Myth: It’s too late for me to quit smoking. The damage is done.
Fact: It’s never too late to quit smoking.
Bluntly put, the only time it’s too late to quit smoking is when you’re six feet under. When you quit smoking, the benefits begin with 20 minutes of your last cigarette, and continue to grow for years. The human body is incredibly resilient, and while not all smoking-related damage is repairable, much healing can and will occur.
Psychologically, you’re in for a treat when you quit smoking. Nicotine addiction gradually beats us down. Most of us spend years tied to a habit we desperately wish we could rid ourselves of. We feel weak and powerless and that leads to a slow destruction of self-esteem, usually so gradual we don’t realize what’s happening. It’s no wonder that so many long-term smokers suffer from anxiety and depression.
Myth: I can smoke one cigarette and maintain my quit program.
Fact: There is no such thing as just one cigarette.
For the vast majority of smokers, re-introducing nicotine after quitting leads back to full-time smoking. There is no such thing as just one cigarette for a nicotine addict. Smoking, even as little as a few puffs on a cigarette is enough to awaken the beast within. I’ve seen it time and again, and sadly, people who relapse often spend years trying to find their way back to quitting again.
Myth: Relapse can happen without warning.
Fact: Relapse never happens without warning.
The road to relapse always starts in our minds. Unhealthy thoughts of smoking are normal as we move through recovery from nicotine addiction, but left unchecked, they can spell trouble. It’s been said that humans have upwards of 60,000 thoughts on a daily basis. Much of what we tell ourselves is negative and self-defeating. We’re often our own worst critics.
Listen to your thoughts. Correct those that are counterproductive immediately, rather than giving them a chance to fester and gain momentum. It’s a sure-fire way to keep yourself in the driver’s seat with your quit program.