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Quitting smoking and some things you need to know!

Popularity 16Viewed 7764 times 2016-3-31 12:08 |Personal category:foreign perspective|System category:Life| especially, actually, addition, defining, entirely

Quitting smoking and some things you need to know! By Sean Boyce 柏笑恩

Today marks the one month celebration of quitting smoking for myself. To others (especially non smokers) what seem like a very mundane thin has actually been one of the defining moments of my year. The simple act of quitting has changed my life entirely, mainly because quitting smoking was honestly one of the hardest things I have ever done. It has strengthened my resolve in addition to making me healthier and I am so very grateful for the friends around me who helped me through this. I want to talk not just about quitting smoking, but about smoking and addiction in general. For the non smoker it may seem like a foreign concept and for the smoker, I hope I can lead you down the path to quitting like others did for me. 


1. You have to understand, smoking is first and foremost A DRUG ADDICTION. 


It is not just a bad habit, it is a full blown drug addiction. I was smoking a pack a day at one point and I kept telling myself, I can quit when i want but I enjoy it. You need to realise, you do not enjoy it, YOU NEED IT. 

Smoking messes with the chemistry of your brain, the nicotine(尼古丁) makes your body physically want to smoke. When I woke up in the mornings, the first thing I would do is search for my cigarettes and go have a smoke. I told myself I enjoyed it, but in reality, I needed this. 

Let me explain to non smokers what a true drug addiction is like, wanting to smoke is like needing the toilet, you know that feeling when you need the toilet, there is no toilet in sight and you start squirming, inside and out? That's what a smoking addiction is like, it's like fighting a bodily reaction, a necessary function and when you finally get your cigarette it gives you the same feeling of relief as finding the toilet. Except that its stronger than that, a lot stronger. I wouldn't wish an addiction on my worst enemy, it takes over your life entirely and the first step to recovery is understanding, you are an ADDICT, only then can you start treating this issue properly. 

2. The odds are stacked against the smoker, the cigarette companies do not want you to quit.


The cigarette industry is absolutely massive worldwide and it is genius because as soon as someone is addicted, chances are the company now has a lifetimes supply of revenue. Cigarettes sell themselves and they are everywhere. When they are unregulated, it becomes even worse. They target the young, they make it look cool so that we get addicted at a young age and are hooked (吸食了) for life. There are examples of marlboro buying up stalls next to middle schools so they can sell cigarettes to children. 

As for these companies producing "healthier" alternatives such as "menthol" and "lights", do not be fooled by their lies. 


Light cigarettes have been proven to not be better for us at all. Light cigarette smokers who smoke light cigarettes in a bid to cut down have been shown to be LESS LIKELY to quit smoking. (I should know, I smoked light cigarettes exclusively). they are not healthier at all for you, check this site out for more details:

http://quitsmoking.about.com/od/cigaretteingredients/a/lightcigarettes.htm


As for menthol cigarettes, they are being banned slowly in many countries. You may be asking why? Because one of the biggest barriers to new smokers is the taste, and menthol cigarettes remove this barrier. For any of you who have tried marlboro iceblast, you will know what I mean. It is like smoking chewing gum! It tastes fantastic...and this creates a problem when children come into the equation. They may start smoking the ice blasts due to the taste, and as soon as you are addicted, you will smoke anything. Menthol was first and foremost a new way of getting more people to smoke, they are in no way healthier for us. 

What you have to understand is that the cigarette companies do not care at all for you the consumer, they want your money and are willing to give anyone and everyone cancer in order to achieve that. When I realised I was giving my money to these b*****ds it made quitting a lot easier, it gave me determination not to be their slave. 

3. e-cigarettes are not an alternative. 

Although slightly safer than cigarettes (they will still kill you), e-cigarettes have been shown to reduce your chance of quitting as you are still taking in the nicotine and you have swapped one habit for another that many deem(以为) "safer". It is not safer and is just as harmful to you. See the below link for more details:

http://www.mensfitness.com/life/entertainment/e-cigarettes-actually-decrease-your-chances-quitting-smoking

4. Quitting does not happen over night.

Quitting is not an overnight thing, I did not wake up one morning and just quit, in fact I swore to myself I would quit almost every night and every morning I would loathe myself as I lit up my cigarette. However I did keep trying to smoke less and less, I started cutting down from 20 a day to 5 a day, then 4...then tried going cold turkey (突然的戒烟) every now and again until one day it stuck. I got through one day of not smoking and found quitting a lot easier. The hardest part is not smoking for three days as it takes roughly three days for the nicotine to leave your system (I believe, don't quote me on that). Those three days are pure torture but after that I promise it is very easy. 

