Knocking the Fags on the Head

This title may or may not have caught your attention. This title will mean one of two things depending on your country of origin. As I am English, it means giving up smoking. The fun part is that this title may just overwhelm Drew’s bandwidth – sorry Drew 😆 I may even get Dugg and vilified. But hey, two countries separated by a common language, and all that. No homophobia here.

Incidentally, that title and first paragraph may well contain enough keywords to bring random people here, rather than you regulars. Feel free to be elitist pricks :biggrin:

I have been smoking since I was a teenager and there are a few reasons as to why I want to quit (in no particular order (like the Ten Commandments)):

  1. This year I turn 35. I would like to have some of that energy I hear about so much.
  2. I get chest infections which last longer and longer and have started to hurt.
  3. All my usual smoking partners have quit one by one and it’s lonely being outside on your own.
  4. My daughter has been nagging me for ages (though, as anyone who knows me will tell you, nagging does not work with me – quite the opposite).
  5. With all the government regulations in the UK (Blair again wanting to be like the Americans and do as they do), there are fewer and fewer places one can smoke.
  6. It’s costing me a fortune.
  7. My smoking rate has risen – I’m up to about 30 a day and when you smoke Marlboro (and not the Light variety) you feel it in the morning.
  8. To be able to keep up with the dog when I’m out walking him. And not to feel exhausted when I get back.

My reasons for not giving up are (again, no order):

  1. I like smoking.
  2. Non-smokers – not the people who simply don’t smoke but non-smokers: the people who, when you light up, get a face on them that’s like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle (thank you Frank Skinner :cool:) and cough ostentatiously and wave their hands around like they’re trying to get a plane to land. Those people. :angry:
  3. I’m gonna get fat.

Not a long list, but a persuasive one. At least, for me.

Now, I have tried before (“do or do not, there is no try” – Yoda) to stop, but my body has beaten me every time. The first time was around 11 years ago, I was doing really well until I stood at a bus stop and lit up. Thing is, I had no recollection of going into a shop and buying the cigarettes and matches. Very weird.

The next time was about 4 years ago, I was in the middle of The New Forest and should have been unable to get them – but the cravings grew so bad that I made the effort. In between times, I’ve tried the lozenges and gum, but the cure is far more disgusting than the disease, I’m afraid.

I had planned to do this as a New Year’s resolution. But the stats on people who break them are depressing. I stopped making them years and years ago because I never ever keep them. Or remember them until the following New Year. But I decided to do it.

My original plan was to load up on patches and follow the regime. I may still do this, it’s in reserve and could well turn up in an update. However, while chatting to a colleague (who gave up around 3 weeks ago and can see no signs of starting again), she mentioned that a book got her to quit. This piqued my interest – I am very sceptical of self-help books. Really sceptical. But she said that a friend told her about it and it worked for that friend, so she tried it and it worked. The book cost me £8.99 ($17.75/13.69euro according to XE) – though probably cheaper in your own country – so, why not? I drop more than that on other books very regularly. The book is Allen Carr’s Easy Way To Stop Smoking. “Easy Way” eh? Where do I sign up? :ninja:
The blurb on the back of the book says that:

If you follow my instructions you will be a happy non-smoker for the rest of your life.

Apparently, simply reading the book does it. No drugs, no meditation (I think), no meetings, no nothing. Just reading. Well, I can do that. It does sound too easy, but with my colleague’s recommendation I can see no real reason not to try it. Even better, the book says that you can smoke while reading the book and then at the end you won’t want another one. Sounds good to me. I think that an RFID chip in the book alerts the publisher when you finish it and then they send some goons round to beat you up and steal your smokes, but I’m willing to risk it for science. :angel:
Anyway, I am posting all this for a few reasons:

  1. The first is that by doing it publicly I am committing myself to making an honest go of it.
  2. Maybe someone will read it and be inspired to at least consider it. Though please don’t consider me an evangelist on this, if you want to continue smoking please do so. Quit when (or if) you want to.
  3. I get to post stuff here for a while and don’t have to come up with great ideas if I don’t want to – you can’t make me, you’re not the boss of me :tongue:
  4. You get to see what works and what doesn’t. Or, at least, what works for me.

Incidentally, if this book does do it, this will be the shortest blog series in the history of the web (2.0 or earlier, not compatible with later versions). Though there will be a few weeks of me saying “I tested myself, still don’t want one” I’d imagine.

Part of me is worried though. As a child, I used to chew pencils to destruction. Will I go back to that? Also, I do enjoy smoking – that first one after a big meal, the early morning smoke, knowing that I just have to finish [this job] and I can reward myself with a smoke. All that will go and I will miss it.

With the fatness bit, my aim is to get enough lung power back that I can start an exercise regime and not be a fatty. Having an office job (and working from home a lot) means that my once flat and muscled stomach is now pudgy and soft. But I will get it back.

So. Wish me luck.

Step One: read the damn book. Updates and book review next!


Posted on 18 January, 2007, in Quit Smoking. Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Overwhelm the bandwidth.. nonsense. To give you an idea of the bandwidth usage on the server for the past 100 days has been:

    2.11GB Recieved and 2.67GB Sent.

    What does this mean? Well, this server basically is allocated 60GB per month. 100 days is a little over 3 months. That means we’re averaging about 1.59GB per month of data. I also host about a dozen sites or domains on this server. Also note I do backups offsite as well every other day of the databases and once a week of full backups which are about 80MB gzipped each. So a huge chunk of that is backup data.. :w00t:

    So yeah, we need something to test this servers capacity. :tongue:

    And you’d be suprised the amount of weird google searches I get referred to my site after I posted my article about how Soy will make you gay.. :tongue:

    But about the smoking, good for you. I quit cold turkey definitely after the kid was on his way. It’s really all in the mind. The best way I know of is to find something else to do. And yes, they just jacked the prices up in Texas at the beginning of the year I heard. I noticed most packs are around $5.00 a pack, before it was anywhere from $3.00 to $4.00. But nothing beats the NYC price during LWE a few years ago, I almost blew my load when the clerk said, “That’s $9.50” for one pack of cigarrettes I purchased.

