Quitting or just stopping?

04/14/2009 at 5:30 AM Leave a comment

There is a big difference between stopping smoking and quitting smoking. People stop all the time. At work if not allowed, at a movie, while pregnant. But quitting is different, it is stopping and deciding that you dont want to start again. IT is an emotional difference that you can see in a person if you are looking. 

Although it is more likely that someone is quitting the longer they have not smoked, someone can quit in one day. They come to see me and there is nothing that is going to get them to start again, then there are the ones that are white knuckling through it one day at a time. Either way they get the benefit of not smoking, but the second one needs to be more careful. Where they go and who they are with is more important. They are only a small step away from starting smoking.  I  know patients that have stopped for years without making the step to quitting and becoming exsmokers. They are temporary non smokers-(tm). Others somehow have some sort of conversion and become exsmokers almost immediately

My father was one of those. He said it was like something clicked in his brain. “What the hell am I doing?” He did not say it was easy, or that he did not enjoy the smell of tobacco when he encountered it, but it was clear that nothing would get him to smoke and he had reconciled himself to never smoking again. IT happened on Dec 7th, 1979 around noon time Madrid time. I hear of these stories all the time.

More common though, and deserving of more credit IMHO, are the people that still want to, ache to, need to,  but choose not to, day in and day out. They struggle with this on an hourly basis and win! They are the ones who are sick and tired of being sick and tired of smoking. A toast to those who quit and stop, may we all be as tough with whatever problems we each have.

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Entry filed under: Doctor Musings.

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