Day 11: Why guilt is better than loving support to give up smoking

As I reach the end of my second smoke free week I can’t help feeling slightly surprised.

I’ve tried to give up before and have failed miserably and now realised that being surrounded by people who know I’ve given up means my ego is basically the one thing keeping me on track.

But they’ve definitely taken one for the team.

While I was having a chat with my news editor about how it was going he did mention that he felt nervous when I picked up a pair of scissors.

He had actually asked me in his calm and patient voice to “put the scissors down” like I was some crazed addict brandishing an AK47 in Tesco demanding a helicopter and safe passage to Bermuda. In fact, it’s actually his fault that I gave up.

For anyone who hasn’t heard of it yet, Movember is when men around the country grow moustaches to raise funds and awareness for men’s health.

Each person taking part is known as a Mo Bro. I said I’d give up if he grew a moustache for all of November with not even one per cent of me thinking he would agree. But he did. And then the news team were all looking at us, so we had to shake on it, and that was it.

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I didn’t realise what I’d done until I was driving home, all of a sudden I got a sad sinking feeling.

With two weeks of distance I can see that feeling sad about giving up something which is killing you is pretty frightening.

I spoke to a young dad last week who gave up smoking when he could no longer run around in the park with his son playing football.

His wife registered him for a stop smoking group therapy at an NHS clinic.

The fact that his wife and son both knew he was giving up smoking helped him too, and it’s now been a year since he quit.

I’m quite a secretive person in many ways and I never realised how important it was telling people when you try something like this.

What I’ve learnt from this experience so far is that loving support doesn’t do it for me, I reckon my guilt and pride are strong enough for me to give up pretty much anything.

This is the ninth entry in reporter Amanda Nunn’s blog on giving up smoking. If you’re giving up for Stoptober how have your first two smoke free weeks gone? Let her know at