Smoking can and does kill many people every year. Why do people still smoke? Besides being the cause of lung cancer - a killer disease, smoking is also becoming more and more cost prohibitive! At 4.00 per pack, a two pack a day habit amounts to 4 x 2 x 365 = 2,920.00 per year! Yet, the money is really secondary, the real cost is the ill effect on ones health, and by the way, its not only the issue of longevity; it is also the state of your present health and well being. Smoking saps your energy and robs you of a much greater sense of well-being that could be yours if only you could quit smoking (and get some exercise).
The plan I have for kicking the smoking habit is the method that I used myself almost a decade ago - Ive been smoke free ever since! It does not involve any drug, nicotine patch or pill and is cost free. Furthermore, I quit on the first attempt, never picked up a cigarette again, and did not gain substantial extra weight - other than two or three pounds max!
Let me state straightforwardly that I am not a doctor nor do I pretend to be one. Furthermore, the plan I will present to you is neither new nor revolutionary. Again this is simple but effective way to quit smoking forever. Other approaches, I am sure, work as well as this one. Some of them may work faster. But, the main selling point I have for my approach is this: QUIT SMOKING THE EASY WAY is the EASIEST method to quit smoking PERMANENTLY!
The basic idea behind this approach is to gradually withdraw from the smoking habit over time, thus substantially weakening the addiction to the point that it loses its stronghold over the smokers body and mind. It is damn hard to abruptly stop a habit of say two packs a day cold turkey. It is so difficult that many smokers who try such an approach will likely fail, and many thereupon give up, resigning themselves to the long-term dangers and ill effects of tobacco addition for the remainder of their lives.
It is a lot easier, on the other hand, to cut back gradually over time and thereby reduce habit down to 5 or 6 cigarettes a day and then to stop completely. It is the difference of quitting a two packs a day habit vs. quitting a 5 cigarette a day habit. The addiction substantially loses its stronghold over the smoker. It still remains but has become a lot weaker and therefore easier to gain control over.
1. The first step is the easiest: simply take note of how much you are smoking and especially note the frequency of your cigarettes. Keep a record of the time of each lite up. The basics of this method are to reduce the frequency of cigarettes by gradually increasing the time intervals between lite ups.
2. Now take the record youve created and average the time between lite ups. Of course, use common sense in doing this! You are not going to add the six hours of sleep into the average. We want an average time interval between smokes during your waking hours when you are free to lite up. This last point is important because the average will be skewed if you average in hours when you are not allowed to lite up, as for example during work. Again, the average should be during the day and evening when there are no constraints upon your smoking.
3. Next, simply watch the clock! Keep yourself to the time interval that you have established. Do this for three days to accustom yourself to the program. Easy so far! In fact you have made a great start and have yet to reduce your smoking by a single cigarette! As easy as this is, please dont cheat the system! If you have set the interval at 30 minutes and had to wait 2 hours to your work break to lite up, you are not allowed to smoke 4 in a row! If your interval is 30 minutes that means that from the time you put out your first cigarette to the time you lite up the next, AT LEAST 30 minutes MUST elapse!
4. Now the hard part: withdrawing! Whatever your time interval is; increase by 20%. This may sound like a lot, but its really nothing! If your interval was at 30 minutes; a 20% increase puts your interval at 36 minutes. So all you have to do is hold on for another 6 minutes! Come on! How hard is that! For an interval at 1 hour the 20% increase puts you at 1 hour 12 minutes! You see the reason why many people fail in their attempts to quit smoking is that they give up. This is not rocket science, since the only time you can possible fail in this is by giving in and lighting up again. I think most people who try to quit cold turkey feel overwhelmed by it. Psychologically they think to themselves that they can NEVER have another in their lives, and that thought seems overwhelming. They gradually develop defeatist attitudes thinking that it is just to hard for them or that they are not equal to the task. My system is so much easier. You dont have to feel overwhelmed! All you have to do at this early stage is to wait an extra 6 or 12 minutes. Its not a lifetime! Hence, you dont feel overwhelmed! The downside of this program is that it does take longer than quitting cold turkey, but the great advantage is that it is for easier! Once you have increased your interval stay for 10 days.
5. By now you get the idea! Increase the interval again, by another 20%. You may find this a bit harder than the first interval increase, but essentially it s the same deal. If you interval started at 30 minutes it went to 36 minutes at the first increase. This increase brings it to 43.2 minutes. Round up to 44 minutes. Consider this: after this step you would have decreased you habit by 40%! Going from 36 minutes to lite up to 44 minutes is simply waiting an additional 8 minutes. If you are craving a cigarette by then just convince yourself to hold on just a few more minutes. Develop strategies for taking your mind off of it for that brief time. Eat a snack. As you cut back to lower levels of smoking though the method of increasing time intervals you may find it getting a bit tougher. If you do, just increase the number of days before the next interval increase. The basic method is really the important lesson; the specific timing between stages can vary. Most importantly: NEVER GIVE UP! The remainder of the program is fairly predictable: increase intervals by 20% steps - or less if you begin to find it tough going - until you are down to 5 or 6 cigarettes a day. Once you have hit that point; stay there for at least ten to 15 days. You should then be able to stop smoking completely and forever!!!
The following is an illustration of how it may work for a 2 pack a day smoker. While the key is focusing on increasing the interval between cigarettes, each % of increase in time interval should = a corresponding decrease in the amount of cigarettes smoked daily.
40 cigarettes reduced by 20% = 32
32 cigarettes reduced by 20% = 25.6 (round down) 25
25 cigarettes reduced by 20% = 20
20 cigarettes reduced by 20% = 16
16 cigarettes reduced by 20% = 12
12 cigarettes reduced by 20% = 9
9 cigarettes reduced by 20% = 7
7 cigarettes reduced by 20% = 5
Final step is to quit all together! The final step is the hardest because it is at this point that you finally commit to not smoking not just for the next interval but for the rest of your life! Yet, it ought to be a lot easier at this point than it would have been at the outset if you were to quit cold turkey. Still this is definitely the toughest point. Personally, they way I handled this is though physical exercise. This helped me a great deal to take away the last bit of craving in that crucial period. Another substitute is food or munchies. If you just eat then naturally you will gain a few pounds. Personally, I think a few extra pounds arent a bad trade off for what could be a killer addiction. Actually, if you eat a little more and you exercise the calories may balance out more or less.
If you spend 10 days for each step, you would be able to quit in 90 days. If you find this tough along the way you may stretch the time-line. If you stayed on each step 20 days that is still only about 180 days or so; 6 months. That still isnt bad for the goal of staying smoke free for the rest of your life!!!! Again, this is not meant to be the fastest way to quit smoking. However, this is probably the easiest way to stop and stay stopped. I would recommend this method to anybody, but this is especially helpful for those who have already tried and failed at other methods.
written by Roger LeBlanc, all rights reserved
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