alternative on a hot day. It is
a definitive approach to quitting
an addiction. It is cold, callous,
uncomfortable & usually makes
a person doing it a real joy to be
around. Depending upon the
intensity of the craving, and the
damage it may have done, anyone
trying to quit smoking, drinking,
drugs, food, gambling or any
other severe habit will find them-
selves with a number of options
for treatment. With smoking,
there are pills, nicotine patches
& gum, hypnotherapy &
recovery programs available.
What most of these treatments
fail to take into account is that
the availability of tobacco is
ubiquitous- somewhat different
than, say heroin, that's illegal,
which must be methodically
located, though once one is
hooked, the dealer is never far
away. Once, during one of
my myriad attempts to quit
smoking, my journey to work
required that I pass no less
than 40 convenience stores
& tobacco shops.
To quit tobacco, smokers face
three tremendous challenges-
1) cigarettes are everywhere;
2) even when one is quitting,
one is still expected to go out
in public, something heroin
addicts in withdrawal are not
encouraged to do; and
3) even though nicotine addiction
is considered to be more difficult
to kick than heroin, being a smoker
in public is somewhat still acceptable
(though that is rapidly changing).
It still operates as a social function;
whereas shooting up is not a party
one holds at the outdoor cafe.
I have tried all of these methods
to quit. Only one worked.
I bucked up, shut up and hid in my
studio for a week, throwing tantrum
after tantrum, sleepless, angry,
scared, rationalizing, bargaining,
praying that the physical pain and
mental anguish would subside and
my need to smoke would die its own
slow death.......that week it did.
It's been four and a half years now.
My book, Romancing The Smoke:
Reflections of a Nicotine Addict
chronicles this story & the conditions
of Withdrawal that a smoker faces
when the decision is made to quit.
Don't be chicken. Go Cold Turkey.
Your life will thank you.