You just have to keep trying and trying and trying. Find your triggers for smoking, for me it was after class, after dinner and when drinking. So I quit while I was on holiday and ate in no smoking places. Find a good time that suits you to quit smoking and goo for it.

5. Quitting involves a massive lifestyle change. 


I realised that if I was ever to quit, I had to get away from temptation. Smokers like to hang out together quite often and so for my own health I had to stop hanging out with my smoking friends for a few weeks. I had this one guy who was trying to get me to SMOKE AGAIN, I kid you not. It's times like this you realise how selfish some people can be too, wanting you to harm yourself to keep them company. 

I also had to quit drinking, drinking lowers your inhibitions and when drinking I could easily smoke 40+ cigarettes in one evening. Now I can drink again but I would wait three weeks before drinking again. 

You also have to get used to being around temptation. I eased my way back into society, avoiding smokers wherever I went for the first few weeks. Once I felt comfortable, I would go to a party with smokers but stay away from them. Then I would talk to a smoker. Now I can be in the same room as 10 smokers and have no temptation to smoke, but it takes time. 

If you do smoke again, don't lose hope, you have A LOT LESS nicotine in your body post quitting. That one cigarette won't make you smoke 20 a day again. (So I did have one puff of a cigarette 2 weeks in, I panicked and then realised I still had no need to smoke, I am speaking from experience). Getting back on the "no smoking" band wagon is relatively easy, however do not use this as an excuse to smoke again.


6. You will get by with a little help from your friends.


I am very lucky to have some amazing friends, friends who encouraged me, friends who gave me comfort when I was trying to quit on my third day, even one friend who took it upon himself to rip every cigarette he seen out of my mouth. Many of us believe that we don't need anyone else, we can rely on ourselves, but sometimes when fighting demons such as smoking, look for help. There will be gaps in your resolve, a weak link in your chain and they will be there to take up the slack. There is no shame, no weakness in looking for someone to help you out, and you will also find out who your real friends are. A surprising amount of people were trying to get me to smoke again and I still to this day do not understand why. Your friends should look after your health, someone who wants you to smoke is not someone you could really class as a friend. 


Quitting smoking has had a profound impact on my life. I now run 10km every 2 days, I don't get hangovers (this one surprised me), I have lost an amazing amount of weight, I do not get tired during the day, my heart speed has slowed down dramatically and I am so much happier. Quitting is not an easy road, and my heart goes out to anyone who wishes to walk this road. It's filled with pain, potholes, barriers, stress and difficulties and yet, I promise you...if you can make it to the end of this road, if you can just push through for those days, just hold on, hang in there, I promise you the end of the road is worth it in every way you can imagine. You will notice the difference it makes in your life. I wish you all the luck in the world!

A special thanks goes out in particular to Meilan, Alex (the cigarette ripper) and luke and the others who encouraged me along the way, without you guys, I would never have made it!

Please feel free to leave comments below. If you wish to share this article please quote my name. 
请你们在下面写你们的想法。文明发表言论,转发注明出处

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report seanboyce88 2016-3-31 16:18
A front page recommendation and no "we have recommended your blog?"

China daily...do you...do you not love us anymore?

It's suddenly so cold and lonely without voice CD....
Reply Report voice_cd 2016-3-31 17:02
Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted it in our blog homepage! Sorry didn't leave a message asap, I communicated with you in the wechat group and informed you that I had recommended it to editor's pick as soon as you posted.
Reply Report ysyaileen 2016-3-31 17:07
   happy for your achievement.  
there is no smoke in my family, and i really appreciate that.  i hope.that more and more people will join you. that will both be good for themselves and others.
Reply Report TedM 2016-3-31 18:46
Another nice blog. Personally I detest smoking and I find the habit so widespread and acceptable in China that I despair. It is almost a part of Chinese culture; a social and behavioural necessity; a standard form of greeting. Maybe in time this . and spitting will disappear?
Reply Report Dracarys 2016-3-31 19:28
the best thing you can do is never let yourself addicted to this kind of thing ..
Reply Report mbursian 2016-3-31 19:48
Congratulations... I've been "trying" to quit for a couple of months now.  It's hard and my wife doesn't understand how powerful that addiction is.  Went 2 days without and then back at it... can't quit quitting though.  Thanks for your article, it's inspiring me to give it another serious try.
Reply Report seneca 2016-3-31 20:21
My maternal grandfather quit, I don't knbow after how many years of persuading himself that he can do better without. He stopped and never picked up a ciggy again.

