Cause breaking up is hard to do

Some bad habits are harder to break than others, but quitters aren't alone.

They say it takes three weeks to develop a new habit; it also takes a lot longer to break an old one, especially if it involves nicotine.

Someone – probably an aunt or an uncle – told me when I was a teenager that smoking was the only habit they knew of that  people took up and then spent the rest of their lives trying to kick.

I didn’t start smoking until I was 19, unlike most of the kids I knew in school who started in their early teens. At least they were young and stupid. I was old enough to know better and stupid.

I didn’t mean for it to become a habit. It just did.

I quit several times – once for almost a year and a half. By the time I quit the next time, I was up to three packs a day. Thank goodness cigarettes were only $1.35.

It was finally circumstances and peer pressure that forced me to quit that last time 25 years ago. The circumstances were that I couldn’t smoke while I covered meetings anymore. Try having a nicotine fit in the middle of an interesting Council debate. It was my golden opportunity to quit and I took it.

Thousands of smokers choose New Years to kick the habit. Those of us who’ve quit know it’s not easy. We also know the struggle is worth every drop of sweat.

Week Three was one of the hardest for me (I went through Week Three several times), because you’ve quit for two weeks and you’re feeling pretty good about it. Then the cravings start again and you feel defeated. But don’t stop, because it does get better.

National Non-Smoking Week is Jan. 15-21 this year. I imagine the group sponsoring it timed it this way to give a boost to all of those good New Years Resolutions, whose resolution may be flagging a little just about now.

There is no good reason to keep smoking, but there are hundreds of good reasons to quit. And I’m sure you know them all, so I’m not going to repeat them all here.

You know it’s right. Just do it. And know that we’re all cheering for you to succeed.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

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