Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Easy Way To Quit Smoking: Does Such A Method Exist?

The question on every smoker’s yellowing lip will always be “Is there an easy way to quit smoking?” The instant answer to that would be yes, as there is a mountain of anecdotal evidence to suggest it is possible. There are millions of smokers who can testify that they packed in a long-term habit overnight, and never desired another cigarette again. The real question then, is how did they do it?

The answer is simple: if you wish to quit smoking easily, then you need to change your mindset. After years of smoking, your brain will be configured to believe that smoking is an integral part of you. As a former smoker myself, I know full well just how emotionally connected the smoker is to the cigarette, and this is something non-smokers often overlook. It’s not just a question of willpower - it’s about being able to sever the emotional links we have with the habit.

The fact is that nicotine is one of the least physically addictive drug substances out there. We can sleep for eight hours every night without our body waking us up in a cold sweat to smoke. Although this sounds like a big claim to make, the amount of anecdotal evidence mentioned earlier should be testament to this. The smoking habit is not the nicotine habit - it is the psychologically addictive habit.

The easy way to quit smoking is to shake up the beliefs you associate with smoking. It’s not enough to simply say it’s bad for your health, because that is a rational fact. Smoking breeds irrational, emotional attachments, and it is those attachments which you have to perceive in a different way. No smoker is going to argue that smoking is good for their health, but many will claim that a cigarette helps them relax. Do you see the difference? Smokers have more irrational beliefs than they would think.

This calls upon a great deal of introspection. Head to the pub with a notepad and pen and start writing about how you feel about smoking. Compare smoking to a girlfriend or boyfriend, if you will, because that’s the level of emotional attachment most smokers will feel towards the habit. Start assessing how you feel about smoking and make a list of all the positives you feel smoking brings to your life. Then try to detach yourself and question these “positives”.

Ultimately, if you want an easy way to stop smoking, then you need to realise that all that is really required is the re-wiring of your brain. You do not need gum, patches or any other gimmick. Such gimmicks only maintain your emotional attachment to the habit without the actual physical side-effect, but that is not enough. You need to beat both the physical attachment and, particularly, the emotional attachment. If I can do it, then so can you.

Jonty Smith is a former smoker based in the U.K.

After 10 years of smoking two packs a day, Jonty finally managed to quit in 2006. His story of how he managed to beat the habit is available for free reading at http://www.how-i-stopped-smoking.com

No comments: