Are YOU Addicted? My Confession

As a college student, I fell prey to a cigarette addiction. Many years later, I'm still not sure how the habit took hold, although it probably involved stress, friends who smoked, and lack of information about the dangers. Regardless, I soon realized this behavior's power over me. My efforts to stop proved to be absolutely successful (whew) but certainly very challenging.

Conquering the smoking habit cave me first-hand insight into the process of breaking addiction. Now, when I help patients with their own smoking cessation or other dependency issues, I explain that it takes commitment, vision, and a solid plan to resolve the problem for the long term. But it's a worthy goal: Health and life often depend on breaking free of the damage wrought by addiction.

The majority of people I know both personally and professionally have at one time or another experienced a physical or mental dependence on a behavior or substance. Compulsive or habitual preoccupations may revolve around food, cigarettes, alcohol, shopping, gambling … almost anything.

Your takeaway : You're not alone.

Your call to action : Start NOW. Do not wait for those New Year's resolutions.

Dr. James Prochaska, Director of the Cancer Prevention Research Center at the University of Rhode Island and co-author of the book “Changing for Good,” writes about the 6 steps it takes to truly gain control over whatever might be controlling you. In my practice, here's how I recognize those first three steps, the ones that prepare a patient for successful change.

Stage 1: Pre-contemplation

Patients at this stage do not see a problem. They are in denial, not recognizing the need for change. Or perhaps they blame the issue on other people or circumstances.

Some patients come into my practice saying things like “My girlfriend wants me to quit smoking” (or not them decent “I want to”), or they seem to believe that, despite warnings from doctors, friends, and the media, they are immune to the dire effects of nicotine. Although these individuals often feel discouraged, they do not attempt change because their current state is, if not actually comfortable, at least familiar. Another trait typical of this stage is a fear of failure so intense that even thinking about trying to change (or trying again) triggers panic.

Interestingly, I've observed a bright side to aging when it comes to addiction. Maturity seems to ignite awareness that it's time to face changes, even difficult ones. People of forty or more years old are especially motivated to move from Pre-contemplation into Stage 2.

Stage 2: Contemplation

In this stage, clients let go of denial, face problems, and transition to a new awareness of the negative effects dependence has on their lives. This stage is characterized by hopefulness for solutions.

Monitoring is advised during this stage. For example, I ask people who are in the Contemplation stage of weight loss to keep a food diary to see what their present habits and choices are. Used this way, the diary is an awareness tool that helps patients identify triggers and troublesome habits as well as point out eating patterns in general. (Journaling is also an effective tool in later stages for continuing support, accountability, and guidance.)

Some people stay in Contemplation for a very long time – even years. In those cases, this stage becomes a type of procrastination in which continuous thinking and planning are substituted for real action.

When individuals finally make the decision to move towards an achievable goal, they often experience anticipation, anxiety, and excitement – feelings that signal the beginning of the next stage of behavioral change.

Stage 3: Preparation

Preparation translates into your New New Year's Resolution. Patients who are in this stage plan to act in the very near future even if they might express some skepticism about taking the plunge. This stage is important because it helps set up success: Small changes instituted according to a larger plan are less shocking than a sudden “cold turkey” approach, which can backfire. For smokers, for example, the plan of action might include setting a date to quit, telling others about the decision, and taking other small steps at reasonable intervals.

November is both the month for the Great American Smokeout (Nov. 17) and National Lung Cancer Awareness Month. NOW is the perfect opportunity to make this life-changing good-health decision. (Psst! If you do not smoke, I still encourage you to take advantage of this invitation. The dependence-breaking stages above apply to all problem habits!)

Have these first three steps gotten your wheels turning? That's good! Think through what you want to achieve, and try to determine where you are. Then commit to learning more about the process and how to get from here to your true goal: real, lasting, and extremely beneficial change.

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Are YOU Addicted? Taking Back Control

There are six stages that a person typically passes through in order to make lasting changes that eliminate harmful habitual, obsessive, or addictive behavior.

Before you think, “Harmful behavior? That does not apply to me,” reflect for just another moment. Nicotine, prescription drugs, repeatedly checking your phone for messages, obsessing over your weight – dependency takes many forms. Is there anything in your world that you feel compelled to think about, do, or consume regularly?

Something as innocent as food, for example, can be habit-forming. I personally can verify this with my strong desire for a piece of dark chocolate in the evening. I have long identified this treat as a trigger food for me – one that is difficult to limit to a small portion size. What are your triggers?

Once you know your weakness and embrace your desire to take control over it, you've made a significant leap. And chances are, if you feel this way, you're past Stage 1, Pre-contemplation, and Stage 2, Contemplation. You may even be beyond Stage 3, Preparation.

If you're reading about how to proceed, clearly you feel ready to move on to a concrete plan. I applaud you for making this important decision! But before you take any action, please arm yourself with some wisdom. As Dr. James Prochaska writes in “Changing for Good,” it's important to know what stage you are in during the journey toward change. Skipping stages may result in more relapses and lack of solid results.

