Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world…
“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.” ~Mark Twain
If you are a smoker you know exactly what Mr. Twain was talking about! And you know why it’s kind of funny and kind of not so funny at the same time.
I, myself, am an ex-smoker! I cannot count how many times I tried to quit, did quit, started again, wished I had the gifts of a casual smoker, lied to myself about “just one puff…”etc. You know…
Here’s the paragraph that lists all the reasons why cigarettes are bad for you: blah, blah, quack, quack, yada, yada, yada. (I am not being totally flippant here… But this is the place where a smoker glazes over and barely scans anyway. Am I right? However,if you dare, click HERE to peek.)
Though it seems to be a hard way to do it, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that 90% of successful quitters used the “cold turkey” method. The twelve month abstinence rates using self-help methods is 8% to 25%, while those using assisted strategies like Acupuncture and smoking cessation clinics had an impressive success rate of 20% to 40%!Having a support base outside of the home is important and helps to ensure cessation.
The nicotine withdrawal symptoms last only for a few days and the body begins to repair itself immediately! The severity of withdrawal varies from person to person and also depends on what choices they make at that time. It has been my experience and my observation that simply reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke, rather than abstaining completely, is a form of prolonged torture and is doomed to failure.
While nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is recommended by several organizations from the American Cancer Society to the American Heart Association I can say that it never worked for me. It has worked for many people though, especially in conjunction with a focused smoking cessation program. I have seen, however, the NRT become the replacement addiction. Perhaps the ultimate goal should not be “smoking cessation”, but “nicotine cessation”. That said, I imagine that NRTs are not as bad as filling your lungs with countless carcinogens and could potentially assist you in your goal.
How can Acupuncture help you to stop smoking? Acupuncture is used around the world in the treatment of drug addictions. In some cases it is a court mandated treatment due to its ability to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Make no mistake; nicotine addiction is right up there with heroin and cocaine addictions. Acupuncture can help by reducing cravings, soothing the nerves, and reducing anxiety and irritability. While Acupuncture is not a substitute for willpower and determination it’s inclusion in your plan to quit smoking is a powerful and proactive step towards freedom and could make your journey a much more pleasant one!
Quit Smoking Tips:
In order to quit smoking you must want to quit! Period! See yourself as a warrior! Prepare for battle; know that you will win the war! Actively envision yourself and your home and car smoke-free! Feel how light your chest feels and how deeply you can inhale.
Strategize! What will you do instead of smoke? Walk? Breathe? Yoga? Tai Chi? Read? Knit? Clean house? Play cards? Ride a bike? Volunteer somewhere?Swim? Write? The possibilities are truly infinite! Find something! Find many things!It’s best to shake up your pattern so you are not tempted to pick up a smoke. Rearrange/remodelyour smoking area. Shake it up and clean it out! Come up with a plan. Have fun with it!
Get support outside of the home! Join a support group in your area or one online. I found this free quit smoking email program and it looks very promising.
No illusions! Go for the Gold!You can admit now, perhaps, that you are not one of the lucky ones who can smoke one or two cigarettes a week! It’s okay… I suspect those people don’t really exist anyway. But this is a grand admission! Because, if this is true, then your plan can be more realistic and the goal of “no cigarettes” replaces the historically unattainable “just one every now and then”. If this isn’t your first rodeo, you know what I’m talking about.
Get the support of your loved ones if possible! Let them know you might be grouchy… but c’mon now… don’t be so crabby that they beg you to start again and then you blame them for starting again! All smokers know that trick!
How I did it: I went cold turkey all the way! I knew it would be hard, but wanted to pop through to the other side as fast as I could. It was the only way I could do it and I knew it! It worked. I also realized, after countless years of wishful thinking, that I cannot have one puff! Not one! Experience had shown me that that was the single factor that continually led to the demise of my attempts at quitting. Stick with that and you will succeed! “Not one puff”!
Do I miss it? No, I seldom even think about it!!! But I remember that being an enormous deal! “WILL I MISS IT?”Oh, no… not that…! Oh, the torture! Fortunately, the nicotine will eventually stop controlling your mind and you will laugh at that one later!
Why I quit. Yes, of course for health reasons! But more importantly, I was sick of being controlled by an inanimate object. It’s bad enough to endure the will of a captor, like Nelson Mandela or others have, but to be a willing victim in my own incarceration (or in-cancer-ation, or in-carcinogen-ation) became too unbearable for me. This is where being a control freak might serve you!
As a last bit of advice to you on this incredible act of courage I’ll say, just keep trying!!! And believe with all your heart that you will succeed. If you fall down, get back up! If you need help, go out and get it! Learn the nature of the beast that is controlling you! Don’t forget there’s so much more beauty out there than the stinky tip of that ball and chain! You will succeed! I just know it!
“If we see you smoking we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.” ~Douglas Adams