I realise it’s the 19th, but don’t bother with Stoptober

Stoptober is a campaign to help people kick smoking and nicotine within the month of October.

The site opens with this quote at the top of the page.

“’Let’s start now. I mean stop. You know what I mean. Just stop.’ Paddy McGuinness”

Well, Paddy- and Public Health England who started the scheme- clearly don’t know the first thing about addiction. Those who CAN just stop dead and never smoke another cigarette were never addicted in the first place- addiction simply doesn’t work that way. It’s fine if you can get people to quit that way, but that won’t help the majority of smokers who are hooked on the nicotine.

If you try to stop dead, you’ll get cravings. Those cravings will be impossible to ignore, and you’ll end up crashing back into your habit with a HEAVIER usage than you had before.

How do I know? Because I’m a porn addict. I’ve researched cures online and I’ve been a psychological therapies patient. Through this I’ve learned that curing an addiction is more a steady process than an overnight change. But there are things that smokers can do to change their habits for the better, no matter the month.

First, steadily cut down. If you smoke 5-a-day, try a week smoking 4-a-day. See how it feels. Cut down over a period of weeks, or even months, and see yourself (and your bank account) improve in health.

Second, please yourself. This is, as I’ve said before, one of the really great things about tackling an addiction: The cure is pleasure. Addiction is a unique affliction as the way to get over the problem is enjoying life. Those are my doctor’s orders. Public Health England’s text on the Stoptober site is actually pretty shocking. It suggests that if one were to quit smoking, “Your life will be like every hip hop video EVER MADE!” So, at some point I’ll start rapping hanging upside down like a strangely eloquent bat a’la Fifty Cent’s In Da Club? Come on.

Hmm. Yes. Well. Public Health England don’t say ANYTHING about cutting down gradually, about replacing the endorphins gained from smoking with other endorphins from other pleasurable activities or how to distract yourself at the moment the cravings kick in. Take a look through my posts from the last couple of months. The treatment I received is similar to the assistance regular smokers may need and would help a lot of people. If, of course, they want to kick their disgusting habit…

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