Why you should not stop smoking for Stoptober!
PUBLISHED: 16:47 06 October 2014 | UPDATED: 16:08 27 May 2015
Quitting smoking is hard, or at least that’s what they want you to believe. By they, I mean the NHS and other official agencies who keep banging on about how you need to give up smoking.
With this in mind the Government has launched various initiatives to try to encourage you to stop smoking, including quit packs and some fairly grisly advertisements and pictures on cigarette packets, Now we have Stoptober, by the end of which you will probably be thoroughly fed up with being lectured at as to why you should quit the fags.
The truth is that very few people will successfully quit smoking because some self righteous government body is telling them to. Let’s face it there isn’t a smoker out there who doesn’t know that by smoking they are risking lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema and a host of other nasty smoking related diseases, not to mention premature ageing. You know that smoking is an absolute money pit, you know the smell of smoke gets in your clothes, you know you face being ostracised in social gatherings and public spaces and you have to go outside the pub for a smoke…… you know ALL this stuff. Yet you still smoke.
Why you still smoke
There are two reasons why you smoke and continue to smoke despite all the advice and all the help available.. Neither of these reasons has anything to do with addiction by the way, nor are they because you are stupid not to head the advice given.
Firstly, you have not successfully quit because you probably don’t have a tangible reason or desire to. If you did then you would have quit without any problem. Let me explain. A tangible reason is a real concrete material reason to quit. So for example all the information and even scaremongering out there about smoking related diseases is not tangible. We are very capable of deceiving ourselves that it won’t happen to us, we won’t get cancer or some other smoking related disease. Often we will know of stories of someone who lived to a ripe old age despite smoking sixty Woodbine Full Strength a day, so we can effectively deceive ourselves that an early unpleasant death probably won’t happen to us. We are told that each cigarette takes five minutes off our life. How is that any kind of incentive to quit when we don’t know how long we would live anyway? None of this scaremongering will give you a tangible reason or help motivate you to quit.
On the other hand, imagine you went to your doctor and he told you that unless you quit smoking you would be dead in three months; that is a very tangible reason to quit and I imagine that you would quit under those circumstances. Now imagine that someone was going to give you a million pounds not to ever smoke again, would you quit for a million pounds? If not, what price or what thing would you quit for? If the incentive to quit is tangible and big enough, anyone can quit.
The second reason you haven’t successfully quit is that you think it will be hard. This is based on two things. Firstly the fact you enjoy a ciggy and therefore the sense of loss you feel when you try and give up. Secondly the idea it is hard to quit is drummed into you. Let’s look at these two things in more detail.
The sense of loss
When something is taken away from you, you feel a sense of loss. Those five minute ciggy breaks, the opportunity to punctuate your work day with little breaks, a cigarette after a meal, the first cigarette of the day, you miss them when you are no longer smoking because you enjoyed having a smoke.
Sadly, the feeling of enjoying a cigarette, of the cigarette relaxing you or helping you concentrate is pure deceit. What actually happens is that prior to smoking you slowly become more and more agitated as the effect of the previous cigarette wears off. You then feel a sense of relief when you have a smoke and you feel more relaxed or able to concentrate again. When sufficiently distracted you can often go several hours without smoking, when there is little to occupy your mind then you may find yourself thinking about smoking and feeling agitated until you can finally have a smoke. What this means is that the average smoker is more stressed than the non smoker apart from during those little five minute ciggie breaks. That’s a pretty raw deal when you consider that you are paying around seven pounds a packet of twenty for the privilege.
Sadly it is this illusion of relaxation that often lures those who have quit back to smoking. They may have been successfully stopped for a month, six months or even over a year when they find themselves in a stressful life event and they think having a cigarette will make it feel a bit more bearable….. and it does, for five minutes or so, but then you are trapped again as a smoker because it never stops at that one cigarette!
Why we think it is hard to quit smoking
If you listen to the standard NHS dogma on quitting then you will probably believe that you are battling an addiction or that quitting smoking is harder than giving up heroin. So who benefits from you believing it is hard to quit? The drug companies that market remedies such as nicotine replacement gums and patches, Champix and other stop smoking drugs all benefit from you believing it is hard to quit smoking. They want you to believe it is hard because they can profit from your struggles. Of course the tobacco companies benefit too when you fail and go back to smoking. By the way, did you know that many of the nicotine replacement companies have financial ties to tobacco companies? So that gum you are chewing to help you quit could actually be keeping you hooked and that is beneficial for those profiting from your unwanted habit.
Many people will attempt to quit smoking this Stoptober. Will you be one of them? Should you be one of them? In order to successfully stop smoking you need to want to stop and be ready to stop. Stopping because it is Stoptober or National Stop Smoking Day or because your family are nagging you to stop is likely to result in failure.
How to stop smoking when you are ready
The truth is that it isn’t difficult to quit smoking if you go about it the right way when you are truly ready to stop. Hypnosis makes stopping smoking easier than you ever thought possible. Hypnosis is a therapy that helps address the sense of loss you feel when you decide to quit. In a study conducted by the American Psychological Association and published by New Scientist magazine a few years ago, hypnosis was shown to be more effective than nicotine replacement and advice from your doctor in helping people quit smoking.
If you want to quit smoking without drugs or nicotine replacement then call Evolutions Clinic in Winchester on 01962 809937. We are stop smoking specialists. We can help you quit when you are ready to quit using hypnosis. All it takes is one session to become a non smoker.