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Quit Smoking for Good in the New Year

The New Year is around the corner and many of us will be making resolutions. A popular one will be to quit smoking. Although this is a wonderful goal which can improve a person’s quality of life dramatically, it is also a difficult one to achieve.

As a result, you may need more than the patch to become nicotine free. So below are some tips to help you along your new journey.

1) Get a support group. Regardless of whether you’ve been smoking for one year or thirty years, you’ll need someone to depend on through this journey. As a result, in order to improve your success potential, join or form a group of at least two people. This group will be your cheerleader and accountability partners along your way to kicking your cigarette habit.

2) Rearrange your schedule. If you always smoke on your morning and afternoon breaks at works, it might be time to change them. By going to break early, you’ll beat your urge to smoke. Then, you’ll end up working through the time you want to smoke. The same theory can be applied to someone who works at home. Fill the time that you normally would smoke with another activity like grocery shopping in order to change your habit.

3) Get medical attention. Consult your physician when you decide to smoke. He or she may be able to prescribe you medication that will help you quit smoking. Your doctor can also give you additional information on what specifically may help you succeed in breaking your nicotine habit.

4) Have a few tricks handy to help you fight a nicotine fit. The biggest challenge you’ll face as you quit smoking is what to do when you have a major nicotine craving. This craving can occur even when you’re on medication prescribed to help you quit. So here’s a few ways to give you an edge in overcoming your bout with nicotine:

A. Alka-Seltzer. Drinking a mixture of Alka-Seltzer (two tablets) and water in order to get short-term relief from nicotine withdrawals.

B. Tang. Drinking several glasses of Tang helps ease nicotine pangs. It has to do with the ascorbic acid in it which raises the acid level in your urine, thus, clearing nicotine from your body quicker.

C. Carrots and Celery. Keep carrots and celery sticks in a Ziploc Storage Bag so you have something healthy to munch on when you crave a cigarette.

5) Document your journey. It’s important to keep notes on your progress towards becoming nicotine free. If you can see it in writing, you’ll be able to track the circumstances that lead you towards smoking and which ones lead you away. This will help you be more successful.

6) Don’t give up! Giving up cigarettes is just like going on a diet. Just because you have one (or two) bad days doesn’t mean you give up all together. If you find yourself picking up a cigarette again just 30 days into your fight, regroup and try again. Maybe you’ll go to 45 days the next time without picking up a cigarette. Either way, you’ll never know if you give up.

If you incorporate these five tips in your war against nicotine, you’ll succeed. However, if you’re still unsure or maybe just not motivated, here are a few facts to light a fire under you. They’ll help you understand that its better to suffer the pangs of nicotine withdrawal versus continuing the habit of lighting up every day.

* Smoking not only causes emphysema and cancer, it also causes bad breath, gum disease, heart palpitations, impotence, conception problems, indigestion, memory problems, night blindness, poor blood circulation and ulcers.

* In 1997 alone, according to the American Cancer Society, an estimate 160,400 Americans died from lung cancer.

* Sigmund Freud smoked twenty cigars a day and developed cancer of the jaw and palate.

* The Liggett Group, the fifth-largest tobacco company in the United States, admitted that tobacco companies have sought for years to sell their products to children as young as fourteen. They don’t sound like the type of people you’d want to support with your money.

* Smoking can trigger asthma, worsen bronchitis and exacerbate tinnitus.

ah… friends.

What can I say? I was going to place a sarcastic comment about how annoying you all are but sometimes my humour doesn’t translate well via the blog. ahem.

But really, since we’ve been back we’ve been so incredibly fortunate to get to see many of the friends that we’ve missed since moving away. You sometimes take your friends for granted thinking that they will be around forever. The day after getting back to Vancouver we found that some very close friends had moved back out east just days before our return. It’s odd how it affected us. We were under the illusion that all would be the same. Nothing could possibly change while we were gone. And 2 of the people that were on the top of our list to get back together with were gone. It really knocked the wind out of our sails a bit. Suddenly nothing was the same. Everything had changed. And we didn’t know where we fit in between the two worlds we had created for ourselves.

This may sound a bit melodramatic and to some degree it is. But I think we were caught a little off guard as to how much it did effect us. Ironically, they probably felt the same way when we declared we were heading to Australia the year before. Stupid poetic justice.

