In this case study, we talked to computer programmer Joan Tandy how she managed to quit smoking.
"How I quit smoking is pretty straightforward. Health and vanity are the primary reasons why I choose to quit."
It was in high school that Joan Tandy started smoking. Urged on by her friends, she smoked her first cigarette when she was barely out of her teens.
“It looked cool then, and all my friends in school were doing it, so I joined in. In retrospect, I was really stupid to have caved in to peer pressure,” said the 27-year-old programmer.
Joan did try to quit when she was in her early 20s.
“I managed for about a month. But during those few weeks I was smoking socially. So it didn’t work. I picked it up again after going to a party,” she said.
And it didn’t help that all her friends were smokers.
“Usually when I hang out with them, I will have the urge to smoke. After all, they are my friends. I can’t drop them like I dropped cigarettes!” She said laughing.
But after 10 years of smoking a pack a day, Joan decided to call it quits.
“It was late last year. My poor health has been affecting my work, and since the new year was just around the corner, I thought I should make quitting smoking my new year resolution. I tried different ways and means to quit smoking without much success. Then I chanced upon this quit smoking hypnotherapy thing, and haven’t looked back since,” she said.
Although her reason for wanting to quit smoking was because of health, vanity was also part of the reason why she wanted to kick the habit.
“Every time that I had a manicure done, no matter what color I used, they would end up yellowish a day or two later. My hair and hands also reeked of cigarette smoke all the time – no matter how many times I washed them.”
The hardest part to come to term with was her teeth.
“They were so badly stained that when I went to extract a decayed tooth, the dentist actually gave me a free cleaning of my front teeth to make them presentable. Now how insulting was that!” “It was also devastating to hear people telling me that I looked much older than my actual age. That really hurt,” she said.
For women that don’t care much about their health, these bad experiences can be good motivations to quit smoking.
“Indeed, whenever I have the urge to smoke, I will think about how I used to smell and how unattractive my nicotine-stained teeth and fingers used to be. It’s worked so far,” she smiled.
Joan has also taken up karate once a week to build her stamina.
“Karate is a better way to work out frustrations and stress than cigarettes. Having that puff may have made me feel I had got the frustrations out of the way, but only now do I realize it just added more problems,” she said.
Her advice: “Don’t start. It is easy to pick up that first stick. It is really hard to put down the last one.”