My husband is right now on a plane to Orlando, Florida. On board is his suitcase with clothes and everything else he might need for this business trip. With him is although a carton of cigarettes, stuffed in a little carry-on-bag between laptop, tablet and a few books.
Our way of packing things is different. I pack a suitcase or a bag in a matter of minutes; never stress over it, knowing I can always buy me a toothbrush in case I forgot mine. My husband is the opposite of me, he lays everything out, makes a list in his head and makes sure he doesn’t forget anything. “Honey, how much do the cigarettes cost in Florida….do you know?” Seriously? I don’t smoke anymore, how am I suppose to know?”
He doesn’t like surprises, so we stopped at a gas station on our way back from dinner. He bought a carton of his brand and paid only $55…he was happy. I just looked at him “what a waste”. It slipped out before I could bite my tongue. I am not good in the bite-the-tongue-department. I don’t have a filter between brain and mouth. I think and talk at the same time, it brings me in trouble once in a while…what can I say, it’s my trademark I suppose.
He looked at me and rolled his eyes. Gosh, I didn’t want to become an annoying ex-smoker, but sometimes it just comes naturally. I never thought about cigarette prices when I smoked. I didn’t like the price of cigarettes, but it was never a subject for a discussion. The fact that I blew $150 up in smoke every months hit me after I quit. Indeed…what a waste!
We drove back home and after a moment of silence he said “it’s not that easy for everybody, as it has been for you”. I just looked at him. “What in the world is that suppose to mean?” The conversation continued at home and was eye-opening for me.
My husband thinks about quitting smoking. I guess every smoker thinks about quitting sooner or later, but he is scared. OK maybe not scared, but he thinks it is hard. He doesn’t like failure and I am sure he doesn’t like the idea, that he might fail and I didn’t. We are not just a married couple, partners, lovers…we were although smoking buddies for all those years. Summer or winter, heat or cold, at home or on the road -we always smoked together and without any warning I stopped. I still join him, even walk outside with him, but I am not his smoking buddy anymore. I am a non-smoker and I am happily married to a smoker. I knew it was bothering him, even though he is very supportive and very proud of me. I just didn’t know how much it was bothering him.
The most smokers I know think that quitting is really, really hard…almost impossible. My husband is one of them. Did I have the same opinion when I still smoked? I watched people over the years, trying to quit. Especially one of our friends tried it for years…still does. He buys a truckload of nicotine gum and starts chewing. It always lasts for a couple of days, sometimes even for a couple of weeks. Sooner or later he has a beer (always his favorite excuse) and then he smokes and chews the gum at the same time…until he runs out of gum…then he goes back to just smoking. He repeats the same thing over and over. Quitting now and then became his routine…nobody takes him serious anymore.
It bothers me, that my husband thinks quitting might be too hard. It bothers me, thinking that he might never quit, just because he is afraid he could not do it the way I did. I hope that’s not the case. I hope one day, at his terms he will be ready. Do I want him to quit…Yes. Will I ask him to quit…No.
The increased amount of views on my blog around New Year’s showed me that many smokers have either quit smoking or are thinking about it.
I don’t have all the answers, but I would like to tell you
Don’t over think it – Don’t respect the cigarette too much.
Think about it. We all were born as non-smokers. We all spent years without smoking and without the urge for a cigarette. The most smokers I know started smoking in their teenage years, some a little bit later as young adults. I only met one smoker in my lifetime who started in his late 30’s -what is very unusual, because that’s normally the age when we start to think about quitting. So quitting is just going back to our non-smoking roots.
The tobacco industry has painted a picture in our mind.Telling us to be afraid to just quit smoking. Gums, patches, drops, e-cigarettes and even medication is offered to “help” us quit. All the advertisement, especially on TV plants a seed in our mind, that quitting is painful and almost impossible and “the help” might be the answer. Is it really necessary? I don’t think so. I think we respect the cigarette too much, at least some of us do.
My quit was easy, because it came out of the blue. No preparation, no plan…I just didn’t smoke anymore. One day, then two days, then it was a week. 3 days of having a cold ended a lifetime of smoking…isn’t that something?
Look at the Millions of people who quit smoking without preparation, without help or NRT’s*. Millions just put it out and walked away.
So can you!
*NRT= Nicotine replacement therapy