This May marks a year since I completely quit smoking. I am not writing this to brag; partly I am writing this because I am happy and proud but mostly to share a view on giving advice and sharing experience.
The fun part about experience is that it makes a story. We love stories and we love listening to experiences of other people. We can learn from them as well as just get entertained in the best and most positive sense of the word.
Let me back up a bit. It took me about five years to quit. Yes, five years of consistent trying and downsizing. It was exhausting, long, hard and stressful. I made a conscious decision to stop making excuses and start dealing with the habit. First I switched to vaping, at that point in time the ever popular “heated tobacco” was not really on the market. After some consultations, vaping seemed like a reasonably smaller risk than regular tobacco. Empirically I did feel a better and could catch my breath better after switching to it. Well as any good smoker I it took me a couple of years of (not giving up and) lapsing (on and off) to cigarettes.
One good thing to know about vaping is, that the nicotine is something like a flavor enhancer plus it gives the specific kick you know from smoking tobacco. Naturally, it motivates you to have a higher amount of nicotine in your liquids… so within the first two years I made another conscious decision to top my nicotine in the liquid at 12mg. Later on, when I was “just” vaping I started periodically downsizing the amount of nicotine. Of course, at the beginning you tend to vape more, because the body craves the right amount of nic in blood – but at the end you find out that there is simply a reasonable amount of liquid that your living environment lets you vape during the day. Once I hit that threshold, the downsizing starts working.
Managed to cut down to zero milligrams and it was still not that easy as I thought. However, as I said at the beginning – it is my first year (and I hope the first of many). Now why am I saying this? I had to listen to so many experiences of people who “simply quit, it was uncomfortable for couple of weeks and then ok” or “it is just a matter of will, you don’t have weak will do you?” or “just kick the habit, it is not that hard” etc. etc. I think you get it. What I am trying to say, that if I were to follow their advice, probably midway through this article I would go and light a smoke. For me, they still smell good. And no, I don’t think I have a weak will. Just different is different, it doesn’t mean wrong. The thing is that listening to stories about experiences of other people is just that, it is the STORY of their experience. Well this experience is my story. I hope that it may be motivational. It doesn’t have to be quick, just don’t give up. Maybe if I heard a similar story, this May it could have been my second year… or maybe not. So hold your fingers crossed (for me), that it is not the last one…