So, round out your knowledge of the whole process. Here are the next three steps to prepare for as you make the choice to regain control over your wellness-compromising behavior.

Step 4: Action
The essence of change is Action. Depending on the addiction, “action” could consist of many different moves: purging your pantry of sugary fears; throwing out cigarettes and related items; or enrolling in an evening activity that forces you out of “work stress mode” at a reasonable hour, for example.

Many people recognize that Action is a significant stage since your progress becomes visible to others. This can feel like pressure at first, but it's a good thing: Once your new health commitment is obvious, you've taken a great step towards accountability for your success.

In my practice, I've seen people stumble in this stage. Be alert for Action Stage pitfalls:

– There is no “magic bullet.” No single act or method is guaranteed to be the one that will be the most productive for you. That does not mean change can not be done; you just may need to dig deeper into the holistic toolbox – adding acupuncture and stress management, for example – until you find the combination of techniques that maximizes results for you.

– Do not expect instant results; measure your growth realistically. You have succeeded at Action when you have quit smoking (or whatever behavior you wish to change) consistently for six months.

Step 5: Maintenance
If you were a smoker and have stopped, yet still experience temptation, this is your stage.

In the Maintenance stage, you must take steps to prevent relapse. Often when we feel discouraged, stressed, or overwhelmed, the “just this once” impulse will establish a negative cascade of events, which can result in going back to the old behavior. Dr. Prochaska acknowledges that setbacks and relapses are common events. Often with addictions, it takes several tries before a person finds success.

I've seen this firsthand. Trendy quick-fix programs often fail to take Maintenance into account. Maintenance can put a stop to backsliding, but it sometimes can be a lifetime effort. It requires steady vigilance, as those who experience the weight-loss “yo-yo effect” will attest. But periodically renewing one's commitment to lifestyle change and taking credit for your accomplishments will help keep motivation in place.

Step 6: Termination
Research has shown that age can be a factor in how quickly a person reaches the final stage of change. For instance, smokers may lose the taste for cigarettes with age, so some older smokers quit for good after a shorter process than younger ones. Conversely, aging overeaters may experience steeper challenges in maintaining healthy weight since aging can result in injuries that lead to a more sedentary lifestyle.

But regardless of your age, you can reach the ultimate change goal, Termination.

At this final stage, the former addiction is no longer a threat: You have complete confidence that you can successfully handle new exposures. You are able to maintain your resolve periodically emotional upsets such as sadness, stress, and disappointment.

In short, you'll have arrived at success. What a worthy goal!

If you have not committed to making a healthy lifestyle change yet, please do so now. (New Year's is too long to wait when you're excited now, right?) You'll be giving yourself the greatest gift possible: renewed health, improved energy, and confidence and self-reliance that will spill over to create success in all aspects of your life.

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Lessons From Relapse

You may be familiar with the six stages within the process of breaking addictions and other unhealthful habits. You may even be able to name them: Pre-contemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action, Maintenance, and Termination. Today, let's get down to some practical advice for putting it all together.

In his book “Changing for Good,” Dr. James Prochaska explains that reevaluating by identifying what we've learned from mistakes can strengthen the results of consequent attempts to succeed. In other words, few of us are successful with the first try. Practice makes perfect.

Here are a few tips to keep you on track as you work toward making that practice – yes, even the missteps – count.

1. Continue to learn by gathering new information rather than just relying on trial and error.
2. A successful program for change requires an investment in yourself. Be prepared to make “deposits” regularly – that is, take care of yourself, body, mind, and spirit, no matter where you are in the process.
3. Beware of a skipping steps or moving to the next step too soon. This common pitfall can lead to new problem habits, such as substituting one unhealthful behavior for another.
4. Be prepared for complications, such as having several challenges arise at the same time. Planning ahead will help you meet them successfully.
5. The path to change is rarely a straight line. It is far more common to experience peaks and valleys along the way.
6. A momentary lapse is not necessarily a relapse. If you see you're about to slip up, get right back to your action steps to recover quickly.
7. Mini decisions lead to maxi-decisions – both positive and negative. For example, downsizing one shelf of snacks in your pantry adds up to many fewer excess calories over time; but bringing home trigger trips (even small in portion) may sabotage efforts later.
8. Distress precipitates relapse. Triggered emotions are the largest high-risk factors, so be on the lookout, and come prepared for, situations that have the potential to cause an emotional jolt.
9. Ideally, learning translates into action. That is, ideas are good but making a point of acting on those ideas is the key to forward progress. Have you taken on what you've learned lately?

And finally, it's important to always remember that you're not alone in your quest to better yourself by taking back control over the things that have controlled you. I like to revise the old saying from “Misery loves company” to “Progress loves company.” It helps immeasurably to have a network of trusted supporters to lend you a hand through the rough patches and celebrate with you as you reach miles on your journey.

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Quit Smoking With The Help Of These Tips

Quitting smoking is not an easy task. Ask people who have tried it and most of them will tell you they ever fail every time they do it. Mark Twain once said, “To quit smoking is easy, I do it every day” so one can get an idea of ​​how difficult it actually is. This is because quitting smoking has specific side effects associated with it known as withdrawal symptoms which are not easy to bear. Symptoms like anxiety, depression, and mood swings are a part of the withdrawal symptoms associated with the endeavor and even though the intense form of these symptoms may only last a couple of weeks, even those are hard to bear.

