Article by Mary Anne Lewis
I never thought I could quit smoking.After 32 years of cigarette smoking, I was resigned to the fact that I’d be puffing away until what I concluded would be an early death. But a miracle occurred when I realized that quitting smoking was all the result of making a decision. That decision may have saved my life, and it could save yours. But having quit unsuccessfully decades before, I knew something else was necessary. If you want to stop smoking now, you need support. That support might come from family or friends. But it’s much more likely to help you if it comes from smokers who have SUCCESSFULLY quit smoking for a number of years. I’ll admit it. A health scare led to my decision to stop smoking. And another admission — I used a medical aid to quit smoking. But I would never have been able to quit smoking without support. When I purchased the medical aid, I read the directions. They said that an outside support group was necessary. I thought to myself “maybe this isn’t necessary.” But then I thought again. I remembered how I had quit smoking in my 20s. I went without a cigarette for nine months, but broke down and took a puff from a friend’s cigarette at a wedding reception. Two months later, I was back buying cigarettes. And they were a lot cheaper in the 1980s than they are now. In all that time,from the 80s to 2006, I had only gone one day without a cigarette, in 1993. I thought I was going to quit that day in April, but it was not to be. I went to an exercise class the next day, and had a cigarette afterwards. I wanted to avoid these pitfalls this time. So I decided to find a support group. I looked on the web, and called several hospitals, and all had recordings where you could leave your name. Less than an hour later, the phone rang. “Hi! This is Jerry. I am a non-smoker, I do not smoke!” What a way to greet someone! But it turned out Jerry had successfully quit smoking for 14 years, after a 40 year smoking habit. Even though I was using the smoking aid, I was still smoking. I went to one support meeting, and quit the next day. I met several people who had quit for several weeks, some of whom had smoked for a very long time. So I thought: “If they can quit smoking, so can I.” I had made a decision. I kept going to the support meetings, and saw some of the people I had met begin to smoke again, after a stressful event or sometimes just because they got bored. But I was determined this time. I didn’t have much trouble until two months later, when a woman from church of all places let me know in no uncertain terms that she was very angry with me. I don’t know about you, but I always wanted a cigarette when I felt upset. Instead, I went home and called someone — and got more support. The next month, I had another health scare, and went back to the support meetings. Fortunately, things turned out okay. In former times, either of these events would have led to me smoking many cigarettes.But I was learning new techniques, and in the process improving my health, and saving lots of money. Three years later, I am still smoke free, even though I lost my job a couple of years ago. I am simply glad to be saving money. The bottom line — smoking aids — whether you buy them at the doctor’s office, the drug store, or on the Internet, are definitely worthwhile. But you must have support. If you can’t find a support group on the Internet, create your own, or listen to a recording you can purchase at the link near my name. Find some friends who want to quit smoking, and rely on each other. You can do it! And once you quit, remember a tip I learned at the support group. Never take another puff!
Mary Anne Lewis is a journalist who no longer has nicotine-stained fingers! Go here to get help quitting smoking!
Presented is Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis singing “When You Pretend” in the 1955 film, Artists and Models. ‘Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for ‘fair use’ for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.’
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