The emotional stages of quitting smoking

BY ZOE YAK

“If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.

That, and never take up smoking. Seriously. Not even socially. Put that ciggie out right now.”

* What Baz Lurhman should have actually said.

With a twenty pack of Marlboro Lights creeping up closer and closer to that £10 price tag, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would take up the deadly vice in the first place. Today’s cigarette prices would see Carrie Bradshaw’s dirty little habit financially cripple her almost as much as her designer shoe addiction did.

But for some of us, we started back in the days when you didn’t need to take out an overdraft in order to get your nicotine fix. We were in too far when the prices started creeping up and the smoking ban meant we had to shiver outside while puffing away on a biff; and it was still worth it. For a while.

But all good* things must come to an end and quitting smoking is certainly not an easy journey. Here’s some things that will happen when you stub out for the final time.

*definitely not good. More Cancer Causing Bad, really.

1. Your last cigarette will not be your last one.

“The last ones are better than sex, trust me – I’ve had about a thousand of ‘em.” Dr Cox (Scrubs)

It’s always a Sunday when you decide to have The Final Cigarette. Usually with a throat like razor blades due to smoking two packets while pissed the previous night. You sit out in the back garden, puffing away on The Final Cigarette in a poignant manner; as if you’re the star of a film noir feature. You feel satisfied and go to bed smug; you’re going to easily knock smoking on the head – why does everyone go on about how hard it is?

Then Monday rolls around and by 6pm you’re at your corner shop buying allllll the wine and allllll the cigarettes.

Yes, The Final Cigarette, I guarantee, will not be your final cigarette.

2. You eat everything in sight.

The 10.30am ciggie break at work will be replaced by biscuits and that’s just the start. Your fridge door will now be open so much that you’ll be just as cold as the days when you’d be smoking outside in the rain. Instead of lighting up when bored, you now eat an entire birthday cake over the sink.

3. You can’t be around any friends or family that smoke

Kylie is your best friend. You’ve shared so many memories together. You love her like a family member.

Kylie also smokes.

Right now the only memories you can remember that you’ve shared involve those slim sticks of nicotine and she doesn’t want to lose her smoking partner. Kylie is now the enemy and you cannot allow yourself within 100 metres of her for at least the first week.

4. Your first night out sans fags will be harder than childbirth

Which hurts more; a kick in the balls or childbirth? Who cares? Neither are as painful of that first night out on the ale and not being able to go outside with all the cool kids and take minutes off your life with each puff.

Alcohol and cigarettes are the ultimate partnership. Some will argue maybe Lennon and McCartney are in fact, but come on – have you ever had a pint and fag on a warm summer’s day in a pub beer garden?

Those who can make it through their first night out ciggie free, without wandering round the smoking area at 3am begging strangers for a fag (or worse, ‘the ends’), are the ones who deserve footballer’s wages.

5. You can get away with a fair bit

Yes, there’s actually a positive to the hell of giving up smoking (aside from the increased bank balance, fresher smelling breath, healthy lungs, the fact e-cig liquid tastes miles better anyway, blah blah blah) – unacceptable behaviour suddenly becomes tolerated.

“Oh don’t mind her, she’s just cranky because she’s giving up smoking at the moment” suddenly becomes a commonly used phrased around you. Own it. Walk away from boring small talk, call people out on their bullshit and embrace your inner brat for a couple of weeks. It’s the little victories you have to take from the hell that is quitting smoking.

Until next time… x

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