The last cigarette

So, one of the last chapters in Allen Carr's book is all about that dreaded last cigarette. He tells the smoker to spark up his/her last smoke and take a few drags, then to really think about how it smells, tastes and feels.

Now because I started reading the book after quitting, I wasn't able to follow these instructions (Mr Carr does recommend in the first few pages of the book that those who have already stopped do not join in with this particular exercise, understandably). But it got me thinking about "my last cigarette". The one that encouraged me to make my decision to stop.

I've decided to post my experience here, because the thought of that experience and the time passed since then has made me feel particularly proud.

I'd had the beginnings of a cold for the last couple of days, but had still not admitted it to anyone (my boyfriend/close friends) yet. I knew that I'd be frowned upon for smoking with a sore throat/chest and wanted to prolong the amount of time I could continue for until it was time to put the fags away for a few days (quite sad really).

We went to the pub for our usual Friday night drink and I smoked as normal (6 cigarettes in around 3-4 hours). I had my last cigarette at about 11:30. It was absolutely foul and my throat felt raw :(

Bearing in mind that I'd had a bit to drink by this time, I got myself rather worked up and had a bit of a cry to the boyfriend. I remember saying something along the lines of "I'm sick of being poorly all the time!" (this was my second bad cold in exactly 2 months) and "Why do I have to want to smoke so much?"

I think I was just frustrated because, whilst I know full well why I stop smoking when poorly, I would still have all the usual cravings etc just like any other smoker. Knowing that I was heading for another 4-5 days of saying no to cigarettes and also feeling like sh** to top it off really got to me.

And I think I was upset with myself, for relying wholly on something that was lowering the effects of my immune system, thus making it more difficult to fight off the damn colds in the first place.

This is such a classic example of the numerous times I would put smoking before my own health, financial state and all the other things that fall below it in the list.

So, in a nut shell: I would rather be ill more often than to stop smoking. I would rather prolong a cold, that would inevitably end up as a hacking cough, than to stop smoking.

I would rather lose my self respect and beat myself up for relying on nictone so much, than to stop smoking.

Well, I think it's safe to say that I am 100% better off now :)

Don't you?

x

11 Replies

oldestnewest
  • That is really powerful Sarah, and depressingly familiar.

    It's great that you realised what you were sacrificing, just to keep on smoking and more than that, you went and did something about it - I hope you're feeling proud of yourself!!

    Another well done 'cos I can remember smoking and crying about it (also after a few drinks) but not doing anything about it *Slaps herself*

    I was a bigger idiot and forced myself to smoke through most bugs - smoked menthols instead unless it was really bad 'cos oh no I couldn't *not* smoke. :rolleyes:

    This is my one :)

    A couple of days before I quit I'd got fed up with smoking. It was sudden , I was going out with my friends on a Saturday afternoon as usual, and those of us who smoked would smoke a lot - 6-8 fags in a few hours usually.

    But that week I'd treated myself to a new bag, and I always carried those pouch ashtrays with me - when I opened my bag the stink wave hit me - what also hit me was that not only had i made a lovely fresh bag smell like a manky old ashtray but *I* must smell like that 'cos they were my fag ends, sniffing my hair and fingers proved the point :eek:

    One of the girls I work with is quitting with me, and the Monday we went into town, bought patches and decided to have a go.

    Had my last fag before I went to bed (15 weeks ago tonight YAY) it was late, cold and drizzly. I remember not enjoying the fag, it tasted rank the smoke got in my eyes and up my nose and somehow I *knew* I'd smoked my last one!!

    More than that, I remember the look on my dad's face and how bloody pathetic it was standing out in that to smoke.

    I threw the pack out without realising too :cool:

  • Hi Sarah Lou

    I've not read Allen Carr's book but I know that so many people have benefited from reading it.

    I've just returned to the forum and my last cigarette was on Friday night and the reason for my quit is 'my health'.

