How to Quit Smoking

Quit Smoking

The internet is full of all kind of information. We are living in a beautiful time as sharing of information is a concern. I wish I had this type of powerful tool when I was in high school. Thirty years ago my source of information were paperback books from my school library. That was my window of acquiring knowledge. That’s how I learned to love books, and reading books became and still is a fundamental part of me.

It took some time period to understand that what is written in a book is not always correct or right.

I was under the impression that since it’s in a book, it has to be right, correct. Why else would anyone write a book right? Well wrong. Books are written for a plethora of reasons.

You have propaganda books, you have opinioned books, nonobjective books, nonscientific books, etc.

In a nutshell just because you read something in a book doesn’t mean its right.

The same thing applies to the Internet. Many people, unfortunately, consider that since it’s online, it must be true, or right or correct.

I remember when I was teaching Information Technology to one of the many schools I was that kids literally consider the Internet to be a reliable source of information.

The Internet is not a reliable source of information, internet the way it is now it’s a considerable source of misinformation I am afraid.

In my opinion, 99% of the data in World Wide Web is flirting dangerously with credibility.

Many times while I read books and also read articles online I see authors, bloggers, etc. using for example Wikipedia as a source.

Using a source as Wikipedia is just not credible because as Wikipedia states in her own disclaimer: “Information on Wikipedia is contributed by anyone who wants to post material, and the expertise of the posters is not taken into consideration”!

Don’t get me wrong Wikipedia is useful if you want to settle a bet with your roommate or find something out real quick, something that doesn’t have a significant impact.

If you are writing severe articles though and you want to have credibility you need to write them like you are writing an academic essay that means no Wikipedia.

I mentioned all these so you can get a better understanding of the situation that prevails online.

Quick Tip Guide on how to find credible information online:

  • Always check out if the article has an author or authors.
  • Check out if the article has sources that you can use to verify the claims that are presented in the article.
  • Check out the Authors credentials, are you reading an article on how to make open-heart surgery and the author is not a doctor? Furthermore, check out the validity of the sources.
  • Finally, if an article doesn’t have an author(s) or sources don’t waste any time reading it, unless you want to kill time.
  • If you wish a more detailed way of evaluating articles check out this handy link.

 

Smoking

Now having in mind the previous section, I want to address the issue of how to quit smoking. There are a lot of posts online that have the title “How to Quit smoking” or similar wording titles like that. The majority, in my opinion, does not give handy advice to the people that are interested in quitting smoking. The reasons they do not is explained in more detail below.

Why Is Smoking viewed as a bad habit?

Smoking tobacco cigarettes unfortunately until today it is viewed and considered by most of the people on this beautiful planet as a bad habit.

There are a lot of reasons that tobacco smoking does not get the serious attention that it deserves.

The first reason is, of course, the ignorance of the people of what it is contained in a tobacco cigarette. Check out this article by American Cancer Society to learn more.

The second reason is that you can buy cigarettes anywhere with no problem, sadly it is still legal.

The third reason for many years tobacco cigarettes was advertised on all the media, radio, television, written press, Hollywood movies, etc.

Hollywood movies especially portraying beautiful sexy actors and actresses smoking did the most harm in presenting a misleading image of tobacco smoking as something fresh and sophisticated.

All the above-made people subconsciously accept tobacco cigarettes as another product that they need, food products for example.

The fourth reason, the first report of the Surgeon General of USA back in 1964 did not give the right definition of what tobacco smoking is.

The reason they did not label smoking with its true colors was that more than half of the men in the USA were tobacco smokers. In essence, the general Surgeon didn’t want to accuse more than 50% of the men in the USA as being drug addicts!

So instead of telling the people that tobacco smoking is a deadly addiction, it named it “a bad habit.”

Of course, the Tobacco companies exploited that statement to the fullest and still refer to it until today!!!

It took 24 years for the general surgeon to put things in their right place by issuing in 1988 a new report on tobacco smoking entitled: “The Health Consequences Of Smoking NICOTINE ADDICTION.”

All the reasons above, in my opinion, contribute, so people do not see tobacco smoking as what it really is. Tobacco smoking is one of the many ways to deliver a deadly and highly addictive toxin into your bloodstream namely nicotine

What smoking really is.

Nicotine is one of the deadliest drugs on this planet. It is a natural pesticide! Of the tobacco plant and is also used in the pesticide business and it is considered one of the biggest culprit of the extermination of the bees.

