How I Quit Smoking (And Continue to Stay Smoke Free) by Andrew Blumenfeld

Human fist breaking cigarettes on white background

At the ripe old age of 40, after more than 20 years of smoking anywhere from one to one and a half packs a day, I decided it was time to give healthy inhalation of air a try. In truth, I could not find a way to put on weight. I was a strapping 6’ 2’’ and 210 pounds, but I wanted more! After years of not being able to add those additional 30 pounds and go skipping off into my middle years, I thought I would give smoking cessation a try!

As it so happens, around the same time my favorite niece was born on July 4th, 2000. Now before you go getting all bent out of shape that I identified my favorite niece in this piece, be aware that she is my only niece and I always tease her about her being my favorite niece, to which she says “ But Uncle Bild (that is what she calls me), I am your only niece”.

Anyway, shortly after my favorite niece was born my mom came out to California to verify the birth of her only granddaughter and to smoke as many cigarettes as possible in between pinching her cheeks and complaining about how it is impossible that you could have colder weather in the summer in San Francisco than anywhere but Alaska! So I took all of this “culture” and let is seep into my pores and my soul and my brain and I said to myself: “Time to stop smoking!”

Now, mind you, I had said that to  myself myriad times in the intervening years between my young adulthood and the approach of middle life, but each time that devil on my left shoulder told me that I was still young and “Shouldn’t you just wait another couple of years?”  This time I swatted that little bugger off my shoulder, threw caution and poor judgment to the wind and made the decision to stop “cold turkey”, as they say.

A man knocks smoking outVoila! I did it. Now I am not recommending stopping “cold turkey’ if that does not suit your mind set or behavior, but I am recommending that whatever you have to do to stop smoking ……Do it! Even if you put on weight and feel as if: “Oh my God! I just traded in potential lung cancer for cardiovascular disease”. Don’t let it stop you! You can learn to replace the negative habit of smoking with more positive and rewarding habits like: eating ice cream cones, chewing gum or yelling at the TV Set.

In all seriousness, it has been 13 years since I smoked my last cigarette and I can tell you honestly that while I still miss the act of smoking, I don’t miss the side effects of coughing, sore lungs and shortness of breath, not to mention those scowls you get from people outside the restaurant!

I have found a wonderful alternative to smoking which satisfies my apparent oral fixation. I keep a dental floss pick in my mouth at almost all times. This way I am practicing good dental hygiene and keeping my lungs pink and healthy all at the same time

I’d love to hear how you learned to stop smoking! Please feel free to chime in, I’d love to hear your success story.

Here’s to your health!

Andrew, PBE Co-founder

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