I know many smokers who quit cold turkey. Just like that. And not for themselves, but for a concerned friend or loved one or the birth of a child. No one that I know misses those cancer sticks one bit. And even though some had been smoking for years prior to quitting, they had no withdrawal symptoms. They didn’t need to chew on straws, or Nicorette gum, had no weight gain or anxiety attacks. They just quit and never looked back.
And looking back, I don’t know how I survived the smoking era. I can remember going to concerts and being consumed by walls of smoke illuminated by the stage lights and the occasional flick of a bic or Zippo. Folks smoked at the movies, in offices, on airliners and even inside hospitals. Can you imagine this today? We’ve come a long way.
Here’s the thing and the reason I’m writing this post – the British Journal of Psychiatry came out with a study that said that smokers have reduced anxiety when they quit, not more, which is often the reason people say they can’t quit. Anxious smokers. Smokers worried that quitting will make them anxious or more anxious or who smoke to cope with anxiety are no doubt already anxious – they’d be worried and nervous with or without smokes. But consider this, are all smokers who use the anxiety excuse to continue smoking really anxious or are they instead pleasure seekers and extreme narcissists? If these class of smokers quit, they’d use the anxiety excuse to eat unhealthily – burgs, dogs, “freedom” fries, Hostess Cupcakes, Pringles, and Cheez Doodles. They would then blame the weight gain on the fact that they quit smoking, begin to feel guilty and go back to smoking, exchanging one pleasure for another. It’s the oldest psychological fraud in the book.
I’m not opposed to people smoking, but “I mind very much if you smoke” around me.
- Quitting smoking ‘reduces anxiety’ (bbc.co.uk)