Habit of Smoking Cigarettes

My Experience of Quitting the Habit of Smoking Cigarettes “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an action, but a habit.”- Aristotle (Ferrett, 2006, P. 13-2) In reading, I deducted that everything we do as humans, good or bad, is in some form a habitually conditioned response to our environment, friends and family, traditions, comfort zones, and fears. “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”- John Dryden (Ferrett, P. 13-8) Taking responsibility for your actions and realizing every action has a reaction, may force you to look inside and see the need and the value in change, which in turn can spark a true desire to contemplate the person you are, want to be, and the legacy you want to leave when you are gone.

One of my habits that I have struggled with in my life is smoking cigarettes. I began to smoke when I was 16 years old. My reasoning was juvenile, but was enough to get me hooked. I had a job at Boston Market, and every employee, including management, smoked- except me. They took advantage of me by being over worked without a break, and picking up everyone else’s slack when they were outside smoking and I was left alone to serve all the customers. Eventually, I got frustrated to the point that I walked out the door and stood outside with everyone, asked for a cigarette, and smoked it.

If anyone asked what I was doing, I would reply, “If you get a break, then so do I.” I smoked heavily for about 2 years until I became pregnant with my son. I quit “cold-turkey” the day I found out. About three months after giving birth, I started to bottle-feed him, and began smoking, again. I never really went back to being a “full-fledged smoker” as in smoking at least a pack a day, but I would have an occasional cigarette at work, or out at a bar with friends, socially.

It has been at least twelve years, and I still have a problem giving them up, completely. I have gone months at a time, but there is always something to tempt me enough to, “Just have one more!” Most times it is my friends that smoke, themselves, that invokes the strongest urge in me to “light-up,” again. I have days, even weeks, that I do not even think about a cigarette, and then there are other times when I cannot think of anything else until I do. I used to feel so condemned every time that I failed to quit, but the older I get the more I realize that as long as I continue to see a need to keep trying to change, then I have not failed, yet.

Everything takes time to master, so “with time and patients, change will begin to feel comfortable and normal.” (Ferrett, P. 13-9) Eventually, I will quit. Either in this life or after, I will not smoke forever. I will persistently try to give it my all for myself and my son, until I prevail. In the mean time, I will keep a positive attitude, and remember “that habits are learned and can be un-learned.” (Ferrett, P. 13-9) We are all human and we all make mistakes, but there are those who recognize and strive to correct their mistakes, and they are the ones who will succeed.


Ferrett, S. k. (2006). Peak Performance (5th ed.). McGraw Hill.

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