It is said that the more attempts that a person makes to quit smoking, the more successful they will be at quitting and staying smoke free. I think
this is related to the psychological side of the addiction - if you truly want to quit, it is much easier to quit than if you are trying to quit for a
sack of "reasons." It's the difference between saying to yourself, "I don't want to smoke cigarettes anymore, so I'm going to quit" and "I am
quitting smoking cigarettes because of health concerns." One of the statements is more powerful than the other.
The American Cancer Society has a large online volume of quitting information, full of good advice.
For most people, the best way to quit will be some combination of medicine, a method to change personal habits, and emotional support.
While a large number of smokers are able to quit smoking without nicotine replacement, most of those who attempt quitting are not successful on the
first try. In fact, smokers usually need several attempts before they are able to quit for good.
It's important to have your family and friends onboard. I read somewhere that a major reason for quitters to fail is due to friends and family
saying things like "I liked you better when you smoked" or "Man, someone get this guy a cigarette so he can shut up" or whatever. It may sound
silly, but that type of thing is inadvertantly taken seriously by the quitter. There are some websites and pamphlets that are specifically intended
to be read by family and friends of smokers as instructional for their support.
The reason that I am quite against the "reduction" technique is because it just plain does not work. It is bad advice. If a person is trying to
reduce their intake from two packs to one pack a day, that's fine - reduction does work in that case, for that purpose. It does NOT work to quit.
When (and if) a person gets down to the level of 5 or so cigarettes a day, they will begin experiencing severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms throughout
the day. As (and if) the number is cigarettes continues to be reduced (which is unlikely and against all odds), a couple things are happening:
- He is not actually reducing his body's need for nicotine: he is merely reducing his nicotine intake. With nicotine replacement therapies, such as
nicotine gum, the same thing is happening, except that the actual habit of smoking cigarettes is no longer a factor in the nicotine intake. As such,
a smoker combats his smoking habit and nicotine addictions separately.
- He is extending the agony period of withdrawal symptoms by several weeks, during which period smokers are MOST likely to begin smoking (more)
It's okay to be afraid of quitting smoking - the process is actually not very scary, and in many ways enjoyable, but the fear is still there, and
that's perfectly okay, except for when ya formulate your quitting strategy
. Don't base your quitting strategy on "avoiding fears." Base
it on quitting smoking cigarettes
The "reduction" method is used / touted out of fear, not out of a high probability of success. It's a way for someone to say to themselves, "hey,
I'm doing a lot better! I'm almost there!" but it's comparable to climbing Mount Everest: first you take a plane trip there. That's the
reduction method. At the end, you still have to begin actually climbing the mountain, and at higher altitudes, climbing a mountain while smoking a
cigarette is impossible.
Whoa. That was the best analogy I've ever invented in my life.
Now, I'm not saying "don't reduce your intake." In fact, I strongly encourage you to do so. It is severely helpful. Just don't count on it as
an actual method of quitting (meaning that one day you'll be down to 1 cigarette a day and then zero. That will not happen.)
During the two weeks before the day I quit, I switched from Marlboro Lights to Pall Mall Lights 100s. For some reason, I feel that this was a huge
factor in my personal success, but I can't figure out any real specific reason why.
Hope this helps.
Here are three good free sites to help you quit.