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I quit smoking. For good now.

It’s an odd feeling. This has happened a few times:

“I thought you quit?” my friend would say as I reached, again, for my NYC-priced Camel Blues (at that time, $15 a pack 😱).

“Sure,” I’d say. “I quit lots of times.”

Undermining, of course, the whole notion of quitting. That’s the nature of bad habits.

You know smoking’s not good for you. It hurts others. It’s expensive. And that’s nothing compared to the cancer, COPD, asthma, or heart disease you’ll almost certainly get. Diseases you can easily avoid by not smoking.

But you do it anyway.

Believe me. I feel for you. More than once, I’ve decided, triumphantly, to finally quit smoking — and then reached for the next one within the same 30-second span.

It’s humbling. And it’s made it easier to empathize with, rather than judge, those who suffer from addiction.

I haven’t smoked for over 9 years now. Haven’t even wanted to. How’d I do it?

Everyone who quits will do it their own way. In my case, I took up yoga.

For someone who smoked, it was miserable at first. I was gasping for breath, dizzy, and inflexible. But that post-yoga feeling was unlike anything I’d ever experienced — wrung out, calm, happy, at peace — and I didn’t want to trade it for anything.

Not even cigarettes.

That’s the true power of habit — on both sides of the coin. Sure, it’s easy to slip into bad habits, to talk yourself into self-indulgence. But it’s also easy to develop, and stick to, good habits.

Once you get in the habit. 😉

Replace bad habits with good ones.

It doesn’t have to be hot yoga (but try it!) — just anything that gets the monkey off your back. Get your mind off cigarette cravings with a quick walk. Ten push-ups. A game on your phone. A phone call to friends or family. A carrot. A handstand. A song and dance. Whatever it takes 

The sooner you quit, the lower your risk for painful disease, hospital bills, and bitter regrets.

Log in now. Peruse our new slideshow: “What Happens When You Quit Smoking Tobacco.” The health benefits start within minutes — and will last you the rest of your (now longer) life.

Check back soon to see more updates on the Smoking Cessation learning page!

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Smoking Cessation

Originally posted 
Jun 11, 2024