QUITTING smoking is easy, and embracing that mindset is the key to doing it. Like any smoker, I'd heard it all before. The statistics. The reality of smoking-related disease. The cigarette-haters' nagging. And, like most, I had an answer for it all: we all have to die of something.
The reality is though, smoking kills and - if the latest research from the Public Health Association of Australia is accurate - the habit is even more deadly than previously realised.
But it's baffling that some things are remain unsaid. Big tobacco wants you to totally buy into how addictive smoking is and how hard it is to quit. The more you do, the harder it is to have the best mindset and approach to quitting. The more likely you are to relapse. And, yes, companies that sell products designed to help you quit are actually part of the problem in a sense: they need to keep making sales. Success means you stop using their product, and that's bad for business. The gum, the patches, the mouth spray, the mints… None of them are come within cooee of your most powerful weapon to beat the smokes forever, your mindset. Patches, gum, mouth spray and mints only help you get in the right frame of mind to give up the smokes themselves.
I'd thought about quitting for ages. The hardest thing was taking that first step. But when I finally had the courage to peek into a smoke-free future it was liberating. I weaned myself off them by not taking them with me where I previously had; the pub, the footy. Yes, I used chewing gum and mints for a time, but they're long gone. Cigarettes are even further behind in the rear vision mirror.
What you tell yourself will determine your success at quitting. Tell yourself that it's easy. Tell yourself that you don't smoke. Even if you don't believe it, just keep on telling yourself eventually it starts to ring true. Keep on reminding yourself what a disgusting habit it is, how expensive it is, how totally it can destroy people's health.
I've been off the smokes for nearly eight months. Not long after, as a mate absent-mindedly lit up, I realised how ingrained a behaviour it becomes. And, in that sense, quitting is a big deal. But you'll find it's nothing but positive. No one will offer anything other than hearty congratulations and encouragement. Everyone will tell you what a great thing you've done.
So, if you smoke and you're still reading this article: you want to quit. And you can. Know that every single craving you have will pass, no matter how intense it seems in the moment. Give it a go today.