This article is not about taking the moral high ground and preaching about the benefits of giving up smoking. It is just a simple article about what worked for me – a 47 year old guy who had been smoking for over 30 years and ended up on 60 cigarettes a day. I reckon if I can do it then perhaps this article will help others to seriously consider giving up.
How many times have you tried to stop smoking? If you are anything like me you stopped, (at least temporarily), because you saw something on the TV, a friend had a stoke, you were short of funds or… there are umpteen reasons why people give up and then start again as soon as the initial “scare” has worn off.
As I said, I was smoking 60 cigarettes a day and was well and truly addicted.
You’ve heard everybody going on at you about why you should stop smoking. Generally the worst people are those who have given up smoking themselves and have set out on a personal crusade, (although it sometimes comes across more as a vendetta), to banish every last trace of smoke on the entire planet.
I advocate a more reasoned approach to stopping smoking. The only important factor in the whole process is YOU.
It is absolutely NOT about…
** doing what somebody tells you to do.
** doing exactly what they have done to stop smoking.
** feeling awkward and guilty around people who do not smoke.
When Is The Right Time To Stop Smoking?
The reason why people stop smoking and then start again is simply because they were not ready to stop at that time.
I thought things through for around 3 months before I finally took the plunge and even then I told everyone that it was only a first step I was taking to stop smoking and I would take it just one day at a time – I found this took the pressure off me so that if I did start smoking again I wouldn’t appear to be a “failure”.
Remember that smoking is a very real addiction. It takes over your whole life. You probably find that whatever you do revolves around when you are going to have the next puff. Whether it’s working in the office, in the garden or whatever… your mind is always thinking about stopping what you are doing to go and have a smoke.
Don’t feel guilty about this… as I said it’s a very real addiction.
Just as an aside, (at least in the UK), there are more and more doctors who will point blank refuse to treat you for smoking related illness if you are a smoker.
Personally I think they are sick. Far better to refer someone for counselling, (which honestly does work despite my initial skepticism about having someone pry into my habits!).
My counsellor, Doreen, has been marvelous right from the word go. Low key, does not pry, no shock tactics, no lectures… just a very informal chat about the best way for ME to stop smoking.
Doreen put me on patches and gave me a little puffer as I call it, (a nicotine inhalator to be posh), and assured me that at no time would these be suddenly taken away after 3 months or whatever.
A controlled amount of nicotine into your body to take away the urges does you absolutely no harm at all. The real danger is from the smoke going into your lungs. I don’t know enough to be technical here but if nicotine is causing the addiction and you can have as much nicotine as you want for as long as you need it, in the form of patches or whatever, then it’s all good news for us.
I’m not saying you won’t get cravings once you decide to stop smoking but the cravings in my case were normally associated with certain habits. For instance I would associate smoking with coffee. A cup of strong sweet coffee with 5 or 6 cigarettes was pure heaven. I still miss it now to be honest but I normally drink tea and if I do have a coffee I always have my little puffer for a quick blast.
Also remember that the urge to smoke only lasts a minute or so. If you can think about something else for a few minutes, (I know it’s easier said than done), but the urge really does go away.
Whilst researching the Internet for some facts before writing this article I became so despondent about the “advice” from the so called experts I decided to just sit down and write as I feel from a personal viewpoint.
One of the snippets of “expert” advice was to make a “Stop Smoking Contract” and have your family and friends sign it. I mean, give me a break will you… If this is not putting pressure on someone trying to stop smoking I don’t know what is.
Another expert gem was to plaster No Smoking signs all over the house and around your workplace. Great if you need a constant reminder about smoking.
The whole idea is to gently, in your own time, get away from the habits and thoughts associated with smoking.
I certainly feel better for stopping smoking. Apart from the huge amount of money it saves me, my legs are not tired all the time and I generally have more energy.
In conclusion I would say that in your quest to stop smoking make sure it is what YOU want at a time that is right for YOU.
Go and see your doctor to refer you to a counsellor before giving up. Be honest with the counsellor… If you smoke 80 cigarettes a day then say you smoke 80 cigarettes a day. It is self defeating to say you only smoke 10 or 20 or “about a pack a day”.
When YOU feel the time is right to stop smoking then do it but not before. Don’t let anyone pressure you into stopping.
Remember, if you don’t succeed the first time, (although if you have prepared yourself then there is no reason not to succeed), this is not a failure. It is a huge first step you have courageously taken to stop smoking.
Like any other addiction, the smoking phenomenon has a plethora of marketers and snake oil salesmen ready to leap upon your misery. You will get pills, injections, patches, books, support groups, books and even the idea of genetic modification as ways to quit cigarette smoking.
But listen. There is only one way which can truly beat the cigarette habit, and that is to simply stop smoking. It is a wonderful concept, because it is so simple in statement, and yet many people find it incredibly difficult to successfully execute.
Out of the many ways to quit cigarette smoking, the only method which has a mass of anecdotal evidence to support it is that of quitting cold turkey. Now, that is not to mean you can’t use a secondary method to help you with quit the cigarette habit cold turkey; on the contrary, that is encouraged.
I smoked 40 cigarettes a day for a decade, yet I was able to quit very quickly and without any of the side effect such as weight gain, dizziness, cravings or a change in temperament. Ostensibly I simply packed in the smokes cold turkey, but in order to do that successfully, I had to rewire my brain by looking at the habit differently.