    I am older than you Sarah and have been a smoker for about 40 years, something that I am ashamed to admit to. I did a rough calculation of the amount of cigarettes I may have smoked in my lifetime (10 -20 a day) and I was shocked to see that it was over 300,000 - I dare not even try to calculate how much I've spent on this filthy habit.

    My advice to you would be to quit now and quit for good.

    You will be saving yourself loads of money and your life will be much healthier and happier.

    We all think we 'need' to smoke for so many reasons when in fact we don't need it at all and can do everything just as well, if not better, without it.

    It sounds like you are really motivated so I wish you every success with your quit. I just wished I'd stopped when I was your age - still better late than never I suppose.

    Don't give in, stay strong.

    Linda x

  • Hi Sarah Lou

    I've not read Allen Carr's book but I know that so many people have benefited from reading

    It sounds like you are really motivated so I wish you every success with your quit. I just wished I'd stopped when I was your age - still better late than never I suppose.

    Linda x

    Sarah

    Did'nt I just say the exact same thing as Linda the other day! I too wish I'd quit at your age.

    So, please, please continue as you're doing:)

    You are sounding so positive, and you're doing fab:)

    Fi x

  • That is really powerful Sarah, and depressingly familiar.

    It's great that you realised what you were sacrificing, just to keep on smoking and more than that, you went and did something about it - I hope you're feeling proud of yourself!!

    Another well done 'cos I can remember smoking and crying about it (also after a few drinks) but not doing anything about it *Slaps herself*

    I was a bigger idiot and forced myself to smoke through most bugs - smoked menthols instead unless it was really bad 'cos oh no I couldn't *not* smoke.

    This is my one

    A couple of days before I quit I'd got fed up with smoking. It was sudden , I was going out with my friends on a Saturday afternoon as usual, and those of us who smoked would smoke a lot - 6-8 fags in a few hours usually.

    But that week I'd treated myself to a new bag, and I always carried those pouch ashtrays with me - when I opened my bag the stink wave hit me - what also hit me was that not only had i made a lovely fresh bag smell like a manky old ashtray but *I* must smell like that 'cos they were my fag ends, sniffing my hair and fingers proved the point :eek:

    One of the girls I work with is quitting with me, and the Monday we went into town, bought patches and decided to have a go.

    Had my last fag before I went to bed (15 weeks ago tonight YAY) it was late, cold and drizzly. I remember not enjoying the fag, it tasted rank the smoke got in my eyes and up my nose and somehow I *knew* I'd smoked my last one!!

    More than that, I remember the look on my dad's face and how bloody pathetic it was standing out in that to smoke.

    I threw the pack out without realising too

    Awww thanks hun :)

    The point really, is that when the going gets tough I think we forget those times.

    It's nice to know you have someone quitting with you, expecially a friend!

    15 weeks, oh my god!!! :D

    I went on holiday in February with my boyfriend (the part time smoker) and our transfer back to the airport to come home was 2 hours and a half. Then after that the flight was 2 hours and a half.

    Now, I have never had to worry about flying as a smoker. I am lucky enough that my brain has always just accepted the fact that, providing I don't plan to jump out of a window, there is no way I'm getting out to smoke.

    Anyway, I decided at 6:30am that morning I did not need a cigarette before we got on the coach to go to the airport. I then decided, outside the airport, that I could wait until check in. At which point, I could run outside to a smoking area. I'd been to this airport before (Salzburg) and it previously allowed smoking indoors, but I assumed they would have stopped this and moved it outside.

    However, to my utter dismay, I was told there was no smoking at all. Ok, so this is panic time for a smoker. I can almost smell the fresh air as people are coming into the airport (it's only tiny) but I know I'm not allowed to leave. I have a 2 hour wait until my flight and I had plenty of time to have a b****d cigarette outside before check in.

    I was so angry, and generally I am a patient person. My brain had decided that, because I had waited so patiently, I DESERVED a cigarette. So, until we got on the plane, my boyfriend had to put up with my horrendous hissy fit. Part of me was so ashamed for behaving this way, but most of me was just pissed off that I couldn't smoke.

