Sunday, August 31, 2008

Giving Bad Advice to Others When Quitting Smoking

I read a lot of blogs and websites that are written by former smokers that give advice on how they quit smoking. I encourage every smoker to find a way that works for them but often these reformed smokers are giving bad advice that will cause another smoker to fail or relapse, which just increases the sense of shame that a smoker has that there is something wrong with them that they can't quit, when this method worked for someone else.
Bad advise includes:
1. Keep a pack around to show that you are stronger than your addiction.
Most smokers will have a moment of weakness usually when under stress and will rech for that "emergency pack" and believe that "one" won't hurt. but one will always lead to another one and most smokers underestimate how seductive nicotine can be and they will relapse. Instead of having a pack around, know that a cigarette is only as far away as the closest all night convenience store, however, in a moment of weakness, you must get inyour car and drive to the store. This can give you enough time to realize that "just one" isn't worth the effort.
2. Savor the last cigarette and enjoy every moment since it will be your last.
This will only re-enforce what you are giving up instead of what you are gaining. Smokers often feel they are losing a best friend but what they are really losing is a terrorist that is trying to kill them. Instead of a sense of depravation, the quitter should feel gratitude for escaping from a prison where a cigarette controls the smoker.
3. Taper off of cigarettes, smoking less and less each day until one day you aren't smoking any.
Tapering down doesn't work but only keeps the body in a state of withdrawal for a longer period of time. Smokers become accustom to a certain level of nicotine in their body, when deprived, they will adjust their smoking, either inhaling deeper or smoking more of each cigarette. Many smokers can taper down to the 5 to 7 most important ciagrettes of the day and congratulate themselves for only smoking these few but they find it extremely difficult to give up these last few cigarettes. While following some of my suggestions in other posts, many smokers will naturally cut down but that is not the point of the exercise because sooner or later, every smoker needs to go cold turkey--give up smoking all of their cigarettes, instead of just limiting themselves to a few a day.
4. Drinking water doesn't help.
Nicotine is water soluble and drinking more water will help flush the nicotine out of your system and drinking water mimics the same hand to mouth motion as smoking and tricks your subconscious.
When seeking advise, listen with your heart and see what rings true for you. Judge the advise by what feel right to you. Don't listen to someone just because they are a doctor or have a Masters or PhD. they could be wrong too. finding your own path to quitting can be difficult but not impossible and if you try something that doesn't work for you, don't consider yourself a failure, but view this as a learning experience, you are just one step closer to finding out what does work for you.

No comments: