The first thing you must know: there is no such thing as willpower.
Just forget it. Don’t even try to tell me you just didn’t have the willpower.
There is no such thing.
The reason we fail is this: we lose sight of our goal.
If you KNOW this (in your gut/in your being), you cannot possibly fail. You will keep your eyes on the goal.
Obstacles are those things you see only when take your eyes off your goal.
Your author is an expert in failure. I’m told I’m an environmentalist, a journalist, a teacher, a goofball (at times) and still more things, but the one subject in which I am fully qualified, certified, and, again at times, mortified, is failure.
I failed well over 50 times to quit smoking. Or rather I took up smoking after I had quit some 50 times; so I failed at least 50 times.
I succeeded once.
Today I am smoke free.
All because I learned one thing: to keep my eyes on the goal at all times.
Go out and buy a book. Yes, you have things to read on the web, but smoking is a visceral habit. You smoke with your whole body: posture, hands, mouth, nose, face, eyes, lungs, and bloodstream. So get a book; hopefully a paperback, you can carry in a pocket or pocketbook. Have something for your hands to do, because 20 times a day (or more) your hand is going to twitch on its way to your pocket or pocketbook for a cigarette).
Have something for your hands to do. Get a pen or highlighter to mark up your book. Keep your hands busy. (See the Quitting Time Watch review at the end of this.)
Everyone asks me: what about nicotine substitutes? Gum, lozenges, the patch, inhalers?
The longer you stay addicted to nicotine the harder it is to finally quit . . . for some people.
I was one of those. If you find yourself failing a lot, it could be because of this method failing you. You go on and on and on until you are exhausted and finally you lose sight of your goal, frustrated and still craving a butt BECAUSE YOU ARE STILL ADDICTED TO NICOTINE.
Nicotine is a drug, a dangerous drug.
Were the average smoker to get all their
nicotine from one full week of smoking
in a single dose, it would kill that smoker
However, when the drug Nicotine is administered
in a pill or a patch or in gum, it is referred to as
Gum (non-nicotine) or mints, sunflower seeds, candy. These are simply more addictions. Do you need them? Yes, sometimes you just get an oral craving. Ok, a stick of gum or something, but do you really want to substitute one addiction for another? Use substitutes moderately and wisely.
Read your book. Read everything. The more you know, the more you’ll be ready for when the urge strikes. If you’re a pack-a-day smoker, an urge will strike at least 20 times a day.
While you are planning to quit, like right after you read this, start writing down your reasons for quitting. Be specific, at first, then you can later note general reasons. They have to be YOUR reasons, because it is only YOU on this path. This is YOUR addiction you are breaking and you have to do it for YOU and nothing else (though you might have many people depending on you). Write all your reasons down. And make them life affirming: instead of writing, Bad Breath, uuggh! You could write, Sweeter breath, sweeter kisses. Write down how much it costs you (even your auto insurance can go down after you’ve quit). Write down YOUR reasons for quitting. You’ll find more each day. Keep track. AND PRINT THE LIST. Hang it where you can see it.
Because you reached for your pack of smokes all day long in your old life, put your list of reasons in an empty pack of smokes. When you get the urge, reach for it, open it, and read your reasons.
(We will mention this again.)
Add more reasons to your list if you think of them. Print it and read it. These are your goals. If you keep your eyes on them, you will quit. If you leave the list in your computer, you’ll lose sight of your goals.
Now, for some bad news: your unconscious mind (subconscious, preconscious) will try to sabotage your quitting. You will forget your list somewhere. You will arrange to be in a crowd of smokers. You will forget everything, your book, your reasons, your reasoning even. BE ON YOUR TOES. You WILL try to sabotage your quitting.
This usually happens within ten days to two weeks of quitting. It will happen again in about six months (different times for different people) when you think you have safely quit and “one smoke won’t hurt.” Wanna bet? Most people cannot have just one smoke the same as most alcoholics cannot have just one drink. For some it takes 3 or 4 (or 50 failures) to finally realize this.
Ok, let’s talk about that first struggle you’ll have within the first ten days to two weeks into quitting.
Example: you get into an argument with your spouse and you hop in the car and go for a drive. You’ve left your book and your reasons at home. Suddenly, you want a smoke. But it’s not your fault. It’s your spouse’s fault. So, now you’re going to have a cigarette just to punish your spouse. It’s your spouse’s fault that you are smoking, not yours.