Motivation is one of the key ingredients of a successful attempt to quit smoking. It is true that even though the symptoms can be managed, it is actually a high level of motivation that enables one to overcome the challenge. No matter how many ways to quit smoking you try, if you do not have motivation, you can not be successful.

Another major ingredient of a successful attempt at quitting smoking is family support. Your friends and family no doubt play a large role in enabling you to quit this habit. It is true that due to psychological effects, primarily mood swings, you might get a little too irritable. You tend to get angry at little things, be brash, hurt others feelings, and so on. This may put people off and may become a factor that decreases our motivation for the whole effort. Here friends and family need to be bought on board for such an attempt. These people should realize that these things should be expected and they might have to face them. After all, they will benefit from this as well as they do not have to go through the effects of passive smoking.

There are chemical oriented methodologies as well that help in the quest to quit smoking. The habit forming chemical, nicotine which is actually responsible for the high, can be applied through other channels and gradually tapered down to minimize the side effects. Nicotine patches do this kind of work. Also there are other methods like nicotine chewing gum. These methods are beneficial in the sense that they break the “rituals” that are associated with cigarettes while saving the lungs from the harmful chemicals like tar and so on.

Detoxification is an important part of any quitting exercise and for this we should drink a lot of water. Moreover, in order to deal with the psychological aspect of the disease such as depression and anxiety and so on, exercise is a great recommendation.

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Quit Smoking Now – It’s Important!

For those who have tried, quitting smoking can be a difficult job – especially for those who have been hooked on it for a long time. This is because there are a number of effects one experiences while trying to quit. Moreover, social pressures make it difficult to quit for teenagers, who do not seem to realize the negative effects of smoking. Neverheless, there are millions of people all over the world, who persist these negative effects, are able to quit this bad habit. For some, it may be easier than others, but there is no doubt that there is a lot of literature surrounding this issue and there are a range of ways to quit smoking, from psychological methods to family support to behavioral modifications.

One of the ways to quit smoking is to realize that it is not an easy task. Here preparing ourselves before embarking on this quest is highly desirable, both mentally and physically. The most difficult part of the job for quitting smoking is the fact that it involves withdrawal symptoms. These are a number of psychological symptoms that come to play when we are not getting our regular dose of nicotine which is the main ingredient of tobacco smoke. Nicotine has a psychological effect in that it provides a temporary high to the mind. So when this high is not provided anymore, we tend to develop conditions like anxiety, depression, poor concentration, mood swings, and so on and all these symptoms want us to smoke again. Knowing about these symptoms in advance helps a lot.

If you ask any psychological patient about these symptoms, whenever people experience these symptoms for the first time, they do get scared. They change the thinking patterns, make us worry, do not allow us to think logically, and so on. Here we get scared and do not know what is happening to us. Knowing about all these symptoms in advance helps a great deal during withdrawal. If we know what we are going through, we will be able to deal with them much more easily.

It is important to have a whole regimen or plan worked out to quit smoking. There are a number of ways and all of them are different. Sometimes, one way works or at another time, another way works and some times, we need a combination of ways. Knowing about all these ways is important!

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Quit Smoking – It Is Easier Than You Think!

After all the medical evidence behind the fact that smoking is injurious to our health, we can never actually convince ourselves to quit smoking. We all know that smoking leads to lung cancer and there is so much evidence that proves it. Not only by smoking do we put our own selves at risk, but also the lives of others through passive smoking. In fact, some studies say that passive smoking is actually more harmful than normal smoking since the smoke that is exhaled due to passive smoking is more dangerous than that which is inhaled from the cigarette. Moreover, passive smoking or active smoking can be dangerous for fetuses due to its effects on pregnant women. So we very well know that smoking is in the end very dangerous for everyone involved.

So why do not smokers quit? This is because of the psychological effects of smoking. It provides a temporary high that is used to deal with the problems in life. Feelings like depression, hopelessness, and anxiety can all effectively go away with smoking and one can feel at ease. So it enables us to forget our worries. But the catch here is that it is addictive and once we have gone for a certain period of time without smoking, we start suffering from withdrawal symptoms. These include feelings of anxiety, mood swings, hopelessness, and other psychological side effects. An interesting thing to note here is that it is actually these feelings that we want to get rid of in the first place and they come back to haunt us in a much bigger way! That actually explains in a way why it is actually so hard to quit smoking.

Garnering social support is a very important way to quit smoking. People who have been suffering from mental illnesses know that without social or family support, it is actually very difficult to be cured. The connection is made here because quitting smoking is in many ways a social exercise. Depression and anxiety are all psychological effects of this quest and it is very important that the family play a big role. In the context of mood swings, which are an important part of the effort, family support actually becomes more important. People who are trying to quit smoking tend to be moody but families should know that they are actually not themselves right now and practice more tolerance with them.

