I feel like New Year’s resolutions, in general, are destined for failure because you’re putting pressure on yourself to do something by a certain time and stick to it forever. Yet every year I pretty much have the same resolution: to quit smoking.
Judging by how I haven’t successfully quit long-term yet, I clearly never stuck to my resolution for very long. But now, I’m trying to grow up. I’m 27 and have basically been smoking cigarettes since I was 15, even though I have had periods of non-smoking intermittently, when I was trying to quit every couple years, because everyone hates it.
But lately, I have been wanting to quit for vanity reasons. I’m not a teenager anymore, and smoking just sucks the life out of my skin. I can see a visible difference based on days I do smoke and days I don’t. I have better circulation, and my mouth isn't all numb from my blood vessels constricting. I’m also on the pill, which is dangerous, and stupid of me.
I know I need to stop for so many reasons, but I just haven’t kicked the habit yet. It’s seriously such a bad habit that seeps into your entire lifestyle, not to mention it’s a huge waste of money, especially since packs are around $13 in New York City.
I used to think once someone puts that they’re quitting in writing they jinx it, but I decided to write about it anyway, because I hope it helps me stick to it this time.
Throughout my past quit attempts I learned I need to do weird things psychologically to get myself to want to quit smoking. I’ve read Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Quit Smoking and kind of loosely adapted a mentality that if you take the perceived pleasure out of smoking and focus on the negative aspects, like the coughing, the odors, the lifeless skin, you can successfully quit smoking. So for a while, I purposely bought cigarette brands I wouldn’t like to gross myself out.
Grossing yourself out with cigarettes is really easy if you smoke a ton of them. That’s part of what I did to motivate myself, actually. Allen Carr’s book says it’s OK to do and has an amazing success rate because it makes you analyze every cigarette you have as a choice and forces you to ask yourself, is this really stress relieving? Is this really making my coffee better? Is this really fixing my problems in any way? NO! It’s making me age prematurely and giving me yellow teeth! I can seriously pass on that.
Now, when I found out my pitch for this article was accepted, I admit, I went straight outside and smoked a cigarette. I’m such an addict, and it’s terrible. But at the same time, now that it’s broadcasted over the internet, I need to stay quit!
The reality is, no one (except for maybe Kate Moss or Rihanna--just being honest) looks good taking a drag of a cigarette. I know I don’t make an attractive face when I’m smoking. Your mouth puckers up when you smoke the cigarette and then you blow out noxious smoke. The smoke makes you feel sick and congested and dries out your mouth. Logically, there is no appeal. It’s just really addictive.
I feel like you could use all the creams in the world, but if you’re a smoker, you’re doing damage from the inside and the outside, inhaling chemicals that break down the collagen in your skin and basking in a cloud of second-hand chemicals full of free radicals, which also break down the collagen in your skin; not to mention lines around your face and lines around your nose from depriving yourself of proper oxygen.
I hope this article helps me stick to my vanity quit. I’m optimistic. And if you’re thinking about quitting too, let’s do it together!