- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Stop Smoking and Stay Stopped
Stopping smoking is considered to be very difficult but there are some sure-fire ways to help you kick the habit for good, and to do it yourself, without the need for any form of treatment or gimmick.
People smoke because they are addicted to the drug nicotine, which is found in cigarettes. There is a general opinion that smoking is a habit which is difficult to break, but habits are not that difficult to break. Anything that a person does repeatedly and in the same manner becomes a habit. Suppose you have a job where you leave the house at 6.10am in order to start your journey to work but then discover a shorter route and are able to leave at 6.30am, leaving at the later time will not upset you greatly, even if you had been leaving earlier for years and years.
Smokers don't smoke when the urge to smoke strikes, but when they have the opportunity to do so. For example, smokers can easily go eight hours or longer during the night without a cigarette, or travel for four hours on a plane, or sit in a meeting at work. Smokers don't get off a bus or train halfway through their journey in order to light up. But most smokers will light a cigarette immediately after being released from places where smoking is prohibited – getting off a bus or train, leaving the office building for lunch, finishing an exam. It can't be that the urge to smoke happens to coincide with the convenience to do so. So this proves that smokers do have control.
Tips for Stopping and Staying Stopped
Set a date and stick to it – the moment will never be right, and you will never feel ready, so it is best to just bite the bullet and jump in. Once you decide on a date and stop smoking, it will get easier and you will become more confident.
Drink lots of water – this will flush out the nicotine as well as making you feel healthier and preventing overeating or other ways of coping with the withdrawal effects.
Stay positive and firm – your subconscious mind will play tricks on you to allure you back to smoking. Your decision will waver and you will try and talk yourself into going back to being a smoker or just having the odd puff on a cigarette. Remember you decided to stop, you didn't have to but you made the decision to do it and feel good about that. You might feel envious of smokers being able to smoke but everyone that smokes is jealous of you stopping!
Don't change your usual life – stopping smoking is not controlling you, you are controlling it. But it may help not to drink a lot of alcohol for the first three days, to prevent you from falling for the tricks your subconscious mind will play on you.
It will help to treat stopping smoking as a game – you will experience withdrawal, probably in the form of mood swings, but just imagine that deep in your subconscious brain is a worm that feeds on nicotine, and this worm is dying because you are depriving it, so it is trying to get you to give in and give it its drug.
There are some methods designed to help you stop, but these have limited success rates and don't work as well as stopping using no method or replacement. They are outlined below for information.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
NRT is chewing gum, lozenges, patches etc which contain nicotine. These work by substituting cigarettes for a variety of methods of nicotine delivery which allows nicotine to enter the body in minimised, controlled doses in order to wean the person off nicotine completely.
Several medications are available from a doctor which work by preventing the brain receptors that nicotine affects from being affected.
Hypnotherapy is a method used to alter desire in the brain so that the person no longer wishes to smoke at all. People have one-to-one sessions with a trained hypnotherapist or CDs can be purchased containing these sessions.
Remember that people that smoke are addicted to the drug nicotine – they are not able to smoke, they have to do it. Whenever smoking is not allowed, they are miserable and wishing they could smoke, and when they are smoking they are wishing they could stop. You can't have just one cigarette, you have to have them all. So good luck!