Life | Health | 10 months ago

Last week we dove into my deep-rooted psychological need to smoke.

Spoiler: there was none.

My desire to smoke was mostly fuelled by my love of socialising with my friends in pubs and cafés, talking excessively. There was not a problem in the world we could not solve and there was never a bad night that began in that way.

But anyway, for a plethora of reasons I decided to quit smoking after almost a decade of daily huffing and puffing and this week I brazenly visited the land of temptation: The Beer Garden.

I should just tell you that it was easy and that I didn’t smoke once and I left and was very smug and proud of myself. But that would be a big lie and my nana is up in heaven watching me.

Of course I had a cigarette. There were several packets belonging to friends on the table, my inhibitions were  lowered and the reasons to quit smoking melted away with every passing minute.

I had three cigarettes and I am exceptionally proud of myself.

I will tell you why my darlings. In that situation, two months ago, almost a full packet would be gone. If they weren’t smoked then, they absolutely would have been smoked in the 72 hours gap between then and the time of writing this article.

If I dwell on those three cigarettes and if I think of them as failures I will pick up a packet and begin again. I will admit defeat, say I failed, and cease all attempts to give up.


But I’m not a failure. I had three.

The next time I’m going to be prepared.


In the past I have made the massive mistake of trying to go completely cold turkey and punishing myself whenever I hit a tobacco speed bump.

This time around I’m celebrating the small triumphs. I said yes three times, but I said no dozens more.

I had three where I used to have 20.

I’m not there yet, but I’m on the right path.

By Cassie Delaney.


Slips and relapses happen, it’s how you pick yourself up that matters. Every time you make a quit attempt you learn something that can help you the next time you try. If you have been going it alone, why not phone the HSE Quit Team on 1800 201 203 or FREETEXT QUIT to 50100 to talk to an advisor or to find out about your nearest HSE stop smoking service, it might be just what you need to help you give up smoking for good. Get the help you need, the way you want it, for free on

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