IT SEEMS that almost everyone who still smokes plans or wishes to stop, but apparently not all are succeeding in doing so. No doubt, the interest in stopping has been instilled by the findings of the Surgeon General which brought about a law requiring that each pack of cigarettes manufactured and sold in the United States must bear warning statements.
Many plans and systems for kicking the smoking habit have been suggested; some work for certain individuals, but fail with others. For anyone really to quit smoking requires a basic understanding of why he or she smokes; few quit without a full and complete knowledge of the specific underlying motivations. With understanding comes the will power to stop.
To smoke or not to smoke is a very personal decision which most are at liberty to make for themselves; that is the way it should be. For the most part, freedom of choice is yours; but it is important to realize that seldom in life does anyone get something for nothing. There always is a price which has to be paid. You can have just about anything for which you are willing to pay -- whatever the price. To start or continue smoking could prove quite expensive in more ways than one; to quit is not without a price either. Which price are you willing to pay? It is totally up to you.
The sections which follow look into the possible reasons you smoke and suggest some ways in which you may more easily and practically discontinue or cut down on the practice. It is suggested that in addition to reading your Sun-Sign, you might get additional insight by reading your ascendant (rising) sign as well.
ARIES: "Cold turkey" will Iikely be your best technique for giving up the smoking habit. The idea to do so is most likely to come to you suddenly or quite unexpectedly. When the notion hits you, you may quickly toss away your cigarettes, give away your lighter, and break all the ash trays nearby. You will assert quite openly and pointedly that you have quit smoking, that you are totally through with the practice and that's it -- period! This is, in view of the published reports concerning the potential hazards of smoking, quite a commendable move; but will you stick to your guns? Quite often things done on impulse -- your favorite modus operandi -- undo themselves just the same way. There is absolutely no doubt that you do have the will power to quit, but keep in mind the fact that your nemesis quite often is the lack of persistence and follow-through. So before you allow your impulse to cause you to stop, make certain that you recognize fully the consequences and the temporary sacrifices and losses that you will experience. So, before you quit, outline fully the benefits of not smoking as compared very fairly with the potential dangers of continuing. Then use your strong head to stop and remain stopped. Since you are inclined to be quite competitive when you think you can win, why not challenge your mate or a close friend or business partner to a contest to see who can really quit? Make the stakes as interesting as you wish. The bets are on you to win, Aries. Speaking of competing, this is likely the reason you began smoking in the first place -- perhaps on a dare. Now that you have proven that you dare to smoke, show that you dare to quit.
TAURUS: Since you are so appetite-oriented, it may not be easy for you to give up the pleasures of smoking. You say cigarettes have a good taste, but how about the very unpleasant taste in the mouth and throat early in the morning? Have you ever thought you might be a better lover if you didn't smoke? Can you remember ever kissing someone who had been smoking when you hadn't? Not very pleasant, was it? Now consider the situation reversed. You, being a fixed sign and quite tenacious in nature, resent change of any kind. It is not easy either to get you to change habits or to start anything new. You can be stubborn when you want to be. It may take quite a monumental effort on your part to stop smoking, but your practical nature should be able to see that the rewards are worth the effort. Remember that when you do stop, your chances of staying off tobacco are quite promising. Your best approach to stopping will be the intelligent and practical use of the "rewards" system. Look around and consider some other practices or less harmful habits with which you can reward yourself for giving up smoking -- but you are cautioned not to make it overeating or overdrinking. Rewarding yourself with more sex could fill the bill quite nicely if done properly and wisely. Because of its good flavor, chewing gum might pacify you as a reward until you have completely kicked the desire to smoke. Buy yourself something new, but make sure that it is something which is very personally yours. It might be a rather grand and expensive single item -- such as a new automobile; but you are probably wiser in buying less expensive items on a more regular basis -- such as something special every week or so. Take comfort in the knowledge that your inertia will work to keep you off the habit once you quit. Why not utilize your desire to take extra good care of yourself?
