wasint water.
I'm sorry, but i dont buy into the gums, patches, tablets or any hokey pokey for giving up cigarettes. In fact i think they make it worse by keeping the nicotine in your system. Flush it while youre strong, then focus on keeping it out. Whatever works for you though. Im sure some people have success on them. Each to their own i guess, maybe im a skin flint and wouldint waste the money
Even now, i could picck up a packet of fags a light up. I loved smoking. It is a disgusting habit though and i thank my kids for helping me help myself.
I would say to anyone reading this who is thinking about giviing up to make a list of all the reasons why they should give up, and all the reasons why they should stay smoking.... and see how they feel after reading it. It's a hell of an eye opener.
Just pick a date, circle it on the calander and do it!