This is how stinking thinking works. Stay tuned for more stinking thinking. But know that you will try to start a fight (and succeed) and you will want to smoke. Know this. Be prepared. You are at your weakest when stressed. This is how 80% of all quitters go back to smoking: by blaming someone outside of them: co-worker, spouse, kids, etc., blaming them for their failure. Guess what…it was all planned by your unconscious mind. It was a planned failure. Be prepared!
Most books tell you to keep track of your smoking habits for two (or so) weeks. You get a pad of paper, fasten it to your pack of cigs with rubber bands (binders, in Minnesota). Yes, rubber binders. You have to remove the rubber binders to get the pad of paper out and write on it BEFORE you smoke that cigarette. You are monitoring your smoking habit. You are becoming aware of your smoking habit.
Most cigarettes are smoked unconsciously.
You write down the time of day. Rank the cig: on a scale of one to five or one to ten, it’s up to you. This number represents how much you need that particular cig. There are some systems that have you rank it after you smoked it too…how much it fulfilled your need for a butt.
There are reasons for this exercise: you have to know yourself, when you smoke, where you smoke, how you smoke to be ready for those cravings that will hit you after you’ve quit. For instance, say you have a smoke right before you leave for work, or you have one smoke the moment you get into the car or get on the phone. You rank this one in “need” say 3 out of 10.
After you’ve quit, when you get on the phone, or step into your car, or right before leaving for work, you’ll not only be ready for the craving, you’ll realize that it’s only a 3 out of 10 need . . . so, how hard is that to resist?
You’ll even know when those really terrific cravings are going to hit. That emergency butt (10 out of 10!). Like when the kids trash your living room; nasty in-laws coming over; dog crapped on the carpet; your 8-year-old’s teacher just called asking for a meeting, or an intervention; your spouse comes home drunk; your eighteen-year-old is arrested for hanging with the wrong group at the wrong time…any of these is enough to stress you out and demand a cigarette.
At these times, you must be prepared. You must think about the extremely stressful times before you quit. Know that you will crave a butt at these times. Know what to do. No craving lasts longer than 30 seconds so look at your watch.
Knowing your habit helps to beat it.
You will be on your guard with all your techniques, all your “substitutes” for this craving…you’ll have your routine down; you’ll have your ammunition; your support, to keep your eyes on your goals and avoid that ONE cigarette.
Remember: you don’t want just one cigarette; you want a lifetime of cigarettes.
Should you fail and light up, before you finish that cigarette you will be looking for the next one.
Ok, so what are the things we can do when the cravings hit?
First off, as we just mentioned, know that a craving does not last longer than 30 seconds. If it does, you are causing it to last longer than 30 seconds because you are going to just run out and buy that cigarette no matter how many techniques you know to use, because you’re stubborn and you’re just going to smoke. Ahh, did you really mean those reasons you wrote down? Those reasons to quit smoking. Did you really believe them? Did you keep your eye on them?
Stinking thinking. This is the great term for that thinking that gets you to light up a butt after you’ve quit smoking. Any thought that leads you closer to that butt is stinking thinking. There is no good reason to smoke. You know this. Therefore if you are giving yourself a reason to smoke, you’ve gotten into a whole bunch of stinking thinking.
Learn to recognize stinking thinking. You’ll get it the weeks/days prior to your Qday (Quitting Day). You’ll do a lot of stinking thinking. You’ll want to just have that cig and not write it down on that stupid pad. You’ll want to put off your Qday. You’ll even plan to fail. You’ll see a situation you can get yourself into where the “temptations” would be just too great. Watch yourself. Addictions make us stupid. Ask any addict after they’ve broken the addiction.
Acupuncture, hypnosis, group therapy, herbal detox, juicing, superfoods . . . are these ok? Definitely, yes. Go do them. Heck, do them all. Acupuncture on your Qday is perfect. Hypnosis classes leading up to your Qday (some people like to quit in the last hypnosis class, some choose to go home and do it there). Yes, do all of these. And yes, certainly detox the nicotine from your body. There are some herbal solutions online that will help you detox the nicotine (listed at the end of this article). Juicing fresh fruit and vegetable juices helps detox, but don’t go on a juice fast. Don’t try to quit smoking and lose weight at the same time. You’ll fail both. Focus on one thing at a time.