So, Sean, if you can keep up your resolution till 31 March, 2017, I will expect an invitation to a celebration in Harbin.
Reply Report seanboyce88 2016-3-31 20:30
voice_cd: Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted it in our blog homepage! Sorry didn't leave a message asap, I communicated with you in the we ...
I know, I was only joking  
Reply Report seanboyce88 2016-3-31 20:30
Dracarys: the best thing you can do is never let yourself addicted to this kind of thing ..
easier said than done however.
Reply Report Dracarys 2016-3-31 20:33
seanboyce88: easier said than done however.
especially when you are in blue mood..
Reply Report cmknight 2016-3-31 23:48
Smoking is a multi-part process. It is not strictly a "drug addiction", as you put it. You do not get addicted to the nicotine, you get addicted to chemicals which are added to the tobacco, such as ammonia (which helps keep the cigarette burning). There is also the hand-to-mouth action, the throat hit, the visible plume of smoke. All of these things work together to create the addiction.

Nicotine, by itself, is about as addictive as caffeine. What creates the addiction from smoking, are the MAOI molecules (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) which attach themselves to the nicotine molecules. Nicotine is also found in many vegetables which are members of the Nightshade family, such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant (second in nicotine content only to tobacco), cauliflower, and capsicums.

Your points about electronic cigarettes are based completely on false science, lies, and misconceptions. This is not your fault, of course. Many people succumb to these tactics, because of the so-called "science" used to produce the erroneous results. You are not "trading addictions" with e-cigarettes. They are a form of harm reduction, just like condoms and seat belts. With tobacco, you are getting thousands of different chemicals in the smoke, and approximately 65 known carcinogens. None of the ingredients in e-cigs are carcinogenic. Cigarettes require combustion. There is no combustion with an electronic cigarette. People may smoke for the nicotine, but they die from the toxic effects of the smoke. The article you linked to has been debunked, and is full of erroneous information. I had my last tobacco cigarette ever four years ago. I quit by using an electronic cigarette. They do work, as millions around the world can testify to.
Reply Report seanboyce88 2016-3-31 23:53
ysyaileen:    happy for your achievement.  
there is no smoke in my family, and i really appreciate that.  i hope.that more and more people will join you. th ...
I hope so too. You are very lucky to have no smokers in your family!
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2016-3-31 23:58
health issues aside, there is nothing worse and less attractive for the non-smoker than the stink trapped in their clothes and hair.
not to mention the stink of a smokers breath.

I was glad when smoking was banned in public buildings in my home country and I didn't arrive home smelling like an ash-tray after an evening in restaurant.

I'd certainly like to see the same thing enforced in China.

There is nothing attractive about smoking.
Reply Report seanboyce88 2016-4-1 00:07
TedM: Another nice blog. Personally I detest smoking and I find the habit so widespread and acceptable in China that I despair. It is almost a part of Chine ...
They have a saying chinese:

饭后一个眼,超过活神仙。

After dinner smoke a cigarette and you will live longer than the gods.

Smoking is pretty embedded in the culture.
Reply Report seanboyce88 2016-4-1 00:07
mbursian: Congratulations... I've been "trying" to quit for a couple of months now.  It's hard and my wife doesn't understand how powerful that addict ...
Quitting for 2 days is already a step in the right direction, keep persevering and I promise you can make it! good luck!
Reply Report seanboyce88 2016-4-1 00:07
mbursian: Congratulations... I've been "trying" to quit for a couple of months now.  It's hard and my wife doesn't understand how powerful that addict ...
Quitting for 2 days is already a step in the right direction, keep persevering and I promise you can make it! good luck!
Reply Report seanboyce88 2016-4-1 00:08
Dracarys: especially when you are in blue mood..
yes, definitely.
Reply Report seanboyce88 2016-4-1 00:40
seneca: My maternal grandfather quit, I don't knbow after how many years of persuading himself that he can do better without. He stopped and never picked up a ...
I shall expect to see you here next year then!
Reply Report mixamixa 2016-4-1 02:36
Quitting smoking in China must be difficult. People smoke everywhere and people offer you cigarettes all the time. WO BU HUI !
Good luck and stay strong.
Reply Report seneca 2016-4-1 07:33
If I survive the ciggy smoke invasion of my lungs from the fags of our local bus drivers... It is ironic that these icons of bus captainships tell passengers to extinguish their cigarettes but they sit in their vehicles at the termini, engines idling while they greedily draw on their Double Happy fags.

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