Surviving the puff challenge

Smoking is a hard habit to break. Ask Ajay Devgn. Experts help you identify the pitfalls to watch out for once you’ve told yourself that you have quit

Your vigilance falters
You were enthusiastic at first but a few weeks in and you’ll find your urge to smoke returns with a vengeance and you’re tempted to have “just one”. You must prepare a counter-argument to this powerful inner voice telling you that one won’t hurt. Be ready to remind yourself of your health, the cash you are saving and the fresh, smoke-free breath you now have.

You fall into old habits
Smoking’s an incredibly powerful addiction, based on patterns of behaviour. For instance, you stroll out each morning and pop into your favourite cafe near work for coffee, and suddenly you’re holding a cigarette in the smokers’ area. You’ve gone on autopilot into your old chain of habitual behaviour. Keep focused until you’ve ‘retrained’ yourself not to be caught out if offered a cigarette.

You need a crisis buddy
Hook up with someone who’s already trying to quit. You’ll feel highly motivated. When you have a bad moment, he/she can be your personal crisis buddy.

You continue to drink
For many smokers, cigarettes go hand in hand with alcohol, coffee and tea. That old craving hits hard with a drink in your hand or the morning cuppa. Be prepared to muster the strength to fight it off.

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You have an unhelpful friend
There’s always one joker who tells you it doesn’t matter if you have the occasional cigarette. Often, they are smokers themselves, they want company and your good efforts make them feel guilty. When you are trying to stop, don’t be surprised by those who wriggle a cigarette under your nose. Have a reply ready: “No, thanks”.

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