“Who said it could not be done? And what great victories has he to his credit, which qualify him to judge others accurately?” Napoleon Hill
Even though much has been said about the hazards of smoking, I still believe that in the foreseeable future we will continue finding out new details on what effects tobacco smoke, including the second-hand one, has on our health. Our descendants actually will be wondering in awe how humanity was gradually killing itself with the self-imposed addiction, costing millions of lives and trillions of dollars.
The World Health Organization estimates that 100 million people in the world died from smoking-related illnesses in the 20th century, at the current rate of around 6 million people per year. Just think of it: 6 million! That's almost the population of Bulgaria or Rio de Janeiro, if you like, being wiped out in a year from the smoking plaque. Every year. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use causes more deaths in the world on the yearly basis than AIDS (1.9 mln), alcohol (2.5 mln) and suicides (1 mln) combined together. Tobacco claimed more lives in the 20th century than both of the devastating world wars, WW I – 20 mln, WW II – 55 mln. Every six seconds “another one bites the dust” due to effects of the tobacco, and the smoking-related illnesses claim one out 10 adult deaths globally. If the trend continues, up to 1 billion people will fall victims to this epidemics in the 21st century.
There are more than 4000 chemical substances in the cigarette smoke; at least 50 of them are known to cause cancer. The list is quite extensive, but let me just say that it includes arsenic that is used in rat poisons, DDT that is a banned insecticide, Formaldehyde that is used to preserve dead specimen, and the list continues in this manner. All of them go directly to your blood and hence saturate every cell of your body when you inhale cigarette smoke.
My goal today is not to scare you with the lethal effects of smoking and make you quit because of the fear of slow and painful death. Even though that lots of extensive research shows that an average smoker lives 10-20 years shorter than an average person who does not smoke, you most probably would not care about this, as it is always just a probability and never 100%. As experience shows, the method of fear of remote punishment simply does not work. If it did, most of the people would become non-smokers the moment they saw the health warnings on the packs (like “Smoking causes impotence”). If someone told you, “If you do not stop smoking now, you will be decapitated in 1 week,” you would have much higher chances of finding inner strength to get rid of this addiction.
My aim is to help you make the greatest decision in your smoking life – free yourself from smoking so that you greatly improve the quality of your life today and tomorrow.
Allen Carr, one of the most successful authors on the matter of quitting smoking, said in his bestseller Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking “However, you can not force smokers to stop, and despite all smokers secretly want to, until they are ready to do so a pact just creates additional pressure, which increases their desire to smoke. This turns them into secret smokers, which further increases the feeling of dependency. ”
I agree that to make this great important change in your life, you have to be ready for it. All of the smokers know well how effective the pleas of their non-smoking spouses, parents, or friends are in helping them quit. The reason for failure comes from the fact that you're simply not ready. You are listening but you are not listening, you are watching but you are not seeing. You are not ready psychologically. Ceasing smoking requires courage and definiteness of decision. You fear that you will not end and be perceived lacking in will-power by your relatives, friends, and collections. You fear to fail as you have probably failed already several times before. That's number one reason for not being ready. Number two, in my opinion, is that you are not motivated enough. You can not leave the comfort zone of your daily routine because you do not see the higher purpose for which to do it. When you are 20-25, it may seem to you the same whether to live 70 or 85 years (both are dinosaur ages anyway), but as you progress through life and start noticing how fast the bells toll, you become aware of the preciousness of every moment here. But still, you may spend 15 or 20 years smoking before ceasing (if you will cease at all), because of lack of proper motivation. A possibility of a lung or mouth cancer at 65 seems so distant to us when we are 25, that it does not serve as a strong enough impetus for stopping.
See it yourself that there is nothing cool about smoking. It's a disgusting process that is poisoning your organism and the air around you, exposing to high risk not only the health of your own but also of the people dearest to you. The perceived trendiness of smoking has been carefully planed into your mind by many years of excess advertising and product placement with substantive marketing budgets ($ 15 bln only in the US in 2003). You have to understand that the images of happy young smiling ladies and “real men” have been created to admit you to buy that particular brand. If you doubt that, look at a lady with 20+ years of smoking experience … listen to the timber of her voice … see the color and texture of her skin … feel the smell of her hair. Or, think of Wayne McLaren, David McLean and Dick Hammer – the three men that appeared in famous brand advertisements with a cowboy- who all died from lung cancer in the 90's. Wayne McLaren, for example, did not see his 52nd birthday. He had been a pack-and-a-half-a-day smoker for over 25 years …
So, smoking is an outdated addiction, the only purpose of which is to deliver nicotine to the body of the smoker. This is the only actual reason for you to smoke. Your cells start craving for nicotine the moment its level starts dropping. Everything else is the alibis that your creative mind makes up in order to justify the regular intake of this highly-addictive substance. There is nothing sexy about smoking. It makes you stink as a dozen ashtrays, carries discomfort to your beloved ones; costs you plenty of money (an average a pack-a-day smoker in Europe will spend more than 15000 EUR on cigarettes alone in the next 10 years of their life, calculated at current medium prices for a pack), reduces your energy level, diminishes your sexuality, decreases your productivity, steals your health, and, ever, takes your life.
