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Smoking cessation...


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The smoker first has to want to quit. Really want to quit. Not "cut back". Not "see if". Not "can I?". The smoker has to quit today and never have another cigarette.


List all the things that stink about smoking. Make sure you have plenty of reasons to quit, to help reinforce your behavior.


Then you just have to tell yourself you're done with it. No more, not ever. I like to picture it as a door you used to open often, whenever you wanted a smoke. So now you don't just close and lock the door, you rip it out and brick up the hole. That door doesn't exist anymore. It isn't hiding something you aren't supposed to have, it just isn't there. Smoking is simply no longer an option. This is your mantra.


You need to avoid the idea of "I've quit now for x days!" It doesn't matter how long it's been, it's not an option, so why count days? Don't substitute gum, or anything else to eat or suck on or otherwise orally fixate. If you need a substitute, think about all the stinky stuff, and how that's not part of you anymore.


If you need some kind of chemical release, try smiling every time you think about smoking. Or do the V for victory dual arm salute, that will send a bunch of good stuff through your system.


So this is basically cold turkey with the right perspective and attitude.

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According to some studies you are 4 times more likely to stop if you seek professional (medical) help. Also group sessions seem slightly more helpful than individual counseling.


Stead LF, Lancaster T. Group behaviour therapy programmes for smoking cessation. (Review). The Cochrane Collaboration, 2009.


Lancaster T, Stead L, Silagy C, Sowden A. Effectiveness of interventions to help people stop smoking: findings from the Cochrane Library. British Medical Journal, 2000; 321 (7257): 355-358.


Brose LS, West R, McDermott MS et al. What makes for an effective stop-smoking service? Thorax, Published Online 27 Jun. 2011.

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Thanks Spyman. Missed checking for already posted subjects. Those personal experiences are the ones I sought.


Am a light smoker, and did quit a couple of times for periods of a year before. Stupid to have returned.


I feel am a compulsive smoker, as it gives me nothing. No 'high', no pleasure, no nothing. Perfectly defined as pure habit. Buying a brand that I dislike works. Smoking only a few puffs and extinguishing it works. Lighting up and only smelling instead of inhaling works. "Works" means diminishing smoking here. Other 'tricks' on that line of techniques is what I am after.


Prescription medical nicotine inhalers did not work. Except for the vendor pockets.


Hooked to the habit more than to the nicotine. Unsure if others feel alike.

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Many folks smoke only at certain times; when out drinking at a bar, or first thing in the morning, or right after meals. That's usually accompanied by some pleasure-based judgement that those are the "best" smokes of the day.


You're already starting to compile a list of why you should give them up, but now it sounds like you'd rather cut back. Frankly, the stuff you're doing to diminish your smoking, though admirable in it's effectiveness, only solves the one problem of cutting down. If that's the goal, rather than cessation, there's a ton of stuff you can do but I can't think of any that aren't purposely wasteful.


Perhaps, if this is (as you suggest) a compulsion rather than an addiction, you might be able to find a healthier substitute to replace it. Juggle (or practice how to), or play a quick smart phone game, or teach yourself a different way to shuffle a deck of cards (protip bonus - the phone and the cards are about the same size as a pack of smokes! It will feel natural reaching for them).

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