Saturday, August 9, 2008

Who Will Be Successful At Stop Smoking?

It was the last night of my 6 week smoking cessation workshop and we were talking about slipping and falling into relapse. One of the members had slipped because she got stuck in traffic and had an "emergency" cigarette in her car. I had said the week before that by having that "safety" cigarette handy, this person was very likely to smoke it when faced with stress. Another participant mentioned that I had been right and did I know who would relapse within this group. While I never know for sure, I've been doing this long enough to know who is likely to slip and where the slippery areas are that they may be blind to. So I went around the group. For this one participant- it was social situations with family and friends--he then told us that he was going on a family vacation in a couple weeks and was worried about enjoying it without his cigarettes. For another--it was concern about gaining weight.The one I was most worried about relapsing was a woman in her 70's who didn't seem to have a strong desire to quit. She was in fairly good health for having smoked so long and I thought that she had an underlying belief that even though smoking had killed many in her family that she could get away with it. However, my thoughts changed when she told us that she had just attended the funeral of a friend that had died from emphysema. The decreased woman had never smoked but got it from being around secondhand smoke. These two women used to go to the casino and play bingo together. Now this participant had a new motivation because it pained her deeply to think that she might have contributed to her friend's death by smoking around her. I think as long as this motivation stay strong within her, she will be successful or she will become a closet smoker and stop smoking around other people.
Some cigarettes are easy to give up and other are more difficult and some craving just come out of the blue. but you only have to give up "one" cigarette. Make the commitment that you are willing to do whatever it takes to avoid having "just" one, because that is the only one you have to avoid and you will be successful.

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