Ask any smoker and they will tell you the dumbest decision they ever made was their first cigarette. It starts as an innocent way to kill some time, but it quickly takes over your life. Being addicted to cigarettes is like giving up your free will, at times. You are constantly thinking about your next cigarette, and you may even start avoiding certain people or things that may interfere with your smoking. As if that isn't bad enough, the guilt and shame is unbearable. There isn't much worse than entering a place filled with people, knowing that you smell like you rolled around in an ashtray.
Ask those same people, and they will tell you that quitting is the hardest thing to do, also. In fact, only 6% of those who try to quit are successful. That means that out of every 100 quitters, only 6 succeed. Although the numbers may seem discouraging -- they still show that there is a chance. There is only one thing that is stopping you from succeeding, and that one thing is you. You are the only thing that is standing in your way, and it's time you move aside.
The techniques that people use to quit smoking are far and wide. No quitting journey looks the same, but the best ones end the same. If you choose to substitute your cigarettes with candy or another habit, what works for you may not work for the next guy. One thing that I ask you not to do, is replace your smoking habit with another bad habit. There are plenty of people out there that quit smoking only to pick up chewing tobacco. Sure, they are no longer harming their lungs daily, but now they are just harming another area on their body. This is counterproductive, and I hope you don't go down that road.
Another trending alternative to smoking is vaping. Vaping has been somewhat controversial, because there has been conflicting ideas on whether or not it is better for your health. Being a fairly new concept, the knowledge of vaping is limited. One obvious benefit of this alternative is the lack of smoke inhalation. Inhaling smoke is believed to cause lung cancer, by changing the cells in the lungs. An interview with the maker of the documentary "A Billion Lives" challenges those who oppose vaping, stating that most of them are supporters of the huge market that is cigarette smoking.
Plenty of other people quit cold turkey and use willpower alone to quit. I know, I know -- it sounds hard and unattainable. I am here today to tell you that it is absolutely possible. When I was young and dumb, I started smoking in high school. In my young angst it felt like a way to defy my parents and impress my friends. The older I got, the more I got sucked into it and eventually stuck. Year after year I was kicking myself for even starting, and put off quitting because of how hard it was going to be. Well one day that all changed. I said enough is enough, and I quit. Just like that. Sure, it was hard, and there were days that I felt like giving up the progress I had made. Day after day went by, and before I knew it months had passed since my last cigarette. Do you know what happened next? Years went by, and I took a good hard look at myself and smiled. I had done the impossible -- or so I once thought. It was hard, but I pushed through on willpower and hope. I know it's cliché, but the saying holds true: if I can do it, you can do it.
It doesn't matter how you decide to quit, all that matters is that you do. No matter who you are, you have people who care about you, and a chance at a healthy future. Do you want to spend your later years in life hooked up to an oxygen tank, or worse? I didn't think so. Face your deepest fears and do what it is that you are scared of. I think the scariest part of quitting is the fear of failure. Failure is only an option if you allow it to be. Take your future back and kick the cigs to the curb.