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Quit Smoking – It Is Difficult But Important!

There are many people who smoke occasionally or socially. They just do it for the fun of it, or just because their friends are doing it. Sometimes they do it to fit in, or under social pressure. However for others, smoking is a full-fledged habit and an addiction. It forms a part of their daily life. There are people who will smoke after dinner, after breakfast, after lunch, etc. Moreover, there are some for whatever smoking is the first thing they will do after waking up. However varied, the behavior among smoking addicts must be, one thing that is common is that they will always have a hard time quitting! In fact for some, it is almost impossible, and it becomes a lifelong addiction for these people, encompassing a major part of their lives. It stays with them till their death, not surprisingly often being the cause of it. Neverheless, quitting smoking is not entirely impossible. There are still people who persevere over the odds, some through the power of their wills, others through careful planning and meticulousness.

There are countless ways to quit smoking. This is because of the numerous ways of quitting smoking. Some people rely on their families that provide them with emotional support, while others use nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine patches or nicotine chewing gum. Moreover, some people may even contact a hypnotherapist for the psychological aspects of smoking. Other alternative treatments include acupuncture. Whatever method is involved, it is true that great planning and research is needed to quit the habit. Most of the times, simply will power will not do since quitting involves the psyche. People who are trying to quit smoking have to go through various withdrawal symptoms such as depression, anxiety, nausea, weight gain, and so on. So seeing all this, it is easy to imagine that it is just simple that one light up a cigarette and forget all the symptoms!

One of the first things to do before embarking upon a quest to quit smoking is that you should do significant research. You can look for tips for quitting smoking online. Moreover, you can always go and ask people who have already gone through the experience since that provides you with a firsthand account. Another good tip is to maintain a diary of one's experiences while trying to quit smoking. Keeping a log helps in that you can always go and look back in their diary and learn from yourself if you are going through a difficult time!

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Quit Smoking Before It Is Too Late

There are so many ways to quit smoking. One can keep a diary in order to learn from oneself, ask for expert advice, learn from people who have already accomplished this task, consult a psychologist for the emotional aspect of quitting smoking, research on the internet for tips on quitting smoking, and so on. All of these ways one can use to quit smoking only makes the job easier. All that is needed is a little will power and that too too can be provided with the help of friends and family!

One of the ways to help you stop smoking is to maintain a diary. You should jot down daily experiences relating quitting smoking. That way, if you are going through particular withdrawal symptoms, you can always look back at your diary to see how you deal with it in the past. This method of monitoring your activities is a great tool! You can do all the searching you want. But you will only find the experiences of others which might not be suitable for you due to their own circumstances. But the experiences you have are the most valuable for you since they are the most relevant!

Yet another way would be to use social or family support. Quitting can not be achieved in isolation. Family members have to be involved in one way or another. The reason is that they will be affected by the entire process. Those who are trying to stop smoking go through withdrawal symptoms that include emotional changes and mood swings that can make a person cranky and irritable for no reason. Here family members may find it difficult to deal with such a person who might be behaving in an unreasonable manner. His teaching family members regarding withdrawal symptoms is also very important so that they can best equip themselves to deal with the situation. They might find that their family member has a bad temper, but it is exactly when he needs their support and encouragement. Moreover it always helps if the person trying to stop smoking tells their family members and other people with what they interact with on a daily basis that they are trying to quit smoking and may not be their usual self so they know how to react when the need arises.

If one is going through the emotional side effects of quitting smoking, there are techniques that deal exactly with just that. For example a person may be feeling anxiety and depression after they have not had a smoke in a while. A good way to deal with this is to exercise by jogging, swimming, etc.

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Stop Smoking Hypnosis and Why It Works So Well

Stop smoking hypnosis is one of the many ways in which people choose to quit the habit, in this article we will explore why it has become so popular and why it really does work.

How many times have you heard the expression “it is all in the mind”, if you're anything like me I hear it pretty much every day. Most of what we can achieve in life is possible because we believe we can do it, and that is the key to most problems we overcome.

So why is quitting smoking so difficult?

A simple answer to that is because we think it is going to be difficult, or more to the point we believe it is going to be difficult (the belief part of it is the key). How do we know it is going to be so difficult to quit? I mean let's face it we do not tell itself it is going to be …. Do we?

Technically speaking, no, however, we are told by so many other people who have quite a big impact on our lives, and what's more we do not even know it. Have you ever heard the term auto suggestion? For those of you who have not it is basically a series of commands we give ourselves that influence our lives.

Everyday we are subjected to these auto suggestions, particularly when we reach for a packet of our favorite tobacco product. I'm sure you have all read the warnings on the packages “Smoking is addictive do not start” or what about the information on products designed to help you? “Helps beat the cravings”.

Another reason why it is so difficult to quit is because we use it as a reward system to ourselves, like after a hard day at work, we sit down and relax with our favorite beverage and have a smoke. Theoretically, it is difficult to give something up you consider to be a benefit to you.