This article was originally written before the turn of the last century, and we’d found my wonderful kits to write about, but many of them are now gone. I guess we’ll blame market forces. On the positive side, new quit smoking kits have sprung up. So, just go looking for them. The more support you have the better your chances.
Most places have a money back guarantee. It means nothing, really, nothing reflecting upon or concerning the product. Someone could sell dog treats telling you that they’ll detox your nicotine and for 75% of the customers nothing happens. Still, only a few of those will ask for their money back and the company still makes money selling $4.98 in dog treats for $79.95 plus s&h.
So, again we ask, what do we do when the urge hits?
Get a watch with a second hand. Look at it for 30 seconds. The urge will be gone. Or on your smartphone, open the stop watch and hit that button. Just 30 seconds.
Get out your reasons. Read them ALL THE WAY THROUGH. Keep your reasons in an old cigarette pack (or in your cigarette case, if you have one). Keep the pack where you normally keep your cigarettes. When you get the urge to reach for a smoke (and you will), keep going, pull out that pack of smokes, pull out the list, and read.
Cravings differ for each person. Some feel it in the back of their throat. Some at the top of their head. Some have a free-floating idea of happiness around the corner and then suddenly realize that it’s all based upon the happiness that next cigarette will bring. And it’s a terrible letdown when you remember that you are a non-smoker.
You are addicted for life. Luckily, the pain of separation from your addiction doesn’t last a lifetime.
We do not smoke because we like to smoke—we smoke because we do not like the feeling of not smoking. Wait till your 10th urge strikes and then try to tell yourself differently!
So, when it gets bad…have something to do. Pull out your book and read it. Read your list. Pull out a stick of gum if it’s an overwhelming urge. Call a friend. Go online to a quit-smoking support group. As my mother used to say, “Do something, even if it’s wrong!”
But don’t reach for that cigarette.
Another thing you can have on hand for that OVERWHELMING urge to light up: Tincture of Lobelia. (Found in most health food stores, though if you cannot find it locally, you can find it online or call 800.HerbDoc for Dr Schulze’s.)
If worse comes to worse and you HAVE to have that cigarette, do this. One drop of this lobelia on your tongue, swish it around, and swallow. Now breathe through your mouth. You will FEEL like you just smoked a cigarette. Do this ONLY when you REALLY gotta have that smoke.
Another way to take lobelia is in a tea. Drinking a cup of lobelia tea makes you feel like you just had a smoke. At some health foods, this is sold as Smoker’s Tea.
One more trick that often turned me away from that first smoke: empty your ashtrays into a jar. Add a little water and stir them up. If ever you get an overwhelming urge to light up, go open that bottle and smell the contents. If that doesn’t turn you off, nothing will.
And finally, avoid those places where you used to smoke; avoid situations (for just a short three weeks) in which you will be tempted. Sit in the non-smoking section. Spend more time in places where you cannot smoke. Take baths. Get a massage. Treat yourself for doing yourself a favor.
Stay away from negative people; people in denial.
I was out with friends one night. One friend was currently in the middle of quitting smoking and another friend kept telling her not to worry if she failed in her attempt to quit, because she could always quit again. The person who said this garbage to my friend who was trying to quit will never quit smoking, because she’s in denial. Taking advice from an addict in denial is self-defeating. Avoid negative people at all costs.
After you’ve quit for three weeks, carry a lighter with you. Light a friend’s cigarette. Once you’ve made it three weeks (21 days) you can actually reinforce your will to quit by lighting another’s cigarette.
If this seems dangerous, don’t do it. It works for some. Not for all.
One more mistake quitters make: they suddenly decide to make up their own rules.
Ok, so you’ve quit for three days, suddenly you’ve decided to have one or two smokes a day and then quit permanently some time in the future.
Wrong. First off, if you are using a program (herbs, etc) you are defeating the purpose and don’t try to get your money back. They are to be used “after” you’ve quit smoking. If you just have one smoke a day, then you haven’t quit.
Your mind is gone. Your thinking is stinking. Feed a starving dog scraps and it will live forever. Cut it off and it dies. The same with a habit of this magnitude. Cut it off, and you will make it. Think you can smoke one or two a day, and soon you’ll be back up to a pack a day (or more).