But since those early days back, we’ve pretty much been re-socializing with just about everyone we know. We’ve met some new fantastic people and have gotten together with long lost friends who’ve moved back to Vancouver. And there are so many more people we want to see.

So basically, I could post what we did last night. Or the night before. Or a big thank you to everyone that came out Friday night (thank you!) or that we ran into Maria on the sea wall the other day (it’s been a while since we’ve just ‘run into’ friends anywhere) or about the great BBQ’s by Karan, Claire, Jamon, Steph, Momo, Dodo, Ed, Renata, or the fantastic dinner cooked by Ray. But it all has the same theme. It’s all about the friends. It’s about knowing you can get together with incredible people after 1 year or even 10 years apart.

And to never take for granted the people that mean the most to you.

The Cart Before the Horse

So, we tend to do things a bit backwards.

A few years ago, I bought a camera flash from Broadway Camera on… Broadway. I can’t remember all the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ but for whatever reason, I had to return it. I think maybe it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. Broadway Camera however don’t do cash refunds. After fighting with the clerk there for some time, he finally agreed to give me an in-store credit. Whatever. About a year later, I’m taking a course at Langara and need some camera equipment. I used a portion of the in-store credit with Broadway Camera and get whatever it was that I needed at the time. Then tragedy struck. I lost the slip of paper saying I had any store credit.

Gone. About $250.00 dollars worth of credit. We went to the shop and explained our situation; that we lost our receipt. “Too bad” they said. Without that piece of paper, we get nothing. Nada. Zip. …Bummer.

Fast forward a couple of years. About one month ago now. I don’t know how, or where, but Rachel finds the credit slip from Broadway. Yippee Wahoo! says I. “Do you think they’ll still honour it?” I ask. “You better @#$% believe @#$% they will by #$#@ golly!” says Rachel. I’ve really tried to get her to stop swearing but sometimes, she’s like a sailor.

I’m not sure why, but we thought it best to use the credit like right now. As if it was going to expire in a couple of days. I mean, it had been lost for 2 years so I’m not sure why we thought they were going to change their return policy now. But far be it from me to disagree with Rachel when she wants to buy toys… er I mean, sophisticated camera equipment. So off we go.

Now, what I want is this. Canon D5
However, what I can afford is this. Affordable
But we do have a $250 credit burning a whole in our pocket. We know that someday I will have the Canon. [as God as my witness…] And that I will want an external flash with that camera.
So, we look at what we can get with our credit and get this. Canon Flash 420ex
So yes. I have a spanking new camera flash designed especially for a Canon Digital SLR that I do not have. But I am taking donations.

And on a side note, even though the person I originally dealt with was a bit of a dolt, the guy who helped us out this last time was very cool. In fact, when it comes time to buy the camera (in about 20 years), it will be from that guy. If he’s still there that is…

The Definition of Wrong…

As I walked into the public men’s room yesterday at a local shopping mall (oops, I mean shopping centre. they don’t use the word ‘mall’ here), I found something that leaves me speechless and baffled.

A lone man was using the ‘troff’ ‘trough’, as one does, while… and get this… talking on the cell phone. I says pardon?

Now this is wrong on SO many different levels.

First, its just plain rude. As a bystander (as it were), I’m a captive hostage to his phone drivel, while I relieve myself.

Second, and what has me truly baffled, is that I’m a two hand kind of guy. If you catch my drift. How you can wrangle your business while holding a cell phone to your head is simply beyond me. I once walked into a washroom to find a guy standing there with both hands on his hips! I still haven’t figured that one out.

And third, I’m pretty sure it’s un-hygenic. Not positive though. Do you think he’s going to wash his phone once he’s thru? Which reminds me; I’m pretty sure that I’m the only male person in modern civilization to actually wash their hands after using the washroom. I’m not kidding. Remember that next time you shake some guy’s hand ladies.

He was on the phone when I went in. And he was still there, doing his thing, talking on the phone when I was done.

So I did the only thing I could do. I hit the hot air hand dryer. The loud hot air hand dryer. Hell, the person on the other end of his line should at least know where their conversation is coming from.