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Reducing Smoking is Easier than Giving Up

Updated on August 27, 2012

The International No Smoking Symbol

It is extremely difficult to do away with a habit that has been built over years of practice

It is difficult to give up smoking. However, an effort towards reducing the numbers gradually may be very effective in supporting subsequent giving up. The article below describes an experience of successfully reducing from 30 cigarettes a day to 3-4 per day over a period of around six months.

Some well known facts

As per an estimate by World Health Organisation (WHO), around 1.3 billion people are active smokers worldwide. It is also estimated that this dangerous habit is going to kill 6.5 million people in 2015. In USA alone, over 18 percent of all deaths in a typical year amounting to around 443,000 Americans is because of smoking; of which about 50,000 are passive smokers. The life span of smokers gets reduced by around 15 years on average (Source: )

How to Give up Smoking?

Of Course, I do not have a quick fix formula

It is beyond any doubt now that smoking is extremely difficult to quit. This dangerous habit has probably two major elements that prevents the smokers from giving up this habit. Firstly, after a period of smoking, it becomes a sort of their biological need to continue. Second, they become psychologically vulnerable to a fear of being laughed at if they fail to quit. In this hub, an attempt is made to address both the issues.

To overcome smoking as need

This is very difficult to achieve. However, one can try with alternatives, other medication that may fulfill the nicotine requirements. This can substantially reduce the number of cigarettes they used to consume. But the best way to reduce smoking is to initially put restrictions on himself regarding when and where to smoke. For example, one may take a resolution that 'I will not smoke in my house'. Here, no one stops you from smoking. But every time you want to smoke you need to go out of your house. In my personal experience, this imposition reduced the number of cigarettes consumed by my husband by around 50 percent during initial days. "At least it prevented me and my kid from becoming a passive smoker".

It is often said that smoking gives some sort of relaxation that is similar to what comes after achieving something. My psychiatrist suggested me to go for a routine walk everyday. I am not very sure about the effect. But it certainly increase my bond with my husband. Its almost three month now. But apart from a couple of instances when we argued with each other on some petty things we had nice conversations on many issues, while we walk together after dinner. During such conversations, I realized that my husband was very fond of guns and shooting. I initiated and encouraged the idea of buying an air gun and build a shooting range inside the house with empty wooden and paper boxes as targets. Soon we developed the habit of shooting and both of us have some fun everyday. This gives us a lot of satisfaction and quite energizing. There can be several ways one can overcome boredom and probably reduce smoking. One of such productive engagements may be gardening. Recently, I have discussed something about growing tomatoes in a balcony by using waste materials. Such things are however very context specific and as and when one looks into the matter one faces and the ambience in which one lives, one will find a lot of helpful ways.

Fear of Failure!

Never pressurize anyone to quit smoking by playing emotional games. This hardly works. As far as smoking is concerned, probably, it is one of the biggest challenge. Most of the people I know smoking are among those who have tried many times to quit and by now are convinced that they can not quit. This psychological bottleneck prevents them from trying further. Make all efforts to reduce the numbers instead. I do not allow my husband to smoke in our residential premises. After trying with all these efforts for several months, I have noticed that we spend more time together than it used to happen earlier. I am happy with it. My husband is happy that he does not have to promise me anything about giving up. I know, he is still continuing, but he has reduced from around 30 cigarettes a day to 3-4 a day only outside the premises we live in. Also, he only smokes clove cigarettes now a days.

Please post your comments here

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    • diplorging profile image

      diplorging 5 years ago from Serbia

      Well, fear is also a good reason to stop. When I realised that fear of giving it up is the biggest reason I don't even consider quiting, I immediately try to quit, because I didn't want to live in fear

    • purnimamoh1982 profile image

      purnimamoh1982 6 years ago

      I am sorry for the fact that took me some time to respond to you Windrose JJ. I do not want to delete this hub. However, I realised that what you are saying is absolutely correct. A strong desire to quit is what one needs to quit. It took me some time to convince my husband and finally he was able to quit even the herbal cigarettes he used to take. The CT method worked with some support from medication. Thanks a lot for your comment. Although it is only around 15 days now since he had quit it completely, I hope he will continue. Thanks again.

    • profile image

      JJ Windrose 6 years ago

      Hi, I read this Hub with a lot of pleasure, and I agreed with you on the fact that the fear to quit smoke and the external pressures are the most common reasons that induce people...actually keep smoking. On the other hand I can not agree with the "extremely difficult to quit" and not even with the thing that reduce first and than quit is the best way, actually there are more deep implications in the quitting smoking process and ones a person understand that he can quit smoking suddenly and without any pain, instead on a large number statistic, to reduce and than quit is a method that, even if it could work for a small part, normally ends with a failure...

    • purnimamoh1982 profile image

      purnimamoh1982 6 years ago

      Thanks a lot Naturalsolutions for your comment.

    • profile image

      naturalsolutions 6 years ago

      Yah, I must agree with that. It's better to reduce first than quitting. The more you resist a thing the more you will get tempted, so better to reduce it little by little.

      It's good that there are lot of products that help people to change their cigarette habit.