All Smoked Out

“I had decided many years ago to quit smoking and had made up my mind that the only way to do so was by going “cold turkey.” It wasn’t easy, but I had finally dropped the habit and, eventually, stayed off cigarettes for more than three years. That’s three whole years, including my time in my army, that I didn’t touch one cigarette!
But while I was fully aware of the addictive powers of nicotine, I hadn’t taken into account the intoxicating powers of alcohol. It was New Year’s Eve in 2004 when I got completely smashed, and the next thing I knew I was sobering up with a cigarette hanging from my lips. According to my friends, I just started demanding a ciggie, so one of them gave it to me. Needless to say, it was all downhill from there and from the first day of 2005, I was smoking regularly again.
I’ve tried to quit many times since then. I’ve lasted for as long as two months even, but my plans always go down the drain when I get more than a little tipsy. So my advice to anyone who wants to quit smoking: Make sure you’ve quit drinking before that!”—Wayne Ree, photographer
“I was very determined to quit smoking when I first started out. I threw out all my lighters, cigarettes, ashtrays and cigarette butts (you never know how desperate you’ll get). I was also feeling quite sanctimonious. I told everybody I was quitting and all were impressed.
It worked for the first two weeks, but after the third week, everything went downhill when I suddenly decided I had to have two cigarettes out of nowhere. I went to 7-Eleven and bought a pack and smoked five in a row. I came back to the office, told my office neighbor that I smoked one cigarette and she forced me to give the cigarettes away. When my boss found out he was so mad he threw a pen at me. I promised that it was the last I was going to have.
But after that, I couldn’t stop! I’ve been hiding in the stairwell and smoking with a mint in my mouth and a bottle of perfume in my hand so no one will know. By the fourth week, I was sneaking at least 1.5 packs a day.
It was like the whole world was disappointed in me. I even imagined myself lying full of needles in an acupuncture studio in Chinatown and being rid of this smoking addiction. And if that didn’t work, then I would next try acupuncture combined with hypnotherapy. I was willing to try any form of torture necessary. It’s just that I was too busy at the moment to actually do it.
I am still on my way to quitting, it’s just that I’m having a little setback. I’m definitely going to quit tomorrow (like that’ll happen!). Then I’ll have a healthy body, more money, and other wonderful things. This is only a temporary lapse.” —Brigitte Persson, marketing manager

PLUS: Mr. Know-It-All’s guide to quitting smoking.