The Boilerplate Points
Patrick Reynolds, Foundation for a Smokefree America
your best to follow as many of these as you can. The points
which follow are advocated by most of today's credible quit-smoking
products and programs. They are widely considered to be a
required and essential part of quitting successfully. Just
using the patch or Zyban without following the points below
will seriously hinder your chances to quit for good this
- DEEP BREATHING PERHAPS
THE SINGLE MOST POWERFUL AND IMPORTANT TECHNIQUE Every
time you want a cigarette, do the following. Do it three
Inhale the deepest lung-full of air you can, and then, very slowly, exhale.
Purse your lips so that the air must come out slowly.
you exhale, close your eyes, and let your chin gradually
sink over onto your chest. Visualize all the tension leaving
your body, slowly draining out of your fingers and toes,
just flowing on out.
This is a variation of an ancient yoga technique from India, and is VERY
centering and relaxing. If you practice this, you'll be able to use it
for any future stressful situation you find yourself in. And it
will be your greatest weapon during the strong cravings sure to assault
you over the first few days.
This deep breathing technique will be a vital help to you. Reread this
point now, and as you do, try it for the first time. Inhale and exhale
three times. See for yourself!
first few days, drink LOTS of water and fluids to help flush
out the nicotine and other poisons from your body.
that the urge to smoke only lasts a few minutes, and will
then pass. The urges gradually become farther and
farther apart as the days go by.
your very best to stay away from alcohol, sugar and coffee
the first week or longer, as these tend to stimulate the desire
for a cigarette. Avoid fatty foods, as your metabolism will
slow down a bit without the nicotine, and you may gain weight
even if you eat the same amount as before quitting. So discipline
about diet is extra important now. No one ever said acquiring
new habits would be easy!
on low calorie foods like celery, apples and carrots. Chew
gum or suck on cinnamon sticks.
out your meals; eat slowly and wait a bit between bites.
dinner, instead of a cigarette, treat yourself to a cup of
mint tea or a peppermint candy.
one study, about 25% of quitters found that an oral substitute
was invaluable. Another 25% didn't like the idea at all --
they wanted a clean break with cigarettes. The rest weren't
certain. Personally, I found a cigarette substitute to be a
tremendous help. The nicotine inhaler (by prescription) is
one way to go: it's a shortened plastic cigarette, with a replaceable
nicotine capsule inside.
simpler way to go is bottled cinnamon sticks, available at
any supermarket. I used these every time I quit, and they really
helped me. I would chew on them, inhale air through them, and
handle them like cigarettes. After a while, they would get
pretty chewed up on one end -- but I'd laugh, reverse them
and chew on the other end. Others may prefer to start a fresh
stick. Once someone asked me, "Excuse me, but is that
an exploded firecracker in your mouth?" I replied that
I was quitting smoking and they smiled and became supportive.
Luckily, I never needed the cinnamon sticks after the first
three days of being a nonsmoker.
to a gym, sit in the steam, exercise. Change your normal routine take
time to walk or even jog around the block or in a local park.
in the yellow pages under Yoga, and take a class they're
GREAT! Get a one hour massage, take a long bath -- pamper yourself.
for support from coworkers, friends and family members. Ask
for their tolerance. Let them know you're quitting, and that
you might be edgy or grumpy for a few days. If you don't ask
for support, you certainly won't get any. If you do, you'll
be surprised how much it can help. Take a chance -- try it
friends and family members not to smoke in your presence. Don't
be afraid to ask. This is more important than you may realize.
your quit day, hide all ashtrays and destroy all your cigarettes,
preferably with water, so no part of them is smokeable.
talk to a live human being, call 1-800-QUITNOW for a free quit smoking counselor, or call the National Cancer
Institute's free Smoking
Quitline, 1-877-44U-Quit. Proactive
counseling services by trained personnel will be provided
in sessions both before and after quitting smoking.
out QuitNet.org and
go to their chat room, where those quitting are doing it together,
not alone. It can be a great source of support -- like a Nicotine
Anonymous meeting, but online. Quitnet was originally funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Tobacco
Control Program, which was funded by a State cigarette tax increase passed by the Massachusetts legislature in the early
- At Nicotine
Anonymous meetings, you'll find support and fellowship, which can
be more comforting than a computer screen. If this appeals
to you, find a meeting near you at the website of Nicotine
Anonymous -- they are all over the US. Meetings are based
around the classic 12-steps, borrowed from Alcoholics Anonymous' winning formula to overcome addiction. Attendance is 100%
free, and this org is run entirely by volunteers.
At the website you can also find out how to start your own meeting. Support groups like
Nicotine Anonymous might initially seem unnecessary -- but
they provide a GREAT outlet to vent verbally, and you men might be surprised at how good this feels! Best of all, it could
help spare your family and friends much grumpiness. It's
truly therapeutic to see how other quitters are doing in
their own struggles to stop, and to get support from others going through the same struggle you are.
down ten good things about being a nonsmoker -- and then write
out ten bad things about smoking. Do it. It really helps.
pretend smoking wasn't enjoyable it was. Quitting can be like
losing a dear old friend and it's okay to grieve that loss.
Let the feelings engulf you instead of avoiding your pain with sweets or some other distraction. Letting your feelings out is how you heal, and put the source of your pain behind you. It's a process: feel, and you will heal.
So stick with the difficult feelings. You can do it!
times a day, quietly repeat to yourself the affirmation, "I
am a nonsmoker." Many quitters see themselves as smokers
who are just not smoking for the moment. They have a self-image
as smokers who still want a cigarette. Silently repeating the
affirmation "I am a nonsmoker" will help you change
your view of yourself, and, even if it may seem silly to you,
this is actually useful. Use it!
is perhaps the most valuable information among these points.
In Phase 2, the period which begins a few weeks after quitting,
the urges to smoke will subside considerably. However, it's
vital to understand that from time to time, you will still
be suddenly overwhelmed with a desire for "just one cigarette." This
will happen unexpectedly, during moments of stress, whether
negative stress or positive (at a party, or on vacation). If
you are unprepared to resist, succumbing to that "one
cigarette" will lead you directly back to smoking. Remember
the following secret: in these surprise attacks during Phase
2 -- and they will definitely come -- do your deep breathing,
and hold on for five minutes, and the urge will pass.
conclusion, get the info and support you need to make the stopping
process a little easier. DO NOT try to go it alone. Get help,
and plenty of it.
One of the most effective and best researched programs we've found is www.BecomeAnEx.org, a free resource for tobacco users who want to quit. This extraordinary, brilliant program was developed using the latest research by the American Legacy foundation, the foundation created with $2 billion of the $240 billion settlement of the lawsuits by the States against Big Tobacco. Add the Become An Ex program to your arsenal in your battle against tobacco.