Given up giving up?

To those of you who smoke, but want to quit, and have failed to do so on several occasions – commiserations! I too am one of that number.

In the meantime I have made some decisions that make my life a lot simpler.

1. I acknowledge that I am a smoker, and will remain a smoker – so no more attempts to give up.

2. An alternative to giving up may be acceptable – how about a drastic reduction, say 50%?

3. After experiencing the clean-up required after 5 years of smoking in one room, I resolved only to ever smoke outdoors in future. This in itself can be a useful deterrent leading to a reduction.

4. Find an occupation that requires intense concentration. While the mind is busy on one matter, it has little time to worry about when the next nicotine shot will arrive. For me this is usually keeping busy on the computer, but it could be a conversation with a friend, a sport – many things will do the trick.

5. Give your lungs a break – stop inhaling the smoke. Your body will surely thank you for it!

The general idea is to make smoking not impossible, but as inconvenient as you can. It could also be a good idea to continually remind yourself of the money that you are sending up in smoke. If you make yourself pay a fine for every cigarette, you will soon see how much it is costing you. Over the course of a lifetime, it really is horrific!

None of the above, however, amounted to the drastic cut of 50% that I was looking for. Then I found a simple trick that did the job nicely:-

Smoke half a cigarette at a time!

What?!@#$? I hear you say. Cheapskate, Scrooge, Miser – a lot of such descriptions may immediately spring to mind. But calm down, and think about it.

When we smoke a cigarette, which part do we enjoy the most? The first part, of course! And as the craving for nicotine is alleviated, the actual requirement for smoking reduces considerably. One could in fact argue that cigarettes are in fact too long for most if us, and the only reason for smoking a whole one at a time is that this is what seems to be required. We don’t actually need to smoke all of it at all!

Cigarette manufacturers themselves seem to be unsure about how long a cigarette should be. I don’t see a standard length described anywhere, and they also produce the “King size”, which is even more wasteful to my way of thinking.

Given that you gradually warm to the idea of smoking only half-cigarettes, there remains the question of how to extinguish the one you have started at the right moment. After all, if you are over-zealous when you stub it out, you may find the remainder is no longer usable – which totally defeats the purpose.

My preferred method is to flick off the glowing tip with a well-aimed (most of the time) finger. This may leave a few smoking embers, but they are easier to extinguish with little effort.

A word of caution at this point!

There is no real control over where the flicked-off glowing tip will finally land. Make sure that it is not on your person, or clothing, as it will be left to burn itself out.

My doctor, of course, always advises me to give up smoking completely. When I explained that I had stopped inhaling, he said “Do you know how many patients there are with cancer of the mouth, lip, nose?”
As usual, I told him that I would have to disregard his advice.

Of course, there is always the impression your friends may have about your revised habit. You may consider it pertinent to restrict this to home, or when you are alone, unless you are really brass-necked, and don’t give a hoot what your friends think about it.

One more thing I should mention, perhaps. I always drink a swig of coffee after smoking. Perhaps it has some beneficial effect in that some of the toxic residues are removed from the mouth, I don’t know.

But just think, if you are successful in making such a large reduction, how much money will you be saving? Enough to go out and buy yourself a nice treat now and again, I’ll wager!

A really expensive Havana, perhaps?

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