I have decided to quit smoking. Just like that. Cold turkey. I have smoked for 6 years, a pack a day and doubt if I’ve gone a day without smoking since I lit the first one. I don’t really know what brought about the desire to quit. May be I finally decided to believe in the overwhelming medical evidence about the harmful effects of smoking, to set an example for my chain-smoking Dad (who recently suffered a mild heart attack and was asked to stop) or the fact that I am the sub-editor of this health site.
Sorry for the late update. I really wasn’t in the mood. For those of you just joining us, three days ago I decided to quit smoking and have managed not to touch the butt. Click here to read about Day 1 and Day 2.
Yesterday was terrible. Around noon I decided enough was enough; there was no reason to quit. I had smoked for years without anything terrible happening and even if it did; how does it matter? It’s not like we’re going to live forever. Why can’t I live the lesser time I am assured I’ll spend on this planet happily instead of living an unhappy, smokeless existence?
Battling such ontological conundrums I made my way down but instead of a paan shop I ended up at a pharma store asking for Nicorette gum. Now the Nicorette gum is one of the many products that works on the principle that a smoker can quit if he is provided with a daily nicotine ‘hit’ without the other harmful effects of smoking like tobacco, tar, etc. This is the basic premise of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT).
Well I can say the gum worked because I didn’t smoke but perhaps not the way the makers intended it. Unlike simple gum one simply doesn’t chew it. One has to chew the gum then hold it between one’s teeth and cheek while the nicotine seeps in. Well there was nicotine in the product, that’s for sure (I’ve always wondered whether these gums had nicotine or not). In some ways it reminded me of gutka (I’ve never really cared for smokeless tobacco products) and threw it away after a few bites.
Now the moment of truth arrives after you’ve left the office and are let loose in the world where no-smoking signs aren’t visible everywhere. I decided to try some retail therapy and went on to splurge the better part of my salary on clothes I didn’t really need. But it did help. Maybe the women do know what they’re doing!
Having considerably shot up my credit card bill for the month I made my way to the gym only to become transfixed with the cigarette shop downstairs. Young and old people were happily puffing away… I couldn’t take it anymore and bought a cigarette.
Somehow I couldn’t bring myself to light it; I had come too far to give in to my craving. I’ve have had similar experiences where I’ve almost broken my abstinence. I remember in my weight loss days, I’d stand in McDonalds’ queues and somehow drag myself away just when I was asked to place my order.
So there you go. Another 24 hours without smoking.
Quitters Tip: What every quitter really needs is a person who’ll help them quit. Someone who knows what they’re trying to achieve and will help kick the butt away. Someone who wants you to quit badly more than you do. Ideally said person should be of the opposite sex unless you’re gay. No amount of Nicotine Replacement Therapy can ever replace good old fashioned love and support.First Published: Jun 14, 2012 at 12:45 PM