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I Quit Drinking So Why Can’t I Quit Smoking?

Over a year into sobriety and I’m still struggling with nicotine addiction


The title of this piece says it all really, I know that unlike quitting alcohol, my mindset just isn’t right yet. But why I wonder? I am going through a phase at the moment which is very similar to the final weeks of my drinking days. We’re in a bit of a love/hate relationship cigarettes and I.

Of course I know that cigs are evil, I know deep down that I don’t need them. I am under no illusion that smoking is cool and sophisticated. I know it is antisocial, disgusting and dangerous. I smoke rollies and I am sick of the faff, the mess and the fact that they always seem to go out halfway through. I hate the way my hands and hair smell after a smoke, I hate it that I struggle to walk up the hill after dropping my youngest off at school because of a tightness in my chest and difficulty breathing. My fingers and teeth are stained and I hate the ever present taste in my mouth.

My youngest hates me smoking too and is not shy about telling me. The other day, sick of me going back on my promise to stop, he told me,” if you carry on you’ll die and won’t be here to see me get married, have children and become a scientist” He’s right of course. That comment should have stopped me mid puff but if you smoke or have done then you’ll know it’s not as simple as that and the fear that grips us when we are faced with this reality just makes us want to smoke even more — Oh, punch me in the face please!

Then there’s the flip side, the things I like about smoking (also known as a list of pitiful excuses) I still believe that I am more creative when I smoke, you have no idea how many blog titles, social media posts, video scripts, dinner ideas or other sparks of genius have appeared while having a ciggy. I am holding on to the thought that smoking helps me concentrate too. Before I sit down to write, plan, cook, do research, write an email or focus on anything I have to have a cigarette first. I also use smoking as a time out, a way to relax, a way to make the transition from one part of my day to the next or go from one task to another — much like I did with alcohol.

Similarly to drinking I have also tried to stop smoking many times before and…



Gayle Macdonald

Gayle is a tea drinking mum of two, life and sobriety coach. Gayle helps women to quit drinking & feel good..