    What a dispicable excuse to behave the way I did! I should have stopped then really, but it's never too late! :)

    When I think back to those feelings of desperation I feel rather sick, to be honest.

    Thanks for your story Gemma!

    xxx

  • Hi Sarah Lou

    I've not read Allen Carr's book but I know that so many people have benefited from reading it.

    I've just returned to the forum and my last cigarette was on Friday night and the reason for my quit is 'my health'.

    I am older than you Sarah and have been a smoker for about 40 years, something that I am ashamed to admit to. I did a rough calculation of the amount of cigarettes I may have smoked in my lifetime (10 -20 a day) and I was shocked to see that it was over 300,000 - I dare not even try to calculate how much I've spent on this filthy habit.

    My advice to you would be to quit now and quit for good.

    You will be saving yourself loads of money and your life will be much healthier and happier.

    We all think we 'need' to smoke for so many reasons when in fact we don't need it at all and can do everything just as well, if not better, without it.

    It sounds like you are really motivated so I wish you every success with your quit. I just wished I'd stopped when I was your age - still better late than never I suppose.

    Don't give in, stay strong.

    Linda x

    Thank you Linda. this really spurrs me on, though I feel bad that you regret not stopping sooner. Well done for deciding that enough is enough! :D

    For a while I believed (or hoped) that I would eventually reach an age when I would decide to quit naturally. In truth, the only person stopping me from being free was myself.

    And I truly thought, just like many smokers, that my life would be worse without smoking. Again, the only person that makes this true, is me. If I tell myself that I am going to be miserable throughout my quit, I WILL BE MISERABLE AND I WILL FAIL.

    I'm not prepared to let that happen now.

    Thank you for your story! :) x

  • Sarah

    Did'nt I just say the exact same thing as Linda the other day! I too wish I'd quit at your age.

    So, please, please continue as you're doing:)

    You are sounding so positive, and you're doing fab:)

    Fi x

    Thanks Fi! :D

  • Awww thanks hun :)

    The point really, is that when the going gets tough I think we forget those times.

    It's nice to know you have someone quitting with you, expecially a friend!

    15 weeks, oh my god!!! :D

    I went on holiday in February with my boyfriend (the part time smoker) and our transfer back to the airport to come home was 2 hours and a half. Then after that the flight was 2 hours and a half.

    Now, I have never had to worry about flying as a smoker. I am lucky enough that my brain has always just accepted the fact that, providing I don't plan to jump out of a window, there is no way I'm getting out to smoke.

    Anyway, I decided at 6:30am that morning I did not need a cigarette before we got on the coach to go to the airport. I then decided, outside the airport, that I could wait until check in. At which point, I could run outside to a smoking area. I'd been to this airport before (Salzburg) and it previously allowed smoking indoors, but I assumed they would have stopped this and moved it outside.

    However, to my utter dismay, I was told there was no smoking at all. Ok, so this is panic time for a smoker. I can almost smell the fresh air as people are coming into the airport (it's only tiny) but I know I'm not allowed to leave. I have a 2 hour wait until my flight and I had plenty of time to have a b****d cigarette outside before check in.

    I was so angry, and generally I am a patient person. My brain had decided that, because I had waited so patiently, I DESERVED a cigarette. So, until we got on the plane, my boyfriend had to put up with my horrendous hissy fit. Part of me was so ashamed for behaving this way, but most of me was just pissed off that I couldn't smoke.

    What a dispicable excuse to behave the way I did! I should have stopped then really, but it's never too late! :)

    When I think back to those feelings of desperation I feel rather sick, to be honest.

    Thanks for your story Gemma!

    xxx

    Oh it's embarrassing isn't it?