Make it a party! You are having an Irish Funeral. An Irish Funeral is a celebration of a life, not of a death. You are killing off a part of you; you are killing off that smoker in you. Make it a celebration. Buy yourself a pack of special quitting smokes. Smoke them all day long.
I bought the colorful cigs, the ones in bright pastel colors and I smoked them all day long reserving a passionate pink one for quitting: my last smoke. I looked at it often. It was my last smoke: Passionate Pink. Make it a happy celebration.
Some go outside and dig a little grave and toss in an ashtray, a book of matches, a half-full pack of smokes and celebrate a little funeral. I did this too.
Do what you have to do so that it is registered fully in your mind and spirit that you have quit smoking.
Finally, be aware that even after you quit, urges will hit you when you least expect it. Many times right after the second week (this is why we say, wait 21 days before putting yourself in harm’s way). Again, some people get an overwhelming urge to smoke after six months. Whatever you do, do not give in. The physical cravings are gone. It’s all in your head. Do not think that one cigarette won’t hurt, because to most smokers, one leads to a lifetime of cigarettes.
By the time you finish the first, you’re already looking for the second.
I know this. Boy, do I know this.
Get rid of your ashtrays. Get rid of your matches. Get rid of everything except that one empty pack in which you’ll carry your reasons.
In India, the form of medicine they have practiced for centuries is called Ayurveda. In Ayurveda medicine and thought, consciousness is healing. If you want a headache to go away, we normally try to “ignore” the pain. In Ayurveda, the patient focuses on the pain. Feels the pain. Concentrates on the pain. Consciousness is healing.
To quit smoking, in Ayurveda medicine, one sits still, turns off all outside stimulus, and focuses on that cigarette: tasting, feeling, breathing, being that cigarette. Feel the smoke entering your lungs. Feel what it does. Feel the smoke as it enters your bloodstream. Feel and experience totally that cigarette.
This is a wonderful technique to use the last days of smoking. Know what it truly is to smoke a cigarette; what it does to your body. I used this technique for about two weeks before I quit. I used it at nite….meditating and smoking and focusing.
When we first discovered the alkaline Electrolyzed Water, we were told that it was a great detoxicator (pulls toxins from the human body). We had no way of proving this or even testing it. However, after we published our first article, the testimonials started coming in. One brand of testimonial we’ve kept from you, since…well, you’ll see why: people who’d been using illegal drugs wrote to us that they were hit with a surprise urinalysis (they had just 24 hours to prepare) and they drank 8 to 16 oz of the alkaline water. They passed their tests.
I did not want to publish these testimonials, but I did want people who were ready to quit smoking (or quit caffeine) to have another powerful tool, so, I’ve had to include this here.
A friend came to me wanting to quit smoking, but in the past, she’d never gotten past the second day. By the end of the first day, she developed a migraine headache that just knocked her down. Her family brought her cigarettes before the second day was over.
I’m not a doctor, not a therapist, not anything in the healing profession, but as a journalist, it was my duty to tell her my findings concerning Electrolyzed Water. She drank a quart a day of the alkaline water during the first three days of her smoking fast, and hardly felt a withdrawal symptom. The physical addiction was over by the end of the third bottle. After that, it was her mental addiction she had to deal with.
The people from Nicoban were nice enough to send us their smoking cessation kit. Now, there is no way to assay their product to determine that what’s inside is what’s listed on the label, but we have had our herbalist go over the herbs and yes, they will help to detox the nicotine out of your body. It is an entire program designed to be started on your last three days of quitting and after you’ve quit. Once you’ve quit, you have to stay quit and follow through on the program.
As the nicotine is cleaned out of your body, the actual physical addiction leaves and all you have left is your mental addiction. However, it is still an addiction and you are not yet in the clear. Keep on your program. Do not miss taking your vitamins and herbs from the Nicoban program.
For some reason, we did not get the Triple Hormones that were supposed to come with the program. We have no idea what they are used for either.
But the aromatherapy remedy that came with it is a winner! When the urge strikes, pull out the bottle (you can carry it too in an old pack of cigarettes) take a drop and put it on your temples, bridge of your nose. Smoking, as we have said earlier, is a systemic habit involving all of your body. This little movement gives your hands something to do.
