Being a Smoker and Teaching ESL Online (Cigarette and Electric Smoker)

Being a Smoker and Teaching ESL Online (Cigarette and Electric Smoker)

Confession time.

I've been an on-off smoker since I was a teenager.

Cigarette smoker. Roll-up smoker. Electric smoker. I've been them all.

And as Ashton Kutcher once said – “If there was professional smoking, I bet I could have won something.”

The same goes for myself.

Smoking as a Teacher

I've been both a smoker and a non-smoker whilst being an online English teacher.

Which one is the better experience?


…non-smoker, of course.

Why it sucks to be a smoker whilst teaching online

The only real benefit is that your students can't smell you. This is something I always felt ashamed of during my classroom teaching years as I lit up in between classes.

However, whilst teaching online, the two-minute breaks I get in-between classes isn't enough to run outside and have a puff.

So sitting there for my 3 hour shifts in a state of nicotine withdrawal no doubt effects my performance as a teacher.

The nature of nicotine addiction makes it so that your present moment isn't satisfying unless you have a cigarette in your hand.

I wanted to give my full-attention to my students, but the little nicotine monster was always in the back of my mind making me glance at the class timer.

black analog alarm clock between two tree trunks

My experience as a non-smoking teacher

The last time I quit, was actually mid-class. I was craving so bad that I felt my energy dip and I could see the energy of the student was low because of it. I decided enough was enough and said to myself ‘Stop watching the clock, because you aren't smoking once this class is done anyway.'

I felt the immediate shift. I was no longer wishing time away to go and feed the monster. I was now giving my full-presence to the student. And I gave them the best damn class I could.

But unfortunately, that non-smoker spell didn't last long. My step into the traveller lifestyle made me fall off the wagon.

But I don't blame travelling. I blame the fact that I didn't properly prepare myself to quit. I was using will power to quit – which is the worst thing you can do.

How To Quit Smoking Cigarettes

I have quit 3 times. And I consider only one of those methods successful. It was successful because it helped me to quit for 2 years completely cold-turkey without any nicotine replacement.

Method 1 – Electronic Cigarettes

Also known as e-cigs, vape or the latest evolution – the JUUL. This method was hugely unsuccessful. Why? Because I was trying to quit a nicotine addiction with…nicotine.

I was still an addict driving to vapor shops at all hours to replenish my e-liquid or feeling stressed about my JUUL pod leaking…and I was still blowing vapor smoke all over the place…so how could I really call myself a non-smoker?

And there is one crucial reason why I would not recommend vaping as a form of quitting…

Smoking Everywhere

The ability to use a vape to smoke everywhere actually made my nicotine dependancy worse!

I was chain-smoking as an electric smoker.

So much so, I actually got back on cigarettes so I could quit the e-cig! I wanted my nicotine dependancy to be back as a routine, rather than a constant.

red box mod vape beside e-juice bottles

Also, I was too tempted to vape in my 2-minute breaks whilst teaching online. And it just didn't feel right.

Method 2 – Willpower

I went cold-turkey and suffered every second of it. My only solace was checking a quit smoking timeline daily to relish in my ever improving health benefits. Trouble is, every minute using willpower method felt like an hour – so that quit smoking timeline was getting longer and longer!

Using willpower to overcome something suggests suffering and sacrifice. To sacrifice something suggests that you are giving up something good. Smoking isn't a good thing so why would it be a sacrifice?

man standing on snow

This mindset will never help you give up something permanently if you have to use a strong will to resist it.

So what method did I use to quit for 2 years without any suffering? 

Method 3 – The Easy Way

Allen Carr's Easy Way To Stop Smoking is one of the best books I have ever read. It truly is the best way I have found to quit.

Click the image to find it on Amazon

It worked completely. And yes, I know, I started again. But I quit for 2 years! Which I thought was impossible. And I am currently reading it again – as I know the process is the only way to do it. And I will keep doing it until the change is permanent.

So how does the book help you to quit?

Quit Smoking Hypnosis

Easy Way puts you into the right frame of mind by the end of the book to quit.

It's like a gradual form of hypnosis. You are encouraged to smoke the entire time of reading the book, whilst Allen Carr (an ex smoker of 100 a day who went to zero a day overnight) does the work on your new non-smoker mindset as each chapter goes by.

Remember I mentioned the quote from Ashton Kutcher earlier? I mentioned it as he actually used Allen Carr's Easy Way to quit smoking too:

The reason I thought of writing this article is because I wanted to share my struggles as a smoking teacher, just in case there are any who felt the same as me. So I wanted to provide the best solution that I know of.

So here is a free audiobook of Allen Carr's Easy Way To Stop Smoking when you sign up for the free trial with audible:

Free Audiobook of Easy Way! 


I'm currently listening to it every morning. And I cannot wait to get to the end to quit again…but this time for good!

Here it is on Amazon if you prefer to read it:


I hope it helps! If you know someone that this post might help, feel free to share it along!

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