Different Approach

In my constant internet search for knowledge and the smoking truth I came across this little gem which I had to share, mainly for the fact that it's not a million miles removed from the method I used myself.

I still have my 19 security blankets left somewhere.

It's a fair old read so don't peek if you're meant to be working...


So, how do we quit? What is the best approach to dumping this habit when we really know absolutely nothing about it? To start, we can look at what does not work.

This approach presented here totally contradicts all authoritative approaches. It disagrees with all the expertise presented by various government agencies, health organizations, and even the tobacco manufacturers.

Statistically, the accepted approach to quitting has a high rate of failure. The percentage of those succeeding is measured in single digits, and success is usually achieved only after multiple attempts.

With the chaff stripped away, the standard approach to quitting boils down to three basic steps:

(1) Set A Quit Date, (2) Gather A Support Group, - and when the quit date arrives - (3) Flush the Cigarettes.

Here is a loose scenario of what might go down if one were to follow the authoritative approach.

You start by setting a date and gathering a support group - family, neighbours, coworkers, etc. You tell them when you are going to quit and how their support will be greatly appreciated.

As the quit-day approaches, the feeling sets in this may not be the perfect time to quit - you are just not ready - some time later, but not now. There could not be a worst time than now. But you are committed. You have told just about everyone in the whole world you are counting on them for help. You have no choice. You have to quit, NOW!

So, you toss the cigarettes, throw out the ashtrays and cigarette lighters, and go for it! But it does not last long. The time eventually arrives where you can handle it no longer. Panic sets in. You have to have a cigarette! But you have disposed of them! But you have to have a cigarette – Right Now! But you have no cigarettes! So you hop in the car, drive to the nearest store, buy a pack…. and light up!

Now, what do you tell all your supporters? What do you say to the spouse and kids, neighbours and coworkers? Those that have never smoked will not understand your failure. Those that have never been there can never understand.

And what about those that have been there – the smokers that have successfully quit - the righteous “reformed smokers”? Expect little or no understanding from them. Many, maybe most, are prima donnas who delight in expressing their indignation when someone lights up a block away and fouls their air. Many, if not most, delight in feeling ‘holier than thou” when you fail.

So, what went wrong? For starters, a quit date was set. The date came around and you really were not ready. It sounded like a good idea at the time. But later, when that special day rolled around, it did not seem like the best idea in the world. But there was no backing out.

A public commitment was made with no graceful means of backing out. You told everyone their support was needed. But it’s not their battle – it is yours. The battle is between you and the tobacco companies. A pat on the back and a couple of “Atta-Boys” from well doers is not going beat this thing. You must do it alone with no obligations to others. It is your battle.

And then, you threw your cigarettes away – your security blanket. When panic set in, when you had to have a cigarette, there were none around. If a pack had been within reach, there would have been no need for panic, no need for a trip to the store. Immediately lighting up can be postponed because there is no panic and with the passage of time, lighting up can be forgotten.


A different approach would be - Prepare yourself mentally for quitting. Think about quitting. Get angry, not with yourself but with the tobacco companies. Hate them, not yourself. Get tough!

A different approach would be - Get up in the morning and then decide if this might be the day to go for it. There is no pressure. It is your decision. If you have not lit up since the previous night, you already have an eight-hour start at being cigarette free!

A different approach would be - Tell no one. Quitting is something you do on your own. It is your addiction. If people notice you have not been smoking, and ask if you have quit, tell them you are working on it. No need for a definitive answer. Things may change.

A different approach would be - Hang onto those cigarettes. They make a good security blanket - and there is nothing wrong with a security blanket!

Keep a pack in your pocket or purse. If the urge sets in to fire up, no need for panic. A cigarette is right there within reach. Without panic, there is no reason you must light up at that particular moment! It can be postponed, put off for a while. You can always light up later if it is absolutely necessary. Instead, wait a while. Get angry. Think tough. Feel tough. After a while, you will be tough. You have to be tough! You will find feeling tough feels good. Beating the tobacco companies feels good.

When you are beginning to feel secure in your endeavor, you can forego carrying cigarettes on your person. Instead, keep a pack in your car. Keep one in your desk at work. At home, you will still have part of that carton you had not smoked when you decided to quit.

There is no need to ever get rid of the “security blankets”. If it feels better to have them around, hang on to them. If the time comes that you prefer dumping them, then do so. It is your call.

9 Replies

  • I find the way you are going about this fascinating, Austin.

    I don't honestly think I could do it, not from the start anyway. I think I could easily survive now with cigarettes within reach, but on day 1? Hell no!

    Still, it's certainly working for you so far. The way I understand what you are doing is that you don't class yourself as a non-smoker - just a smoker who is putting off his next cigarette.

