By this time I was well on my way, I was able to postpone for three to four hours. Now I “hid” my cigarettes in places where they would be a hassle to get to, but they were accessible if I really needed to have one. Of course, they weren’t hidden, I knew exactly where they were. But the pack that was in the house was down in the basement, a scary place to go. I was sure there were critters living in that basement (it was a rental building in Brooklyn and not in very good shape) and I found out later that I was right, there were rats in the basement. I hid my cigarettes in the back of the basement, under a pile of lumber.
In my car the cigarettes went to inside the wheel well, which meant I had to take things out of the trunk to reach them, and that was a real pain in the neck too. I gave one pack to a non-smoking friend who held them for me when we were out, but she gave me a real run-around when I wanted one, usually succeeding in convincing me that I could wait another hour.
Then I had a big discovery that helped me over this final hump. One day, in the car, I brought my fingers up to my lips and when I did I automatically “inhaled” – long and deep – just as if I was dragging on my cigarette. Then my entire mouth, throat, and lungs went into all the normal actions as if I was actually dragging in smoke. My tongue curled the way it only curls when you are inhaling a cigarette, my throat and chest moved the way they do when you inhale a cigarette, and I even had a long, exhale with my mouth moving as if I was exhaling smoke. It was incredible, I felt like I had really just inhaled a cigarette, but there wasn’t any smoke!
This was the final key! I found that if I then waited the 5-10 seconds that were normal for me between drags, I could do it again and again. After about 5 times I actually had the nerve-calming relief of having smoked, but I didn’t inhale any toxins. Hooray!! My body was enjoying the motion and I still hadn’t smoked.
It made sense to me that the reason people eat when they are trying to stop smoking is because they are subconsciously trying to appease the nerves that go from their lips to their tongue, to their lungs. But food won’t do it because it was the sequence of the nerve endings being stimulated that did the trick. By inhaling, I used nerve endings that are never stimulated during any other action, and it worked.
Finally, on May 16, 1991, as I lit my very last cigarette at my daughter’s house, and she said “You really don’t want to live to meet your grandchildren, do you!” I found the strength to put it out and never pick it up again.
I hope you find the strength too!
Wishing you well,