So if we look at the expression “it's all in the mind”, we begin to understand the influence we have had on ourselves, and also the influence our mind is having on us, but, here is something to consider, if smoking is so addictive and we could not possibly give up easy because it is so difficult why can we:

Go at least 8 hours a day without smoking (when we sleep)

Not smoke when we go on a long flight (You're not allowed)

Be smoke free for a few hours whilst in a meeting

The list is by no means exhaustive, but you get what I am saying, how is it possible to do all these yet we think quitting will be difficult, I am expecting you are one step ahead of me by now … the answer is simple, we are not thinking about it for whatever reason.

So how is “stop smoking hypnosis” going to help you tackle the dreaded stages of quitting your chosen tobacco product?

Before we go into that, I need to clear something up “Hypnosis” will not actually do anything to help you quit smoking, it is purely a tool that the Therapist uses, think of like the scalpel of the surgeon, it is just a tool they use, it is what the surgeon does after that which makes a difference. The same applies to Stop Smoking Hypnosis, the hypnosis part does nothing other than relax you and opens up your mind to the suggestion that the therapist gives you.

Now we have cleared that up, we can get to the bones of why it works so well.

The suggestions will be given to you after you have been induced into hypnosis, which is nothing more than deep relaxation. Suggestions will take on the form of helping you feel at ease with stopping smoking and make it easy for you for the first 2 weeks or so. (It takes about 2 weeks for the body not to want the effects of smoking)

If we look at all the negative effects above as to why we think it will be difficult, what the stop smoking hypnosis will do is reverse them in a sense, and make quitting something so very simple and easy, by using suggestions like “You will be amazed at the ease in which you quit smoking “(this is a positive suggestion).

Over the course of the session (usually 1 hour) you will be given many positive suggestions to help you quit and also for feeling calmer when you have quit. These lasting feelings of calmness and well-being will stay with enough time for you to break the cycle of the habit.

Stop Smoking Hypnosis is a very natural, powerful way to help you beat your habit and is clinically guaranteed to have a 98% success rate, which has been tried and tested through many medical journals. If you really want to quit then I would highly recommend using this method.

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Are Cigarettes Good for Anything at All?

Are you smoking or are cigarettes smoking you?
Smoking is a habit, rather an addiction, that has severe repercussions for the health of the smoker. However, nicotine, which is the main ingredient of the cigarette, has an immediate satisfying experience for the smoker. Nicotine it is that is responsible for the high or the kick that a smoker feels after smoking a cigarette but he rarely realizes that there are more than 4000 carcinogens that are getting inside his body when he smokes a cigarette. Smoking treated tobacco leaves wrapped inside a thin paper rolled into a cigarette is a habit that is as old as civilization although modern science has proved beyond doubt that cigarette smoking is injurious to health and the habit leads to cancers of many types.

Cigarette smoking kills and harms your near ones
Smoking cigarettes is the main reason cited for deaths caused by lung cancer. Smoking also leads to many other ailments and the government has to spend more on the treatment of smokers who catch cancers caused by carcinogens in the smoke of a cigarette. Passive smoking is another big threat of cigarettes and those innocent people surrounding the smoker get affected who are in no way involved with smoking.

Trying to find any good done by smoking
Wait a minute! Is not this article provided to be on goodness of cigarettes or at least to find something good caused by cigarettes? Yes, indeed it is but if cigarettes had anything good to offer to the people, why would governments around the world try to ban cigarette smoking in public places? If one tries to look at the government of Dubai's initiatives, it becomes clear that the government is hell bent to saving its people from the perils of cigarette smoking as it has once again extended the blanket ban on cigarette smoking in public places. The government is also ostensible trying to make smoking costlier by increasing the prices of branded cigarettes and levying penalties on people violating the ban on smoking. Government of UAE, realizing that smoking is the leading cause of deaths in the country is trying to discourage smoking so that this habit slowly dies down.

The recent decision to put graphic images of oral cancer on cigarette packs is one way to discourage people, especially teenagers from smoking. It has been seen that whenever government has raised the prices of cigarettes, there is a decrease in the number of teenagers who smoke. Use of deadly photos is a method to drive home the point that cigarette does not good at all and rather kills those who smoke.

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Understanding Why People Start Smoking

Why Start Smoking?

Why do people start smoking? The answer to this question is not as simple as the answer to why people continue to smoke. The answer to the last question is relatively easy; nicotine addiction. Other factors may also play a role in why people continue to smoke but I consider them to be of importance and overcrowded by the shear physical addiction to the drug nicotine. It is not to say that these other factors are not worthy of further discussion, it is just that this article is focussing on the reasons why people start the habit in the first place.

First You Need To Understand The Young …

To understand why people smoke you have to understand adolescent psychology. Most people start to smoke when young and do so because of very particular pressures. The majority of smokers start before 18 and most start in their early or mid teens. This period in a person's life is one of, physiological, psychological and emotional flux and turmoil. How many of us as adults would like to relive this period of our life? It is a necessary, but difficult, transition from child to adulthood. And it is during this period that we often make poor decisions. So here are some factors that influence one of these poor decisions- starting smoking.

