Swede's Dock

Fisherman's Revolutionary

JWAM - Just Wait A Minute

A Quit Smoking Method

On a programmers forum I belong to (PowerBasic) a discussion on smoking came up. I posted my smoking experience and later received a private reply from a member who was encouraged to try my method of quitting. Which encouraged me to post this page. Here's the JWAM method to quit smoking:

Just wait a minute

Mar 24th, 2009, 10:51 PM

Mel, I was a heavy (averaging 1-2 packs a day) to VERY heavy (2-5 a day) for over 30 years. Quitting is easy, hey, I quit hundreds of times during those years (never for more than 24 hours though.) *(Actually I think I once went two days)*

Then HAD to stop while in the hospital for a couple weeks (oxygen tanks, etc.). After which was sent to a Rehab facility (4 or 5 weeks) where the intake nurse asked "Do you smoke?".

"Yes but I quit now."

Quite matter of factly she said "Oh, you'll start again. Everyone does." (Remember this was 1985/6 when smoking wasn't the hysterical public anathema it is now) And virtually everyone I was in there with who had smoked before (maybe 15-20 people) started again. Except me.

And here's how I did it - I just waited a minute. That's all. Just waited a minute. No matter how addicted someone is to cigarettes (and I have to say say it's pretty clear I was addicted), he can always wait a minute to light up.

When someone would light up and offer a cigarette in morning breaks, I'd say to myself "I can wait until the next break, or til lunch, or til the next break, or til after dinner or til ... I'll have one then". I just waited a minute.

If you have your first cigarette when you wake up, wait until after you have coffee. Next day wait until you are in the car. Or at the traffic light. Or until the break at work. Just wait a minute.

I'm still waiting a minute and it's been about 23 years. Got lucky with the first minute though. Those two weeks in the hospital probably cleaned up much/most/all of the physical nicotine addiction so that when I was finally able to light up (no oxygen tanks around), at least the worst of the physical side was taken care of.

I miss smoking like gangbusters and even today will sidle downwind of someone smoking to get a whiff (heaven). And if I thought I could keep it down to say a couple a day, or even half a pack, I'd light up in a minute, but I know there's no hope of that ... so in the meantime I'll wait a minute.
Other thoughts on cigarettes (and I think about them quite often):

  • I've been told that cigarettes are even more addictive than heroin. Don't know if that's true or not but I can testify they are plenty addictive.

  • Cigarettes give an instant jolt to the system and you might not even realize it. Here's how to prove it to yourself. Just before you light up the first one of the day, lay down and try to relax. Then while lying down, light up and inhale. You'll feel an instant rush right to the top of your head. It's like your hair tingles. Only lasts a second and doesn't happen again that day. Well it may, but you won't be able to detect it.

    How I found it is I often used to shut the alarm off and light up before I got out of bed. You know how you sometimes just lay there for a minute, contemplating the day. Well that's when I noticed it. Sort of neat really. Used to look forward to it.

  • If you smoke the odds are VERY HIGH your kids will smoke too. (Mine didn't, somehow. And I thank the gods for that.)

  • The longer you can wait to light up the first one of the day, the better you will feel all day. No kidding. Sometimes I would put the first one off for maybe an hour (seldom could go longer). And one day I noticed on those days I just felt better. Maybe it was psychological (feeling good about not succumbing to the first urge) but I'm convinced it was somehow physiological. Maybe I just smoked less on those days, I honestly don't know.

  • After 6 months or so, maybe a year, food will start to tast a whole lot better. Amazing really. I don't know if the taste buds ever return to their "undamaged" state but they definitely become a good deal more sensitive. I think maybe my sense of smell improved as well but on that I'm not as certain (see next point.)

  • You don't realize how much smoking can make you smell (offensively). It gets in your clothes, your hair, your pores. Again after few months or a year, you can smell a smoker. And if he has just gotten out of an enclosed space (car, small room with a lot of smokers in it, had a cigar), forget about it. You've heard that before but dismissed it as intent to get you to stop smoking because you never notioed it. Trust me, it's true.

  • Try and find some personal motivator over and above all the usual ones everyone knows and constantly harps about. (Usually from someone who never really smoked, though he thinks he has..) Mine is my wife reminds me how proud she and the kids are that I quit. And I really don't want to let them down.

  • Try rolling your own for awhile if you can find rolling papers. That'll cut smoking down big time as between the time it takes to learn to roll one and the horrible tasting results will discourage until you can score some ready mades.

  • If you think about it, you're already waiting a minute all the time. Until you get off the bus, until you get outside, until somebody leaves, until ... You're already good at waiting a minute.

It's a pretty day. I hope you enjoy it.


"He can compress the most words
into the smallest idea of any man I know."
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

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