Quit smoking is tough.
I know that because I went through that process a few times when I was young.
I still remember the date when I quit for good. It was March 11, 1986. For Indonesians under Soeharto’s Presidency, March 11 was a special day tied to the handover of the Presidency from former President Soekarno to General Soeharto. That made that day kept sticking in my mind during all these years.
Back then I was a newly hired Instructor at the Department of Electronics Engineering of Satya Wacana Christian University in Salatiga, Indonesia. Somehow at that date, for whatever reason that I’ve forgotten, an acquaintance of mine and I placed a bet, who was going to quit smoking for good. That was it.
I dont’ remember the details on how difficult it was, since it happened long time ago. But I went through the craving for nicotine, the frustrations, as well as the temper that came with that efforts, etc. Particularly prior to that time, at least I had tried 3 times to quit but went back to smoke again after a few months or a year or two. That’s why I’ve never looked down at people who couldn’t quit.
Recently, I saw a discussion in a mailing list I subscribed talking about the IQ of the smokers. By looking at the title alone I understood that the posting would make some smokers mad. I didn’t have time to read the contents, but I wouldn’t blame the smokers and didn’t join the fight. I only read one last emails in that thread when someone complaint about a response that he thought had crossed the line.
Recently, every time listened to people talked about Quit Smoking, Dr. Steven Lamm’s story always came to mind. It was a story I heard in a presentation Dr. Lamm gave while promoting his book – ‘The Hardness Factor’ in one of Market America Conventions I attended. Later on I found that story was in his book and here is part of what Dr. Lamm said:
Ben, a handsome 28 year old insurance broker, came in recently with a complaint of bronchitis. He had waited until he was so sick that he had thrown his back out from all of his coughing. His yellowed index finger was a none-too-subtle tip-off to his two packs day smoking habit. I examined him and treated him for his infection. Before leaving, however, I also urged him to throw away his cigarettes for good.
“Oh, yeah, so I won’t get cancer,” he said.
“No, because you’re going to have problems getting a hard erection,” I told him. “If you don’t have problem already. I want you to stop smoking now and make changes at a time in your life when sexual performance is still very relevant. I know that the fear of cancer in your 50s and 60s is not a powerful enough factor — two decades seems too far away. However, I do know that performance and a softening erection are even more realistic fears.”
Got the message?
Indeed Ben did. According to the story, Ben left the office that afternoon with several sample boxes of nicotine patches.
Again, I understand that quit smoking is a tough process. But hopefully this story may add yet one more reason to your list to ponder, to quit or not to quit.
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