Guinevere Gets Sober

Recovery news, reviews and stories, by Jennifer Matesa.

How to quit smoking: Get your state to ban it, and/or ask for help

It’s hot, mon… welcome home from 70-degree Leeds to a rip-roaring 95 in my back yard. Where the raspberries are falling off the canes… (Those are my razzies in my kitchen btw)

By far the hottest item in addiction news the past few days: Wisconsin’s new statewide indoor smoking ban, which went into effect yesterday. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has coverage, and there are many other sources. (As always, the story behind the story is in the comments… smokers bickering about their right to use v. nonsmokers, including hapless bartenders and wait-staff, claiming their clean air.)

Calling all smokers… NEWS FLASH! According to the above story, it is hard to quit smoking (i.e., addiction) without help. The story states:

The withdrawal symptoms — depression, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, restlessness, headaches, increased appetite — are just one of the challenges. They begin to fade in three weeks and drop markedly after three months.

These symptoms correspond almost directly to the symptoms for, say, heroin withdrawal (not counting insomnia and restless leg syndrome).

Smoking-ban legislation may actually help people to stay quit.

In the three years since Stoke-on-Trent (UK) instituted a smoking ban in pubs and workplaces, more than 5,500 smokers have kicked the habit.

For all the griping that smokers do on blogs about their “right to smoke” and how un-fun bars are when you’re not allowed to light up, a 2008 survey showed that 75 percent of Stoke residents supported the smoking ban, and more than 90 percent said they went to pubs just as often as they did before.

How to quit (if you can’t get your state to ban smoking)

A very old, very good friend of mine who called himself a “garbage-can addict”—he drank and used anything that came his way—told me last year that smoking was by far the hardest habit he’d ever kicked. Here’s how he did it:

1) He quit everything else first (booze, weed, benzos, coke, dope, everything).

2) He went to a 12-step program, got a sponsor, and worked the steps.

3) He asked his physician’s nurse to put him on a nicotine taper, calibrated to his level of use, and allowed the nurse to dictate the taper. N.B.: He did not try to run the taper himself.

Recovery in action: asking for help. None of us does it alone. Within six weeks this late-50s guy who had smoked since his teens was entirely chemical-free. You can be, too.


  1. the smoking ban in SC definitely helped me stay quit, and my job limiting the smoke breaks also contributed.

  2. I am glad that there are many smoke free places now. I am glad to not have ever smoked.

Comments are closed.

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Twitter