Most baby boomers came of age at a time when smoking was cool. We can only hope that they will be the last generation to grow up in a culture where smoking is cool and acceptable. The health passion of baby boomers that comes out of their dislike of anything that accelerates the aging process is one of the reasons the anti smoking movement has gained strength in the last decade.
The reasons for quitting tobacco are well known to anyone who has paid attention to the issue at all. Smoking reduces the life span. For the baby boomer generation, living a long and healthy life is a way of staying young. Smoking not only shortens the life span but it is a plague to your health in every era of life.
- Smoking destroys quality of life. Simple pleasures like breathing and enjoying a fine meal are damaged because smoking dominates the lungs and taste buds. The pleasures that make life worthwhile are rendered neutral by smoking.
- Smoking hurts the innocent. Secondary smoke hurts the ones you love and it plants in children the desire to smoke in their adult lives.
- Smoking brings on dire diseases such as cancer and lung disease. These diseases are deadly and they can make life in your retirement years miserable.
- Smoking makes you ugly. This may be the worst crime there is to a baby boomer. Smoking causes wrinkles and dries the skin making you look decades older than you really are.
The good news is that even for baby boomers who may have been smoking for decades, it’s always possible to quit. Sometimes it’s easy to decide you can never beat this addiction. You may have tried the patches and pills and even hypnotism and the desire for the nicotine poison lingers on. But it is possible to do it. There are some steps to getting it done which will take a while but they are proven to work.
- Get plenty of support. Get your family on your side and educate them on your program. If you commit to them you are going to do it, they can love that habit out of your system.
- Catalog your smoking. Make a precise journal of exactly how many cigarettes you have every day, when you have them and even who you are with when you have them.
- Stabilize your usage. Now select the 10 or 20 times each day you will have a cigarette and only let yourself have one at those allotted times. Do this for about 2 weeks. If you want a cigarette at another time, just promise yourself you will wait for it.
Starting with week one of the quit smoking campaign, eliminate one cigarette from your routine. Pick the easiest time not to have one. Pick the time that is least social so you feel less pressure to go ahead and light up. So where you may have smoked 20 cigarettes a day before, now you smoke 19 a day. Do that for 2 weeks. If you want a cigarette during that eliminated time, just promise yourself you can have one at the next allowed smoke break.
- Eliminate one cigarette from your schedule every do weeks. 18 cigarettes a day for 2 weeks, then 17, then 16 and on and on. Keep notes. Go from easiest time to quit to hardest.
- With each successful phase, have a little celebration with your friends and family.
- Finally you will down to one a day. You will have scaled your dependency down to this one tiny smoke break. You will come to that moment when you say, Oh what’s the point of having the one? Then you can crumple up your last pack and throw it way.
The wonderful thing about this technique is it’s free, and you reduce your dependence slowly by promising yourself that cigarette at the next allowed smoke time. Stay with the same brand so your level of nicotine remains constant.
Staying at each level for a couple of weeks, you give your body a chance to slowly get used to each reduced level until you have weaned yourself off tobacco completely. Picture throwing that final pack away, then congratulate yourself for having added years of life to your life.