On March 6, 2009, I quit smoking.
Yup, it’s been a decade since I made one of the best decisions in my life. Not bad for someone who used to smoke a pack, or even a pack-and-a-half, of Marlboro Reds a day.
Some people have been asking me how I was able to do it. I did it cold turkey. Cutting down gradually works for some people, but not for me. But yeah, it was pretty hard at first. My secret is that whenever I felt the urge to smoke, I would drink water instead. So, yeah, I was drinking a lot of water during those first few weeks hahaha!
Another technique that worked for me was to announce it on social media. I posted on FB and Twitter every day for a year to record my progress (Day 1 without ciggies, Day 2 without ciggies, etc.). I don’t know if that will help other smokers who are trying to quit, but in my case I was motivated because I didn’t want the streak to end. After that, I would just post every anniversary of the day I quit smoking.
Full disclosure: I actually quit cold turkey for three years from 2004-2007, but gave in to temptation because I was stressed during our coverage of the 2007 Philippine legislative and local elections when I was still the multimedia editor of INQUIRER.net. Even after three years, one cigarette was enough to get me hooked again. Lesson learned haha!