A guide to quit smoking
I know it's uncommon for me to talk about my personal life. Most bloggers do it, but to me it seems rather stupid. Why would anyone, other than my friends and family, like to know what I ate today? If there's one reason why I would write about myself, it's because I'd like to read what I wrote after years. This is one of those moments; I just need to write this down.
I had a terrible week. I tried to give up smoking. It started because I met a friend who had a “bioresonance therapy to quit smoking” and he said it was successful. He'd been off cigarettes for 6 months. I thought I'd try that too, so one day after, I made my appointment and last Friday at 2pm I was smoking my “last” cigarette. This was required by the therapy—so the machine can measure the level of nicotine in my body and produce a chip personalized for my body, that I'd have to wear for one month; during this month I would only need to drink a glass of water every hour, and presto—no withdrawal symptoms. At least, that's what they said.
For some reason this therapy didn't work for me. I had all those horrible withdrawal symptoms like lack of concentration, insomnia, constipation and what not—and yesterday I went back to smoking. In fact, I'm having a cigarette as I'm writing this.
I wouldn't blame the therapy, because I didn't strictly follow the orders. Besides for drinking that water—which I did, albeit not rigorously every hour—I was also supposed to avoid other smokers (which is pretty difficult in Romania and particularly with my group of friends); I was also supposed to avoid stressful situations, drink less coffee, and a plethora of other things that everyone who tries to quit smoking is supposed to do anyway.
Oh well. Even though it didn't work for me, I did manage to stay off cigarettes for 6 straight days, which for me is a track record.
I basically wasn't able to do anything this week, except reading about quitting smoking. I think those readings, rather than the therapy, helped me stay off for 6 days, and that's what I wanted to mention here.
In essence, nicotine is a trap. You think you smoke to feel well, but in fact you smoke to alleviate the effects of the previous cigarette. When the nicotine is totally flushed from your body—which is supposed to happen in only a few days—you start feeling better and realize that you don't actually need to smoke. This actually happens! I felt it. I felt I was healthier, I felt better and definitely I didn't feel a physical urge to smoke. Why I ended up doing it is a mystery (but it's becoming revealed by one of these books).
The key to quit smoking is understanding the process: why you smoke, how you got into it, what does it do to your body and what happens when you stop. I encountered a few books and articles that shed a bright light and I do think reading them could help anyone quitting.
The first one I'd recommend is Allen Carr's “Scandal”—talks about nicotine, the greatest scandal never exposed. (this book is freely available here so that's why I thought I'd put a copy on my site). This book itself is enough to understand a lot of things about smoking, about why governments aren't interested in stopping this disease, about how pharmaceutical companies are making a lot of cash—actually competing with the tobacco industry—by selling the drug to “help” the poor addicts quit. They treat nicotine addiction with nicotine. That's as stupid as treating an alcoholic with alcohol. It works—the alcoholic feels fine—but it doesn't treat the disease; it just deals with the effects and it maintains the addiction.
I instantly understood that a “nicotine replacement therapy” (NRT) has absolutely no chance to succeed—the only thing it does is increasing the already huge pockets of the big players.
Next book is Allen Carr's “Easy way to stop smoking”. This one isn't available for free, but I found it in PDF with a Google search. (Yes, I would love to pay for it, but unfortunately I live in a country where it's almost impossible to have something delivered from, say, Amazon). A consistent part of this book is actually reproduced in “Scandal”, but this one goes further to practically explain how to quit smoking. You read it, and you quit. That's it. To my defense, I haven't read it all yet. ;-)
[ I just found it in Romanian and ordered it, though I doubt the translation can capture all the essence ]
Also an excellent source of information is Joel Spitzer's reinforcement library, which, in essence, convinces you that the only way to successfully quit smoking is to never take another puff. It's that easy.
Thank you guys
Even though I didn't yet quit, I'm sure that this will happen. I'm convinced that it's impossible otherwise than by having all this knowledge. Allen Carr has passed away from lung cancer. He smoked 4-5 packs a day for 30 years, but he lived another 20 years after he quit. His “EASYWAY” clinics are recognized as being the most successful way to quit smoking, with a success rate of over 50%. That's indeed huge. By comparison, NRT-s have something like 5% (and even this, is a fake figure). I wish I could attend one of the EASYWAY clinics, but guess what—there's none in Romania.
After he quit, Allen dedicated his life to help smokers do it and he saved a lot of them. May he rest in peace.
So I'll quit again one of these days—I just need to find a proper timing. I know that's a lame excuse, but sometimes timing is important. I'll update this when I've been successfully off for 6 months.