Note: This is part one of Chris’ blog about his journey and experiences while quitting smoking. Part two can be found here.
Smoking had me hooked almost from the first cigarette. That was at age 15. At the time, I didn’t even consider what the health risks were, I was cool, and that’s all that mattered or so I thought.
But as the years went on I suddenly realized I was not only risking my health and perhaps of the health of the people around me. I was spending huge amounts of money on something that indeed could kill me. Cancer is in my family, having lost both parents to forms of cancer, it was always in the back of my mind to quit, but that’s where it stayed. After all, I didn’t want to part with a dear friend nor did I want to gain weight like so many people I knew who had quit before me.
I truly enjoyed smoking, I can’t deny that. But as time went on and smoking bylaws changed, smokers found their tobacco friend become less and less enjoyable. It had become more of a quick fix taking place in a dark corner, out of the elements of bad weather, behind buildings, or in the garage. Enjoying a social outing was dictated as to where I could scurry off to, to enjoy my “fix.” Inevitably, I was always on the tail end of many conversations, having missed most of it while out for a smoke.
Any smoker will say they know they are addicted but feel they could never quit or boast that they could quit anytime, but just don’t feel like it. Was this addiction worth it? The inconvenience, the expense, and, most importantly, the long lasting health effects?
I always had good intentions of quitting. I told myself when I turn 30, I will quit, then 40 and soon 50 breezed by without a second look. Now with the next milestone creeping up on me, I was determined to not be smoking at 60. But how? Could I really do it this time? After all I had tried before?
Thankfully the staff at Heart Niagara suggested trying their Smoking Cessation Program. I work at their offices once a week so it was indeed a convenient way to attack my problem.
I asked myself, was I really ready? I am not going to say it was easy, but it wasn’t as hard as I had thought it was going to be.
I spoke with the counsellor, before actually taking the plunge, about my concerns and fears. No one had to tell me obvious truths about smoking, I think we all know what they are. But I had a list of my own.
What if I did quit, then what? It was difficult to picture myself a non-smoker. Smoking had been a part of my life for 42 years! Would my favourite chair still be my favourite chair without my “little friend”? I am sure we all have a list of fears, but that is all they are. Those fears were not going to sabotage me again.
I chose to take a few weeks to start cutting back on my own, changing my smoking habits where I could. I would light up earlier in the day and found that I didn’t enjoy that cigarette and would soon extinguish it. I would not have the one after dinner, to me the most enjoyable one of the day, but instead have a glass of water or maybe go for a quick walk in the garden. Anything to take my mind off smoking that one cigarette.
I was ready once the time came to start the program. The options of smoking cessation products were given to me, from patches, to gum, to the available prescription medications. Since I had tried some in the past I chose to try the prescription medication followed by gum.
By Chris Haynes – cdhaynes design
With over 30 years of agency experience Christopher Haynes formed cdhaynes design to possess strengths in digital design, corporate identity and consistency, and developing keen marketing/advertising plans that are truly unique to each client. Heart Niagara has been a client since the spring of 2007, and now Chris feels more like part of the staff than ever. Due to Heart Niagara’s influence, Chris has a new found passion for healthy eating and living, has quit a 42 year smoking habit through the Smoking Cessation Program and has become an avid jogger. A new project in the works, Chris is currently developing a website for people over the age of 60, with the focus on living, eating and looking better at 60. “We are living and working longer, so why not do it the best possible way we can….. healthy, fit and competitive”.
Disclaimer:The views and opinions expressed in blog entries are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Heart Niagara.