How I’m kicking my filthy cigarette habit (version 4.0)

HARLEM — It’s really over this time. Yes, I know you’ve heard this from me before. But this time it’s different. For the fourth time in my personal Marlboro Era (1999-2011), I’m a quitter. And it’s going to stay that way.

It’s been a few weeks since I went to my doctor and asked for medication to help quit. So far, just like my three prior serious attempts, things are going well.

I can’t remember the last time I smoked a cigarette, or even really wanted one. I don’t miss the smell of my clothes at the end of the day, or the the smell of my hair, or the insane cost of maintaining such a habit in New York City.

And I’m not gonna lie: it’s nice to at least have the option of a re-wear, because my clothes don’t smell like ashtrays.

But while things are going well, I know there will come a point where I’ll get a bit too confident about my status as a quitter. That’s how I messed up my previous effort, and the rest of them, for that matter.

Things had gone so well that it had been months since my last smoke. And thinking I was done with them, I allowed myself one at the bar, just to be social.

Besides, I had built up enough smoker’s karma that it never seemed difficult to bum a smoke. Problem is, one became two, two became four, and soon I looked and smelled like a chimney in wintertime. And that’s “How I’m kicking my filthy cigarette habit (version 3.0)” met its smoky end.

So I’ve learned an important lesson, one that I hope will turn me into a quitter for good. I can’t ever smoke another cigarette again. Ever. Under any circumstances. No nicotine. No exceptions.

It’s quite the humbling feeling actually, to acknowledge that a substance can have that much of an affect on you. But it my case, it’s the truth, so the sooner I accept it the better.

I know of ex-smokers who can occasionally have one and walk away as much of a quitter as they were before. But I know for sure now that I am not one of those people, nor will I ever me.

And that is what’s going to make it different this time.



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12 responses to “How I’m kicking my filthy cigarette habit (version 4.0)

  1. Rebeccapbp

    I’ve been begging my cousin to quit for ages…

    I wish you the best of luck, I can’t even kick my sugar habit…

  2. Rolando Rubio III

    I quit a few months back. hang in there Marc I’m rooting for you.

  3. Patricia

    Go Marc.
    Jan 9th was my last cigarette.
    I wish I could say it was because I realized I was ruining my health or something noble but it was a matter of doing the math and realizing I was smoking away a vacation in a years time and had smoked away a year of mortgage payments in a couple of years.
    I skipped the patches, pills and gum and went straight for the Dum Dum lollipops! Really big bag, $5, dozens of fun flavors. Little enough that they last about the same amount of time as a cigarette break and so many flavors to chose from made picking out the next flavor to have a distraction so I didn’t think so much about smoking.

  4. Drew

    Good going Marc, keep it up!

  5. I’ve been off the butts for almost five years now and I have to say that I feel so much better. It gets easier.

  6. Bob Saccmore

    If I can do it, so can you.

  7. Dan

    Let’s Go Ma-rc !!! Let’s Go Ma-rc !!!

    Pulling for you, man. You can do it!

  8. I’ve also tried three times and failed, my efforts the same smoldering pile of ashes as my habit. I want to quit. I will quit. Since I have no smokes on me right now today is as good a day as ever to start right?

    I too cannot even have one, if I do I will fall back into the habit. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Jocelyn

    Get your sister to quit too

  10. Tom

    Way to go! Flubbed it a few times but finally got my head straight, now several years clean. I’ll skip the advice except to say you can do it and you’re right, no exceptions, never again. Eventually it won’t be an issue at all.

  11. Sam

    Addaway man.
    You read Tipping Point? Gladwell’s got a whole section about the “stickiness factor” of cigarettes. pretty interesting stuff. addresses the whole concept that some people can be social smokers and not really get hooked, while some people can’t even have one.

  12. Pingback: Averting crisis with some timely motivation | | off the record

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