The Hard Question
Most smokers have asked the question: “How do you quit smoking?” For some it is a passing fancy and not given too much thought. For some it is a serious contemplation. This is an important distinction. If you want to quit, you really have to want to quit. There should be no half measures if you are seriously thinking about beating the habit of cigarette smoking. So the answer to the question, how do you quit smoking? Is that you must have a focussed and determined approach if you want to succeed. The correct mind set is half the battle.
Reasons to Quit
It all sounds so simple, does not it? You want to succeed so you will succeed. I'm starting to sound like a third rate motivational speaker. If determination was all that was required to quit smoking then the tobacco companies would have ceased trading many years ago. You need a plan. Think hard about why you want to quit. For many it will be for health reasons. The hazards of smoking are well known and the damage caused by smoking affects every organ in the body. This probably remains the best reason for quitting cigarette smoking, but it is not the only one. Smoking is a financial burden that few can afford these days. And even if you can afford to smoke is not there better ways to spend your hard earned cash? Here is a useful exercise: work out how much you spend in a week on cigarettes then calculate how long, in that week, you have to work to fund your habit. Other reasons could be social isolation and inconvenience. Or it could be that you would like to improve your overall appearance. Smoking makes you pale and sallow and leaves unsightly stains on fingers and teeth.
How do you Quit Smoking?
Having established the motivation to quit we now need to address the fundamental question, how do you quit smoking? It is true there are a myriad ways to quit. A simple Google search on 'quit smoking' will illustrate my point. Finding the best quit smoking method or program for you will take some research. We are all different in how we respond to a given technique. A quit smoking program suitable for me may not be the ideal approach for you. The next few paragraphs will look at techniques, in the broad sense, of how do you quit smoking?
How do you Quit Smoking- The Iron Will Approach
Stopping without help or aids is the most popular technique. It requires no outlay in terms of money or research. An iron will and determination is required to succeed. Most humans do not have the physical and mental capacity to stop using this method, at least on the first attempt. The secret of success using this method is perseverance and determination. If you fail, then try again. However, it is important to learn from past failures and apply lessons learnt to subsequent quit smoking attempts. Others taper down their cigarette consumption day by day until they have ceased smoking altogether. Sounds easy in practice but in reality is extremely hard to do; This method is probably the least successful of all the techniques for reasons which are obvious.
How do you Quit Smoking- Drugs or Alternative Medicine
There are drugs out there that may help. Nicotine replacement therapy may help with the removal of the worst of the nicotine cravings. While this technique helps to stop smoking you still remain addicted to nicotine. At some stage you will have to tackle the ogre, nicotine addiction itself. Other drugs act by blocking nicotine receptors in the brain (Champix and Zanax). These drugs have been clinically shown to improve quit rates significantly. However, the majority of people will relapse within a year. Some find alternative medicine a quit smoking help. For smokers interested in these methods there are many therapies to choose from. Personally I think the vast majority of these alternative therapies are useless at tackling the physical dimension of the quit smoking process. But there can be no doubt, that to those who believe in the effectiveness of these treatments, they may offer a degree of support.
Then you have an unbelievable number of quit smoking programs each striking astonishing and unrealistic quit rates. There are quit programs out there that may help you in the quitting process but there are also a lot of programs that are of doubtful value. Do your research and be mindful of the old Latin adage: 'caveat emptor'.
In this article I have briefly touched on the how do you quit smoking question. Some of the topics touched on here I hope to expand upon in later articles. In the final analysis the answer to the question, how do you quit smoking, is going to be determined by what sort of person you are. A practical and pragmatic individual may go for techniques and drugs which help with combating the physical withdrawal symptoms. Those with a strong spiritual sense may consider alternative therapies such as hypnosis and acupuncture as a suitable quit aid. There is an important point to be made regardless of techniques used. Quitting is never going to be easy, unless you are particularly favored by nature. There are no effortless cures or fixes. It will require work and a degree of iron will if you want to truly stay smoke free for ever.
There are lots of quit smoking programs available. If you would like to see my review of one of them then go to my review post .