We got a question from one of our subscribers said, “Hi Kevin, did you ever smoke? If so, would you say stopping drinking is the same as stopping smoking?”
It’s similar, it is a habit that you’re trying to get rid of, it’s a bad habit that you’re trying to get rid of. But.. it’s different in a lot of ways as well. So for me, I smoked for a long time probably longer, it was probably 9 or 8, something like that. I was smoking right throughout my teenage years it was something that i tried to stop over 100 times and there’s a lot of different reasons why that didn’t work. I think immaturity was one of the reasons why i was also a drinker so anytime i drank it was the death knell to me stopping smoking as well you have a few pints and stuff, you relax a bit your inhibitions fall and you don’t really care anymore.
So, that was one of the things that happened but I eventually stopped probably 2 or 3 years before I stopped drinking so I was smoke free when I stopped. That probably helped me to stop drinking as well but I didn’t find that it was the same, I didn’t get the same cravings and basically when you’re talking about cravings for smoking, you’ve got cravings from the time that you get up in the morning, and if you’re most people that smoke all day long, so they have a cigarette when they get up either. I mean, I was, personally i couldn’t smoke, first thing I had to have a cup of tea and then I have my first cigarette with a cup of tea.
Other people, as soon as they wake up they spike up a cigarette, but anyway the idea is that you’re smoking all the way through the day and so you’ve got that constant craving when you don’t smoke anymore, and that’s a difficulty. Whereas with alcohol, you’ve got the cravings more, most people don’t drink during the day or they don’t drink during the day, during the week, so the cravings for them are based around that time in the evening when they would start drinking maybe five, six, seven o’clock in the evening. So all throughout the day even though they might have the anticipation of the drink they’re not really going to start drinking until or they don’t really get the real proper cravings until later on in the day.
It’s also a similar thing in terms of alcohol, we talk about alcohol saying, “You know, just don’t put the alcohol into your mouth”, and yeah it’s the same thing with cigarettes. In order to stop, you just got to make the decision that “I’m not gonna put any more cigarettes into my mouth”, I mean that’s the point and if you can put the cigarette into your mouth and as long as you don’t like it, then you know you’re not gonna you’re not gonna be a smoker anymore as long as you don’t like it, and start breathing in the smoke as they say.
Another point is public perception, more and more cigarette smoking is being perceived as a dumb habit you know as smokers are being perceived as people with who are lacking in self control you know it’s not being seen as anything but waste to do because the scientific proof, there’s an overwhelming scientific proof that any amount of smoking is bad for you. I think it’s going to take a lot of pressure a lot of time as well especially for young people i mean i see it now i hear young people talking about drinking alcohol as dumb. It’s dumb and it’s going to take that next generation to come out and basically not be doing that, so it’s going to take that younger generation to grow up and for that perception to alter altogether. I think it’s an important thing just to know we’ve a lot of smokers, I was a drinker and smoker for many years so it’s really helpful perspective. I think you know just to see things from that, you know the general principles of this are the same, the general principles of you must control yourself.
You are the one that has that control whether to put the cigarette into your mouth or put the alcohol into your mouth. It’s all down to you and I suppose they’re the underlying the triggers. It depends on what you do, I think you tend to hang around with smokers, you tend to hang around with drinkers. That was my perception anyway, triggers were different for me with with alcohol, but it’s the triggering mechanism itself is the same.
It’s just that the triggers might be firing off more when you’re a smoker than a drinker. And I guess the, the one similarity that I will say, in the beginning, it’s going to be different, like I said, and a lot of different ways, a lot of small ways.
But it’s in the long term where it really matters, what you do with yourself in the long term, how you change the way you think you’re based thinking, how you change the way you look at yourself, your values, your personal values, your value hierarchy, how you care about your own health and well being, how you care about living longer and quality life, how you care about the future, rather than thinking just about the present, and getting that instant fix, so you have to change a lot of your core beliefs, core values.