Stop Smoking Now Essay, Research Paper
Life or Death: Stop Smoking NOW!
By James T. Smith
Everyone was starting to notice that I had a problem. My wife would ask, “Are you O.K.?” as I hacked and coughed every morning. My friends would joke about how I would run short of breath just from walking to the car. My wallet was really talking to me! Somehow I managed to lose five or six dollars a day somewhere between home and the convenience store. But the only voice I would heed had to come from within myself. Finally one day it did.
I had been debating quitting smoking for the last few months. I would get very angry every time I went out to buy cigarettes because the prices seemed to change weekly. Every week there was a new tobacco settlement, and a new price hike. The “victims” of big tobacco were paying their own settlement it seemed. I grudgingly paid the $3.58 for a pack of Marlboros, while I thought about the Value Meal I could have purchased at the local McDonalds for roughly the same price. I was spending close to one hundred fifty dollars a month for the privilege of smoker’s cough and the smell of an ashtray. In retrospect it doesn’t seem like a very good bargain.
Of course I was also concerned with my health, and so was my family. My mother would see the yellow stains on my fingers and shake her head. “Imagine what your lungs look like!” she would say. I could just picture the little passageways in my lungs being choked off by the tar that stained my hands. My wife insisted that I quit smoking. I woke up hacking every morning. It had become part of my morning ritual. She couldn’t understand why even short walks on the beach would have me wheezing
and fumbling for a cigarette. I used to be able to swim out to the breakers, but now I was relegated to the beach. I didn’t enjoy swimming any more.
To make matters worse, there was the ever-present discrimination and segregation. If I could smoke in a restaurant, I’d be forced to sit in the back with all the other social misfits. I felt guilty making my wife join me in exile. She would complain about someone blowing their smoke at her and I’d switch seats with her. At work I had to walk downstairs, through the lobby, and outside into the parking lot to have my precious cigarette. I’d stand outside like a fool in the pouring rain while my non-smoking co-workers sat in the air conditioned cafeteria and enjoyed coffee and snacks. I would always opt for the cigarette because I didn’t have time to do both.
Finally I had enough. After hearing of a co-worker’s success with hypnosis, I decided to make an appointment for hypnotherapy. She was so convinced and gave such a glowing report of the whole process that I was too intrigued not to go. I arrived for my appointment at 1pm sharp and spent about an hour talking with the hypnotherapist about the different rules of hypnosis. He wanted me to fully understand what was going to happen, and more importantly, what couldn’t happen.
He explained to me how hypnosis was just a way of communicating with the sub conscious mind. We talked about being truthful about what I wanted to accomplish, and the fact that I had to truly want to stop smoking forever. Once he was convinced that I was serious about wanting to quit, we went ahead with the hypnosis. We talked about
how a person’s moral and ethical values won’t let them do anything while under hypnosis that they wouldn’t do normally. This was quite a relief, as I have seen many stage hypnotist shows and didn’t want to bark like a dog every time a bell rang.
Once we had determined that I was ready, the therapist proceeded with the hypnosis. For me, hypnosis was very peaceful, like waves of warm water flowing over me. I was aware of everything going on around me, but I stayed relaxed and very “fluid” in my thoughts. When we were finished, I felt as if I had a full night’s sleep. I was very relaxed but also energized. The mantra “I am a non-smoker and I will remain a non-smoker for the rest of my life” resonated through my head as I left the office.
I had given away my last pack of cigarettes shortly before going to the appointment. I no longer desired to smoke. I made a promise to myself and to my family and I intended to keep it. While I was at the hypnotist, my wife cleaned all the ashtrays and put them away. She sprayed air freshener throughout the house, and stowed all the lighters away. She has been instrumental to my success.
I have been smoke free for one month. I see, smell and taste the world in a whole new way. Although I always dispelled it as a wives tale, foods actually do taste better now. Other non-smoker friends of mine noticed that I didn’t smell like a cigarette even before I told them I had quit. I can have a glass of beer in a bar without a cigarette, and I enjoy proving that fact every weekend. I ran, yes, ran the twenty yards to the mailbox today. I didn’t have to stop and clutch my side or limp back to the house wheezing and
coughing either. I’ve saved approximately $150 so far, and who knows how many minutes or even hours I may have added to my life span. I wouldn’t trade my new way of life for the old one for anything. Stopping smoking has really changed my life for the better.