GEMINI: Of all the signs of the zodiac, possibly no other is as likely to smoke, or feel a need to than you. Your sign rules the hands, arms, and lungs; and when it comes to smoking, that's where it's at. By nature, you want to be constantly busy; your hands must have something to do every minute of your conscious hours. Unhappily, perhaps no other sign should avoid smoking more than you. You are inclined to run on your nerves most of the time, and you certainly don't need anything to stimulate your nervous energy even more. It is possible that you began smoking in order to have something to keep your hands busy. But don't kid yourself. You continue the practice because you get a kick from it, a kick that you certainly don't need. You can become hooked and develop into a veritable nicotine fiend if you are not careful. You could easily get to the point that you have two cigarettes going at the same time. Pity your poor lungs and nerves, especially if Mercury, the ruler of the third house, or planets in that sector of your nativity are negatively aspected. When you decide to quit (and you really should), work with the realization that you will have to substitute some other activity in order to keep your hands busy. Possibilities include carrying a notepad or sketchbook so you can write or draw during idle moments, growing longer fingernails and keeping them manicured, wearing more rings or other jewelry, carrying change or other objects in pocket or purse which can be toyed with, carrying books or other reading matter for those times when you have nothing else to do. Crosswords or small mechanical puzzles which you can assemble and disassemble can keep you occupied enough during the initial stages after you stop your smoking habit. In brief, keep yourself amused with tasks other than smoking. Call upon your natural versatility and your inherent abilty to substitute and make do with less potentially-harmful activities. You can do it, and you should do it for your health's sake.
CANCER: You may smoke because your parents smoke, originally beginning in an attempt to emulate them. If this is so, it is an extremely unwise reason to continue. Another reason that you smoke is that it makes you feel content, secure, and "at home." As a matter of fact, you may do a lot of your smoking while at home, especially in the kitchen. You really like to smoke after a good meal. If you want to make progress toward giving up the habit, you will have to work on your emotions, especially those connected with your very survival. It is natural for you to look forward to a long life, and comfort and good health after you retire. This is one of your most important dreams. If, through reading and a deep implantation in your emotions, you get a full understanding of the potential hazards of smoking -- that it may damage your health as you grow older, that it can in fact shorten your life, and that it is a fire hazard which could easily destroy your home and your security -- you will be well on your way to kicking the habit. Your deep emotions will assist when practical reasoning convinces you that to endanger your health and security by smoking is contrary to everything you plan for the future. If you feel unable to give up smoking altogether, you might switch to one after-dinner cigar. While this is only a stopgap measure, it is no doubt more favorable than cigarette smoking. Pipe smoking might also serve as an alternate. Some additional benefits you may receive from giving up cigarettes will be noticed in the areas of your culinary appreciation. You will find that your favorite foods actually taste better, and this will enhance your enjoyment of mealtime. Your appreciation of quality (and you will be able to afford better quality with what you save by not smoking) may even help reduce the quantity of food you now consume in search of good flavor.
LEO: Is it possible that the main reason you smoke is your belief that it makes you look good? Since you are a Leo native, you want very much to be liked, to fit in, to be accepted. Perhaps you could take a very positive step toward breaking the smoking habit if you come to a fuller realization that smoking is fast becoming more and more unacceptable; it is no longer the really "in" thing that it once was. More and more places are banning smoking altogether. It is receiving a lot of well-deserved bad publicity. You can well do without being associated with anything which might stand in the way of your being liked or favorably regarded. Consider also that your fingers and teeth cannot make a good showing for you if stained by nicotine. And you would not want to offend others with smokers' breath or smelly clothes. In the process of kicking the habit, you can capitalize on your inborn pride in your ability to exercise control over any process that hinders acceptance by those you wish to impress. One of your major desires is to appear strong and self-willed; to give in to a habit such as smoking is certainly no mark of strength. Since you normally enjoy being a pacesetter, you might find it much easier to quit smoking if you organize several of your friends and/or relatives into a "kick-the-habit" group -- with you as its spokesman. When you set yourself up as an example, your pride is not likely to allow you to shirk your responsibilities. Another reason worthy of consideration is the fact that Leo rules the heart, the very basis of life itself. If your natal Sun is unfavorably placed or negatively aspected, you absolutely cannot afford the risks of heavy smoking. So be really generous to yourself and stop smoking as soon as possible.
