Once a year we have an awareness day to remind people to give up a habit, which can be detrimental to your health.
Recently we lost the singer #GeorgeMichael to natural causes, dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, however this is a bit of a red herring because a person who leads a healthy lifestyle is unlikely to die at age 53. Someone who smoked heavily, especially cannabis, and drank alcohol has a much greater chance of dying young. I knew George as a child and two others I knew that smoked from teenage years died before they were 40, one had a heart attack and another had lung cancer.
So if you smoke and haven’t had any health issues yet, then you’re just lucky.
When I see clients for #smokingcessation I always focus on their motivation, as it’s better to move towards something you want, than try and get away from something you don’t want. Some see smoking like an abusive relationship, however if you’ve never experienced one, you might find it difficult to comprehend that metaphor. Explaining about all the poisons contained in cigarettes is always a good start. If I was to make a cocktail of all those poisons, and tried to force you to drink it, you’d probably refuse.
Paul – a client – recently gave up smoking after seeing me, and his motivation was health, but as we started chatting about when he smoked, it was evident that he was spending his spare time and money drinking and smoking all his hard earned wages. When we calculated how much he was spending a week it was in the region of £100 – £150. He was stunned. I asked him if there were any activities he liked to do, but found it too expensive, he replied he wanted to visit Pompeii and take his mum on holiday. I asked him to research how much it would cost to fulfill this ambition, so when he came back for the stop smoking session, he had calculated it would take him 9 months to save up.
In the stop smoking script I asked him to visualise himself putting that money away each week, by socialising with his mates and being very mindful how much he was spending by only using the cash he took with him. I asked him to visualise this perfect holiday and the look of surprise on his mum’s face when he announces his intentions.
He stopped. As far as I am aware he’s about half way through saving up now.
So, before you decide to give up, calculate how much you’re spending, and to work out how long it will take to buy that car, or go on holiday, or pay for your child’s education. And then consider what it means to live a healthy life. If you have children consider how your early death might affect your family
Tomorrow is a great day … It’s the day you have decided to stop smoking for good!