There are many methods being marketed as viable ways to quit smoking. Before setting out to achieve any goal it is helpful to know the most effective approach as well as flawed approaches. This article is a brief review of the different methods out there and some tips on what not to do to when trying to stop smoking.
GRADUAL REDUCTION OF THE AMOUNT YOU SMOKE
This is a flawed strategy and the reason is this – nicotine is an addictive substance, so decreasing the amount you take into your body gradually will increase the value you place on each single cigarette and make you crave them even more. I always ask people considering this method if they would consider a gradual reduction in the amount of alcohol consumed to be an effective strategy for an alcoholic to stop drinking?
Same as above this is a flawed strategy because it involves a gradual reduction of nicotine, only it is coming into the body in a different format. This would be akin to an alcoholic trying to cure themselves by taking alcohol into their body in a different format which would cleary be foolhardy. There can also be unpleasant side effects from patches such as rashes on the skin. Nicotine patches are popular not because of their effectiveness, but because they are a big money spinner for the pharmaceutical industry and they are well marketed.
STOP SMOKING MEDICATION
Some types of stop smoking medication works for some people some of the time, but often there are very strong side effects associated with them and many people have difficulty taking these types of medication for this very reason. Stop smoking prescription drugs may make you feel dizzy, sleepy or depressed and you may be advised to come off some types of stop smoking medication gradually because stopping suddenly may make you feel depressed or cause you to have difficulty sleeping (which in itself can lead to depression).
QUIT BY YOURSELF
Around 10% of people quit smoking by themselves every year. At times in life we know intuitively that it is time to leave something behind. Sometimes this is a response to a change in life circumstances such as the birth of a child yet for some people a moment just seems to arrive almost out of nowhere. This fact alone coupled with the reality that after quitting for a period of 3 weeks nicotine leaves the body completely should give smokers much belief that they have everything they need to stop naturally.
Some people need a little help to quit. A University of Iowa study involving 72,000 people found hypnotherapy to be the most successful method of smoking cessation as reported in The New Scientist Magazine. Reaching any goal starts in the mind. Hypnotherapy works because you learn to use your mind to work for you rather than against you, it is excellent for helping you to stay focused and motivated and it is very effective at helping you deal with stress and manage any cravings. It involves taking a clean break from tobacco rather than the flawed strategy of a gradual reduction of nicotine. The desire to smoke comes from the unconscious part of the mind which is the seat of our emotional impulses. In hypnosis the therapist can communicate directly with your unconscious mind and can deal with any emotional blockages which are preventing you from being smoke free.