Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Methods to stop smoking

There are many, many methods to stop smoking available through many means including, books, videos, CDs, workshops, consultants and to download over the internet. Of the many methods to stop smoking out there, there are often very many very zany approaches amongst the more sensible ones.

My own take on quitting smoking came about after many months researching as many methods to stop smoking as I could. I came to realise over time that the most important method to stop smoking came solely from myself. The answer did not lie in a pill or a potion or some laser. The answer as to how to stops smoking comes from within. It is about having the right mindset.

Lets look at the common methods to stop smoking that most smokers will fight with several times before succeeding and becoming smoke free forever.

Cold Turkey or Willpower. This is the most obvious method to stop smoking. Get up one day and say 'no' to cigarettes. Sometimes, people take a little more time over this method and fill out diaries to identify triggers and detail when and how much they smoke. Only 1 in 20 people who try to quit using this method will success. Or to put it another way, if you try 20 times you might actually do it!

Nicotine Replacement Therapy or NRT. This is the patch, gum, microtab, lozenge, inhalator or nasal spray aid method to stop smoking. It is much vaunted by the pharmaceutical industry as a means to help smokers quit. It boasts a 10% success rate – 1 in 10 people stop smoking. However, it is often overlooked that whilst 1 in 10 stop smoking, they do not overcome their addiction to nicotine – which is why smokers smoked in the first place.

If you remain addicted to nicotine, then you are always at risk of falling back into the spiral of despair that is smoking cigarettes and consigning yourself to an early grave.

I am 100% against quitting smoking using NRT. It is not a sensible way to address the addiction to nicotine. If you want to read more of my opinion on this matter, visit my blog at: http://quit-smoking-motivator.blogspot.com/2007/03/nicotine-replacement-therapy-scam.html

Zyban is another of the many methods to stop smoking. The drug is also known as wellbutrin or bupropion, and although unknown exactly how, it seems to interfere with a smoker's brain chemistry and put them off smoking. Legend has it that the smoking cessation factor of Zyban was only seen whilst studying the side effects of wellbutrin, the anti-depression version of the drug.

Zyban boast about the same effectiveness as a method to stop smoking as NRT but this can be improved 50% or so when Zyban and NRT are used together. However, the use of these drugs also goes hand in hand with some form of counselling to motivate smokers to stop.

The new 'wonder drug' taking the market is varenicline or Chantix (Champix in the UK). It is reported to be able to wean up to 44% of smokers off cigarettes. Again, like Zyban, it is not know exactly how it works but is is thought to interfere with the brain chemistry of the smoker.

Both Zyban and Chantix as methods of stopping smoking come with dangers. Zyban is known to cause seizures in some patients and varenicline causes extreme nausea in up to 30% of patients. Both drugs need a course of counselling alongside the drug in order to be effective.

Hypnosis is another well known method for quitting smoking. I understand (although I am not a big fan of hypnosis) that it can achieve much better success rates than any of the previously mentioned methods. Of the methods to stop smoking that are available, hypnosis is very relaxing and involves no drugs which cannot be a bad thing.

Another method to stop smoking is the use of cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT. It can literally be translated as 'think' and 'behave' therapy. The way you think and the way you behave are examined in order to change the way you think and thus the way you react to your thoughts, feelings and environment. CBT uses neither drugs nor your sub-conscious mind.

The fact of the matter is that most people do not 'control' their lives; they just react to their emotions and feelings. If you feel down, you might comfort eat for example. That is not eating because you are hungry, it is eating to take your mind off something else.

Using CBT can be an extremely successful treatment to help people stop smoking permanently. Of the people I follow-up who have used my own CBT course, the people who succeed (and that is an overwhelming majority) not only stop smoking but actually know they will never smoke again and that is because they have a different attitude toward smoking, having used CBT.

Stopping smoking is an amazing achievement for any smoker and one that should be celebrated whichever method to stop smoking is used. Stopping smoking and knowing you will never smoke ever again can only be achieved through changing your mental attitude towards smoking, whether that be through counselling, hypnosis or CBT.

As ever, the most important method to stop smoking is to never stop trying to stop.

Pete Howells has written the EasyQuit System that will help any smoker quit tobacco. He also blogs quit smoking advice at http://quit-smoking-motivator.blogspot.com Visit http://easyquitsystem.com/ to find out more about his incredible process for quitting smoking that boasts 96% customer satisfaction.