How To Successfully Stop Smoking
Before you initiate your quit smoking plan, it is important to first understand the elements that have contributed to the smoking habit.
1. Smoking provides a social connection. For teens, smoking is a grown up sophisticated behavior. There is something attractive about seeing adults smoke, especially in the context of rebellion and independence. Since 1988 cigarette companies have agreed to downscale their marketing in public places yet there continues to be a strong underground message directed at kids today that says "smoking is sexyl".
For adults, the social rift, that has been created between the smokers and the non-smokers is a line few will cross. Only smokers truly understand the crescendo of pleasure of a smoke after sex or a good meal. Smokers make instant friends in any setting when in need of a light or a borrowed cigarette.
2. Smoking is a pleasurable habit. On the job smoke breaks provide an opportunity to push away from the grind of work. The long "drag" of a cigarette is similar to a deep breathing exercise that actually helps to defuse stress and invite relaxation. For some, a cigarette is just as pleasurable as a luscious slice of chocolate cake without the calories. The chemical reaction from the inhalation of the nicotine that takes place in the brain of a smoker stimulates a low level anti-depressant effect while providing short term over all good feeling.
3. Smoking is designed to create a physical addiction. Nicotine was specifically added to cigarettes to build an addictive chemical need in the brain which lusts for more and more to satisfy. When this growing need is not being met the body responds with specific withdrawal symptoms as any addictive chemical dependence would.
Stop smoking programs or cessation strategies can be powerfully effective if a person takes an honest look at the motivation behind the desire to break through the social, emotional and physical connection to the nicotine habit. Personal resolve is important and once the motivation is clearly established the process of quitting can begin. These tips on stopping smoking will be most helpful.
Remember -- quitting is a process. False starts and stops are not uncommon. Don't view them as failures but small steps closer to success. If you find yourself slipping into the comfort of a cigarette again, stop and review the feeling behind the slip.
If it is a strong physical withdrawal, find a temporary physical replacement such as gum, nicotine patches etc. If you are feeling alone and bored, call a friend, visit with a neighbor, or go to a movie. Replace that feeling with a social connection. Want to smoke because you miss the stimulation? Take up a new hobby equal to the emotional high you felt from smoking.
Remember -- you are not alone. Join a support group or set up your own accountability circle. Are there others in your sphere of friendship that want to quit as well? Connect with them and set success markers together. Plan a trip you can all enjoy as a reward for being smoke free. Be creative but be connected.
Remember -- it's all in your mind. Unlike severe chemical addiction such as alcohol and illegal drugs, the withdrawal symptoms experienced are uncomfortable but they are minor in comparison. Keep your stop smoking goal in perspective. You will be irritable, maybe even miserable for awhile but, quitting won't kill you.
Perhaps Medications Can Help - The prescription drugs Chantix and Zyban have been used by many to succesfully quit smoking.
Seek Out Professional Help -- If you are not a cold turkey type of person, there are fantastic, proven success programs, that can help you quit the smoking habit.
One inventive system, a web based non profit, invites smokers to join their free Stay Quit Monday club. Each Monday, everyone who registers, are allowed to call a "quit line" to receive free counseling help and will be guided to other internet resources that will encourage progress and provide distraction tools, to get through the cravings. http://www.healthymonday.org/stay-quit/
The Mayo residential program, offers an 8 day sign in program for smokers to consider when no other quit-smoking program works. It combines a 12-step addiction type system with behavior modification and supervised care in a self admitted, highly supervised, 24 hour a day clinic.
Web-Enabled SmokeSignals(TM) has invented a hand held tool that helps smokers quit using high touch technology. SmokeSignals is designed to gradually wean a smoker from the habit of smoking. Once enrolled, the smoker receives a fashionable looking cigarette case, designed to hold the smokers pack. Every time a cigarette is removed an electronic record is made. Over a 7 day period of recording, the case is then plugged into a phone line, the data is analized, identifying the smokers habits. A weaning strategy is prescribed with the case then acts as an electronic coach through beeps indicating allowed smoking times. http://www.smokesignals.net/
Other out of the box options include hypnotherapy and acupuncture which have proved very effective in many cases.
Stop smoking success can be yours. Get started today and look forward to a healthier tomorrow.