The Great American Smokeout and How I Quit Smoking
Today is the Great American Smokeout. A day that began in the bicentennial year on my birthday, November 18, 1976. It’s a day that those who smoke cigarettes, cigars, or anything else try to quit the habit.
For some, it’s as close to an impossible task as it can be. They’ve tried over and over again only to fail repeatedly.
What Worked for Me
I started smoking at the age of 18 and smoked for nearly 10 years. I had tried quitting several times, and then I finally did it.
I was attending the Trenton Saint Patrick’s Day parade and would be drinking all day long. I’d be hanging with a bunch of friends going from bar to bar throughout the day. I thought to myself if I could make it through that day without smoking then I could make it through any day. I don’t recall how difficult it was or how much I struggled, but it did work.
In the following days, my method was simple. Whenever I wanted a cigarette, I would have a cup of coffee instead. I drank more coffee than ever. I remember stopping at every Wawa there was to get another cup. After a few weeks, I realized that I’d made it, but knew I still had to stay disciplined.
What I Learned
Just because this worked for me doesn’t mean it will work for everyone or anyone else. I learned that I probably wasn’t as addicted to smoking as I thought. If I had figured it out soon, maybe I wouldn’t have smoked for as long as I did. I also know that different people have different susceptibilities. I’m sure there are some who may never, ever be able to quit until it’s too late. This holds true for many things other than smoking.
Give It A Shot
So, if you smoke I hope you can find the strength to quit for just one day. One day can turn into a week and then a month.
Honestly, if you’re a smoker who says, “I don’t want to quit, I like to smoke,” then you’re not ready. No one likes to smoke, it’s simply an addiction. However, if quitting is something you truly want to do, it will happen.
Here’s what the American Cancer Society says about quitting today. “Quitting smoking isn’t easy. It takes time. And a plan. You don’t have to stop smoking in one day. Start with day one. Let the Great American Smokeout event on the third Thursday in November be your day to start your journey toward a smoke-free life. You’ll be joining thousands of people who smoke across the country in taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing your cancer risk. Plus, the American Cancer Society can help you access the resources and support you need to quit.”
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