Smoking Parents

1. Because the important people around them smoke. If your parents smoke then it is likely that you will smoke. The statistics show that if both parents smoke then their children are twice as likely to smoke in comparison to the average population smoking rate. Children will imitate their parents. If parents smoke in front of their children in the home on a regular basis then it becomes normal everyday behavior. If it is engrained within normal life, then the behavior becomes common place and perceived as innocent.

Fitting In

2. Peer pressure. Adolescents follow trends and are influenced by their friends. When you are 13 you want to be accepted and belong to a group. Once part of a group adolescents will imitate the behavior of the dominant members of the group. If the dominant members smoke then, to become accepted, they may pick up the habit. There will be strong overt and subjective psychological pressures to imitate their peers.

Smoking Hot Celebs

3. There has been an image fostered in popular culture and in films that smoking is cool, sexy and sophisticated. This image has taken a beating in recent years due to advertising restrictions and cinema censorship, but there still exists a lingering allure. Celebrities exert a major influence on the behavior of the young. Oddly enough, many celebs are smokers and adolescents and young adults often emulate the behavior of these successful and often attractive people.

Adult Behavior

4. Many young people would like to appear older than they actually are. They want to acquire a veneer of maturity and consequential mimic so called 'grown up' behaviors such as smoking and drinking.

James Dean

5. Some young people take up the smoking habit as an act of rebellion. They know smoking will upset others and is bad for their health but they do not want to be part of normal conventional society and revel in their bad boy or girl image. This rebellious stage is usually a passing fancy; unfortunately smoking is a behavior that is likely to follow them into adulthood.

Curiosity Killed The Smoker

6. Some may start because they are simply curious. They would like to know what all the fuss is about. Adolescence is an age of experimentation and smoking may just be another sensation that needs to be experienced.

No matter why they start, young smokers will invariably become addicted to nicotine. And once added they will find they can not drop this expensive and dangerous habit. Smoking will no longer be cool, rebellious or sexy; it will just be plain drug addiction.

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Teenage Smoking

If we want teens to stop smoking, we have to understand why they start

If you want to stop smoking you should probably know why you started-there is always a reason for everything. If we want to help teens stop smoking, then we must ask: what is it that makes a teen light up their first cigarette? Is it Big Tobacco advertising? Stress? Friends or parents? The teenage years are a habit forming stage of life and in the rush to be cool or deal with the complicated modern world, smoking is an easy habit to pick up. There are over 280,000,000 Australians teens who smoke, despite all the efforts to warn them about the hards of tobacco. This shows that warning is not enough in the fight to stop smoking-we have to understand the root causes too. Let's take a look at a few of the reasons teens start using tobacco in order to better understand how we can help them stop smoking:

Peer pressure : The term peer pressure has become so cliché, but it should never be underestimated. At no other time in life is the pull of peer pressure stronger than during the teenage years. Teens want to fit in and want to be cool, even at the expense of their health. It is hard to get many teens to stop smoking if everyone else is doing it.

Stress : Cigarettes are an unhealthy stress reliever-many people smoke because it is a habit that drains away stress. Modern teenagers are swimming in stress-some are even drowning in it. With pressures at school, in the family, and about the future, it is no wonder many teenagers turn to cigarettes as a recreational way to forget about pressures of life, even if it is for just a few smoke-filled minutes.

Family effects : Many teens pick up the habit of smoking because it is a habit of the family. Their parents smoke, maybe even their grandparents. It is difficult for parents to get their teens to stop smoking of them engage in it themselves. Even though teens seem to want to have nothing to do with their parents, they are still looking up to them more than we think.

Above are just a few of the main reasons teens start smoking, but they give us some important insights into the habit. Peer pressure shows us that it is important to earnestly encourage teens to be independent and think for themselves-it is ok for them to make their own choices. This may seem like a platitude, but the more we say the more it will sink in. Stress shows us that we need to take a closer look at how society is shaping teenage life, and more specifically promote a culture of honestly talking about feelings and being able to admit that things have gotten to be too much, instead of letting cigarettes become the mouthpieces of teen stress. Family effects shows us that smoking lights up a chain reaction, and that if parents and adults can not make good decisions, then we can not expect teens to be able to make them either. We need to be more honest and open as a society about the root causes of smoking instead of just going after Big Tobacco. Smoking is a habit that can be built upon the foundation of deeper problems in someone's life, and we need to be able to address those problems if we want people to stop smoking.

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A Brief About Nicotine Patches and Nicotine Chewing Gum

The information about detrimental aspects of smoking is now becoming rather commonplace, and there are an increasing number of smokers who now want to quit. The negative effects of smoking on one's health are many and some of these include cancers of the mouth, larynx, lungs, pancreas, cervix, and bladders, as well as strokes, heart attacks, bronchitis, and emphysema.

Why is Quitting Smoking So Hard?
Tobacco contains nicotine, which is known to be an addictive substance. Nicotine dependence can lead to a smoker experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the smoker does not receive his regular nicotine fix; and this can lead to insomnia, irritability, restlessness, headaches, etc. Beside, quitting smoking can also be difficult because lifestyle changes are generally a part of most quitting smoking efforts.

