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How to quit smoking

Updated on April 1, 2008

Why do you want to quit?

The first question you should ask yourself when you decide to quit smoking is why. Are you doing it for the money you will save by not buying cigarettes or are you doing it to prevent a loved one breathing in your passive smoke? Are you quitting because your Doctor recommends you quit for health benefits. There are many reasons but the only true reason for stopping lies within your own mind. Take time out to think about why you smoke and who you will be pleasing when you have quit. If you answer anything except 'myself' you will not successfully quit smoking. This is something you must do for yourself and by yourself.

The Main Methods

There are several key methods you can implement to help you on your journey to becoming smoke free.

1. Nicotine replacement therapy. That includes nicotine patches, nicotine gum and inhilators. This method replaces the nicotine the body receives from cigarettes with a low measured dose.

2. Hypnotherapy. This reprogrammes the mind and reduces the habitual dependancy associated with smoking.

3. NLP - Neuro Linguistic Programming. Another mind re-programming technique which relies less on a therapist and more on oneself. NLP is a study of language, communication and how its relationship with the mind causes personal change.

The Psychology Of Smoking

It begins when we are offered a cigarette by our peers. In our teens (when most people begin smoking) we are emotionally vulnerable at odds with our family and ourselves. We mistake the feeling of belonging smoking gives us with genuine feelings of security, love and acceptance we should be receiving from our family. We simply need to realise as adults we are in charge of our feelings and are capable of receiving and giving love without the crutch of cigarettes.

Using NLP To Quit Smoking

Here is the NLP technique that I personally used to quit smoking.

To begin with you must create an anchor. An anchor is something the mind can use to return to over and over throughout the quitting process to give it some stability and reassurance. To create an anchor think of a time and place you were happiest such as a holiday or happy family occassion. Now visualise it as clearly as you can. If the image is black and white color it in so it is bright and cheery. When you are satisfied the image is a clear as it will get pinch together your thumb and middle finger of your leading hand. From now on whenever you get a craving for a cigarette you can pinch together these fingers and the craving will subside as happy feeling replace them.

When you visualise any social interaction as a smoker, whether it is with friends or family what do you see?

Is it in color or black and white?

Is it close or far? Is it focused or blurred?

Is it normally bright, overly bright or dim?

Is it framed like a TV show or a panorama?

Now heres the amazing thing. Visualise the same scenario again this time as a non-smoker. If all the color has drained out of your imaginary world then all you have to do is concentrate and color it in again, make it pin sharp, bright and panoramic. Replace those negative, insecure feelings with confidence and happiness. This simple process re-callibrates the brain.

So with the right approach to quitting you can become confident and smoke free.


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      Brent 5 years ago

      Theres more to NLP than that method described above... Don't go blaming NLP if you try this and it doesn't work... Whats described above is simply visualization...

    • palpup profile image

      palpup 9 years ago from Tampa, Fla

      Well now quitting has never been my problem. Like many others, I've quit many times, but have never been able to stay smoke free, even though I'm fully aware of the problems smoking creates.

      I just completed three weeks of Chantix and sad to say, did not complete the fourth week. I didn't get any decrease in the desire to smoke but did get alot of nausea and stomach cramping soooo, there went the fourth week!

      I've never heard of the NLP method you've described, but am ready to give it a go. Hopefully, in a few weeks I'll be able to comment again as a recovering smoker. I'll let you know how it goes.