I had the pleasure of spending a couple weeks this year in Europe with my friends. It’d been a couple years since our last trip ,and we all were very excited to visit the places that first connected us when we met abroad. We spent weeks planning for the trip, making sure that we would fit in our favorites and see new things. This plan also included a few fancy meals from social media recommendations, which we were excited to do without having to worry about the student loans that plagued us when we were 19. The day arrived, and we finally set sail. Although it was a memorable trip filled with laughter, adventure, and an all around good time, there was one thing I hated about Paris that I didn’t realize before: Everyone smokes.
And it doesn’t matter if you are inside or outside. People smoked in restaurants, malls, bodegas, outside in parks, at the library, you name it. There was even smoking seating at the theater and opera we attended. I think the only place I didn’t see smoking was at church, which didn’t really seem to be a French thing anyways.
My friend who has asthma wound up coughing the entire time, often reaching for her inhaler. I remember thinking that Paris is such a beautiful metropolis with interesting and well-styled people, why do they want to ruin it with such a disgusting habit?
When I returned to New York, it was very apparent that New Yorkers don’t smoke as much. I rarely see it happening here, and am instantly triggered when I do. With that being said, this list is mainly for the people of Paris and anyone else who has tried, is thinking, or been encouraged to quit smoking. The time is now, trust me.
Of course, it will be a journey that might be challenging, but think of all the benefits you will receive: Healthy lungs, longer lasting life, better breath, the list goes on.
Have a hard why
I learned this tip in Weight Watchers a few years ago, and I believe it can be applied here. If you know why you want/need to quit smoking, be it better health, more time with family, financial constraints, or what have you, it becomes easier to stick to that as a motivator. Surely there will be days where you want to fall back to your vice, but generally repeating the “why” and being firm in it will help you succeed.
Be confident it will happen
My mom often says, “what a man thinks, so is he.” This popular scripture from the Bible perfectly describes confidence. Say this is your fifth time trying to quit smoking and you don’t know how successful you will be this time around. You need to speak life into your decision and increase your confidence level that you will succeed. Try visualizing yourself as a non-smoker and repeat affirmations everyday to get you there.
Figure out why you were smoking
Did you start off as a social smoker? Only participating in the act when you were outside with friends and then saw it form into its own habit? Did you start smoking in the pandemic as a means to manage your stress? Whatever the case, figure out why you started and try to plan a better option to fulfill that sensation. If you were doing it as a stress management activity, maybe take up painting, reading, or exercising to combat.
PSA: The FDA banned Juuls, so if you’re an e-cig person, they’re probably hard to come by.