Your Guide to Quitting Smoking for Good

By: Mariam Abdelrazek

Before I start, I’d like to address the fact that quitting smoking takes some time. It takes patience. It takes a strong will. Most importantly, it takes dedication. Lots of it. There will be temptations and your body will be pushed to its limits but I promise that when you look back to what you’ve achieved and the amount of progress you have made, you’ll realize it was all worth it. That being said, let’s move on to the first step towards a smoking-free life.

As teenagers, smoking is a huge part of the dreaded trends we all follow. It all starts with the shella. You’re sitting together and some guy offers you a cigarette and you can’t just say no because your crush is standing and you need to impress them, right? Wrong.

‘I smoke because I’m stressed.’  

‘Ana mabashrabsh sagayer, wahda kol fein w fein lama ahtagha.’

‘it makes me feel good. Satisfied with myself.’

‘ma kol el nas beteshrab ya3ny heya gat 3alaya’

These are all excuses. Worthless excuses that people use to hide the fact that they don’t even know why they’re smoking. Because there is really no reason for smoking. It’s just an easy way to escape your problems a temporary distraction. That’s what it is, a distraction. Therefore, the first step towards quitting smoking is realizing how worthless cigarettes are in your life. Their role, is to burden you. Hold you back. Because what will happen when you smoke? you’ll feel good about yourself for literally five minutes. You’ll forget your woes for literally five minutes. You’ll feel relaxed for literally five minutes. 

But what happens when you come back to reality? When you’re done being living your five minutes of ‘being cool’? When that rod of poison turns to ashes? Nothing. Nada. Your woes are still there. Your responsibilities are still there. And guess what? Your pain is also still there. You gained nothing but you lost a lot. You lost five minutes of your life poisoning your own lungs. You were literally spending money and wasting time killing yourself. Still not motivated? Good, because I’m not done, yet. 

Many people are waiting for the ‘perfect time’ to quit smoking. However, there is no ‘perfect time’ for quitting smoking. A time where distractions and stress are not there. It simply doesn’t exist. If you started quitting today a year ago, you wouldn’t even be having this issue right now. Don’t waste another year, better yet, another second just because you’re waiting for the perfect time. Do that and in thirty years, when you’re living life to the fullest and not sitting on a hospital bed regretting your life decisions, you’ll thank yourself for quitting smoking. 

You know that guy/girl? The one you who always lent you a lighter when you needed it most? Yeah, that person is the one you should stay far far away from. You can either do that or convince them to quit smoking with you – which can be a bit hard but not impossible – and now you have a “quitting friend”. This will definitely further motivate you and you can both help each other stay on track. 

During your smoke-free journey, you’ll definitely be tempted to go back to smoking. Sometimes, things might get a bit out of hand and you’ll have a cigarette again. That’s why it’s vital for you to write down the reasons as to why you’re quitting smoking. Read them every day. When you wake up and before you go to sleep. Know your reasons by heart and make them motivate you. And don’t think about the future. Keep thinking, I am not going to smoke today. Concentrate on not smoking for 24 hours.  Just make it through today. Don’t think about tomorrow. Focus on today. Day by day, you’ll find yourself smoke-free. 

You also have to realize that by smoking you’re not only harming yourself. I don’t want to turn this into a biology lesson but literally everyone that overgoes passive smoking (breathes smoke even if not directly) is one step closer to lung cancer. So, imagine the amount of people that are harmed by the cigarette that ‘brings you peace’.

After some time without cigarettes, you’ll feel the hunger coming back. Don’t give in. DO NOT GIVE IN. you can buy these gum-like things that are sold in pharmacies. They basically taste like cigarettes but don’t have the harmful substances present in an actual cigarette and they are supposed to help with quitting. 

Also, if you don’t trust yourself at the beginning with staying smoke-free, you can tell one of parents or your brother or sister to keep a close eye on you but, it has to be someone you trust so that you don’t feel that you’re on a leash and end up smoking even more than you used to just to spite that person. 

Before you make your decision about whether or not you’re quitting, I’d like you to read one last thing before you make up your mind.

Note to self:

This for you. 

Not for anyone else. Just you. 

You’re doing this for you.

You are mentally and physically pulling yourself from a dark hole.

For that, you are so so strong.

You’re making me so proud of you. 

You got this.

YOU GOT THIS.

Remember, the satisfaction is temporary but the damage is permanent.

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