It's never late to stop smoking. No matter how many years of experience you have – 1 or 30 – you can do yourself a great benefit by simply quitting smoking today. Within just 1 year after ceasing smoking, your excess risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke will have dropped to less than half that of a smoker, and within 10 years, your risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer will be between 30% and 50% of a normal smoker and your risk of getting pancreatic cancer will have dropped to the level of a non-smoker .
The inspiration for quitting smoking should come not because of awful consequences in the form of slow and painful death (even though that could certainly be a trigger for starting to think in that direction), but in the quality of life now. And the life of a smoker stinks … both literally and figuratively speaking. You know it better than I do.
The hard feeling in the chest, the frequent dryness in the mouth, the stench in the whole body, the never-ending coughing, the regular catching of cold or flu, the general fatigue from head to toes, the constant thinking about cigarettes, the panic when being out of cigarettes, the crazy amount of money being spent on the same cigarettes even on a monthly basis, not to mention annually … If you do not have these symptoms yet, you will acquire them soon – with more experience in smoking. And what do you get in return? The short-lasting feeling of pleasure which is actually lack of discomfort that you start getting once nicotine level in your blood drops.
Why do you smoke? Think of it objectively, put all pros and cons and see which side wins the battle. If you are honest with yourself, the amount of supporting facts will be countable on the fingers of one hand in the best case, and the opposition will be more than abundant.
You can quit smoking. It's not that hard. Trust me, I'm speaking from experience. It's not so easy. It's challenging. But it's not that hard. It's nothing an average person could not do.
As Napoleon Hill, the father of the contemporary success philosophy, said, “You can always become the person you would have liked to be.” His even more famous words from the Law of Success are “You can do it, if you believe you can.” Ceasing smoking requires definiteness of decision and decisiveness for achievement. Stopping smoking will be one of the greatest achievements in your life so far. It will be one of the most important lessons in conquering yourself.
Do you want to do it? How bad do you want it? The moment your desire for stopping cigarettes becomes an obsession so great you can not think of anything else, you will be really unstoppable. Nothing in the world can make you light up again. And it's because you will have known how wonderful life is without nicotine.
You will begin noticing the different notes of floral smells. You will start breathing again with no hardships or strange sounds. Your whole body will feel fit, elevated, and in a good shape. People will start noticing the change that will have happened in you. They will be wondering what special skin pealing procedures you are taking and what sports you are practicing as all of a sudden you will look at least 10 years younger. Your general energy level will be so much boosted and you will feel ecstatic most of the time. You will be more productive. In a flash, you will turn into the work annihilator: any amount of work will be easily consumed as you will have so much more time to concentrate on it. This will not be left unnoticed. Your employer will be pleasantly surprised and your colleagues will be wondering what the hell is “wrong” with you.
Except for the first several weeks of nicotine-addiction struggle on the chemical level, you will free your mind from the thoughts about cigarettes. When you are a smoker, it rarely happens that you do not think about cigarettes. It's either about wanting them, or when smoking them, or after having too much of them. Imagine, how much more time you will have to think about matters that are important for your well-being in both short and long term: your true desires, your goals that come from them, your plans for achieving them, your actions for realizing them .
The amount of time that you will have purchased from simply not smoking will add between 2-3 hours daily, if you are a pack-a-day smoker now. Imagine if you invest this time in reading literature in your field of occupation. This will amount to 10-15 hours weekly, and between 40 and 60 hours monthly! You can get an online master's degree in just a year, or become a leading expert in your field in 2-3 years. Imagine the added value of financial gains from this, not to mention the feeling of happiness you may enjoy!
Life without cigarettes is truly wonderful! With all the health benefits and the prospects for a longer and happier time on earth, stopping smoking is giving you even more. It sets you free to invest time and money in yourself, choose your definite path in life, plan your steps in it, engage in activities that will shape your destiny, and achieve success in your chosen field. Life without cigarettes is superior in both quality and quantity. To me it sounds like a great combination; do you agree?
Sources used: 10 years of personal experience in smoking almost 1 pack per day on weekdays and a little more (sometimes much more) than that on weekends (from 1998 to 2008, when quitting at once with Allen Carr's Easyway book); besides that common knowledge on tobacco, Wikipedia, as well as: