How to Beat a Bad Habit

Sex tapes! Poetry recitals! Alpine tower jumps! Diet switcheroos! Welcome to MORE's fer-crying-out-loud just-do-it already blowout special, in which women just like you hurl themselves out of their comfort zone and into a brave new world where style, substance and unmitigated badassery abound. The rut busting starts here

by Suzanna Andrews (who at press time had been smoke free for 120 days)
cigarette ban sign image

There is a carton of cigarettes in my kitchen, which I cannot yet bear to throw away.

It’s been three months since I took my last puff, after 25 years of smoking. Today is one of the bad days, when I remember precisely why I started up again each time I’d tried to quit. All I can think is, Everything will be all right if I can Just. Have. ONE. I see myself getting up from the couch, walking into the kitchen—as if I have split in two and am watching my smoking twin reach for a pack.

I blank on the reasons I have desperately wanted to quit for so long. I’ve wanted to be free, not only of the health risks but also of the mental prison that smoking creates, the messages that bombard the mind: that without cigarettes you can’t think clearly, handle stress or fully enjoy life.

This time I made no plans to quit. I picked up a pack one morning after a serious bout of bronchitis had forced me to stop for two weeks and heard a small voice say, “Be free of this now.” I put the pack down. There was no patch, no gum, no manic exercise program. Just a profound, almost spiritual sense that it was my thinking—not my physiology—that had to change.

Do I really need a cigarette? It’s a question I ask and answer every day. Some days I actually have to say it out loud: “No! NO!”

Suzanna Andrews is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. At press time, she had been smoke free for 120 days.

Next: Would You Sniff Your Pen to Lose Weight?

Don’t miss out on MORE great articles like this one. Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter!

Illustration courtesy of Mastepanov Pavel/

Originally published in the June 2013 issue

Share Your Thoughts!


Post new comment

Click to add a comment