    I don't think I could live with that, but congratulations on what you're doing - it's working for you and that's superb.

  • The way I understand what you are doing is that you don't class yourself as a non-smoker - just a smoker who is putting off his next cigarette.

    Like I said, my method was not a million miles away but not quite the same, I can’t remember getting angry with anyone other than myself and didn’t keep a safety blanket about my person, they stayed in the glovebox for months and then a drawer in the kitchen.

    However you do misunderstand, I class myself very much as a non-smoker and have done for many months.

    I’ve always intended to get my packet with 1 missing cast into a block of acrylic but haven’t got round to it yet..!! :)

  • When I started on champix it said set a date between day 8-14 to quit and I loosely intended to do this but just thought there will be a point in that week I won't want to smoke anymore and i'll stop then. It worked out that I decided on the Saturday, but only specified a date cos my nurse said well what day are you stopping and I felt backed into a corner. Come saturday I paniced I had smoked my last ciggerette the day before I had none and I was not allowed to smoke. I had bought some within 45 mins of self tourture. The next day I thought right i'll try not to smoke today I had a few ciggies left but thought i'll just try. I got to about 09:30 and my husband bless him was in a argumentive mood so when I snapped at him he snapped back and I lit up. That was my last ciggerette.

    I had to stop the champix on the 06th of this month (as I was becoming a little do lally, or at least a little more do lally lol) I was Ok for a couple of days then it hit me like a fright train. I needed to smoke again. I hadn't had that for over 2 weeks. I had fought that battle and won, OK occasionally I craved one but that desperate need had left after about a week.

    Saturday I caved and went and bought 10 ciggies. After I had bought them I felt better. I had them, if I needed to smoke they were there. But right now I am ok so i'll have one later when I am not. I got through Saturday and didn't smoke. Sunday was really hard but I wasnt going to smoke but if I really needed to I could, they were just in my bag. I went out into the garden to do some digging it was annoying me but I was determined not to smoke. Then this sodding wasp came buzzing round my head, blasted thing, drove me mad and I thought right you ****** its your fault, I am going to smoke and its your fault for annoying me (talking to a wasp, told you I wqas do lally) I went opened the pack and put one in my pocket, this was about 09:30. I could feel it in my hand. I'll have it in 10 mins, 10 mins later, well I am ok now and its in my pocket, lighter in the other one I am ready when I need it. Every now and then I thought right i'll have that in a bit until about 4pm, then I pulled it out of my pocket, not to smoke but cos it was annoying me as it had snapped into bits during the day.

    I have 9 left in that pack, in my bag. They are my security blanket. If I have to have one they are there. My son had his 3rd lot of jabs on Tues and it was a horrible day and I just kept thinking it's alright i'll have a ciggy when they go to bed and when they went to bed I was ok, so didn't smoke.

    I think I bought them cos I was so angry that I have given up smoking twice in 4wks. I haven't even smoked to make that fair. I just stopped the champix and had to then go cold turkey anyway. I couldn't believe how stong it was after not smoking for 3 wks

    The way I see it is I am not smoking right now, thats not to say I won't later but i'll just see how far I can get and if I need to I have some ready.

  • Everyone is different.

    I know myself well enough to make sure that it would require a trip to a shop before I have access to cigs.

    Just me but otherwise a good approach I think.



  • Id given up for about a week when the Mrs first noticed!! :D(I never smoked in the house)

    I had conciously not told anyone as I did not wish to be seen to fail again:eek:

    I smoked my last bit of backy, but kept the 20 odd butts in the car ashtray for a few months. (I had been known to make a rolly out of old butts when I was desperate):eek::D

  • This approach is the one outlined by Gillian Riley in her book "How to stop smoking and stay stopped for good".

    Thanks for that Carl, I now realise that I'm a "Blithe" according to Mrs Riley.

    First impressions are that she's talking a lot of sense.

    I will see if she's in my library unless anyone knows of an E-Book..?

  • (I had been known to make a rolly out of old butts when I was desperate):eek::D

    hehe, My 1st longish quit about 3 months failed when I did just that.

    Found an old packet of Rizzlas, in the car door and still had old buts of rolies and taylor mades in the ash tray, tasted rank but back to day 1 in seconds!

    Now here I am about 10 years later but this time I've no fags/butts in the car or any where else!


    A different approach would be - Tell no one. Quitting is something you do on your own. It is your addiction. If people notice you have not been smoking, and ask if you have quit, tell them you are working on it. No need for a definitive answer. Things may change.

    Good stuff all round, but this is a great one, and I utilised it a little myself. It definately helps to take the pressure of what others may think off slightly.

  • I always have smokes within reach,which helps me alot......

    Great stuff Austin......

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