The Help at Hand:
While quitting cold turkey is an option, a smoker walking on this path can face various roadblocks on the way. However, there are various options available when it comes to quitting smoking, and one method that allows a smoker to quit while continuously decreasing the amount of nicotine that the body receives is 'nicotine replacement therapy' (NRT). These therapies work by supplying the body with a controlled supply of nicotine without many of the risks associated with smoking. In doing so, the withdrawal symptoms are facilitated, and in cases when smokers are really addicted to nicotine, this method does increase the chances of quitting.

NRT Options:
There are various options in looking for NRTs, and these include various brands of nicotine patches, chewing gum, inhalators, nasal sprays, lozenges, and tablets. Amongst the most commonly used forms include the patches and the chewing gum. In both these cases, the dosage would wary from brand to brand, as the nicotine mg present in each product can be different. You can also get patches and gum from the same brand in different nicotine mg content.

Nicotine Patches:
If you are thinking about options in looking for a nicotine patch, do know that there are several brands that manufacture nicotine patches, some of which include Nicoderm, Nicorette, Nicotinell, and QuitX. A nicotine replacement patch is a transdermal patch that releases a steady flow of nicotine into the body through the skin. People using these patches are asked to refrain from smoking as this could lead to the body receiving an overdose of nicotine.

These patches should ideally be used together with relevant counseling, and counseling for quitting smoking is quite easy to come by. Also realize that using patches is not recommended for brief periods such as long plane trips, as they are not to be used as a replacement for cigarettes. You have to understand that even though you are using these patches, you still need the power to wean off the habit. So while the patches would help you with the physical withdrawal symptoms, you still have to overcome the psychological aspects.

Using a Nicotine Patch:
Using a nicotine patch is fairly straightforward. The patch needs to be applied over a clean and dry area of ​​skin which is promised of hair. The patch needs to be applied firmly in order to keep it in its place, and washing hands after applying the patch is advised. Also advised is going through the manufacturer's instructions thoughly as different patches are known to be left on the skin for different lengths of time and come in different volumes of nicotine content.

Side Effects of Nicotine Patches:
Many of the commonly seen side effects associated with the use of nicotine patches are similar to the withdrawal symptoms linked to nicotine dependency, and these include disturbed sleep, irritability, restlessness, and headaches, along with mild depression, mild hallucinations, and vivid dreams. A patch user could also experience skin irritability at the spot of application, and these are generally allergies to materials / adhesives used in the patch. If the skin irritability does not subside after using in patch in different regions, consulting a doctor is advised. You should also seek a doctor's advice if you experience difficulty in breathing, tremors, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, or increased nervousness. Signs of nicotine overdose include dizziness, vomiting, drooling, weakness, blurred vision, etc.

Nicotine Gum:
Several manufacturers manufacture nicotine gum and some of the predominant ones include Nicorette, Nicoderm, Polacrilex, QuitX and Habitrol. The nicotine present in these gums is transferred to the body through chewing; and a smoker is asked to refuse from smoking while using these gums.

Using Nicotine Gum:
You have to stop smoking before you start chewing nicotine gum, and you can chew some gum whenever you feel the urge to smoke. Chewing the gum for about half an hour should work in all the nicotine being released into your system. Also, while 10-12 pellets per day is an average number during the early days, at no point should the daily intake exceed 30 pellets. Remember that you also need to reduce your intake over a period of time, thereby decreasing your everyday nicotine intake.

Side Effects of Nicotine Gum:
Commonly reported symptoms include throat irritability and hiccups. The first could be because of the high levels of nicotine in the saliva that you continuously swallow. Other side effects include aches in the jaw muscles, mouth sores, headaches, and indigestion, but these are believed to diminish after the gum is used for some time. Nicotine gum should not be used during pregnancies and while breastfeeding. And as with the use of patches, you should also seek a doctor's advice if you experience difficulty in breathing, tremors, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, or increased nervousness. Remember, signs of nicotine overdose include dizziness, vomiting, drooling, weakness, blurred vision, etc.

About Nicorette:
The brand Nicorette, which has been around since the 1960s and started off with the Nicorette chewing gum, now distributes its products in over 80 nations. One can now avail of the Nicorette patch, Nicorette Nasal Spray, Nicorette Microtab, and the Nicorette Inhaler.

The Best Nicotine Patch / Chewing Gum:
While different brands to claim to be the best, you have to realize that a major function in the same basic manner. More important than looking for the best nicotine patch or chewing gum is your willingness to quit smoking. Although that, coupled with a controlled NRT, can certainly increase your chances of leading a smoke free life.

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Four Steps To Quitting Smoking For Good

How to Quit Smoking

Many people have tried to learn how to quit smoking, but try as they might, breaking the habit of smoking is a lot more difficult than most people expect. The nicotine in the cigarettes is not the only addictive aspect of the cigarettes, but the feeling of having something between your fingers is like a nervous habit that is hard to break. The relaxing feeling you get from smoking is often more than just the smoke and nicotine, and that is the hardest part of the habit to break.

