Apparently, smoking cessation programs all across the USA are experiencing higher than normal volumes of phone calls and involvement from people who want to quit smoking in the wake of Peter Jennings’ death from lung cancer.

Yes, we’re obsessed with celebrities, and yes, it’s kind of eye-rollingly silly that it takes someone like Peter Jennings dying from a smoking-related disease to kick off this trend, but hey, whatever works, I’m absolutely for it.

Personally, in the eight-and-a-half years since I kicked the habit of smoking cigarettes, I’ve probably smoked about twenty cigarettes at parties and in other social contexts, but I’m determined to make it a far smaller quantity over the next eight-and-a-half years. The fewer, the better.

How about any of you? Still smoking? Thinking of quitting? There’s no time like the present.

What I can tell you is this: quitting won’t be easy — nowhere near as easy as lighting up. And you may fail the first few times you try to quit. I certainly did. It took me 12 attempts to really kick the daily habit. But with each failed attempt, the key is to determine what made you fail, and figure out how to counteract that the next time you try to quit. For me, most of the obstacles were routines in which I was very comfortable and in which smoking played a relaxing part. But once I made a conscious effort to find alternatives (munching baby carrots as I walked to work, for example) or to avoid the obstacles altogether for a while (staying out of coffee shops late at night, where I would drink coffee and smoke cigarettes for hours), I began to find the cravings much easier to overcome.

You will, too.

I can also tell you this: they say healing begins right away, but some things take time. Although I could run and play sports just fine while I was smoking, for several years after I quit smoking, I had a terrible time breathing while playing sports or running. I had very little endurance whatsoever. That must have been my lungs really putting an effort into healing themselves, because now I’m a stronger runner than ever, and I can run for hours without feeling winded.

You can get through it, too.

If you’re ready, please give it a try. If you’re smoking now, you’ll be through the worst of it and ready to enjoy your new, smoke-free life within weeks or maybe a few months. Imagine the Christmas season (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Solstice or whatever you’ll celebrate) this year, when you’re feeling healthier than ever, and knowing that you’re well on your way to reducing your risks of coronary disease and lung cancer.

Wouldn’t that be a nice gift to give yourself?

Heard of the “Jennings effect”?
Tagged on:

11 thoughts on “Heard of the “Jennings effect”?

  • August 18, 2005 at 10:04 am
    Permalink

    Great post! It kind of makes me want to take up smoking so I could quit.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2005 at 11:35 am
    Permalink

    I know you’ve seen my quitting smoking posts before, but here’s where I’m at:


    QuitMeter Counter courtesy of http://www.quitmeter.com.

    Funny thing though… my father also died of lung cancer, yet he quit smoking 25 years ago. Makes you wonder if smoking still affects you years down the road, or if 2nd hand smoke is as deadly as putting the cig right to your lips…

    I quit for my Dad, and to better my chances at adopting.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2005 at 12:56 pm
    Permalink

    My grandfather quit smoking in 1985 or so, and still died of lung cancer in 2001, but I still think reducing your chances are worth it – especially if you are a lot younger than the 60-some he was when he quit.

    And I’m incredibly proud of anyone who manages to quit. My father died of lung cancer at 43 – and NEVER managed to quit. It was killing him, and he could never kick it. I completely understand how horribly addictive it is.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2005 at 2:26 pm
    Permalink

    I quit smoking with my first pregnancy, only to start again when I returned to work. (Damn restaurants!) I’ve quit again with this baby, and I’m hoping it will be for good this time. Wish me luck.

    ps: I NEVER smoked around my kids.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2005 at 3:19 pm
    Permalink


    QuitMeter Counter courtesy of http://www.quitmeter.com.

    Tim mentioned today that it’s been ages since I coughed or had bronchitis. My singing range is almost as good as it was when I was in college. I can *breathe* in the morning. Quitting was the best thing I ever did for myself.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2005 at 3:54 pm
    Permalink


    QuitMeter Counter courtesy of http://www.quitmeter.com.

    Whatever your reasons and whatever the consequences of your having smoked, I’m glad you quit. *hug*

    Reply
  • August 18, 2005 at 3:55 pm
    Permalink

    *snort*

    How about just pretending? Munch a baby carrot and stay out of coffee shops. 😉

    Reply
  • August 18, 2005 at 3:55 pm
    Permalink

    Good luck! I hope you make it stick.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2005 at 3:56 pm
    Permalink

    Wow, that’s great. I’m so glad you quit. *hugs*

    Reply
  • August 19, 2005 at 12:18 pm
    Permalink

    I didn’t realize that people were stopping smoking because of Peter Jennings’ death. I’m so glad for that! He’d be pleased.

    I’m really glad that he was so open about his smoking habit being at fault, too.

    -J

    Reply
  • August 19, 2005 at 2:09 pm
    Permalink


    QuitMeter Counter courtesy of quitmeter.com

    over 3 years here, and just in the last few months I’ve actually gone over 24 hours without wanting a smoke

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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