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Monthly Archives: February 2013

No Such Thing As “Hell Week”.

Ever since I stopped smoking, I’ve noticed in conversations, in other stop smoking books, and in discussions on the internet, that the vast majority of those who are trying, or have tried to stop smoking almost always speak of it in terms of a battle.

A fight, a struggle, a continuous war of wills, where the smoker has to exercise an astonishing strength of mind to defeat a seemingly insurmountable enemy.

One of the first things you must learn in the secret art of stopping smoking is this.

Such an approach is totally wrong.

Even worse, it guarantees failure.

 The most disturbing description I have come across of this apparent ‘struggle’ was “hell week”.

After I discovered just how easy it is to stop smoking, that description alone inspired me to write this blog, and my book. Why?


Because ‘hell week’ is a lie.

Or rather, it’s yet another trick perpetrated on your mind by the Nicotine Brigade to scare you into NOT stopping smoking!

Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday?

Ahh, Shrove #pancake Day. Excellent. All flipped fabulously, and none stuck to the ceiling. Well. Mebbes a couple. And the one that went on top of the kitchen units. I blame it on the two females who were looking expectantly at me like hungry labradors, or similar. The five year old grandchild specimen, standing on a chair having ‘mixed’ the batter all over herself, me, and the said units, didn’t help when she picked one off the floor and said kindly: “Is it betterer with sand on”?

You just can’t get the staff, that’s what I say. What is a shrove, anyways…..?

In case we forget……

the stakes here, I lost my beloved father to smoking related cancer over ten years ago now. I’m not on a mission, I’m not an evangelist, but I wish I could transmit how easy it is to stop smoking. In the meantime, I’d love to dance with my father again.

Oh, for that Time Machine…

That book. The one by H.G. Wells. That’s right, The Time Machine. The one where he says:

“You must follow me carefully. I shall have to controvert one or two ideas that are almost universally accepted. The geometry, for instance, they taught you at school is founded on a misconception.”

It’s the same with smoking.

Everything you’ve heard about how hard it is to stop is almost certainly untrue.

I was reading about a 22 year old man today, who had failed to stop smoking, and wondered if his second attempt would be harder than the first simply because he failed. I said no. It gets easier, “because those failures are the building blocks of your success. You just can’t see that yet”. He liked that.

Fear is the main weapon of the Nicotine Brigade. The trick to stopping is not to be scared. Sometimes, after I’ve swum thirty lengths in the pool (I could never have done that as a smoker)  I ache for that Time Machine. I would get in, go back thirty years to my 22 year old self, give him a huge hug, and say:

“Don’t be scared. You can do it. It’s so much easier than you think”.

The Rule Of Three

Three minutes. Three hours. Nine hours.

Three days. That’s all it took to realize that smoking was a con perpetrated by the Nicotine Brigade. Three days to see, with astonishing clarity, through rapidly brightening eyes, that the notion of addiction to cigarettes is, in itself, a con.

It’s folk constantly telling you how hard it is to stop smoking, that convince you, over a very short period of time, that your mild addiction is somehow insurmountable.

After thirty five years of smoking, and then stopping, please let me assure you. It truly isn’t.

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