More people die every year globally from the effects of nicotine in a tobacco cigarette than all the combined deaths that are caused by the usage of the illegal drug and wars globally!

Furthermore, because tobacco cigarettes are legal to buy, the users do not exhibit any antisocial behavior like the users of the illegal drugs because they can freely and legally take their dose every day.

Take a smoker and lock him or her in a room with food and water but without cigarettes for 24 hours and you will witness some antisocial behavior.

If you really want to quit smoking the first thing you need to understand and accept to your self is that you are a drug addict and that your drug is Nicotine.

If you can ponder with that and finally realize it, then you will be able to quit smoking relatively smooth and effortless.

My quit smoking saga.

I had a lot of failed quit smoking attempts, and the main reason I was failing was that I didn’t know the nature of my condition and the seriousness of my status.

I thought I had just a bad habit, and my mindset was based using that information.

When I realized that I was a drug addict and that I had an addiction, a legalized addiction yes, but nonetheless a deadly dependency then I managed to quit smoking relatively easy.

I tried a lot of methods that were available back then, like nicotine patch which it didn’t work because I was still putting the drug inside me but in another way.

NRT’s vs. Cold Turkey

I want to address a little bit the so-called NRT’s (Nicotine Replacement Therapies) which are approved by many medical institutions globally.

You have Nicotine Patch, Nicotine gum and other products that are supposed will help you quit smoking.

They are based on the idea that you gradually reduce nicotine from your body and at some point, you will not need it anymore.

Excuse my French, but that’s b*llsh*t.

When you are addicted to a deadly substance like Nicotine you don’t reduce the nicotine gradually that’s so inhuman, the withdrawal symptoms are both physically and mostly psychologically terrible.

I tried that by reducing the number of cigarettes I smoke. It was the worst quit attempt ever.

If you want to get rid of yourself from a deadly drug and a fatal addiction you stop cold turkey, meaning you stop taking the medication. The withdrawal period of going cold turkey lasts only 3 days, and it’s better for you psychologically.

Trying to quit by reducing the number of cigarettes you do or using NRT’s is like having a bandage on your hand, and you are removing it by pulling it slow, now that’s painful. You should rip off that bandage with one go and feel the least possible pain, that’s what Cod turkey method does for you.

That’s how I stop smoking, I just quit smoking cigarettes, it is that simple.

Of course, I am writing this article now, 9 years after I had my successful quit but when I was quitting I did had my withdrawal symptoms, and they looked terrible in my mind back then.

Now looking back, it was the psychological symptoms that were more intense than the actual physiological ones.

Your goal is to be 72 hours without smoking, and the bulk of the nicotine leaves your body, after approximately three days you have no physiological reason to smoke, the drug is out of your system, the addiction is gone.

What you need to deal with after that are mostly psychological triggers that will urge you to reach for a cigarette.

Smoking is not your friend.

Smoking for many years and incorporating tobacco into your life gave a false impression that smoking is your friend, that smoking is something that you cannot function without.

You need to retrain your brain that there is life without smoking and you should do it day by day. Remember how your life was before lighting your first cigarette?

Smoking is not your friend, friends do not try to kill you every day! You can have a tobacco-free life. A lot of people say to me I can’t live without smoking! On the contrary, it’s when you quit smoking that your life for the first time after many years actually starts.

All the things I mentioned thus far is addressing more of your awareness and your psychological perspective of tobacco smoking. I discussed and said that first because in my opinion and from my experience it’s the hardest of the two sections that I divide the procedure of quitting smoking.

The two sections are the physiological urges, withdrawal symptoms which as I said will only last for 3 days until the bulk of nicotine leaves your body and the psychological ones.

Once you understand that you are a legalized drug addict and that the psychological urges are the ones that are going to create trouble for you in the future, then you be in a far better position mentally to attempt and have a successful quit.

Now let’s go hands-on and be practical on how to quit smoking.

You should quit smoking in your everyday life, there is no other way. I am sorry if I sound absolute or adamant, but I am telling you the truth. A truth that I learned the hard way and I don’t want you to lose any more time or money trying to quit smoking.

Notions that you will find a reasonable period to quit smoking are a fiction of the imagination.

You will always have a stressful situation facing you, we are human beings with emotions that go up and down.

