I probably should have written this post yesterday. Better late than never.
When I was young, in Marathi, my mother tongue, there was a joke. This is how it went.
Tobacco divides the humanity into four categories.
1. Those who smoke tobacco, the smokers (फुंक्ये)
2. Those who chew tobacco and spit it out, the spitters (थुंक्ये)
3. Those who sniff tobacco as snuff and keep sneezing, the sneezers (शिंक्ये)
4. And finally, those who don’t do any of the above but only keep talking (barking) about ill effects of tobacco, the barkers (भुंक्ये)
As some of the readers may already know, I was in category 1, the smoker, for 21 years, from 1982 to 2003. When I was a smoker, I would recite the above categorization to all those who would tell me about ill effects of smoking and berate them as category 4, the barkers.
All these years of smoking affected me in various ways, the worst was how it affected my feet. I developed a condition called “Intermittent Claudication” which leads to insufficient blood flow to one’s feet resulting in cramps when one tries to walk fast. You can read about it here.
And then on 11th October 2003, I quit smoking and entered the category of barkers. It was not easy to do, but I am very happy that I did it. I would share with you some of the tips that I used to quit smoking.
Really want to quit.
This is the most difficult part. Let’s not deny that smoking is pleasurable. And one wants to continue. There is always the this won’t happen to me syndrome. We really want to believe that we are different and this small amount of smoking is not going to affect me. I convinced myself that I really wanted to quit. I created various reasons to convince me.
Make a public commitment
I made multiple attempts to quit, but the attempt that succeeded was the one in which declared to public in general that I had quit.
Create a support system
Have people who would give you moral support in your quest. If you think having a medication will help, use it. If you can form another habit, form it, make sure it’s not worse.
As an ex-smoker I sincerely appeal to all the smokers to celebrate a No Tobacco Day everyday.