  2. And let me also point out Ray, out of the backup data, you’re chunk of it is 30MB.. and you have by far the biggest database chunk as well.. I should start charging you.. or sneak some google ads on your site.. :whistle:

  3. I’m going to be the pompous righteous one here. I never smoked all my life and never intend to either. ğŸ˜Ž :cheerful:

  4. Good to hear that Drew – I’d hate to have your bill rocket because of a few choice words :whistle: And while your prices may seem high, converting the prices to pounds shows that you are now paying the sort of prices we paid in the ’70s. It’s not been £2.50 a pack for years and years here.

    Hari – not starting is still the best way to quit :grumble: :grumble: 😉

  5. Take lots and lots of Vitamin C to flush the nicotine outta your system.

  6. I get through chewing gum in enough quantities that I buy it in industrial boxes of 20 packs. (It’s how I keep from snacking out of boredom) If you want some to give your mouth something to do other than inhaling tar-laden drug-laced burnt vegetable matter, let me know & I’ll pick you up a box while I’m shopping tomorrow 😉

  7. Heh – the book I am reading says not to do NRT as you are effectively replacing one drug with another. Should this method fail I will then be moving onto other things.

  8. That’s OK, I don’t smoke: It’s just normal gum that might save your pencils from premature death by chewing 🙂

  9. Ah, well pencils are designed for chewing and the design is easy to reverse engineer so I’ll stick with pens and pencils.

    Oddly, I haven’t bought a pen or pencil in ages, I just keep finding them around. Maybe they’re breeding….. :ninja:

  10. Fair enough. I shall look forward to seeing if your moderation style at LQ changes in any significant way while you’re giving up :biggrin:

  11. No worries about the choice of words on my server. If anyone causes the bill to skyrocket it’s gonna be me, with my Anti-Bush rants cause I’m sure the NSA or Government is already watching me.

  12. So between the two of us we cover all of the bases then 😆

  13. go go go go! Go Ray!

    I’m sure the pudgy tummy is good motivation.. :cheerful:

  14. Thanks Alison – one day I shall look like I did in my twenties. I have to look good for my mid-life crisis after all 😆

  15. I found the thread of bodily harm to be the easiest way to stop for good……

  16. Apparently I’m trying to work… but not trying to spell. The threat of bodily harm….

  17. hehe – spelling is something that many people on the internet have given up….

  18. The getting fat thing can be countered with exercise, which incidentally takes care of a lot of the problems listed as reasons to quit. But of course, this will probably involve running, which sucks (anyone who says anything different probably also reads Playboy for the articles). There are “fat camp” type centers for losing weight, but I wonder if there are rehab facilities similar to drug rehab or alcohol rehab for people who want to quit smoking…I read about a woman who had to amputate all her limbs because of smoking, and she made the nurses hold the cigarettes for her so she could keep smoking. Nicotine addiction is no joke, best of luck to you!

  19. Research has shown that hypnosis is more effective than nicotine replacement therapy to help someone quit smoking. It’s a very powerful way to get rid of the craving. I know, I tried it both ways. I didn’t really think hypnosis would work as well as it did.

    Victor@Hypnosis To Quit Smokings last blog post..Using Hypnotic Seduction On Beautiful Women

  20. You have to do three things to get rid of fat and keep it off, especially stubborn belly fat. Eat healthy, boost your metabolism, and keep your blood sugar on an even keel.

    You can boost your metabolism with ten or fifteen minutes of interval training every day. To keep your blood sugar from spiking and dipping, eat smaller portions but more frequently rather than a few big meals spaced several hours apart.

    Tiger Lily@How To Lose Belly Fat Fasts last blog post..Foods That Help You Lose Weight

  21. I enjoy a fag every once in a while, is that so wrong? It’s not like I seek them out in public restroom or creepy places like that! I’ve read those reports on cancer. Rubbish! Just kidding, congrats on quitting!!

  22. Although there are a few reason not to quit smoking but being as a smoker those are even heavier than those reasons which you gave for non-smoke world. I am 31, and really at this age, I think seriously to quit by my lifestyle doesn’t allow me to. On the other hand, worse thing, am diabetic and am wondering it will take no longer for this world to get rid of me.

    Sultan´s last blog post..Diabetes Recipe: 10 Minutes Aloha Chicken

  23. I was young, very young, 10 years ago. It doesn’t mean that I am old now. I am 32 at the moment and believe me I work almost 15 hours a day. When I was supposed to be young, I only worked less than 12 hours so I think I am more energetic.

  24. I smoked 3 while reading the article considering that these are last. I am failed to later part though.

  25. Hi! Its almost a year since this was originally posted… How’s it going with the smoking stuff ray?

  26. person to person views may vary.A single article can have different impact on different people.

  27. I have found it really hard to give up….
    and its just taking me years.
    So ive found the best way is just to keep cutting down, but real slowly.
    I use an e cigerette, its like battery powered… and it doesnt have the toxins.
    I started using it about 6 months ago…. after trying everything to give up quick.
    But now i smoke about 3 times a day from 30!!!!
    So its been really good for me… and at the end of the month im going down to 2 a day 🙂
    Fingers crossed 🙂
    I dont know if it would work for everyone… but it has really helped me,
    and hopefully in a few months i might not need it at all! 🙂

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