Statements that I will quit when I go vacations, or I quit on my birthday or after that stressful work assignment or new year’s resolutions do not work, trust me I tried those too, and they are a setup for failure.

You just quit in your everyday life. You inform all your friends and family members, people you work with that you stop smoking. You do that, so in their eyes you be accountable.

You would think twice to break your quit if you told everybody you know that you stop smoking.

Also by telling everybody that you stop smoking you will find out first hand who are your friends for real.

Those who really are your friends and are also smokers they will never give you a cigarette or trying to lore you back into smoking.

Talk with a few family members or friends and ask them to be your phone buddy every time you will have an urge to smoke.

Instead of lighting a cigarette you will call them and chat until the urge goes away.

Remove any cigarettes from the house, lighters, ashtrays anything and everything that has a relation to smoking.

Do not throw the cigarettes in the garbage in one piece. Destroy the cigarettes or flush them down the toilet.

Get a big glass jar and every 24 hours that you didn’t smoke put the money that you were wasting on cigarettes in there. At the end of the week, you will be surprised at how much money you saved!

Avoid hanging out with people that smoke the first two weeks, it is only logical and smart to do that.

It’s an excellent tactic to quit on a Tuesday. It’s the second day of the working week, and it’s generally less stressful than Monday.

Do exactly what you do but now without smoking.

When urges come, and they will come, especially the first three days there are a lot of things you can do to kill them.

Urge Killers

Drink cold water

Take a cold shower

Call a friend

Take a walk

Do some calisthenics

Do some yoga or exercises

Eat something

Have some mint gum or candy

Do something with your hands

Brush your teeth with mint toothpaste

Deep Breathing, the best urge killer

If you feel that you want a cigarette try the following.

Steps:

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Breath through your nose slowly while counting to four. If you can’t go through your nose breath with your mouth.
  3. Hold the air while counting until four.
  4. Exhale through your mouth slowly counting until four making sure you remove all the air from your lungs.

Repeat the above procedure as many times until you relax and forget about your urge to smoke. Some lightheaded and tingling feelings may occur so when you do these breathing exercises the first times it’s better to sit or lie down.

You can do the deep breathing anywhere, there is no excuse. You are on the train, bus or metro and you want to smoke, just breath!. You can be at work something is stressful you wish to smoke, do deep breathing.

Commit that you will not smoke again and you be fine, commit first to yourself, invest that you are doing that because you want to get your health back, because you want to be able to enjoy your grandkids one day standing on your own two feet and not six feet under!

Except the above, I personally applied a few other urge killers like:

Andrea’s Urge Killers:

Chewing on a drinking plastic straw

Sitting on a chair and pretending I was on a plane traveling to a tropical destination

I will hug my pillow bed until the urge would go away.

Nutrition can really help you with your quit.

Vitamin C helps a lot in flushing and removing the nicotine out of your system.

The way it does it is this. Large doses of Vitamin C make our urine PH acidic. The body to make our urine alkaline again takes the nicotine from our blood and sends it to our urine. This way we pee out the nicotine. Nicotine is an alkaloid, and it’s the first alkaloid available for the body to use.

So, try to drink lots of fresh fruit and vegetable juices especially the first three days. Natural juices not processed ones, if you don’t have a juicer invest in one.

Lots of green salads, fruits salads and you will aid removing the nicotine from your body faster feeling better too.

Furthermore, drink lots of water, it will help your kidneys and liver to remove the toxins from your system faster and easier.

More resources.

If you really want to quit smoking or want to help a friend or a family member to quit smoking, then you can always check out my blog and also my books about quitting smoking.

Furthermore, the following books really helped me understand even better of what tobacco smoking is, and they are:

  1. John R. Polito’s Freedom from Nicotine – The Journey Home.
  2. Joel Spitzer’s Never Take Another Puff (Free)
  3. Allen Carr’s The Only Way to Stop Smoking Permanently

Furthermore, the website whyquit.com is a fantastic place on how to quit smoking using the Cold Turkey method with excellent recourses and support.

Closing this article, I would like to recap by saying that quitting smoking is 99% mental and only 1% physical.

 

andreasThis article shared by Andreas Michaelides.

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Akshay Sharma

Hi! I’m Akshay Sharma. I’m a blogger at Imagination Waffle. I love to read and write about Fitness, Health & Lifestyle topics.

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