I was smoking for 8 years from my time as a student when I was 18 until now at 26. I met my friends, found my first job and my first rented flat, moved to another city, and took a lot of other steps to adult independence with a cigarette in my hand.
As I write these lines now, I have not smoked in two weeks. It’s a very big step for me. I haven’t been without cigarettes for fifteen days in the past eight years. Why did I do this? And why had I not done this before?
For the first time in my life, I don’t have people around me smoking by the hour. Really. As a child, it was my father, in university, it was my roommates, and after that it was my friends, colleagues, boyfriends. Now, I am mostly surrounded by healthy people, and I’m surprised by how the environment has positively affected me.
I decided to stop smoking two weeks ago. I knew that it would be a very difficult time, but I wanted to approach it as a happy time because I will end the addiction. To ease the way, I bought a replacement therapy for 25 days. It looks like a Christmas calendar — a pack of tablets for 25 days, and the first week you eat six tablets per day. In the following days, you gradually reduce the dose to one tablet per day. These tablets don’t have nicotine but instead it’s a substance which blocks nicotine receptors, so it blocks your physiological desire to smoke cigarettes.
But the physiological desire is not the most difficult problem — you also have a mental desire or habit. To stop this, you need a lot of work on yourself and here, everyone is looking for their own way and their own reasons. I spent some time collecting and writing down all reasons to smoke versus to stop smoking for me. Also, I installed the mobile application “Smoke Free” to monitor tips, health, days, rewards, how much money I saved and so on — it helps me a lot.
Now I feel better, but of course not so calm. I’m looking forward to congratulating myself at the end of this week, at the end of this month, at the end of the year, and to congratulate myself on this victory my whole life.
– Margarita K. (student of The English Square)