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Motivation/Benefits from Quitting:

Rene (62 year) - Nationality: French - march 27, 2005

"I was a hardened smoker, and when I decided to stop I was smoking two packets of cigarettes a day. The ones I smoked were those brown tobacco cigarettes that stink and have no filter - those handed out to the army in the 60s! I was 37 years old and had been smoking for twenty years. Because I knew that my behavior caused me to argue with my friends and family, that I was setting a bad example to my children and that I was damaging my health (and no one even mentioned passive smoking then!) and above all that I was being very stupid, I decided to finish with cigarettes. I had to take the plunge. I decided that, in fact, I only enjoyed about four or five cigarettes of the forty or so I smoked per day, and that if I managed to resist these the battle would be won. Furthermore, I decided that I would no longer lower myself to such a pointless act. Armed with these arguments, and knowing that it had to be all or nothing, I stopped smoking overnight. Once you've decided to quit, the following are the keys to success: *Learn to resist the four or five cigarettes that seem essential (first thing in the morning, after a meal, and so on). You must learn to put up with the craving for about one or two minutes per cigarette, and make sure that you distract yourself during this time. After 4-5 weeks, the intensity of the craving dies down and it disappears completely after 2-3 months. *Have a steel resolve, and simply refuse to raise a cigarette to your lips. *Do some physical exercise. *Stop thinking that we are all victims of modern life and that cigarettes can help us to fight our depression. After the experience I had, I believe that only willpower and good sense can put an end to the habit of smoking. I'll let you imagine what I think of patches and other hypnosis methods - anyone who claims to have found a solution for hardened smokers is on to a very lucrative commercial product. Still, if one of these products helps you to quit, why not! I can't rave enough about the sweet things in life that tobacco robs us of while we are its victims, and that we rediscover as soon as we free ourselves from its grip."

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