Before I stopped smoking I had been smoking on and off for almost 20 years. I started to smoke when I was 15. When I young and first started to smoke I thought it would be easy for me to stop. Having said that I never actually attempted to stop in those first few years. I was in my early twenties when I first tried to stop smoking, after I had finished collage and had been working for a couple of years.

Even though I had been smoking for 5 years at this point I don't think I realised I had an addiction. I was able to give up smoking for a couple of weeks at a time but would then start again. I didn't acknowledge that I was addicted; instead I thought that it was simply not the right time to give up. And so I started to smoke again and didn't even think of giving up for another 7 years when my son was born.

With a newborn my thoughts obviously turned by being best father I could be, and so it was natural for me to try and give up smoking. By this time I was under no delusion that I wasn't addicted. I knew I was addicted. Worse I was actually starting to feel like it was killing me! I would wake up in the morning with me chest feeling like it was stuck in a vice. I would cough up phlegm ever morning in the bathroom. I knew all of this was very bad but still I wouldn't even entertain the thought of giving up. I was now at the stage where I was smoking 20+ per day and was so addicted that I always made sure that I had cigarettes around me, and even spare packets and emergency packets so I could be absolutely 100% sure of never putting myself through the trauma of running out of cigarettes.

As I was now under no delusion this time I thought I might need some help to give up. I decided to buy some nicotine patches to relieve the pangs. These work by slowly releasing nicotine into your body so that all you have to worry about is habit part of smoking and not the nicotine addiction. The patches come in different strengths so as you can gradually wean yourself off nicotine so eventually you're free of both the smoking and the nicotine.

These patches made me feel very sick at first. In fact, everyone I know has felt the same way at first also. But soon I got used to them. Now these patches may work for some people but they didn't work for me, and before long I was smoking again. Not only that but I was still using the nicotine patches. Can you imagine how depressed and low this made me feel? I felt so pathetic that I couldn't even stop smoking for my newborn son, even though I knew it was killing me.

Another year of smoking went by (somehow it always seems to take smokers a long time to build themselves up enough to be ready for their next attempt to quit). This time I thought I would try hypnosis. I must admit I felt terrible sitting in front of the hypnotist. However, at least this time I managed to stop smoking for two weeks before I started smoking again.

I've covered just a couple of the times I tried to give up smoking above. I can't even remember the amount of times I tried to give up. Hundreds maybe. Sometimes I might last a month sometimes I might just last an hour. I know that sounds crazy that sometimes I could only last out an hour (even though I can sleep at night without getting up every hour for a cigarette) but that's how it was.

Eventually I did manage to stop smoking and it was easy. How did I do it? I simply read a book called Allan Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking. I know that sounds unbelievable but it is true. All I did was read this book and I immediately stopped smoking and suffered no withdrawal pangs. Now I can't explain to you exactly how this book works because I don't really know. What I do know is that I owe my life to this book. I've now spent almost 2 years without smoking and even taking cycling again which I used to do in my childhood. I can't tell you how great it feels to be free of smoking. The hardest thing about the book was simply getting started. If you're a smoker then you'll know what I mean. I mean who wants to read a book about stopping smoking. Nobody, that's who! But I urge you to buy Allan Carr's Easyway to Stop Smoking now. If you do and you then read it, it should be quite easy to stop. What have you go to lose!!