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December 9, 1998

The Great Quitting Smoking Plan

A Flaw

On October 18, in response to a number of requests, I posted details of the how-to-quit-smoking-painlessly plan that had worked for me. One person who read it (actually, my youngest daughter, Tina, who is desperately trying to give them up - ho-ho] said, "That's all very well if I get up at the same time every day. But suppose I normally get up at seven for work, and I'm down to not lighting up my first cigarette until 9:00. Then I get blitzed at a party one night, don't wake up the next morning till noon, and light light a cigarette at 12:30. Does that mean I'm stuck with 12:30 or later for keeps now? If so, forget it."

"Um," was my first response. Then, reluctantly, "You've got me. . . ."

But on thinking further about it, maybe not. What we do in a situation like that, I guess, is shift the whole pattern to make it relative to the time you get up. So, since on a normal working day you're going two hours before lighting up, let's make it 2:00 or later for the day you've laid in comatose after the party. Then, when you're back at work again the next day, we'll let it it shift back to normal. That preserves the spirit without breaking the fundamental rule.

 
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