Quit Smoking- Act From now

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But about ten years ago, that is what I was trapped?into doing. My closest friend, a CNS working in a retired living center?described to me how as a smoker I was at risk for cancers, emphysema,?and strokes. She taunted that if I didn?t start looking into stop?smoking programs and stop, eventually, killing myself, I would, before I?died for real end up like the people she cared for in the retirement?living centers--gasping for breath, toting around oxygen tanks, needing?help doing the simplest of tasks because I would be ?all stroked out.??So I tried.

They (whoever they are) say that?s?the key to eventually being able to call yourself a non-smoker: you?quit, you try again, you quit again, until you are a successful quitter.?Of course, just tryin once as I did doesn?t really count (until I try?again and again, sometime), but the truly desirous can make the effort?by trying out stop smoking programs, one at a time, until he or she?finds one or a combination of stop smoking programs that work for him or her.

I had?back in the 90?s, made it as a non-smoker for one year?and one month. These are some of the stop smoking programs and tools I?worked with:

Since The American Cancer Society offers free, thoughtful info on giving up?the habit, I started there. The pamphlets are written in serious terms and?at the same time use gentle language. That offers the soft approach, so I wouldn?t feel like a freak, or a ?bad? person?.

Next, I read one of the many fine books on quitting?one which was?informative, supportive, coaxing, humorous, brilliantly researched, and helpful. My absolute favorite is still No-Nag, No-Guilt, Do-It-Your-Own-Way Guide to Quitting Smoking, by Tom Ferguson.

It?s written by an MD offering info on how smokes?are a dual drug?unlike any other: they are, he says, upper/downers. When?you?re nervous or agitated, you take long?slow?drags and are?tranquilized; when you?re logy, sluggish, tired, you take?short.quick.puffpuffpuffs, and are instantly energized, hyped up.

Doc X exclaims, ?No wonder it?s so hard to quit smoking!??He also defines another characteristic that helps us appreciate why we?re so hooked. He gives the times for onset, noting how there?s only one other drug, of?all drugs (OTC, street, prescribed that hits the brain faster, and?that?s crack cocaine. If I recall correctly, crack hits you in 3?seconds, heroin in 10, 7.

Cigarettes are harder to quit than heroin! That right there helped me realize?I also needed to be extra kind to myself.

I also interviewed successful quitters, some of?whom had become so by trying stop smoking programs like those involving?hypnosis, subliminal tapes, and nicotine gum. And because they offered?advice and tricks, I tried those tricks as well:

I drank water...a lot of water?as our bodies take at least 8 ten-ounce glasses?of water a day anyway, so whenever I felt the urge to puff, I would do?water instead.

The oral act is a big part of smoking for me and?likely for most everyone else who loves/needs to smoke. I would use a?pencil, an imaginary butt, or even?when I was especially brave?a real?unlit cig, and each time I had the crave to drag would inhale really?deeply and satisfyingly, instead.

I would also use the 12-step approaches to giving up my addiction, though I never had the smarts to try the Quitters or Smokers? Anonymous, and would do as it was suggested by a friend. I would say, ?If I still want a cigarette in 20 minutes, I?ll have one.? I would not give in and do so after twenty minutes, of course; instead, I would give myself permission to smoke, wait the whole 20 minutes (for most cravings cycle through and pass away?in 20 minutes), then repeat the permit, so that if I again still wanted a?cigarette I could have one?after twenty minutes.

This my own version of a sort of combination of stop smoking programs and?techniques. And I have to admit, it was mush better for my skin, my?hair, and of course my lungs. In other words, it worked if I worked it.