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Stop Smoking

This is a real test of ruling the mind. Can you stop smoking? Have you got the willpower? Do you have control over your life or have you given up that power to the Tobacco Industry?

It is a crime to let them get away with it; stealing your money.

I used to work for a tobacco company and to smoke. They gave me 200 cigarettes a month as part of my salary.

The major part of their marketing is aimed at kids, 10 to 18 year olds. They expend a lot of effort on getting around the advertising restrictions to make smoking look hip.

Why kids? Once you get to 18 you are not likely to start smoking. That snippet of wisdom came from a marketing executive at the Tobacco Company! Yes they really are that wicked, preying on innocent children to make a fast buck; they are in my mind as bad as paedophiles, destroying the health of young people. The governments that are supposed to protect us let them get away with it because in the short term they want their tax revenue and the Tobacco Industry has a lot of influence.

So youíve been duped into smoking. You thought it was cool and hip but now you find it rots your teeth, makes your fingers yellow, ruins your hair and skin, makes you smell, gives you a cough, makes you feel bad in the morning, wastes your money and more seriously, ruins your health, gives you mouth/ throat/lung cancer, causes heart attacks, gives you emphysema, causes amputations, makes you die younger, kills you and burdens our Health Service. Try saying that sentence in one breath if you're a smoker.

This is to list just a few of the horrors of smoking. To think you were given beautiful white lungs and you are putting black acrid smoke into them. You were not born wanting a cigarette; people go throughout life without ever having a cigarette, never having the need for it, never needing that crutch of a cigarette.

So ask yourself why do you smoke? You smoke when youíre nervous; you also smoke when youíre relaxed. You smoke at exciting social events but you also smoke when youíre bored. It covers ever situation even post coital. It is a paradox. Itís a nonsense. You smoke at every occasion with beer, wine, coffee, first thing in the morning when you cough your guts up.

You always have an excuse why not to give up. A million excuses. The drug has addled your brain; it has you trapped you in an addiction.

What can you do? Just stop. Cold turkey. It is the quickest and easiest way. Forget patches, cigars or any other substitute. You just have to stop. Ok you need to prepare for it, so start cutting down.

Start on a Monday and gradually reduce your intake to 3 Ė 5 a day over couple of weeks. Avoid situations where you smoke or doing things that you associate with smoking e.g. drinking coffee. Just for these initial weeks while you get back your life. Then throw away all your cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters, matches and just stop. A Monday is always a good day to stop on. Remember to call it ĎStoppingí not Ďgiving upí, giving up makes it sound like itís a penance not a boon.

The physical addiction side, the withdrawal symptoms, will last less than a week and will be easier as youíve been cutting down. The mental addiction the association with places and events will last a lot longer and is the really hard one to combat, not the physical addiction which is over very quickly. This is where your willpower, your ruling the mind comes into play. Be determined not to be an addict any more. Face up to yourself, donít make feeble excuses, be strong. Believe in yourself.

When you do stop think what you are going to do with all the money youíll save. Say conservatively £100.00 a month, £1,200 a year. Thatís money for a new car, or a holiday or anything else you want to treat yourself to. Make sure you put the money to one side; it will be another incentive watching it grow.

I drank slightly more wine and beer because it gave me something to do with my hands and mouth and because they tasted amazing. It got over the hard part about going to social events or the pub. Everything tasted better, I could smell scents in the air again; it was just fantastic.

When the mental withdrawal got really bad and gnawing at the brain, I had a couple of beers or some wine or I went for a walk or to the gym. Anything to take my mind off it and gradually the attacks got weaker and I got stronger each time.

I also started doing more exercise which enhanced my feeling of well-being and reduced the mental addiction. Iíd smoked since I was about 10 and so stopping was one of the best things I ever did. I canít believe I ever smoked and would rather cut my throat than start again. I ruled my mind can you?