It’s a big drag for smokers to read yet another negative article about smoking in 2013. So let’s skip the puns, and the lectures, and look at an alternative view about smoking. You are not a smoker, you are you and smoking has merely attached itself to you. You are not the problem, the problem is the problem and the problem is cigarettes.

If you see cigarettes as a problem in your life, view them as a third party object and not part of you. There is you and there are cigarettes. By doing this you externalise the problem and then you can deal with it. Most smokers treat cigarettes as a friend – a friend that soothes in times of stress or provides an opportunity to get away from the world for a private moment. (An opportunity
to view the world from another place with a drug, an escape, sometimes with others who also falsely view cigs as a friend.)

Let’s ask a cigarette a direct question. Are you really my friend? And if so what plans do you have for me in the future? When did I let you into my life and what kindness have you done me so far? If I gave you up how different would my life look? What would it feel like to be just me again without you?

Research evidence shows a significant correlation between self-esteem and cigarettes. Loving your body with good food, exercise and not smoking makes you feel good about yourself. You enter the world again with greater self-confidence. You no longer feel you will be caught out or experience guilt dealing with this drug. I did say this was not to be a lecture on smoking so read on about a free program from me.

Your brain responds better to any change the more inputs you give it. Using will-power by forcing the brain to not smoke is one input. Writing it down on paper is two inputs. Viewing giving up smoking as a personal humorous challenge is 3 inputs – humour emotion. If you drew a picture of yourself cigarette free that would be 4 inputs – drawing. So the brain now has 4 inputs about stopping smoking – thinking, writing, humour and drawing.

I have designed a self-observation program to help smokers have a serious go at giving up. And guess what, the program only asks you to initially observe yourself smoking. So it does not ask you to give up immediately. By observing and recording you will place more inputs into your brain about this, so called friend.

Email me at [email protected] and I will email it back to you free. Imagine having those beautiful fresh lips to kiss without feeling any guilt, not smelling in lifts and elsewhere, being richer, not having to find a secret place to smoke any more and being the beautiful gay person you were before you let this third party object attach itself to you. Imagine saying these words and meaning it, “I will never smoke again.” You are not a smoker, you are you and have merely let this false friend stalk you 24/7. Maybe it is time to get rid of this false friend in 2013?

Gerry North is a gay counsellor, who deals with addictions and couples counselling. Visit:

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