During the 50 plus years that I smoked, I often said to someone lighting a cigarette, “There are only two types of people who smoke; crazy people and stupid people”. Then I would watch their reaction. While they were deciding whether or not to throw their cigarette away, I would light up my Camel non filter. I thought that was cute. It usually got a laugh.
Which do you think I am? I continued to smoke even after being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer that started in my tonsils. I continued to smoke after my cancer treatments which included several surgeries, extensive chemotherapy that almost killed me, and 38 treatments of radiation. I continued to smoke when the doctor warned me that if I didn’t quit, the cancer would come back. Not might come back but would come back. I still continued to smoke. Stupid or crazy? I don’t know but I finally quit.
What I do know, is that quitting smoking is very difficult. In fact, research shows that quitting smoking is more difficult then quitting an alcohol or a heroin addiction. Difficult? Yes. Impossible? No.
I don’t think you can scare most people into quitting smoking. I read all the warning labels on every pack of cigarettes I smoked. I went through horrible medical treatments with even worse complications and side effects. Did that scare me into quitting? No! I could list two or more pages of specific health problems and risks proven to be connected with smoking. These health warnings are written right on the pack of your cigarettes. It doesn’t seem to be scaring many people into quitting.
Here is another thought. Most people can not be reasoned into quitting. Why is that? Someone once said, “You can’t reason a person into something they were not reasoned into.” I don’t think there are too many people who were reasoned into smoking. So they can’t be reasoned into quitting. If you are going to quit, you have to provide the reason for doing so and the motivation for quitting yourself.
Once you decide to quit, you CAN quit. No, I didn’t say it would be easy. I said, You can quit! You may need help but here is plenty of help available.
OK, OK. I’ll get off my soap box. Nothing worse than a reformed smoker. Tomorrow’s post won’t be about smoking. In the mean time you may want to check out these resources.
A Web site dedicated to helping you quit smoking.
A free, phone-based service with educational materials and coaches that can help you quit smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Help for Smokers and Other Tobacco Users
Booklet that tells you about ways you can quit.
- I QUIT! What to Do When You’re Sick of Smoking, Chewing, or Dipping
A booklet that will help you quit all tobacco products.
- Pathways to Freedom: Winning the Fight Against Tobacco
Guide that addresses tobacco issues specific to African Americans.
- Questions and Answers About Smoking Cessation
A fact sheet from the National Cancer Institute.
- Quit Smoking
Tools and guides to help you quit smoking.
- Quit Tips
Five tips to help you quit.
- Tobacco Cessation—You Can Quit Smoking Now!
The latest information to help you quit from the Surgeon General’s Web site.
- You Can Quit Smoking