The Best Moisturizer is Quitting Smoking

By: JAN WILSON


As an ex-smoker I have to admit that there is nothing quite as bothersome as someone trying to convince you to quit. And even worse than that is the ex-smoker trying to do so, as if they are some reformed guru on the topic. Most smokers are completely aware of dangers of their behavior, and smoke anyway. An increase in education about the perils of smoking is not going to reduce the numbers of smokers, it just isn’t. Here is this author’s story of how after decades of smoking, I simply just stopped.

For me, smoking was always something that I was doing temporarily. I did not buy cartons of cigarettes as there was a good chance that this would be my last pack. Hilarious!! I began back in college casually smoking while having a few drinks or hanging out with friends. My cigarette intake had steadily grown until I realized that I had reached roughly 1.5 – 2 packs of cigarettes per day. I am not sure why it came as a surprise, but it did. I recall thinking about the cost and how much money I spent per year and was disappointed, but not enough to quit. Cigarettes were my friends. I would smoke when I was lonely, or stressed, or simply to pass the time. A relaxing Sunday afternoon was just not relaxing without my smokes. Little by little smoking had penetrated my life until it was a large part of the daily picture.

The first time that I realized it was time to quit was during work one day. Being in a competitive, high stress office had certainly contributed to my smoking in my earlier years. I consistently made time to go downstairs to have a cigarette (because they don’t let us smoke inside anymore) and converse with my friends / co workers. Well, on this particular day I realized that no one in the office smoked any more. We had gone through some staffing changes, but still this struck me as odd. So as I stood downstairs, alone, smoking it occurred to me that I was the only person out there my age. There were some younger people smoking, but mostly just having fun. And there were some really old people (at least they looked old) smoking heavily. It was in that instant I realized that most people my age had stopped smoking. Here I was standing between the age I was when I began smoking and the picture of what I will be if I do not stop smoking. For whatever reason the image was memorable.

I did not change my behavior at that time, however, I did periodically tell the story of that day to others when I stood around smoking with them. They all seemed to undersand, or at least laugh at the notion. Like most smokers, I had occasionally tried to quit smoking at the request of loved ones, but never because I actually wanted to stop. I realized that I was at a crucial point, either I had to quit or I had to accept that after 15 years, I was a smoker.

Then one day it just happened. I was getting dressed for work and I looked in the mirror. The face that was looking back at me was of little resemblance. I guess I had still been imagining myself as the athletic young person I was years before, but the person staring back at me was not. This stranger in my mirror looked older and more tired than I felt, and truthfully than I was. I noticed the damage I was doing, not specifically, but that I looked older, more wrinkled. Not being of the age where wrinkles were acceptable (if they ever are) I looked as though I was not aging well. It scared me, I was obviously aware of the dangers of smoking, but here they were right on my face. I looked a good 10 years older than I was….very difficult for a man of my vanity to deal with. I knew that I needed to quit.

For a few months I walked around with this image in my head. I could not escape it. Every smoker I saw I noticed how bad they looked. Their skin looked terrible, wrinkles around eyes, mouth and neck. I was still smoking but the dangers seemed personified around me, in the mirror on the faces of other smokers. For me this illustrated that the invincibility of my youth had come to an end. I did not want to end up looking terribly shriveled.

And then it happened. I woke up and simply chose to not get a pack of cigarettes. No plan, no big effort, in fact I did not even know I was quitting when I smoked my last cigarette. All the hype of prior attempts I avoided this time. I simply stopped smoking at that moment. I did my best to stay occupied that day and felt stronger about my ability to handle quitting. Once the day had come and gone (with only a few minor cravings) I knew I was ready to quit. And I have not looked back since.

I realized that to stop smoking we simply need to want to. We can not be forced into it, or nagged into it by loved ones. We have to want to get healthier. For me not looking wrinkled and older than I had to, created some acknowledgement of the damage of my behavior. I would rather look and naturally be healthier than I would be a smoker, and once I realized it, not just said it….I quit.

I am happy to say that my skin and health has never been better. This story is actually what led to my interest and career in the best moisturizer creams. I am not the passionate ex-smoker, nor do I honestly care if you smoke or not. But if you want to quit, try not making such a big deal about it, don’t tell others, just quit. Despite what marketers tell you, you can do it on your own, but you have to want to.

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Jan is a skin care consumer review reporter and contributing author for best moisturizer review sites.

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