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Rajesh Gupta

Rajesh Gupta

Rajesh Gupta

Rajesh Gupta

24 days ago

Why Is It So Difficult to Give Up Smoking?

I started smoking in 2002 at IIT BHU. Most of us thought it was enjoyable at first. I didn't realize the cost later.

In 2005, during my final semester, I lost my father. Suddenly, I felt more accountable for my mother and myself.

I quit before starting my first job in Bangalore. I didn't see any smoking friends in my hometown for 2 months before moving to Bangalore.

For the next 5-6 years, I had no regimen and smoked only when drinking.

Due to personal concerns, I started smoking again after my 2011 marriage. Now smoking was a constant guilty pleasure.

I smoked 3-4 cigarettes a day, but never in front of my family or on weekends. I used to excuse this with pride! First office ritual: smoking. Even with guilt, I couldn't stop this time because of personal concerns.

After 8-9 years, in mid 2019, a personal development program solved all my problems. I felt complete in myself. After this, I just needed one cigarette each day.

The hardest thing was leaving this final cigarette behind, even though I didn't want it.

James Clear's Atomic Habits was published last year. I'd only read 2-3 non-tech books before reading this one in August 2021. I knew everything but couldn't use it.

In April 2022, I realized the compounding effect of a bad habit thanks to my subconscious mind. 1 cigarette per day (excluding weekends) equals 240 = 24 packs per year, which is a lot. No matter how much I did, it felt negative.

Then I applied the 2nd principle of this book, identifying the trigger. I tried to identify all the major triggers of smoking. I found social drinking is one of them & If I am able to control it during that time, I can easily control it in other situations as well. Going further whenever I drank, I was pre-determined to ignore the craving at any cost. Believe me, it was very hard initially but gradually this craving started fading away even with drinks.

I've been smoke-free for 3 months. Now I know a bad habit's effects. After realizing the power of habits, I'm developing other good habits which I ignored all my life.