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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Will it Help You to Quit Smoking?

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Will it Help You to Quit Smoking?

Cutting down on cigarettes, it’s a technique that most of us will use when trying to give up smoking. It’s a good theory isn’t it, “I am preparing my mind and body for quitting cigarettes, by reducing the amount I smoke each day”. Seems to make sense, but the problem with theories is that they don’t always work when put into practice. Most of us will try this technique (including me) but I bet for 99.9% of us it didn’t lead to quitting.

Here are some reasons why.

The idea behind cutting down is to give you some control over your cravings for cigarettes.

Unfortunately when you do this, the exact opposite happens: You just give the cigarette more control than it has ever had before.

This is how it will work.

Say you usually have a cigarette every hour or so. You decide to cut it back to one every two hours, essentially halving the number of cigarettes you smoke each day.

By the time an hour is up you will want to smoke. This is the time you usually have one, but you think: “I will wait another hour.”

In stead of thinking: “Boy, aren’t I being good, I’m not smoking for another hour.” You will instead be thinking: “Boy I want a cigarette, how long to go; I need one now, cigarette, cigarette, cigarette”.

I know what it’s like when the need to have a ciggie hits you, all you can think about is lighting up. It won’t go away until you have that first puff. It is very hard to concentrate on anything else.

In this extra hour of waiting the quality and quantity of work or play may have suffered because your concentration is fixed on smoking. All you have achieved is kept smoking on the brain for a longer period.

The worst thing of all, is you have put the cigarette on a big, giant, golden pedestal.

Now, once the two hour period is up, the next cigarette you smoke is going to be one of the best you have ever smoked. You have waited and suffered, now you get your reward.

The last thing you want to do when quitting smoking is make a cigarette into a reward, but that’s what cutting down does. It makes having a cigarette a rewarding experience.

Sooner or later you will end up smoking as much as you did before you started this charade. Sure you may be strong for a few days, or maybe even a few weeks, but by keeping smoking on the brain you are sure to fail.

Because you still smoke, you have them on you at all times, temptation in your pocket. When you get stressed, or you desperately need a cigarette, are you just going to keep saying no when temptation is an arm length away? Of course not! One day you will give in, and you will tell yourself just this once. But once will turn into twice, twice into three times and before you know your back to square one.

Cutting down will never lead to quitting because even though you are waiting to have a cigarette, you still end up having a cigarette. Turning a cigarette into a reward will never lead to stopping. The only true way to quit is to not smoke, period.

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Will it Help You to Quit Smoking?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Why Do People Start Smoking?

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Why Do People Start Smoking?

You may be shocked to find out that tobacco smoke contains not only nicotine but more than 4000 chemicals. At the minimum 50 of those chemicals are highly poisonous and directly linked to cancer. The manufacturers have spent millions perfecting cigarettes that taste and smell good to the average smoker. They also spend millions making sure that the cigarettes they make have a sufficient amount of necessary ingredients to keep you addicted. Most of the addiction is a result of the nicotine. The manufacturers want to ensure that when a person smokes they get the most nicotine possible. There is actually ammonia in the filters of cigarettes because it allows more nicotine to pass through the filter making it even more addictive. These companies are not advertising to smokers....they are advertising to non-smokers to encourage them to start. They know when someone starts it is very hard to quit.

Most people start smoking their first cigarettes either given or taken from older friends or family. Part of the reason they smoke is to be a part of the crowd that they admire or people they aspire to emulate. If something is seen as cool or fashionable then there will be many people who will do it simply to be accepted by their peers. Clever advertising campaigns from tobacco companies depicting happy, healthy looking smokers enjoying life don't help either!

It is about image more than anything else as most people would agree that the first cigarette is certainly not pleasant. If food tasted that bad we would surely never eat it again. I remember my first cigarette and not even having a clue about inhaling. Can you imagine...we were 15 years old or younger, about 4 of us sitting in a room SWALLOWING the drags we took. We were almost throwing up. My younger cousin popped in and caught us. He was a smoker so he explained and demonstrated INHALING for us. We thought it was funny until we smoked enough days to get hooked. We seriously thought we were pretty cool. Then we found out what withdrawal was and cravings. In the long run....I wish that day never happened. Statistics show that the majority of people who smoke wished they had never started and if they could wind back the clock they would certainly never try it again. The only good I can see coming from the fact that I smoked is that maybe I can help others make better choices or changes, like quitting.

