What kind of smoker are you?
It is very useful to assess your behaviour and your attitude towards cigarettes. The tools in this section will allow you to determine what kind of smoker you are and hence pinpoint the best ways for you to break free from cigarettes.
Smoking and mental health
Did you know that people suffering from depression or anxiety are twice as likely to be smokers? In these cases, it is even more difficult to quit and relapses are more frequent. Could this apply to you? The links below offer tools to help assess your situation regarding these health problems and better understand them.
There is also an established association between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and smoking. People with ADHD are more likely to develop a cigarette addiction, start smoking at a younger age, and have more difficulty quitting. To find out more about ADHD, visit attentiondeficit-info.com/home.php.
Paint your portrait!
Here are portraits of five types of smoker to help you paint your portrait with a touch of humour.
Identikit The slightest upswing in stress has him pulling out his pack. If he's not already holding it, he fumbles in his pockets or, if it's a woman, she unconsciously starts rummaging in her purse. For the compulsive, cigarettes are a cure-all, an aspirin – a balm for all the ills of daily living!
Distinctive sign Sometimes smokes two at a time; keeps a pack in the car, another in the briefcase and another one in the office, just in case.
Our advice Above all, have a good support network, because it's on them that you'll be unleashing your waves of ill humour, anguish and despair! If one day you feel like packing the whole thing in, here's a remedy inspired by Olympic champions: on day 1, when you're most motivated, pick a song that spells victory for you. Whenever your motivation is starting to sag, plug in to your music or sing – and remind yourself that the craving to smoke usually lasts only a few minutes.
The Fence Sitter
Identikit He's also called the mooch, because he often smokes other people's. Convinced he can quit smoking “whenever,” the fence sitter is a species more and more widespread. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday he's a non-smoker; from Thursday to Sunday, it's the reverse. He's able to control himself to the extent that he doesn't need to go outside for a smoke with the others, but he's as dependent on tobacco as the guy who lights up a cigarette as soon as he gets out of bed.
Distinctive sign We've heard it from him 100 times: “I only smoke when I go out. I can stop whenever I like!”
Our advice If you've never been able to stop yourself from smoking when you go out with friends, then simply stop going out for a while. On a sheet of paper, list the activities or people that prompt you to smoke. Make another list of what (or whom) you're going to replace them with over the weeks ahead.
Identikit For him, cigarettes rhyme with relaxation. A lover of life and everything it has to offer, he puts his cigarettes on the same level as the little pleasures he's so fond of: meals with friends, good wine, port and very strong coffee...
Distinctive sign Sometimes takes deep puffs, the better to “savour” his cigarette.
Our advice Break the pleasure-cigarette association, especially over the first weeks, by leaving the table as soon as the meal ends. At work, take your break elsewhere than where you usually go to smoke. Rather than drinking a coffee, fill up on new flavours by way of little treats: exotic fruit juice, spicy tomato juice, fruit juice, mineral water, spritzer, etc.
Identikit This one's hooked, for real. This type of smoker often starts to smoke very young – his yellow skin, fingers and teeth are proof. No matter the weather, he'll be outside lighting up. He smokes more than 20 cigarettes a day and when he laughs, it generally finishes with a coughing fit you think will bring his guts up.
Distinctive sign In his head, there's nothing to discuss: he'll never be able to quit smoking and he can't imagine his life without cigarettes.
Our advice Before quitting, consult your doctor or your pharmacist. If you need it, they'll be able to suggest medications to stop smoking. Also make sure to have at least one person available and motivated to support you: the first few weeks will be crucial. Finally, browse this site regularly to draw encouragement. You're not alone!
Identikit What fascinates him about cigarettes is the gesture. The poetry of smoke rings, the pretty package, the cigarette in the mouth... The romantic is also the smoker who sees himself putting on 20 pounds and who, esthete that he is, prefers to die (literally as well as figuratively) rather than see his waistline expand.
Distinctive sign Holds the cigarette with style. Taps it on the ashtray when making a point, gesticulates with it – and has it hanging from his mouth while he blinks away.
Our advice The first days, always have a substitute object handy to hold: a string of pearls, aromatic woodchips (the cedar ones used in cupboards, for example)… Also slip a pack of gum or baby carrots into your bag: chewing gum or nibbling a vegetable means fewer calories than sucking on candy. Another useful tip for getting rid of the desire to hold a cigarette: have a cinnamon stick handy. It's sweet, pleasant to hold, and best of all, it smells really good!