How to quit smoking, even if you've been doing it since 1998

Today on Jezebel, Anna Breslaw commiserates with smokers in this era of green tea smoothies and yoga crazies. I read it because I used to smoke. A lot. Crap, now that the government is going through our underwear drawer and pieceing together whether we cheat on our diets with our Grub Hub orders, I'm a little afraid to Put It Out There that I indeed smoked. A lot lot. I wasn't one of those people who bummed a few cigarettes at parties, tee hee, I had an old lady style leather cigarette holder and chose smoking over eating meals. (Hey everything was cheaper in the 90's!)

I commend Anna on quiting and to help her along - because surely she reads my blog - here are my tips:

1. Take a shower, then smell your hair. It smells AMAZING. Don't ruin your fresh-as-a-petunia-ness with a cigarette, just keep smelling that beautiful shampoo and think I do not want to stink this up. This first step occurred to me right after a break-up in college when I accepted a date with a non-smoker. The new guy was one of those good boys with clean sweaters whose mom probably cooked him casseroles and wanted to know his whereabouts. How charming! I wanted to break into this segment of people. You know, people with cozy families and upstandingness. This new guy was in direct contrast to my smoking ex-boyfriend who ricocheted about town at all hours on his crotch rocket. My goal was to make it to the date and still have fresh hair. Not-stinking for a casserole eater is a hell of a motivator.

2. Find a new way to feel like an adult. I started smoking as an angsty teen when cigarettes made me feel like a Big Girl. Then in my late 20's, I had never known being an adult without smoking since the last time I had been a non-smoker I was a child. It was weird, like someone was taking sex away from me. I'm a dark person and didn't like the feeling of not being able to stick it to the man as a non-smoker. So I learned to appreciate better wine, wear better clothes and ditched the trashy raccoon eyeliner. I had to rebrand my adulthood around sophisticated things as opposed to things that made me say nyah to my parents. See? All growed up and no smoke!

3. Put a $20 bill in your purse and that's all the cash you have. Pack your lunch, don't go shopping and prepare for the day with a full tank of gas. The only way to get cigarettes would be to break that beautiful $20 and when you're poor, a solid $20 is pretty beautiful. If you're a rich bitch still on the sticks, make it a hundo. Put it in a frame in your purse if you have to, but do not spend it on cigarettes.

It's actually been so long since I smoked now, I don't even think about it. For years after I quit I used to think, "oh, I could just have one" or "this day sucks, who cares if I smoke it away, I can always quit again". Nah. Those are all lies. Thankfully, I don't even have a morsel of that left in me. Now when I have a bad day, I think of blogging or napping.

I've also become one of those people who can suss out the smell of smoke anywhere. If you took one hit in that shirt two washes ago, I will know. I'm like a bloodhound. I can't wait till my kids are teenagers because exactly zero bullshit will pass by my radar. The eat-an-onion-sandwhich-right-before-curfew trick? Busted. The heres-my-left-hand-see-I-wasn't-smoking trick? Invented it. My kids are lucky I'm such a boss. It may not keep them from trying booze and cigarettes, but at least they'll have me lovingly educating them every hour of the day.

Smoking is nasty, people. You will die. Just quit already. And if you can't, as a last resort I will come to your house and tie you down and give you this lecture in person.

I will. Don't try me. Just quit.

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