Some things they don’t mention before you quit smoking…

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I am coming up on one month without cigarettes so I thought I’d share a few of my experiences along the way.

Your sense of smell returns.

You’ve probably heard this before or perhaps told someone who’s trying to quit. Usually, it’s coupled with how good that will be. Food will taste better, you can stop and smell the roses, etc. However, it has been my experience that the good smells are not what the new ex-smoker will notice the most.

You will notice how terrible humanity smells. Maybe it’s because I live in a big city and rely on public transportation and I quit during the hottest part of summer, but it is a foul collection of smells that I have only just become aware of. Previously I was blissfully ignorant with my olfactory abilities overpowered by the tobacco. Now each sweaty, drunken business man next to me on the train is a private torture.

The main benefit is being able to smell tobacco again which helps reinforce the desire to quit.

You’ll be more energetic.

Now this one I haven’t experienced. I guess if I had to look at it objectively I might say that I feel a little healthier. It’s too soon to tell though. But don’t think that if you quit smoking that suddenly this magical desire to go jogging will beam down from outer space and fill your legs with Athlete Juice (that’s what steroids are for).

If you prefer to stay on the couch watching movies and playing video games, an end to your cigarette habit probably won’t change that overnight. At least it hasn’t for me. But on the scale of health, not exercising and smoking is a million times worse than not exercising and not smoking so there’s that. Just don’t be discouraged when you aren’t running marathons a week after you quit.

You can still taste them.

This was one of the hardest things for me. When I would go a while without a smoke, say two hours instead of one, I would get a strong taste of tobacco in the back of my mouth. It was like a signal, “OK you need some nicotine buddy, get on it.” When I quit that taste wouldn’t go away even up to this point. It’s less often and not as strong which leads me to think it’s all in my head. I usually try to chew a piece of gum when it gets too bad.

But remember, don’t use gum as a replacement reward for cigarettes because that never works. You have to change your thinking about cigarettes in general. Which leads to my next point…

It’s easier than you think.

A lot of people who smoke say it’s hard to quit. I was one of them myself. The problem is in the mental addiction not the physical. The nicotine withdrawal symptoms are really not that bad. The problem is, the smoker makes them worse by thinking he’s giving up something valuable. There’s nothing worthwhile to cigarettes. You think they make you feel better at certain times of stress etc. But the truth is nicotine withdrawal makes you feel worse and a cigarette only get’s you back to normal. The trap is the cigarette re-writes what you consider normal.

I’m not saying it’s easy, just easier than you think. I’ve been tempted several times but have held out longer than I think I ever would have if I hadn’t decided to change how I saw cigarettes period. And that’s the easy part, just change your mind and stick to it.

Some who might read this might think it sounds familiar. Well, truth is I read a book that pointed out a lot of this idea about changing your perception. If you want to know what it is just ask and I’ll point you in the right direction.


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