May 31st is Say No to Nicotine Day. I gave up smoking twelve or more years ago and I was a chain smoker. I remember one very busy job in export when I had four phones, four ashtrays next to them and a cigarette burning in each. Once in a while the Managing Director would show up and say "you know you're not allowed to smoke here, don't you?' To which I always replied 'Oh, yes, I do know.' And I carried on puffing.
Do I miss smoking? Well, no not really. There is really only one cigarette that you absolutely enjoy if you are completely honest and that is the first one in the morning before your mouth - and breath - start to taste like the bottom of a parrot cage. Everything else you don't taste, you just need to get enough nicotine and stuff into your system.
Whenever something upset me, I reached for a cigarette as some kind of antidote. Did it help? No, never did. Why did I think puffing on a cigarette might help in a crisis? Hard to say, really. Certainly logic didn't have anything to do with it.
Am I glad I stopped smoking? You bet.
Was it hard to give up? Not really. Of course I stopped smoking when I first got married and in both my pregnancies. I tried stopping a good few times after that but without success. Then one day I bought a copy of Alan Carr's book which was in a sale. I consigned it to the back of my bookcase and meant to have a look at it in the distant future. But it sort of haunted me, knowing it was there. Everyone of my acquaintance who had stopped smoking attributed it to this book. It was kind of scary. Do I want to read it and stop smoking or do I want to continue smoking and read it when I'm around 80 years old or possibly later? In the end curiosity won out and I started reading it. Half way through I knew I was going to be able to stop.
I still remember when I had my last cigarette. Not your midnight, tomorrow is a new day stuff. I had three cigarettes left one Saturday morning. I finished my breakfast and smoked my usual cigarette. Went shopping, did a bit of housework, had the second last one. Then I sat out in the Spring sunshine on my balcony, made myself a cup of tea and took out the last cigarette and smoked it. .
My family didn't notice I had stopped. I wasn't cranky. Yes, I felt something was missing for a few days. At work it was strange not to go downstairs with the smokers and hover at the side of the building (I worked in a no smoking building as you will have gathered). But I got accustomed to it all much faster than I had imagined.
I am so glad I stopped smoking!