Thursday, 31 May 2018

Giving Up Smoking - One Year Later

Giving Up Smoking - Man masked by a cloud of smokeThere follows a guest post update on my husband's new smoke-free life, after successfully giving up a year ago. Due, in no small part, to the amazing book Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking, it took an enormous amount of determination and self-belief to give up completely and the effect on the family has been quite profound. Not especially dramatic, but lots of little improvements in every aspect of our lives. I no longer sit alone in restaurants, I don't have to avoid hanging the washing near where he smokes, we are better off financially and our son doesn't have a feeling of dread every time those awful anti-smoking ads come on the TV, to name a few. That's enough from me, though, this is his story, in his own words. 

It has been a year since I gave up smoking, so it has given me time to reflect on a few things. The day I walked into the kitchen, after spending two days reading the book, and told my wife and daughter I was quitting for good, as I threw half a packet of cigarettes in the bin, there was a small part of myself thinking, I hope I manage to carry this through, however I had an enormous wave of thinking I've never been so determined to do something ever and I made it!

Smokers have different views of themselves, some just light up, whenever they feel like it and don't care what other's think. Some try and be discreet and thoughtful towards others. Personally I was just ashamed of myself and aware of the stigma constantly. From being the one that had to trudge out of a restaurant whilst all the others looked out of the window at me. To buying another packet, knowing the household budget couldn't carry my addiction, so someone in my family would have to go without for my gain. Either my wife, or my children. That's quite hard to live with.

Man trying to light a cigarette, standing in a blizzard

All these reasons were factors towards me wanting to give up, along with the obvious health issues that go with being addicted. I look back now and honestly wonder why it took me so long to be brave enough to just stop. I have been in the position myself where I've said; 'I'm giving up today', but I'll take a fiver, or a couple of cigs, just in case, which just spells failure. Trust me, you have to reach the point where you give up, but don't use the safety net, be brave, just bin them and don't look back.

The benefits. Oh my goodness, where do I start. I hold my head high these days, I'm proud of what I've achieved. When you consider I smoked from 12 years old to 50. That took some mental strength, which I now know I have. The obvious things like: I can smell our garden, I can taste my dinner, and I can be a proud role model to my children. Money can't buy that level of self esteem for me.

Man sitting on a bench, flanked by his children.

Smoking is quite unique. You ask most smokers if they like smoking and they say no. It costs a fortune, it makes you smell, it turns your teeth yellow and doesn't do much for your health. It's hard to find many plus points so I would urge anyone to have a good think about giving up, I would also urge people to read this book. It may not work for everyone but it has worked for about eight million people.

My last point is this; every smoker has wondered what would it take to push them hard enough to give up completely? If a doctor said 'Phil, you have cancer', that would be enough, but, in my case, the awful, world-shuddering shock of losing our wonderful friend Lynn, who was 6 years younger than me, to a smoking-related illness, was too close for comfort, and that was enough. It was something I could do in her memory and there was no way I could let her down. 

Top Photo by Thomas Bjornstad on Unsplash
Lighting Cigarette Photo by Evan Phillip on Unsplash


  1. Sounds like a great book to inspire people to quit smoking.Think its great your husband wanted to share how he has done it and why.

  2. Wow! You’ve done so well! I know plenty of people at work who haven’t even lasted a year!!

  3. My Mum gave up smoking two years ago after smoking for almost 50 years!! so proud of her

  4. That's absolutely smoking news! Hehe, so happy for you and glad you're keeping up!

  5. What an incredible achievement - well done to your husband! Long may the smoke-free years continue :)

  6. Congratulations, that's an amazing achievement :D My husband is currently trying to stop so I'm going to show him this & mention the book! x

  7. Well done lovely . It’s my fourth year this year :) feel so much better for it

  8. Well done you, it's such a big achievement to be able to stop and to stay off them too. So great to hear the benefits of it too

  9. I somehow missed this, and didn't like to ask in case things had gone pear shaped somewhere over the last year, so glad I came to have a look round and found it all did work out. Well done, heading for the two year mark soon.. :)


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