They say it takes 21 days to break a habit. Unfortunately, it takes approximately 21 seconds to develop a bad habit — smoking for example.
It’s not that there is anything wrong with cigarettes outside of emphysema, chronic cough, cancer and all-around stinkiness. Still, one must reach a point in their life when they need to consider seeking other vices.
There are a lot reasons to quit, but many don’t quit for trivial things like premature death.
Rather than quit, some will try to cut their smoking down to one cigarette a day. Unfortunately that option is unrealistic, because no one manufactures a three-and-a-half-foot-long cigarette.
The most pragmatic reason for quitting is fiscal. Cigarettes are expensive, thanks in part to an over-correcting contingent of pearl-clutching legislators who have figured out if they use the magic words “for the children” they can get pretty much any idiotic bill passed.
A major obstacle to quitting smoking comes from an unlikely source: anti-smoking campaigns. Those people are enablers more than anything else.
They constantly bombard smokers with fake-cough guilt trips and contrived health statistics, rattled off like a petulant child reciting the Pledge of Allegiance: the patronizing “Truth” campaigns mixed with the warbling cries for more regulation.
By the time their nagging reaches one’s cochlea it becomes nothing more than a choir of self-absorbed balloons having the air slowly let out of them: a crescendo of nasally, high-pitched “meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” squeals. They are a cacophonous swarm of self-righteous cicadas that won’t go away for six months like they’re supposed to. This causes some to continue smoking just out of spite.
So if a Feature Films for Families moment created by human-shaped white noise generators can’t convince someone to quit, there is always the American way: take medication — specifically Chantix.
The way it works is one takes it for about a week or two then feels so miserable that he looks at a pack of cigarettes and says, “what’s the point — of anything?” It also works by blocking the reward center in the brain, making it so when one lights a cigarette, they’re reminded of how disappointed they make their parents.
Another tool that can be considered in helping one to quit is the e-cigarette, or vape.
These are effective at combating cravings as well as the psychological phenomena known as Phantom Cigarette Syndrome. They’re completely harmless, yet still very threatening to any state that has cigarette tax revenue forecasted into their budgets.
Plus, vapes still anger non-smokers, just like real cigarettes. So much so, that it falls under the Clean Air Act. That means one cannot use an e-cigarette within 25 feet of a public entrance if their mouth looks like the moor from “Hound of the Baskervilles.”
Some might argue that e-cigarettes aren’t actually a method for quitting, as it’s just delivering nicotine by a different method. That argument might hold water if one considers pretending to eat food as nearly identical to eating food.
To most smokers, e-cigarettes are the equivalent to going to an exotic massage parlor and requesting an ambivalent ending.
The bigger concern is the risk of contributing to the horrific epidemic of vape culture; that’s where one starts wearing Metal Mulisha hoodies and has an uncontrollable urge to talk about the new Slipknot album. e-cigarettes are basically the Ed Hardy of smoking.
While there are many support and educational resources for those trying to give up cigarettes, the road is still a long, uphill struggle. And there are no smoke breaks along the way.