VIRGO: With your built-in awareness of caring for your health, smoking should never get to the point where it becomes a problem; but with many Virgo-born, it unfortunately does. Perhaps these Virgoans offer an excuse that smoking gives them a littIe bit of escapism from a rather pronounced and constant awareness of reality and the lack of perfection they observe. Virgo is Mercury-ruled, and Mercury is the natural ruler of the third house of the mind and nervous system, and also ruler of the sixth house of health; so the native is adequately warned that excessive smoking can play havoc with the nerves, and very negatively influence the general health. Some of the negative influences may be psychosomatic in origin, motivated by the Virgo constant concern over health matters; but whether psychosomatic in origin or not, the influence is just as detrimental. If you want to quit, begin to use two of your natural talents -- detail awareness and the sense of practicality. Begin to notice the details of your habit. Note your stained fingers and teeth, dryness in the throat, unnecessary coughing, smelly clothing, hair, house; the untidy nature of ash trays, the expense, the unpleasant taste in the morning, and the time-and motion waste -- to mention but a few of the more obvious negatives of smoking. After directing your attention to these and other details, bring your practicality into operation and ask yourself relevant questions related to whether or not this is sensible for a truly-intelligent and practical person. If you are honest with yourself, you should be able to drop the habit almost immediately -- with no intention of ever taking it up again. By giving it up, you rid yourself of both the worry and the guilt. Remember, you are a mutable, versatile, and highly-adaptable sign. Because you are, you should not experience difficulty in adjusting to doing without cigarettes. You can quickly and easily take up more constructive ways to keep yourself occupied.
LIBRA: To smoke or not to smoke? This may well define the issue with you, Libra. Decisions, decisions -- it seems there will always be these little devils to plague you, doesn't it? If you really want to stop smoking, you have to bring into operation your Libra-born interest in maintaining balance and fairness in your total environment. Go ahead and balance the scales scientifically. It is suggested that you get a sheet of blank paper and divide it with a line down the middle. On the left half, list all the advantages of smoking. (You may indeed discover there are few.) On the right half, list as many of the disadvantages and potential dangers of smoking. No doubt, your "scales" will make up your mind for you; and the odds are more likely to favor discontinuing the practice than not. You can then proceed to give up tobacco with a confident feeling that you have applied the fairness principle and now are acting after seeing the results of a just trial. Since you are so concerned with looking your best at all times, it seems that you could very easily refrain from use of anything which stains your teeth and skin and irritates the eyes. Consider also what a mess ashes and cigarette butts create in your home and office. You can much better use your talents and time than policing up after your habit. To replace any imagined loss you might experience by giving up your smoking, consider the possibility of taking up some endeavor which allows you to express natural artistic abilities. Try painting, writing, ceramics, needlepoint, or whatever strikes your own particular fancy. You will also get a great feeling of satisfaction from knowing that you are no longer offending non-smokers in your presence. Very important to your feeling of self-respect is the realization that you have made a really important decision. Being indecisive is probably the main reason you picked up the habit in the first place.
SCORPIO: Your strong desires can work marvels for you when you fully decide to stop smoking. Perhaps no other sign has such a pronounced ability to rip out by the roots anything in the life which is no longer desirable. While applying your desires negatively, you may claim that you smoke because you want to, that it fulfills an actual inner need. Of course, if you are guilty of this, you are merely playing word games with yourself; and you know it better than anybody else. Your desires are your key to success, and they are also your key to failure. It is merely how you apply them in your life that makes the difference. If you fully make up your mind to quit smoking, there is absolutely no doubt that you will quit. If you have no desire to quit, there is nothing in the world powerful enough to cause you to cut down, much less stop. Since you are a water sign, you will have to stimulate any desire to quit the habit through your emotions. If you can get turned on emotionally with the idea of not smoking, you will be able to give up the practice with no regrets. For a starter, consider that excessive smoking may limit or inhibit your sexual ability and responsiveness. You may not be so nice to kiss if you have smoker's breath. With your tendency to do things all the way or not at all, if you do decide to quit, you will, of course. Perhaps no other sign can smoke as many cigarettes and inhale as much and as deeply as you. Remember that how much and how you smoke are very important. As excesses go up, so do the inherent dangers.
