Quitting Cigarettes:My Journey so Far
For so long, I have been a reluctant smoker. So many of my family have died prematurely from smoking-related diseases as well that I was afraid of cigarettes at the same time as being addicted to them. Frequent failed attempts to stay off the cigarettes were very discouraging.
This time I am now free of cigarettes for a little over two weeks with a minimum of difficulty. I hope that sharing this hub will give others the will to quit themselves and some encouragement and insight on how to do so with the minimum of discomfort and effort.
I will outline this hub in the following format
- Useful tools and resources for help and support with smoking cessation.
- The necessary mindset and traits you need to develop to succeed.
- Advantages of smoking; Advantages of quitting.
- Potential benefits of becoming smoke-free.
This way, you can read the whole hub or browse through the sections that interest you if you are interested in this topic for your own reasons or want to help someone else quit.
Useful tools and resources
As you probably know, there are various forms of nicotine replacement therapy on the market to help with the physical withdrawal from nicotine. These include lozenges, patches and chewing gum. The e-cigarette is another way people often use to quit cigarettes.I find lozenges a great help in my quitting journey. They have the added benefit of taking about twenty minutes to suck which is a better alternative than eating in the context of the potential for weight gain sometimes associated with quitting cigarettes
Psychological withdrawal from the habit of smoking and the rituals associated with it is perhaps a more significant hurdle to manage than the physical withdrawal. Some people access the services of an addiction counsellor or therapist. Others use hypnosis.
There is a great deal of online help available as well. There are chatrooms for support in stopping smoking and I find quit.ie an excellent resource for planning and implementing the positive behavior change which quitting cigarettes actually is. There is an option to register and implement a stop smoking plan through a series of questions on the site. It is encouraged to check your plan as often as you need to as a way of keeping focused on your goal of not smoking.
Are you a smoker?
Having the right mindset.
There are four things that I need in my journey to stop smoking:
in previous attempts to quit, I always had motivation but I think I have turned a corner this time because I am thinking about quitting as a long-term commitment which I hope will make a difference to this attempt after having failed previously on a number of occasions.
Determination is working for me in the short-term as any thoughts I am having about smoking are undermined in a positive way by determination not to fail in this attempt to be free of cigarettes.
I have this opportunity to quit smoking for good this time because I have the previous three elements in my quit journey. A friend of mine suggested to use the chance I have to stop smoking without much difficulty. For example, I think about cigarettes but I don't crave them so I am getting the opportunity to do it easily and it is important to take this chance when I'm getting it.
- Motivation,determination and commitment are necessary to stop smoking and stay stopped.
- Don't do it alone-make use of the many tools and resources to support you in your non-smoking journey
- Language-"giving up" cigarettes implies being deprived of something. Quitting or stopping is better language to use.
- Freedom-this is perhaps the best advantage of getting away from cigarettes. they don't "own" you any more
- There are no advantages to smoking but many advantages to quitting cigarettes.
Advantages of Smoking;Advantages of quitting
In Allen Carr's book "The Easy Way To Stop Smoking" he has a chapter on the advantages of smoking. The chapter simply consists of a blank page which is quite clever but it is also true-there are no advantages to smoking.
There are so many advantages to quitting.One of the features of referring to my quit plan on quit.ie is that I can see my advantages of quitting any time I visit the site. They are as follows:
- for health reasons
- to be here for the people I care about
- because it is the right thing to do.
- to feel better about myself
- because of the high cost of cigarettes
- because I hate being controlled by cigarettes.
I also get a daily email encouraging me to stay off the cigarettes and if I refer to the quit plan and the reasons to stop outlined in it as above it is bound to keep my focus where it should be on my journey to becoming a non-smoker.
Potential Benefits of Quitting Cigarettes
Freedom from addiction
Less risk of a heart attack
No more breathlessness
Less risk of cancer
Being there for family
Able to taste better
Feeling good for doing the right thing
Better sense of smell
Allen Carr's Easy Way To Stop Smoking
Some Comments on the Video
There are a few things I would like to point out about the Allen Carr method which are as follows:
- I think it is very true that people do not choose to smoke-they have simply failed to quit. Many smokers are reluctant smokers and would prefer not to do it.
- He does not advocate the use of nicotine replacement therapy for very logical and valid reasons. However, I find nicotine lozenges very useful in my quit journey.
- In his book, he refers to the language of smoking i.e. trying to "give up" implies being deprived. It is better to talk about quitting or stopping. This makes a lot of sense.
- Finally, he says in the book that a smoker is like a man falling from a 100 storey building. As he passes the 50th floor he thinks "so far so good". This indeed is a good example of the level of denial of the health risks by smokers
- He is very credible as he was a smoker himself for 30 years.
Some Final Thoughts
Using available tools and resources as well as developing the right mindset are the hallmarks of having a good chance of succeeding in your journey to becoming a non-smoker. As outlined above there are no advantages to smoking only disadvantages. On the other hand, there are many benefits to quitting.
In my view, the best benefit is the freedom from addiction. I no longer feel owned by cigarettes and I have more control over my behavior. Perhaps, I will write another hub on this topic in a few weeks time as a way of maintaining focus and determination in my quit journey which is a process that started when I smoked my last cigarette and is continuing as the weeks go by.
I enjoyed writing this hub and I hope that you the reader find it interesting and/or useful. I look forward to reading any comments you might have on the subject so feel free to share your thoughts or experiences.