ADVICE: How Can I Quit Smoking For Good?

Every week, New York City’s own party messiah takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution in his new weekly advice column in The Village Voice. Read the latest edition of Ask Andrew W.K. below or by clicking HERE.

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May 29th, 2015

Dear Andrew W.K.,

I want to quit smoking. I’ve smoked off and on for the past ten years, and my smoking got really heavy over the past two years, sometimes almost three packs a day. It’s gotten so bad that for the first time I’ve decided I want to quit 100%. In the past, I tried to “cut back” or “taper off,” but that would only be for a day or maybe two, and then pretty soon I’d end up resuming my smoking again full-on, only to then have it increase even more because it seemed I was powerless in reducing it. I’ve tried various methods, including patches, and they didn’t really work. I don’t know if you smoke now or ever smoked, but I thought maybe you might have some advice here.

All Smoked Out

Dear All Smoked Out,

I’ve smoked. I really wanted to be a smoker. For some reason, I wanted to see what the world of smoking was all about, so I put genuine effort into getting hooked. It eventually worked, and I smoked for several years. It felt like some sort of rite of passage, a genuine life experience that I was getting under my belt. It certainly bonded me with other smokers, and I was able to understand and have much more compassion for addicts that I hadn’t understood before.

After a few years of being a light smoker, I decided I should probably just stop smoking entirely. It never really occurred to me that smoking was bad for me. It always felt good, but I had started to notice that the good feelings and head rushes I used to get from smoking had dissipated and were replaced by new feelings of exhaustion and hollowness. It was like I could actually feel the cigarette draining the life out of me each time I inhaled, and rather than feel exhilarated and pleasurably dizzy, I felt this deep wave of fatigue and anxiety. It would take me five or ten minutes to bounce back and feel relatively normal again.

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