How I quit smoking 60 cigarettes a day. What was my secret and what happened after. I never actually started smoking until I was around 22 years old. Why did I start? Well, because everyone else did! It was a social thing and in those times it was considered cool. Because I was 22 I could buy cigarettes and when I smoked – people could see I was over 18. Finally, I could show everyone I was a man!
I couldn’t have been any more naive or foolish! I consider myself one of the lucky ones to have been able to quit. But what was my secret and how did I quit 60 a day. As one cigarette almost burnt out I’d be lighting another! I knew my decision to quit smoking wasn’t going to be easy.
Perhaps the best way was to simply cut back on the number of cigarettes I smoked per day until I had finally stopped. Every smoker I know that has done this never ended up quitting. It didn’t work!
Many smokers substituted cigarettes for herbs, nicotine patches, nicotine chewing gum, vaping etc. Just about anything to avoid one more puff. You either smoke or you don’t and let’s not even get into ‘passive smoking‘.
Ok, so you’ve read this far and want to know my secret? How did I manage to do it? Did I sneak a few puffs now and then? What did I replace cigarettes with?
My inspiration to quit didn’t come from knowing what happens to our body when we smoke. I already knew as well as every other smoker around me. Hey, we’re young and we don’t care. Let’s worry about that when we get older but when the time comes – we’re addicted or even worse!
Lung cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, liver cancer, Crohn’s disease, cataracts, arthritis, numerous other cancers and much more! Let’s not forget to include erectile dysfunction for the men out there.
And most of all, that awe-full smell. Something I guarantee you’ll notice on others once you quit. No amount of chewing gum or mouthwash is going to hide it.
All my well earned money wasted on buying cigarettes! All this didn’t bother me and why? Because I was in my 20’s and I wanted to be seen as cool. This was the eighties; famous singers, movie stars and even those Marlborough cowboys made it look cool.
My Inspiration to Stop Smoking
What inspired me to quit smoking was learning what happened to my body after I quit smoking. Starting within the first few hours, to days and even years. Let’s take a look:
30 Minutes after your last cigarette
It only takes around 30 minutes after your last cigarette for your heart rate and blood pressure to drop a little.
24 Hours after your last cigarette
Oxygen levels could slightly increase, enabling us to add more physical activity and exercise into our lifestyle. With blood pressure beginning to drop to normal, this could also decrease the risk of a heart attack.
3 Days after your last cigarette
Smoking dulls your senses, especially smell and taste. Within only 3 days, my food started to taste better.
Nicotine starts to deplete in the body. This is when mood swings, headaches and irritability start to kick in. Combine these withdrawal symptoms with the habit of having a cigarette between my fingers most of the day, I knew i was in for a rough time ahead.
A month after your last cigarette
Our lungs begin to improve and function better. That nasty smoker’s cough and wheezing started to diminish and I notice I wasn’t out of breath so often.
Circulation continued to improve allowing my lungs, heart and muscles to function properly and efficiently. All this in just a month and I was already starting to really feel the benefits.
9 Months after your last cigarette
Cilia (the delicate, hair-like structures inside the lungs) starts to recover and heal. These help to push mucus out of the lungs and fight infections. They also help protect the lining of the bronchus and trap microorganisms improving lung function.
5 Years Later
Arteries and blood vessels begin to widen again meaning a lower risk of getting blood clots which lead to a stroke. As the years pass, our bodies will heal even more.
The risk of mouth and throat cancers can fall to that of a non-smoker.
10 years after your last cigarette
The likelihood of developing lung cancer and coronary heart disease etc through smoking is greatly reduced. When we finally reach 15 years our risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.
Depending on the number of packets you smoked per day, per year, after you quit you may still have some impairment in lung function. However, kicking the habit can get you back into the game with a healthier lifestyle.
I once read ‘the body has an amazing way to heal itself if given the right tools’. Smoking can lead to severe health complications and let’s be honest; it doesn’t look cool. There are much better and healthier ways to socialise and smoking isn’t one of them!
I almost forgot to tell you my secret tip on how I quit
I recall 20 years ago walking to the local train station and bumping into an old colleague. The first think I noticed was how sick he looked. His skin seemed as it was grey and he had brown nicotine stains all over his fingers. For the first few seconds I thought he looked as if he had passed away. Then he moved and that smokers cough kicked in. We had a brief chat – while smoking a pack of ciggies.
I went home and couldn’t get that image out of my head. That next day when I awoke, I screwed up my packet of cigarettes and threw them in the bin.
I decided there and then it was time to quit. No halfway measures like reducing to a pack a day. You either smoke or you don’t! No substituting it for a pipe, or a cigar! There were no e-cigarettes in those days and my decision was simple – I will stop smoking.
I kept repeating to myself – I DON’T SMOKE! There’s no secret. Just say no
Tip: If you feel the need for a cigarette or someone offers you one, tell yourself ‘I don’t smoke‘ Don’t think or reply ‘I quit smoking’ as it feels temporary. It’s a little mind game which helped me overcome my temptations.
If anyone continues to offer you a cigarette, take it, screw it up in your hands and throw it in the bin. Trust me, you wont get offered a cigarette again.
I mentioned at the beginning of this article how it was considered to be cool with that cigarette hanging from your mouth. How about today? Is it still cool? Personally I don’t think it’s cool.
I always have a little chuckle when passing a pub or restaurant and seeing all the smokers having to stand outside!
Cool today is being healthy and setting a good example to inspire others!
Bonus: I found my skin began to look healthier, fewer wrinkles and I was getting compliments on how I was looking better. Fortunately I didn’t suffer from erectile dysfunction due to heavy smoking so I was back in the game. (kidding)
20 years later after quitting cigarettes I should be much healthier! Unfortunately I wasn’t and was only halfway to improving my health. I had another addiction to kick and this turned out to be even more difficult than trying to quit smoking!
Obesity through Carbohydrates and Sugar
I was obese and finally managed to lose almost 30k by cutting out carbs and sugar. This was done through intermittent fasting and a ketogenic diet! Trust me when I say this was much harder! Stay tuned for more and don’t forget to subscribe.