Help with the smoking habit

Published 1:42 am Sunday, February 16, 2014

The television news has been excited about the major drug company that will stop selling cigarettes. Some people like the idea while others are frustrated and threatening to stop going there for other things. For anyone who smokes it probably is discouraging, but it could be a help to others who are trying to quit the habit.

Many of us quit smoking years ago, back when cigarettes were less that a dollar a pack. Some of us who quit back in those days would quit now because of the price. Some service stations and convenience stores (where the news says most cigarettes are sold) are selling cigarettes for almost $4 a pack. Years ago, two young men who worked for Western Union on Austin Street delivered telegrams all over town. Every morning they would go out with a basket on their bicycles piled up with telegrams, and the lady who ran the place would give each a dollar and ask both young men to try and buy her some cigarettes as they did their rounds.

Both of them were too young to be buying tobacco products, but one drug store in town would usually sell them each a pack of long cigarettes (Wings) that very few people would buy. The lady would usually put up a fuss but she would smoke them anyway. That was repeated day after day and was a joke for the young men.

The following is a plan that has been around that does seem to help people quit the smoking habit. While cigarettes are big news it might be a good time to try it.

Pick a date when you would like to be free of the habit: a birthday, anniversary, Fourth of July, etc. Set your starting date four weeks before your quitting date. This is important because it puts you in a proven program, with no mints, no patches, just a proven step-by-step method that will help you to break the smoking habit.

One week before your starting date begin to cut down on how much you smoke and be ready to go into the first week with only one pack a day.

No matter what you smoke, on your four-week starting date you should switch to another brand — one that you may not like, or if you have been smoking regular cigarettes, switch to menthol, etc. Starting the first week smoke just one pack a day. If you find that difficult try to smoke one or two extra a day but by the end of the week be down to just one pack.

At the start of the second week, cut down to half a pack of a milder brand. If you have to, smoke one or two extra, but be down to just half a pack by the week’s end.

When you start the third week, cut your smokes down to five a day. It is important that you have been cutting your smokes in half each week. Get rid of any cigarettes you have on hand at the end of this third week.

At the start of the fourth week, start with a brand you would not have even bummed before you started this program. Start this week with three smokes a day for the first day, two the second day and down to one a day until the end of the week. This will have brought you to the target day you set to quit by.

Important! Throw away any cigarettes you have left at this time. Wash all the curtains and linens in your home and deodorize each room. Throw away the ash trays, clean and deodorize your vehicles the same way you did your house and tell your friends not to smoke in your home, vehicle or your presence.

When people ask if you have quit smoking just say you haven’t smoked one today. Do this for about a year and then you can finally say that you have indeed quit. It’s a hard habit to break, but it can be done if you are determined. Good luck with your efforts, and say a prayer each day for any friends or family members who have failed to drop the habit.

There are a lot of New Year’s resolutions that we make each January, and quitting smoking is one of the big ones. Our good Lord can help us with any problem we have if we ask for His guidance. May He bless us all again today.