Fool For A Cigarette

I keep saying that people don’t make a big enough deal about how much of an addiction smoking really is. Calling it a “habit” is really understating it, unless you were talking about a heroin “habit” or a cocaine “habit”.

And while I’m sure there are people who’ve used weaning methods like nicotine gums, patches and e-cigarettes (smokeless, tar-less vaporisers) and succeeded in kicking the “habit”, the fact that you need to use a chemical to replace your dependence on the same chemical says a lot about how nasty this smoking business is.

I tried nicotine gums and patches once – at the same time. It felt so intense I decided I needed a cigarette to calm me down. I’m pretty sure I damaged some synapses or something with that episode.

When I was in the Army my priorities for field training were in this order: 1. pack enough cigarettes to last the training, 2. make sure they are in waterproof bag, 3. pack field pack”.

I know of smokers who’d walk through blizzards and hailstorms just to spend their last $12 on a pack of ciggies, or beg someone to give them one. These are hallmarks of a serious addiction, and you’d be very lucky if it didn’t ruin your health and you.

Luckily the difference between cigarettes and illegal drugs like heroin is that the physical craving / withdrawal symptoms of cigarette addiction is far less painful and lengthy. I read somewhere that if your body can get over the nicotine pangs, you’re good after three minutes.

If you’re ready to quit, I support you getting over it. It’s easier than you think. I smoked for over 20 years and quit in two days. Quit for yourself and your family. I did.

These days, the first thing I look forward to in the morning is not lighting up one to get me going, but spending a good few minutes playing with my son before he gets ready for pre-school.

Sleepyhead Papa and happy kid. (I tried to make him pose with the “I Quit” sign, but couldn’t stop him moving).

Check out the I Quit Club on FB and get the support you need to quit.

I Quit And Stayed Quit

It’s been awhile since I’ve quit smoking, and it never ceases to amaze me how easily I quit and how quickly I quit.

I was lucky though. My wife and I were both heavy smokers, going through roughly a pack a day at the peak. It must have been terrible for non-smoking visitors to come to our apartment (as we were constantly reminded by Naomi’s mum – who’d nag at us the moment she got into our car). When I first started blogging – no, that was not around the time when computers were invented – even my profile picture was one of me holding a cigarette.

I quit quite easily because I had my wife who quit together with me. We have been smoke free since 2008. Now if you think you may not have the luxury of having a support group behind you, you don’t have to look further than the world’s biggest quit smoking support group, put together by the Health Promotion Board.

I strongly encourage you to take a look if you’re trying to quit or thinking of quitting smoking. If you’re an ex-smoker like me, or even someone who has never lit up, join in and offer your support. The Facebook support group is chock full of resources for you to look at, or even send a Quit Pack (known among some smokers as the No-Fun Pack) to a friend or loved one.

I will be contributing my stories of quitting and of when I used to smoke in the coming days. Join me.

Seriously useful links:

I QUIT CLUB
OVER 60K ACTS OF SUPPORT – QUIT SMOKING SUPPORT COMMUNITY

Pregnancy brains

Day & Zol

No, I’m not talking about Naomi and her pregnancy hormone induced faux pas. Because even if I did and she read it here, she would have killed me so it wouldn’t be funny anymore.

It’s the waiting staff at restaurants in Singapore. They keep asking if Naomi (who is now 8 months pregnant) would like a glass of wine to go with her dinner.

Right up till last week at Pasta Fresca, where what looked like the captain or lead waiter asked if she’d like a beer, right after he asked if we’d like to sit in the smoking section, which I thought had been completely outlawed since January.

I hope this is limited to the F&B business. I don’t think I’d like real estate agents selling us houses under power lines.