Anyone who wants to quit smoking forever has obviously never been successful before. And this might be their umpteenth try. He or she needs help but those frightening medical statistics are going to make a smoker nervous and when a smoker gets nervous the urge to light up becomes even stronger.

What’s needed are sympathy, words of encouragement and the advice of successful quitters. Otherwise, how many Lifesavers can a person eat?

Cold turkey is a terrible shock to your system which had no idea you were planning this drastic change. Your brain will cooperate with logic and good intentions, but your other parts never heard of those things and they’re not used to big surprises. However, they are talented team healers and will soon get with the program and help you make steady progress. This will be a relief to them after struggling against the consequences of two packs a day in a losing battle.

If you suddenly abandon something addictive like smoking, eating chocolate, watching M*A*S*H or voting Republican there will probably be a strong nervous reaction. In the first 60 days of my voluntary separation from nicotine there were only five waking minutes when I didn’t bemoan my loss. That was the time I caught my thumb in the bumper jack.

But, stick to it. It does get better and easier to handle. You might at first prefer smoking to nonsmoking, but there will come a day when you will cross the finish line. You will still miss inhaling noxious vapors, but by then you will definitely be against an act of violence to get a drag. Congratulations!

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