The majority of people find that smoking tastes bad, makes them feel bad and it is only after they get accustomed to the taste that those feelings disappear. By that time they can't give up due to their smoking addiction and a new problem presents itself. It is only the addictive nature of tobacco that makes so many people continue to smoke long after they realize the way it is affecting their health and encroaching on their lifestyle.

Fortunately as more and more people see the dangers that smoking brings to their health and longevity, more are quitting. Quitting is getting easier now that there are many methods to quit smoking. Smoking is becoming a more unacceptable practice and not seen as fashionable in many areas of society.

Interesting news in Ontario, Canada this past week:
Smoking ban with kids in car now a go. Drivers face $250 fine under new law launched on Weedless Wednesday! No more smoking in cars with children present. The Ontario Medical Association said that even with windows open and ventilation fans on, smoking makes air in the small cabin of a car at least 13 times dirtier than the air outside. Smoking concentrations in a car can be 20 times worse than in a smoky bar. Studies suggest cigarette smoking in cars can expose children to concentrations of toxins that are 27 times stronger than in the home. This has caused some great debates as smokers fearing the next step is a ban in your own personal homes. They banned smoking in bars and restaurants a few years ago too.
What do you think? Is this a fair law? Do you think people will really to Quit Cigarette Smoking?

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Why Do People Start Smoking?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Stop Smoking Tips when Drinking

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Stop Smoking Tips when Drinking

I am an ex-smoker who is 100% sure I will never smoke another cigarette again, even when drinking. Back when I was smoking I used to love sitting back with a drink in one hand and cigarette in the other. I felt the two complimented each other so well and it just didnt feel right if I was drinking without a cigarette.

So when I finally decided to quit I found that I was at my weakest when I was drinking. The alcohol would take over and a little devil would sit on my shoulder and whisper “Go on, you know you want one, just a couple of puffs, it won’t do you any harm”.

Well that little devil would always win. Once I had that first cigarette it would always lead to more, lots more. I would wake up the next morning with that awful taste in my mouth, feeling gutted that I had been so weak. I hated having to start the whole quitting process over again. Even worse was the fact that my hangover would be 100 times worse than normal because I hadnt smoked for a while. My body couldnt handle being dehydrated by both alcohol and cigarettes and it would let me know with the mother of all headaches.

The silly thing was I sometimes went weeks without smoking but as soon as alcohol was in my system that all went out the window. I knew that I couldn’t just say “Well, I will just smoke when Im drinking then”, because to me that wasn’t quitting. I knew that this would eventually led to me smoking full time again. I had to come up with ideas to solve this problem.

At first I decided to totally avoid my smoking friends. I soon realised that this wasn’t going to work, because I missed hanging out with them. So I decided to avoid them only when they were smoking. Some of my friends never smoke so I would talk and hang with them in the mean time. When at clubs and bars the smoking areas became off limits to me to avoid being surrounded by temptation. One thing I was constantly doing was reminding myself of my goals and as to why I wanted to quit. By doing this it kept me focused and gave me encouragement. This time I had a little angel on my shoulder whispering in my ear instead of a little devil.

There were times when either I was stressed or just in a wrong frame of mind and I knew that I if I drank I would also smoke. To combat this I would make up an excuse not to drink. I hated lying to my friends but it was for the greater good. I used the classics like I had work the next morning or I had some family function to go to. Sometimes I offered to be the sober driver for the night, there wasn’t many complaints from friends about that one. I eventually go sick of making excuses and just told my friends the truth as to why I didnt want to drink.

The majority were very understanding, but of course some of my smoker friends would give me a bit of stick. I knew they just really wanted to be where I was, as deep down, every smoker wishes they could quit.

I now go out and drink without having the slightest itch to have a cigarette, and boy, does that feel good. I sometimes wonder whatever happened to that little devil that used to sit on my shoulder. He is probably sitting on my friends who still smoke shoulders whispering “Go on, have another one, you know you want to”. Well, they can keep him.

True story

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Stop Smoking Tips when Drinking