“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