I’ve quit smoking at least five times. I can’t tell you how to quit – as of writing this, I’ve been smoke-free for maybe 24 hours – but I can tell you how NOT to quit. These are the seven things that will never, ever work.
1. Working in the restaurant industry. Or in retail. Or as an assistant of any kind.
Any job that is stressful and low-paying is sure to keep you smoking! Don’t think of quitting – if you have to suck carcinogenic fumes into your lungs all day just to stand working there, it’s probably the job for you! Your guidance counselor would tell you the same thing.
2. Quitting cold turkey.
This will fail, because you have no self-control. Never mind that nicotine is more addictive than heroin! If you can’t quit this way, you’re a weak-willed pansy. Have a cigarette to dull your shame.
3. Following smokefree.gov’s suggestions.
Suggestions like: hold a marble in your hand instead of a cigarette! Wash your hands when you want to smoke! Have a pickle instead of a cigarette! Holding marbles at parties, constantly washing your hands at work and eating post-coital pickles will do wonders for your social life. Just kidding. These are terrible suggestions.
4. Watching Mad Men. Or French New Wave films. Or anything by Quentin Tarantino.
…Or any form of moving-picture entertainment made in the last 100 years. It all makes smoking look really, really cool.
5. Avoiding exercise.
You’ll feel more stressed, and you’ll be fatter. You know what makes you relaxed and skinny? Cigarettes!
6. Drinking and doing drugs.
Drugs and alcohol help you make awesome, risky decisions, like continuing to smoke.
7. Telling your friends and family you’re quitting.
I know, this is supposed to help. But when you slip up and have a cigarette – and someone says, all judgmentally, “I thought you were quitting?” – you may have that “oh fuck it” moment and keep smoking. (You’re a rebel! That’s why you started). Instead, tell them you’re cutting down to lower expectations. Alternatively, get less judgmental friends.