Personally, I like to take the Aromatherapy Remedy, put a drop in my palms, and rub them together quickly till they get hot and then I breathed in the fumes. Wow. And yes, it’s better than a smoke and will take away your urge to smoke.
You can pick up some Nicoban at FindNatural. Or just search the web.
Now this is the neatest little thing you’ll ever hear about.
BUT THERE IS ONE PROBLEM.
They sold out and haven’t made any more. The watch and advertising cost more than they made and was simply moved to the back burner. You can go to their site http://www.qt-watch.com/home.html and look for updates, or find an app for your smartphone. But because we liked it so much we’re still going to tell you all about it.
For quitting smoking, this watch is HIGHLY recommended from us and as you all know, we don’t highly recommend much here. In our litigious society, recommending anything is highly not recommended.
A watch arrived that I immediately set up by entering my name, how many cigs I smoke a day (I don’t smoke, but I programmed it as if I was quitting), how much a pack of smokes costs, the date I planned to quit and bingo, off we went.
If I got a (pretend) craving for a smoke, I can now push one button, and using a stop watch, click and start timing the craving. I can push a button and get one of hundreds of messages about quitting smoking, aimed at my personal quitting score (a score is created by where you are in the process and how well you are doing against an “average” quitter, is the best way to explain this.
The watch is effective because:
While planning to quit, you wake up in the morning, push the button to start the day, and it tells you your recommended number of smokes for the day (you start by learning to forego a smoke or two; to taper off). If you’ve already quit it gives you the number of days and hours you’ve quit and how much you’ve saved.
Think of it, the watch will tell you, in less than two months, that you’ve saved more than $185.00. Now that’s support!
The program is smart. You want a smoke, but don’t want to pull out your reasons, click one button and it will give you a reason, or a pat on the back, or a truism about smoking.
I’m now taking some products from Longevity Plus called Beyond Growth Hormones. In a few months I’ll tell you all the results; but the point here being, I programmed the watch to tell me when to take my caps each day; as you’ll want to be reminded to put on a patch, or take your meds (Zyban) or take your herbs/vitamins.
What a wonderful watch. The other day, I got angry at some stupidity I saw online, and immediately clicked the stop watch (CHRONO mode) and timed how long it took me to get over the urge to strangle someone. Only 21.3 seconds. Not bad.
There’s another alarm besides the two medicine alarms. So you can program three times a day, if you’ve got something else planned.
What a wonderful watch. You can find out at anytime how you are doing beyond your morning routine. If you want your score later on in the day? Hold down the info button, the same button that gives you one of hundreds of programmed sentences, and there it is. Here is mine right now as I am typing these words:
Millions of smokers quit each year — join the club.
Hold the button down longer and: Goal 39 smokes, 0 smoked (so far)…I haven’t reached my quitting day yet, but also, I’m not clicking on the “I’m having a smoke” button yet. That’s a trip…you get to monitor the amount you smoke…even if you have a few over your goal, the Quitting Time Watch will tell you when to stop smoking that “over the limit” smoke. Ok, back to my score. Next it tells me when I quit (how many hours/mins since my last smoke), my quitting score: 88, and finally how much I’ve saved: $30.42. Even if you’ve not quit yet, it will tell you how much you’ve saved since you started tapering off.
As we said in this article, get a watch with a second hand. Well, now you have that and more. As you start on your journey to quit smoking, getting this watch is not a bad idea at all. It can only help you. They advertise that it is Doctor Designed. We liked that. Had a good laugh. I can still remember back when after an examination both you and the doctor lit up while he told you that you might have to quit smoking, or consider cutting back a little.
We had fun with the watch. It’s a very good tool. You can find it here on the web: www.qt-watch.com
We received a CD from Learning Strategies Corporation that uses their own Paraliminal Technology along with something we’re currently investigating, Holosync Technology.
The Paraliminal Technology was developed by Learning Strategies. It consists of simultaneous messages that, if you are wearing head phones, are different for each ear. The messages blend in your mind into one message.
Holosync Technology plays subtle tones into your ears, each ear getting different tones. Studies on this technology show that people are able to go into deeply meditative states quite quickly, which used to take masters years to accomplish. We will be reviewing an entire Holosync Program someday soon.
