I Do Not Smoke Anymore!!!In 1984, the anti-smoking message got through to me when my wife pleaded with me to stop smoking. She said she felt a choking sensation when I smoked near her. My efforts to stop smoking failed, even with the help of nicotine gum. When I searched the public library for books about quitting smoking, I was surprised at the number of books available. One evening, in 1985, I read an article in the newspaper that asked for volunteers for a smoking cessation class. The article said I would have to pay a $29.00 "processing fee" for the eight week course which had classes on the weekends. The "processing fee" caught my attention as being incongruous but the course was conducted by the American Cancer Society and I really wanted to stop smoking. So I went to the initial class and paid the fee before the class started.
That first class was a funny event because the instructor entered a room with about 45 people, all of whom were smoking and there were clouds of smoke in the room. She was a very petite woman and she made us all put out our cigarettes. Toward the latter part of the course I found out that the expected success rate for the course was about 10%. That only motivated me to be part of that 10%. Maybe their success rate has improved over the years, because even in 1985, the smoking cessation class was excellent.
Somewhere during the fifth week, one of the assistant coaches had a meeting with me, in the middle of the week, during which he motivated me to mentally 'look at the vistas of wonderful possibilities' that awaited me if I could take the 'fork in the road' which led to me being without a smoke for more than 24 hours at a time. The words of that assistant coach helped me have my first smoke-free twenty four hours that Friday. Fortunately it was a three day weekend and I turned the smoke free 24 hours into smoke free three days by going for walk when I needed a smoke. Those three smoke free days have turned into 27 smoke free years.
During those three days I "got a cold" and emitted enormous amounts of phlem. Once the phlem was out I started breathing better. I am just telling you how it hapened for me. I felt the urge to smoke after 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 three weeks, one month, two months, three months, six months, one year, two years, four years, five years, ten years, fifteen years, twenty years and after that I felt an urge once in a rare while but could not keep a count of the time elapsed.
One thing I learned during the smoking cessation class, and it helped me a lot, was that smoking is a quadruple habit - habitual, chemical, social and psychological. When you overcome one aspect of it, the other three aspects overwhelm you and you continue to smoke. The smoking cessation class made me aware of the four headed monster and so I learned to overcome all four aspects of it.
The vistas of wonderful possibilities have been wonderful.
I am happy to share this on May 31, 2102, the World No Tobacco Day. I hope I have shared some experiences that will help you ovecome the problem.