Digital Quitter

I quite distinctly remember my first cigarette. Or at least the first I smoked with any zeal, as opposed to the curious, but functionally defective puffs on a menthol cigarette stolen from a chum’s mum. I refer instead to a cigarette where I sucked the fumes all the way into my lungs. Just a wisp of smoke, mind you. Enough to produce a little cough. Not so much to elicit an embarrassing bout of virgin smoker choking. And an entirely sufficient dose to get that very pleasant light headedness that I would now refer to as ‘being  stoned’. I was on the 282 bus, on a sunny afternoon, with an old buddy called Keith. An old buddy whom I long ago lost touch with. The only common link I have with him now comes from that bus journey. The link being a lustful addiction to the dreaded nicotine.

That first smoke took place some time in 1987, just short of a quarter century ago. About two thirds of my life ago. Just about when Margaret Thatcher was winning her second of three general elections, and Ronnie Reagen still had a year to go in the White House. I was wearing a school uniform. So, a long time ago. I’ve been real dedicated to keep going all this time. But….I’ve been clean of cigarettes for a whole eleven days now. And I quit the nicotine chewing gum substitute last Friday – so 4 full days of nicotine free living. It’s early. But the biggest hurdle has been leaped.

The withdrawal symptoms, as any smoker will testify, are truly horrible. Failure comes so easy, because you can get shot of those horrible, desperate symptoms in just a flash. Pop one of those sumptuous cancer sticks in your mouth, add fire, close eyes, inhale …. and you’re done.  In fact, you’re more than done. You’re feeling just great. Top of the world. Deliciously stoned. I’m gradually getting over those withdrawal symptoms though. Each day gets easier. It’s just will power. Sort of.

I’m running again, too. Getting fit and healthy helps dull the cravings. And it means I can play with my favourite toy, my Samsung Galaxy S2. I have downloaded the RunStar app. It uses GPS to record the exact route I take, and tell me exactly how far I’ve run. The accuracy is quite frankly astounding. It has virtually every step perfectly placed and measured. Being able to record your runs like this is so motivational. And geeky. I like geeky. The app also allows me to upload to the Daily Mile site – see my profile here. I have a target. To get fit enough to be able to record a sub 50 minute time at the Somerley 10km event I have registered to run in. Here goes…



13 thoughts on “Digital Quitter

    • Thanks! I did exercise while I smoked, it has to be said. I used to run half marathons with a cigarette in my pocket ready for the finishing line. But it’s probably better I try running without the smokes…!


  1. Chris Sorlie says:

    Hey Gary! Glad to see you’re quitting. Throat cancer is not a good way to go. If you need a little help in “those weak moments” look into throat cancer a little bit. It will help you put it down forever.
    Just got back from Mexico. Thought of you a couple of times when we were there knowing it used to be home for you. Had a couple of authentic tacos. They were great!


    • Hey Chris, long time no see. How’s things? And what’s happened with your blog? I had noticed the lack of posts….hope you’re feeling better of late, amigo.

      I’m not sure there’s really a great way to go. Some ways must be better than others. For those who have an early demise being compulsorily imposed upon them, this might interest them.

      Hope you enjoyed those tacos!


  2. Kim G says:

    Hola Gary!

    Congrats on quitting so far. I smoke occasionally, fortunately have never been addicted, but I find the whole process mysterious. Hope you manage to stay on the wagon.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we only tend to smoke in the summer when it’s nice outside.


    • You’re one of those lucky social smokers who manage to keep it under control. I’m jealous. I do enjoy a smoke. That’s the problem.

      Move to Mexico, then you can smoke all year round. I’ve heard the air itself is equivalent to a pack a day. Myth or reality, I don’t know. I tried telling P that I smoked 20 a day in Mexico. But seeing as English air is so clean, I’ve effectively cut back 20 a day as far as my lungs are concerned. So I effectively smoke nothing, whilst still getting through a pack a day. It was a feeble attempt, and it didn’t fool her.


      • Kim G says:

        Not to mention that a pack there must cost, what? 10 Quid? UK is a very expensive place to be a smoker.

        Kim G
        Boston, MA
        Where we’ve always doubted the math that cutting smoking saves health care dollars.


  3. I gave up my occasional cigars this summer, after a bout with bronchial asthma. That was convincing enough. It wasn’t hard to quit, as my cigar smoking was so occasional, and of course, I never inhaled.

    ¡Buena suerte, amigo!

    Don Cuevas


  4. You are doing a great job, keep it up! One of these days you’ll get in an elevator with someone who smokes and you’ll smell that awful stink… and be even more happy that you quit.

    I think exercise is a great substitute, it always seemed pointless to work out when I was a smoker, now it makes sense. Congratulations!


    • I don’t for a minute doubt you. But at the moment, I’m still at the stage where, if a smoker gets in the lift, I’ll stay for the ride. I’ll go beyond my floor. Just for the smell. That wonderful, wonderful smell…

      I’m looking forward, most sincerely, to getting to where you are at. The sooner, the better!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.