All in all, the CD that Learning Strategies sent us is a excellent tool for quitting smoking. We listened to it and passed it onto people who wanted to quit smoking. It is a very powerful tool in helping to quit smoking, and in our estimate, as effective as hypnosis when used regularly, even after you’ve quit.
If you want to learn more, just go here: Smoke Free Paraliminal CD
Learning Strategies Paraliminals now come with HoloSync technology. Click here to read an introduction to HoloSync Technology.
There is so much BS about essential oils online that we’ve had to delete all our references to companies selling them. It’s best to read the articles we’ve provided and find a company you can trus.
Twelve years after quitting smoking, I did something really stupid. The latest thing in the smoking world are flavored cigars. It was my birthday. Seemed like a good time to celebrate with a cigar. A friend took me to a tobacconist and we sampled the cigars. She got me a couple packs for my birthday.
You guessed it. Two weeks later I was smoking $8 – $12 per day of these damned tasty cigars.
However, there is always an upside to every downside.
I got a chance to try the new anti-smoking drug, Chantix.
For those of you who smoke and do not know about Chantix, listen up. It works.
Chantix is designed to block the nicotine receptors. Yes, there are side effects.
The above side effects came from the Chantix web site. However, other sites will go a bit further in depth. For instance, the sleep disorder usually consists of strange, vivid, 3-D, brightly colored, loud dreams. For those of you who can’t afford cable TV, this might be a bonus.
Luckily, I did not notice any side effects.
However, I did notice that after two weeks, the sweet smokes just tasted like dead leaves. There was NO pleasure in smoking. So, I set my quitting date, New Years (how appropriate), and did it. I did NOT miss smoking because the past few days of smoking were terrible. I couldn’t finish a cigar. I used to like the smell, but even the smell was terrible.
I stayed on the drug just a week longer, just in case I got stupid again and reached for a cigar. Knowing yourself helps. If you know you’ve got no will power and that you have a tendency to “fall off the wagon,” then stay on the drug. Your smoke will taste terrible.
For those of you who tell me that you LOVE to smoke, let me tell you this: you don’t. You love the nicotine addiction. You are a drug addict and you need your fix. You don’t love the drug as much as you hate what happens to your body when you’ve gone a period of time without the drug.
On Chantix, you will soon learn that without the nicotine effect, you do not love smoking. And for you, stay on the drug as long as it takes. I can’t believe that people have told me they smoked for two months on the drug. They were not getting any nicotine, but they still smoked. I couldn’t take it for two weeks.
Keep in mind that you have to work your way up to the amount of Chantix in your blood. The dosage at the beginning is small. You slowly work your way up. You should continue to smoke, but set a quitting date. Use the other tools we’ve discussed above. Be firm on your quitting date. I learned that it took two weeks to get the optimum amount of Chantix into your bloodstream. So, I set my quitting date with this in mind. And as I got closer and closer to the two week deadline, I noticed the cigars (that I loved!) were tasting worse and worse, smelling worse and worse, and just didn’t give me what I was paying all that good money for.
So, if you don’t get the side effects, or you do but believe that quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for yourself and are willing to put up with the side effects, then go with your priorities.
Again, this article was written over 20 years ago. Many of the products we were sent, we tried, we investigated no longer exist. But then, new ones have come along and you just have to find them
But whatever you do, don’t think vaping is a good substitute for smoking. Studies are beginning to show that vaping could be worse for our bodies. And it’s just as addictive, if not more.
When you are ready to quit, you will want as much support as you can get so here are even more links to help you and support you. Staying online has one advantage: keeps your hand busy, your mind busy. It has one disadvantage: you probably smoked your head off while sitting online in the past.
So, one more reason to quit is this: your CDs and Floppy Disks will not get covered with smoke. Your monitor will not get covered with smoke. And the CD Drive and Floppy Drive will continue to read w/o their guts being covered in smoke.
We want to thank Ms Ward’s class in Delaware for sending us this following link. Ms Ward is teaching her class to get involved, and when one of her students, Lauren, came across this web page, she found us a great link to publish, and here it is:
An Online Guide to Nicotine Withdrawal
Alternative Methods to Quit Smoking
Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking
We are not going to tell you Good Luck….we will wish you Good Fortune as you begin to save thousands of dollars each year!
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