How to Quit Smoking


In a departure from my usual stories, I shall write a How To. Now, in my day job I have written many a How To so I have a reasonable amount of expertise on this. Add to that the fact that this How To is based on a real-life, empirically proven method. So read on if you wish to be rid of that thing between your lips and the phlegm in your lungs.

I’m going to assume you already know How To smoke. Since you are reading this, I shall suppose that you wish to stop it. Well, let me show you How To. I will show you not only a fail-safe approach but one guaranteed to make you swear off it for life.

Hell in a Handbasket
Hell in a Handbasket (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, get a job with a large computer company in India, in the mid 1980’s. A highly prestigious company, a company that has since gone on to become a very large company indeed. You can do this by reading a yet-to-be-written How To. Just black-box it for now. Don’t know what that is? Read How To Black Box. Nope, sorry it hasn’t been written yet either. Man, you’re SOL., aren’t you? On top of that you smoke, so you’re headed to hell in a hand basket in a hurry.

Then, expect said computer company to give you the job on the proviso that you pass a physical. Visit the doctor prescribed. Take off your shirt and have your chest x-rayed. Then, stand on the scales, have your height measured. Pee a little into a bottle.

Then comes the nice part, the bloodletting. Doctor will decide that he himself will draw blood. Then decide that he cannot find a vein in your arm. He will then go “hmm” and decide to use the vein at the back of your hand just behind the forefinger’s knuckle. He will then jab you multiple times on the back of your hand. He will then twist the needle this way and that oblivious of your cries of pain as the inserted needle finds nerves and bones. Eventually, the moron will find the vein, put the cigarette that HE is smoking between his lips and draw copious amounts of blood from your hands. He will then casually swab the multiple oozing holes he has made.

Now go away outside and calm your shattered nerves with a soothing cigarette. Go home, cursing all doctors and that one in particular. Wait a week for the test results to come in. Be invited back to the doctor’s office for a chat about the results.

Arrive with much trepidation and look carefully around for any syringes. Find none and begin to relax when all at once you realize he is watching every move you make. He is doing so while sitting very calmly smoking. His cigarette is held upright between his forefinger and middle finger. He holds his fist up to his mouth and drags deeply into the crook formed by the thumb and side of the forefinger. Rather like he’s licking salt after the tequila shot.

English: Percent increase of success for six m...
English: Percent increase of success for six months over unaided attempts for each type of quitting (except cold turkey and cutting down to quit) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Watch him blow smoke casually up over your head. Hear him say,

“Do you smoke?”

Reply promptly, “No!”

Observe as he takes another deep drag and blows smoke away to the right this time.

“You should stop”, he says,

Wait for it.

Stop smoking now.”

Deep drag, slow exhalation.

“Your x-rays came in”

Deep drag, slow exhalation.

“They are not good.”

Deep drag, slow exhalation.

“You have some calcification”

Deep drag, slow exhalation.

“I am giving you some tablets”

Deep drag, slow exhalation.

“5 days should do it”

Deep drag, slow exhalation.

“Congratulations on your job”

Leave his office. Go to the pharmacy, pick up the tablets. Finish the dosage.

Collapse completely. Utterly. Be carried up and down by your elder brother. Be unable to stand, walk or carry your own weight. Be totally helpless for a week. Lose 10 or 20 pounds from your 97 pound frame.

Two weeks later, drag yourself to the company office to claim the precious final appointment letter.

Report for work at 9am at the office. At 9:30 am  be discovered writing COBOL code on a payroll system at Union Carbide at their office 200 yards away.

Never smoke again. Ever.

< I have since discovered that the drug was Doxycycline. Doxycycline (Doxt SL   Capsules) is a tetracycline-class antibiotic which is used for the treatment of certain bacterial infections of the nose, ears, lung, skin, bone, stomach and bladder. Doxycycline is also used to treat dental infections, sexually-transmitted diseases (STD) such as syphilis or gonorrhoea. It can also be used to treat and prevent malaria as well as anthrax.>

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16 thoughts on “How to Quit Smoking

    1. “You have some calcification” I did need the pills. It seems they pretty much cover every disease from syphilis and gonorrhea (what an absolutely lovely, fruity word that is! )

      But that was a horrendous 2 weeks. I was 24/25 years old at the time. I have been smoke free for 30 years now

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      1. I am happy to hear the pills were not a placebo. I didn’t know what calcification is. In the South everybody’s chest x rays come up with some toxoplasmosis, and the doctors act like it is no big deal.
        So you quit smoking cold turkey! I know it was a horrible experience but the outcome was good. I wonder if the doctor you saw ever followed the advice he gave you?

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        1. I doubt it. He savoured each lung-destroying suck to the fullest. And if you do hold the cigarette like that you get quite a shot.

          Toxplasmosis? Everyone? Good grief? But then they say people in the South Asia all test positive for malaria and TB.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Think of all the horrible afflictions that the pills warded off while you were taking them. Luckily, you didn’t catch any of the ailments and were able to begin your new job. That doctor is a miracle worker!

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  2. Heh, nice one, Slo. Union Carbide, eh? Reminds me of those blue chip companies of the 70s. Metal Box was another. They had beer served at lunch, would you believe it? 🙂

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    1. Yes – MB was a disaster. It was dead before I became a member of the working class. UCIL pretty much killed off themselves when they killed off most of Bhopal.

      I had to retrieve your comment from Akismet’s spam clogger….. dunno why!

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  3. […] I learned how to really smoke during my time there. Every morning when I came in, I walked over to Belinda, who was Mr M’s admin assistant ( or hell, secretary, is what the post was called then ). I said “Hi!”. She would push back her large glasses and then hand me a sealed pack of 20 cigarettes. Which I smoked all through the long and boring day. ( see video above. “Dull, deadly dull” ) I did quit smoking a few years later – chronicled here. […]

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  4. Oh OH! I remember this!!!
    Methinks it was the same vampire doctor that drew my blood. He drew out a copious quantity and declared “Good, rich, red blood!”
    As for the cover-all pill I was once treated to similar delicacies for a fever by a rather vicious neighborhood doctor. He claimed they took care of my malaria and my cold and everything in between.

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