    My dad's ill, he can't drive very far so when he needs to go somewhere I'm the one who drives him - he hated me smoking so I'd try to avoid it as much as possible which as you know isn't easy when you're stressed *and* not being able to smoke like you said makes your mind go crazy for one. Remembering chain-smoking before we left and when we arrived so I wouldn't need to stop on the way makes me cringe.

    The number of rows we'd have because I wanted a smoke (and my smoker's brain blamed him for not being able to) was daft - and makes me feel like a horrible daughter for acting like that because of some stupid plant!!

    Anyway, last time I drove him about 110 miles on a round trip and 'cos I'd quit smoking it was fine!!

    Ooh and everyone who's saying it's easier to quit at 24 is right - I did and it was a hell of a lot easier for me then than 4 years later. :eek:

    And after not smoking for 15 weeks, I can't ever imagine why I did it in the first place!!

    Oh and don't beat yourself up about not stopping sooner, you've done it while you're young - just stay quit hon and that's fab xxx

  • Oh it's embarrassing isn't it?

    My dad's ill, he can't drive very far so when he needs to go somewhere I'm the one who drives him - he hated me smoking so I'd try to avoid it as much as possible which as you know isn't easy when you're stressed *and* not being able to smoke like you said makes your mind go crazy for one. Remembering chain-smoking before we left and when we arrived so I wouldn't need to stop on the way makes me cringe.

    The number of rows we'd have because I wanted a smoke (and my smoker's brain blamed him for not being able to) was daft - and makes me feel like a horrible daughter for acting like that because of some stupid plant!!

    Anyway, last time I drove him about 110 miles on a round trip and 'cos I'd quit smoking it was fine!!

    Ooh and everyone who's saying it's easier to quit at 24 is right - I did and it was a hell of a lot easier for me then than 4 years later. :eek:

    And after not smoking for 15 weeks, I can't ever imagine why I did it in the first place!!

    xxx

    I'll take this piece of advice and think of it when I have a *bad day*. It's important to take advice of those who have been through the same experience, but it's hard to follow I think. This is my first, grown up, no joking quit so I need to remember that it will only get harder if I decide to give in!

    I'm sure it's so much nicer for the people who really love you to see the improvement in your health and happiness, so I'm sure your dad must be very proud! :)

    Even my boyfriend, who hasn't given up, his egging me on and praising me. I guess he knows that, while he doesn't have to follow in my footsteps, it's nicer to see someone gain confidence in themselves as the days progress.

    xxx

  • I'll take this piece of advice and think of it when I have a *bad day*. It's important to take advice of those who have been through the same experience, but it's hard to follow I think. This is my first, grown up, no joking quit so I need to remember that it will only get harder if I decide to give in!

    I really hope it helps!!

    Back then, I had a throat infection and smoking was impossible (even though I tried :rolleyes: ) and like you, I tried to brush it off as long as possible. My gran had just died (she had cancer) so I knew what nagging was coming although she never smoked - anyway after not being able to smoke for about a week I agreed to see how long it would last - and with about a week's lapse managed 18 months before falling into the "one or two won't hurt" trap. They do, so do be careful of that - was smoking more than ever within weeks :(

    I'm sure it's so much nicer for the people who really love you to see the improvement in your health and happiness, so I'm sure your dad must be very proud! :)

    Even my boyfriend, who hasn't given up, his egging me on and praising me. I guess he knows that, while he doesn't have to follow in my footsteps, it's nicer to see someone gain confidence in themselves as the days progress.

    xxx

    It's lovely that your boyfriend is encouraging you!!

    Am sure I'm a nicer person to be around 'cos I'm not always thinking about my next fag, or grumping about having to go outside in the cold/rain/whatever.

    My dad loves it, and although mum didn't say much when I smoked she told me it used to worry her.

    xxx

  • Gemma

    You smell lovely these days,fragrant like... :D

    Like fresh flowers-not like an old ashtray ;)

    I wish there was a "like" button on here! :D

  • I wish there was a "like" button on here! :D

    There should be for that post alone :p

You may also like...