SAGITTARIUS: Since you are so expansive in your thinking, it is possible that it has never really occured to you that you are smoking far too much and that it could be harmful to your health. If you have thought of it at all, you probably feel that your normal good luck will keep you from suffering any ill effects. While you have lucked out in many things in your life, you may be pushing your luck a bit too far if you feel that you are not vulnerable to the potential ill effects of smoking. In order to stop smoking, you must come to a full realization of the medical facts regarding cigarette smoking. Pay conscious attention to the details of the potential dangers. Do some reading and common, down-to-earth thinking about yourself and your own smoking habits. Since you are the type who usually does everything in a big way, you may be smoking much more than you actually realize. Start keeping a careful count of how many packs you actually consume in a day, in a week. You may be shocked to know the truth. You might also make a note of how much money you are spending. If you quit, you might reward yourself with a trip at the end of a certain period of time, using some of the money you will have saved by not wasting it on your smoking habit. Enrolling in one or more self-improvement, college, or correspondence courses might satisfy any lack you feel after you stop. Your basic optimism and sense of humor can serve you very well in adjusting to a much more rewarding smokeless life.
CAPRICORN: Is it possible that you began smoking originally because you felt that it made you appear more sophisticated, grownup, and professional? Whether you did or not is of no great importance now since the most important thing for your own advancement and health is to kick the habit. You are by nature oriented toward climbing higher on the ladder of success; and you may have made, through persistence, an enviable degree of advancement. But you know better than anyone else that it hasn't been easy. You have probably experienced more than the average number of disappointments and setbacks. Now it is time to use your practical reasoning nature to consider that if you continue smoking, you may well be asking for additional setbacks in your progress. You appreciate being recognized for your position and standing in the community. There is little likelihood that one who smokes now will gain any additional respect because he does smoke. Smoking is no longer the mark of wisdom and professionalism that it once was. If you want to set the right example, you will not smoke. Remember that your position in life -- parent, business leader, civic or religious head -- is partly judged by your personal habits. Others tend to emulate you; give them the proper image; it is your responsibility. Since you are a cardinal sign, it is not too difficult for you to build the momentum necessary to stop smoking once you have reasoned it out. Saturn, your ruling planet, is called "the Taskmaster." This planet may cause you, in time, to pay the price for continuing something which may well shorten your life. Relieve yourself of a lot of worry -- one of your stocks-in-trade -- by giving up the practice and turning your logical mind to other matters which can lead you to much greater accomplishments.
AQUARIUS: You may have begun to smoke as a means to assert your independence and freedom of choice. Perhaps it is a bit of the rebel in you. From a psychological standpoint, it may at first have done you a certain good service; but in view of recent scientific discoveries, is that "need" of more importance than your good health and peace of mind? If you stop smoking, you can use your intelligence and originality to think up the best and easiest way. Your approach may seem strange to your friends, but the end result will be the same. Since you are rather friend and reform-oriented, you might become the leader of a "reform movement" among your closer friends, a movement with the purpose of eliminating cigarette smoking in the group. Certain rules and guidelines could be formulated stipulating that no smoking is to be done at parties and social functions or in the presence of other members of the group. While this might not totally eliminate smoking for all members of the group, it will help. You might begin on your own to restrict smoking to specified or unusual times. Whichever you do, you want to break the routine in such a way that you are made aware that smoking is not worthwhile. Many Aquarians have found that the "cold-turkey" method works best for them. They decide, usually at the most unexpected time or place, that they no longer wish to smoke -- and that does it. Since Aquarius is a fixed sign, once you give up the habit, you can leave tobacco alone forever. Giving up smoking will allow you more energy, time, money, and patience for moving pleasantly about in your ever-widening circle of friends.
PISCES: It is not always easy for you to see or accept reality. You frequently take great comfort in imagining situations as you would like them to be rather than the way they actually are; but when it comes to the matter of the potential dangers inherent in cigarette smoking, it is time to awake to reality. Shake off your lethargy and face the real facts: The Surgeon General has found that cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health. You will find such a statement on every pack of cigarettes manufactured and sold in the United States. Understanding that statement and fully realizing what it means may assist you markedly in awakening from your "dream state." You may be inclined to be a bit wishy-washy in your attitudes toward smoking -- totally opposed sometimes, totally in favor at others. If you really want to quit, catch yourself in one of your antismoking moods, then prolong it by implanting in your mind the facts regarding the negative aspects of smoking. The realities will soon etch their way into your inner emotions -- your motivating force. It is incorrect to label you as a weak sign. You are anything but weak when the facts fully convince your emotions of a truth. Consider that you will have to be fully and totally honest with yourself when you do announce to others that you have quit; sneaking a smoke in secret can be just as detrimental to your health and peace of mind as smoking in clear view of others. Seek to replace any feeling of loss you might experience with an increased expression of your artistic talents.