How to Quit Smoking: Tips for Quitting

Quitting smoking is more than just determining that you are never going to pick up another pack of smokers, but it is 90% determination, 10% intelligence, and 100% willpower. Quitting smoking will be one of the hardest things that you will ever have to do, which is why it is essential to go about it the right way in order to ensure that you only need to quit the one time.

How to Quit Smoking: Step 1

The first step to take is to select the day of your final cigarette. Set the date a few weeks in the future, and slowly start reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke in a day. If you are a chain smoker, smoke one less cigarette per day. If you only smoke a few per day, try reducing your consumption to one less per week. Quitting smoking is about the physical preparation as much as the mental work, and you will find that setting a date to quit smoking will help you to prepare yourself for that day. By reducing your daily cigarette consumption one day at a time, you will find that the habit will be that much easier to break.

How to Quit Smoking: Step 2

Plan to quit properly, and actually take the time to find out the best ways to quit. Look into the different methods to help you quit smoking, and determine which will be the most effective for you. The mental aspect of quitting is just as important as the physical, so you should find a method of quitting that not only helps you to reduce your desire for nicotine, but that helps you reduce your craving for the stimulation of cigarettes as well. List your reasons for quitting, write down the benefits of no longer smoking, and take the time to write out some things that you can do to replace your habit.

How to Quit Smoking: Step 3

Quit. It's as simple as that, and yet that is the hardest part. Make the decision to never pick up a cigarette again, and do everything in your power to stay clean. Research the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal before you quit, as that will help you to be prepared for the difficulties that you will face. Find out what you will experience, and deal with the symptoms as they come. Be prepared to suffer for a few days after quitting, but keep telling yourself it will get better once the nicotine withdrawal passages.

How to Quit Smoking: Step 4

Get help and support in your decision to quit. Sign up for an online chat room that helps support those quitting smoking, get in contact with a support center via the phone, and get your family and friends to help you. The more support you can get in quitting your habit, the more likely you will be to stick with your decision to leave cigarettes behind once and for all. It will take a lot of willpower to resist the temptation to smoke again, but it will be worth it if you can.

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Quitting Smoking With Hypnosis – What Are the Chances?

There are many products that can help you achieve your goal to quit smoking, but using self-hypnosis to quit smoking has a higher success rate than most other products. The pills, patches, and other choices will be successful in about one out of every four people that try them. If you use hypnosis program for quitting smoking, it will work for about two out of three people.

This is a much higher success rate and one of the major reasons anyone trying to quit smoking should consider self-hypnosis. Plus you will not have to pay for a second set of patches, more gum, or for more pills either. Once you have the program for your self-hypnosis you own it and will not have to purchase anything else to help you quit smoking.

One of the major reasons you may want to consider the self-hypnosis instead of going to a hypnotherapist is the cost. Self-hypnosis programs are much less expensive than actually booking appointments with a hypnotherapist. You want to make sure you consider both options, however, because self-hypnosis will not work for every individual smoker trying to quit.

How Does Self Hypnosis to Quit Smoking Work?

When you use a hypnosis program you will have the opportunity to delve into and examine your subconscious mind. This is the most powerful part of your mind and you can make a huge difference in your daily habits by tapping into it. If you have thought that you lack the power to quit, then you may just discover you really do have the power to quit with self-hypnosis.

Your subconscious mind actually has power over your habits and your emotions. This means if you can get into it and make some changes you can actually quit the habit you hate the most, smoking. It is necessary to get your subconscious to cooperate and this will take a bit of time with self-hypnosis to quit smoking.

Most programs will teach you how to use the power of suggestion to teach yourself to stop smoking. This is not all that hard, but it will take more than just one day or two days. Most of the time self-hypnosis takes about 28 days to really see the effects, but that is a very short amount of time to learn how to quit smoking completely compared to how long you have been smoking.

You will start by achieving complete relaxation, a bit like meditation, and then you will be able to work on your subconscious mind. By finding a quiet room or space you will be able to find this deep relaxation and practice putting yourself in the proper trance for hypnosis. Make sure you are not going to be bothered while getting into this state.

After you are able to get into a trance-like state you will need to use a positive self-hypnosis script. This should be highly positive and should always be in the present tense. Make sure to refer to yourself as “I” and use phrases like “I am going to quit smoking” and “I am happy with my decision”. It may be beneficial to talk to yourself about how you are going to reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke each day.

Will Self Hypnosis to Quit Smoking Work for You?

Even though self-hypnosis to stop smoking does not work for everyone it has a much higher rate rate than many other programs. As described earlier it will work for about two out of every three smokers that try the program. The biggest obstacle is finding the program that will allow you to get into a trance and use a great script to convince your subconscious to quit smoking.

It will never work for you unless you want it to work and one of the first things any good hypnotherapist is going to tell you is to accept your decision. If you can do this, then you can use a top program from a self-hypnosis guru with a good reputation to help you quit smoking. They can provide you with the script you need, usually on a CD, and you can use self-hypnosis to quit smoking sooner rather than later.

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