Out of the many ways to quit cigarette smoking, it was hypnotherapy that did it for me. Now, I know it is likely you think of hypnotherapy as going into a seedy office with an even seedier man who has a pencil moustache and swinging medallion. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Hypnotherapy does not involve going into a trance. It doesn’t even have to mean leaving your home. There are plenty of books and CD products which act as hypnotic therapy. Using hypnotherapy to kick the cigarette habit is really quite simple – it changes your views of smoking. Whereas you might argue that smoking helps you shed anxiety, hypnotherapy will question whether that is really the case. In essence, hypnotherapy removes the reasons you have for smoking. If you have no justification to smoke, then you won’t feel the need to pick up a cigarette.
Nicotine patches, nicotine gum, herbal cigarettes and the like are all ineffective ways to quit cigarette smoking. Smoking is primarily a psychological addiction, and these remedies don’t cure the psychological bond you have with cigarettes – they just strengthen it. How many times have you gone to the cinema for three hours without smoking? In fact, I’m willing to bet that the only time you did want a cigarette was when you actually thought about the fact you had not smoked for a while.
In conclusion, it is essential that you break the psychological addiction to cigarettes. The only way to break the psychological addiction is to break down the thinking patterns your brain has developed over the course of your smoking career. The best way to do this is through hypnotherapy. If you are intent on quitting the cigarette habit, ensure you don’t replace one dependency with another one.
The bird flu saga goes on and fear of a pandemic continues to be promoted…but as many thinking people expected nothing really dramatic has happened other than the loss of the livelihood of tens of thousands of small farmers…and that is sad and serious! I know that I have written about this subject before and I know that it is hard for subscribers to be reassured by me that the risk of a pending pandemic is not as great as that which is constantly being portrayed by the popular media.
After all…who do I think I am to reassure you about something as important as this? I am not some Doctor or scientist with a string of letters after my name? In fact, I admit I don’t have any letters, let alone a string of them. Oh…I have been offered a PhD by mail order but I wasn’t prepared to pay the $100 asking price. J (No need to because I have access to a number of very qualified genuine PhD’s). I am just someone who assesses information and applies a reasonable amount of health knowledge combined with common sense…and of course almost 60 years of personal experience.
Having said that if you want some further food for thought about the ‘bird flu’ let me give you some information that will make you sleep easier and perhaps you won’t be coerced into going out and buying a ‘Bird Flu survival kit’
Billions of dollars are being spent on trying to develop new vaccines, drugs and taking other measures to protect us from the H5N1 virus in the event that it mutates and can be transmitted from Human to Human.
It is highly unlikely that a successful vaccine will be ‘discovered’, and then if one is, or at least they claim it is there will be inadequate time to thoroughly tests the risks associated with it.
At the first sign of a potential ‘outbreak’, if a promising vaccine has been developed it is possible that a ‘forced vaccination’ program may be introduced. (Resist that one!)
The well promoted Tamiflu has proven to be ineffective against those victims who have contracted the virus.
If you are ‘forced’ to have an as yet to be discovered vaccine, the likely risks to your health will be far greater than the risk of contracting the virus.
The H5N1 virus was discovered decades ago and is not a new virus.
Many birds, both domestic and migratory carry the H5N1 virus and when the virus is discovered in a ‘dead duck’it doesn’t necessarily mean that the duck died from the virus.
In the case of germs and viruses it is the immune health of the recipient whether it be birds, humans or any other animal that determine whether the germs or viruses become deadly.
There is evidence to suggest that the deadliness of a virus can be multiplied exponentially if the recipient’s immune system is compromised by the presence of toxins, especially dioxin.
There are of course many more facts that I could add to this list..but let’s stop here for a moment!
You have probably heard in the media how the 1918 flu pandemic killed millions and how their victims didn’t fit the ‘normal’ profiles of those who die from the flu. Instead of it taking the young and the elderly, the first to suffer from it were young men aged between 19 and 34 years of age.
Because of this many ‘experts’ have been suggesting that having a strong immune system ‘won’t save you’ and they use the above example as evidence to support that theory?
That’s pretty easy to believe isn’t it? That is until you dig down a bit deeper. Just reflect on these facts for a moment!
1. The year of the Spanish Flu was 1918. What was going on that year? Right?…the First World War!
2. What was happening in that war? Lots of chemical warfare! In fact, millions of pounds of it were released by all sides with millions of troops getting exposure.
3. The first case of the ‘Spanish flu’ was detected at the US Navy’s Commonwealth Pier in Boston.
4. Two weeks later 2000 men at the First Naval District had the flu which quickly spread to other naval bases throughout the USA.
OK…you may now be thinking, well these men fit the 19 – 34 year old group…but so what?
Well, to put that into relevance you have to know what these men were exposed to as part of their training! I am sure that it would surprise you to know that as part of their drills to become accustomed to chemical warfare and to learn how to use their gas masks under duress that they were actually exposed to toxic gases which of course I am sure helped them learn real quick!
When you combine that knowledge with the fact that it is now well proven that if your body is exposed to excessive amounts of toxins that the toxins will virtually destroy your immune system! These men and millions like them had significant toxin exposure during the period of the First World War, both during combat and training, and whereas these men would normally have had the strongest immune systems in the general population the evidence would now suggest that their immune systems had been seriously compromised.
This is the reason why younger children and elderly did not suffer as severely as the above age group during the Spanish Flu pandemic. It is NOT as the ‘experts’ argue that the flu was of a type that attacked those with healthy immune systems.
Is there evidence of this, and does it relate to the current bird flu situation? Absolutely! I will explain how in the next newsletter issue and you will see how the media and ‘authorities’ are spinning a load of nonsense, either by design or ignorance.