Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cold Turkey v. The Patch

New evidence emerges that "the patch" doesn't help one quit smoking. Take out your coloring book, turn to page four and color me surprised.

After almost thirty years of smoking 4+ packs per day of Pall Mall regulars (yes, you read that right), I had made several efforts to "cut back" or "taper off" and quit, with no success whatever. Then I read the doctor's report which contained the phrase "well advanced emphysema" and became motivated, and quit cold turkey. It was not easy, but I have not had a smoke of any description since.

I'm always a bit embarrassed when a doctor says "good for you" that I quit smoking. Reality is it's damned stupid that it took such a degree of damage to motivate me to stop.

I can't read people's minds, but I suspect that people who use "the patch" and can't stop smoking are not sufficiently motivated to beat a serious addiction, while people who use it and do quit would have quit without it. If you really want to stop smoking and are committed to doing so you're going to stop no matter what method you use, and if you lack that serious commitment then all the tricks in the world are not going to help you.

Because, make no mistake, it requires serious intent, and half measures don't get it done. I think that, in order to beat that addiction, any addiction really, one has to make up your mind that you want it badly enough to stay with it no matter how much it costs or how badly it hurts in the short term. If you want freedom badly enough then whatever the symptoms are, they will pass and that freedom will come.

PS: the "cold turkey" method is much less expensive & probably faster.


  1. bruce9:34 AM

    Perhaps that approach works /worked with alcoholism as well?

    And that can be extrapolated to other things, like Arab Spring - if they want it badly enough, they will find a way to do it despite the short term pain.

    I can only hope for American politics.

  2. agreed. I have been "smoking" a faux cigarette for a year now but have pretty much just gone back to the real deal. I feel it also. Cold turkey is the only way. Hope I have what it takes as I have set a date of Saturday to start.

    Ironic timing on this post