A More Sustainable Approach To Quitting Smoking
For those of us who weren’t persuaded by “The Easy Way”
(Looking for the TL;DR? Scroll down for the theory and the approach if you‘re not interested in the backstory)
Once upon a time, an impressionable sixteen year-old me accepted a peer-pressure cancer-stick from a close friend in a dark and smoky corner of a pool bar, and coughed and spluttered his way into a decade of chain smoking extra-strength wallet drainers.
I believe that a big part of the attraction — in addition to how “cool” cigarettes ostensibly make one — was that my father was a notoriously obnoxious ex-smoker who had been on my (and everyone else’s) case about smoking since as long as I could remember.
There’s nothing quite like a teenage rebellion that only hurts oneself. A couple of years later, that friend and I attempted to put ourselves off by smoking an entire pack of cigarettes each, all at once; ultimately, all that led to was an increase our average consumption…
At the age of 20, I found myself graduating from an obsession with playing Tekken 3’s Hwoarang to a real-life Taekwondo gym, training four times a week in WTF*. It was all very exciting, but I quickly learned that I suffered from a very real and embarrassing problem: thirteen year olds were beating me up in sparring, because I couldn’t fight for more than ten seconds without finding myself completely out of breath.
* World Taekwondo Federation, although at one point the rules seemed to be changing so often that the more common use of the acronym could well have applied.
Quitting cigarettes for Taekwondo was painful, but I had sufficient motivation. I remember doing something ridiculous and quitting coffee at the same time, going from about eight…