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Stub It Out

We all know its bad for us, we know its killing us drag by drag, and it's not only affecting our body but also the bodies of those around us.

The lungs are coated with soot and smoke, breath smells foul, skin's leathery, one's always exhausted and then one day you awaken and decide STOP no more and stub out the last cigarette you have in your hand.

You do not smoke for an hour, 6 hours, 12 hours , a day a week a month, and feel proud of yourself as to what you have achieved, you can resist the constant allure of cigarette smoke wherever you are, be it in a movie theater coffee shop, DVD parlor, a restaurant, at a meeting in a disco etc.

You are amazed at the control you have on your mind and body.

But then one day everything seems wrong, you cannot concentrate, you are weak, you crave for the golden light just once, the craving is so strong that you cannot think, no matter what you do you are not able to divert your mind and think of anything else, the body desires it so much .. Nicotine patches, gum, coffee nothing works, and you convince yourself okay just one single cigarette and you fall, suddenly you are back in the loop, you are a smoker once again...Almost every person who has tried to quit smoking can associate with this story.

Various studies that have been carried out have shown that 2/3rds of smokers who quit quickly revert back in less than a year for nicotine is equally addictive as heroin and cocaine.

Quitting smoking is tough for it's a vice that forms an integral part of one's day to day activities. Smokers crave for a puff to get started in the morning, they need it when they are down or when they are happy, when having drinks, before and after work with meals when they have time to kill when they are tensed hell they even need it in the toilet that's how important a part cigarette plays in a smokers life.

They see a cigarette not differently but rather as an extension of themselves. To succeed smokers need to break this link smoking has with their lifestyle else more often than not they are bound to fail.

Smoking is not an addiction of the body but rather an addiction of both body and mind, so any attempt to help someone kick the butt should work on both physiological and more so on the psychological factors, many times people fail because they just try and control the physiological part but nothing can be farther from reality smoking has a deeper psychological imprint on individuals than a physiological one, for around 2-3 days is the limit normally for the body to adapt within 72 hours of quitting the body carbon monoxide levels start reaching towards normal, but psychologically there is no time frame and it is very difficult to get over.

Many smokers quit when they are spooked from the slowly excruciating painful death because of smoking of someone they knew.

But due to peer pressure or stress they again breakdown and have a puff. Almost all the smokers will admit to the fact that the need is more psychological than physical.

Quitting smoking for good is not easy, but one can stop if he/she decides, the cessation has to be abrupt.

One can never quit slowly by reducing the number of packs smoked daily, because a smoker is a smoker be it 1 cigarette or 2 or a pack of 10, there's nothing as a reduced smoker, either you are or you are not.

In many clinics where they help quit smoking, people undergo a detailed evaluation assessment and counseling to prepare them to quit smoking, sittings can range anywhere from 7-8 to 15, the team includes a clinical evaluator and most importantly a psychologist, these programs work by teaching how to quit and more importantly how to remain clean forever.

Each individual is unique and so is the tobacco cessation therapy rendered to them, and can or cannot include nicotine replacement aids and therapy.

One of the main things in such tobacco cessation clinics that help an individual quit, is that they help to identify triggers, as to why and what makes you to crave for a puff. It can be anything from a meal, a movie, an ashtray, a box of cigarettes, a person smoking his way to work, a cup of tea or anything else under the sun..

After one has identified what triggers you to smoke, one's at an advantageous position on how to deal with it, when the desire for a puff strikes one needs to divert the impulse to give in and have a light. Engage yourself in an activity like listen to a song, do some exercise, call a friend, have a coffee break, read a magazine, go walk the dog, have a citrus fruit, be it anything whatever works for you to divert your mind, eat something that ought to quench the desire for a smoke.Always remember it just takes a moment's lapse of self control and you are back in the loop back a smoker, a relapse is never planned or expected, one says to himself "what harm will a single drag do" but the again that's nothing more than fooling oneself for like I said earlier there's nothing as a partial smoker either you are one or you are not.

Another novel way to help Quit smoking is via hypnotherapy this technique works on the principle of working on the subconscious mind to help it dissociate the positive feelings one has associated with smoking and replace and reprogram them. Every smoker remembers the first time they took a drag be it to impress a gal or to look cool, to defy the rules and be a rebel, all such memories act as a positive reinforcement, under hypnotherapy the therapist dwells deep in the subconscious mind and looks into the past and modifies the positive into neutral to help one quit easily.

It's like mark twain said "to quit smoking is easy I have done it a thousand times" but to stay clean is tough that's what I have to say but with a little determination nothing is impossible.


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