Every day is a no smoking day

Every day is a no smoking day

Every day is a no smoking day. 45858.jpegOnly those of us who have been there and done that have any idea as to how hard It is to give up smoking for good. The very notion of not lighting up appears as Absurd as going to a restaurant and not having a meal, getting on an aircraft and Not taking off or else spending a night with a beautiful partner and discussing The Sex of the Angels.

While the World No Tobacco Day is on May 31, every day can be a no smoking day and each and every morning could be the morning someone quits, for good. It makes sense and it could be YOU.

Each time you put a cigarette in your mouth and light it, you are more likely to suffer from a number of pathologies affecting the entire alimentary canal from your mouth to your intestines (cancers), your respiratory canal from your nose to your lungs (cancers), the brain (increased risk of a CVA), the ears (higher chance of infection), arteriosclerosis, cancer of the pancreas, cancer of the kidneys, cancer of the liver... gangrene, infertility and impotence.

For those who wish to go deeper, a cigarette has six cancer-producing substances: Benzene, Polonium 210, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, Xylene and DDT; toxic metals Phosphorous P4 and P6 and Arsenic; three metals which produce cancers: Cadmium, Lead and Arsenic; four toxic gases: Toluene, Acetone, Butane and Carbon Monoxide; along with Acetylene (used in industrial solder irons), Vinyl Chlorate, used in plastics, Phenol (used in disinfectant) Methanol (used in Rocket fuel), Nicotine (used in cockroach poison) and the anti-coagulant Propilenoglicol.

With that history, how can smoking not be harmful to the health?

Giving up can be far easier than the inveterate smoker may imagine and I speak from the experience of someone who smoked three packs of cigarettes per day, every day, plus cigars, cigarillos and a pipe for some 20 years. Some of my attempts to give up were risible, the worst and most ridiculous being a promise made on New Year's Eve to stop at midnight. It lasted less than two minutes.

Other attempts turned me into a nervous wreck, unable to work, unable to concentrate, feeling sick and one time I swear I even saw a Planet move across the room in front of me. Giving up was synonymous with sitting, staring, vacant and vapid, into nothing, feeling the top of my head spinning off, a trembling in the hands and a fixation on one thing and one thing only: where and when was the next cigarette coming from? I wanted to sit when I was standing, stand when I was walking and walk when I was sitting, I wanted to be anywhere else but the place I was at, with anyone but the person I was with. Eyes staring, mouth dry, head throbbing, every heartbeat pulsating through my veins said, give me a cigarette...

What really did it for me was reading a short piece in a newspaper which claimed that if you give up before you have been smoking for 25 years, you stand a good chance of making a total recovery. I had been smoking for 21. Suddenly obsessed with smoking and feeling that something evil was lunging inside me, my conversation turned to this topic much to the annoyance of everyone around me me.

One sentence that stuck was "You have to learn to be happy as a non-smoker". Now how the Hell am I going to do that, I thought.

And this was the key, thinking. And the final click came about when I had convinced myself that I really did want to give up smoking. I fixed a date, some nine months ahead, and promised myself that by that time I would be a non-smoker. I thought about the effects of smoking every day, every time I passed my inadequacy onto the symbolic act of wasting my money buying those three packs of cigarettes at the beginning of every day, my support through all social situations I would encounter myself in...meetings, telephone calls, going to airports, waiting for the aircraft, having a coffee, lunches, dinners...

I sniffed a used ashtray every morning and made myself retch, and finally announced to a friend that I was giving up soon. "Of course you are giving up, what you are saying is I don't want to give myself cancer". That helped too.

When the day finally arrived, I did not buy the cigarettes in the morning, neither did I suffer one single withdrawal symptom because I was happy being a non-smoker. I did not see any planets, I did not crave for a cigarette, I did not even so much as cough. From that day on, some twenty years ago, I have enjoyed my food, I have enjoyed smelling the sea breeze, I have enjoyed waking up in the morning and feeling great, I have enjoyed having clean hair which does not reek of second-hand tobacco and fresh-smelling clothes that do not stink of stale smoke.

What makes me happiest is that I do not need to pass my inadequacy to those three packs of cigarettes, because I am perfectly adequate within myself to do everything I want to do.

Hope it helps.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey




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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey