Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cold turkey quit smoking method

Many people have heard of the cold turkey quit smoking method but where does the phrase 'cold turkey' actually come from? Well, it is thought to be a description of the withdrawal effects that heroine addicts must endure when they stop using. One of these withdrawal symptoms is a cold sweat leading to goose pimples on a clammy skin. It's about the same a cold turkey before it goes in the oven at thanksgiving (without the butter of course!).

The origins of the phrase cold turkey also underline the extreme physical pain associated with heroine withdrawal. It is such a powerful drug (hence all the social problems it causes) that it leaves addicts with severe physical side effects when not taken. This extreme is erroneously transferred into the smokers' mind when using the cold turkey quit smoking method. Quitting smoking is nowhere near as painful!

Personally, I define the cold turkey quit smoking method as any method that does not employ the use of drugs or physical aids or 'crutches' to support the smoker. By this I mean the likes of nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum, lozenges, spray etc.), chantix, zyban or any herbal treatment, fake cigarettes or aversion therapies.

I do consider things like cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy to fall into the cold turkey quit smoking method because they do not condone the use of drugs to try and assist the smoker. They condone the power of the mind to overcome the problem of nicotine addiction.

In the case of acupuncture and laser therapy, there is little evidence that these methods work and they both require physical interference. Anecdotally of course, there are many ex-smokers that used these methods but studies have shown no improvement in quit rates when compared to cold 'turkeyers'.

Hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy are both cold turkey quit smoking methods that are known to be effective. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a means of changing your thinking (cognition) and behaviour to a specific event, habit or aspect of life.

Unlike the classic cold turkey "lock-yourself-in-a-room-and-suffer" method of quitting smoking, hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy work by dealing with smokers' mental perceptions of smoking.

In the case of hypnotherapy as a cold turkey quit smoking method, the smoker may be 'taught' to respond to cravings for cigarettes by thinking about a pleasant time in their life to get over the craving. The smoker may also be 'taught' to dislike smoking. Many people successfully quit smoking using hypnosis but many fail too.

In the case of cognitive behavioural therapy, smokers are presented with a whole new view on smoking. It is a system by which the hugely complicated psychological trap of smoking, is broken down into bite-size pieces. Each piece of the trap is then dismantled, leaving smokers with little choice but to quit of their own free will.

Unlike the classic cold turkey quit smoking method, smokers who quit using cognitive behavioural therapy often report knowing that they have quit and that they will never smoke again. It is not the same with hypnotherapy or acupuncture or laser therapy.

I am of course a proponent of cognitive behavioural therapy. When I stopped smoking using this method, it was an epiphany. It was like my eyes had been opened after years in the darkness. The moment I stopped I knew I would never have another cigarette and it was a hugely liberating experience. However, it is not the same for everyone and there is no 'one-size-fits-all' method for quitting smoking.

Generally, my advice to all smokers is to try any and every method to find the one that works for them. There are many ways to get off cigarettes and the cold turkey quit smoking method is just one of them.

Spending money on money-back guaranteed systems first is the best approach because if that system doesn't work, you can get your cash back and move onto the next. If it does work, it will be money well spent. But my final and most important piece of advice to any would be quitter is to never give up trying to quit, no matter how soul destroying the process seems.

Pete Howells has written the EasyQuit System that will help any smoker quit tobacco. Visit to find out more about his incredible process for quitting smoking that boasts 96% customer satisfaction.