Regardless of whether you already made the decision or are just assessing your options and vaguely wondering if you’re ready for the divorce from your loyal companion, here’s some information to help you either with the deed, or the decision.
Although smoking is a very strong addiction, if you find a method that’s right for you and you are really decided to quit, it’s actually easier than you think. There are many opinions which class the addictiveness of nicotine on the same level with heroin or cocaine. And it’s really hard to stop cold turkey. But good news is, there are truly effective, no-chemicals-involved methods that will enable you to make it.
Quitting is a big step and it is very good to know exactly why you want to quit. Chances are, you’ll have a seriously hard time quitting unless you know you really want to, and unless you know why. Most often stressed are the health reasons. And they are very compelling, as you will see below. But we all have our own, individual reasons, and to discover the right reason that makes you overcome that urge is vital. It may be the cost that will swing you over to the non-smoking camp. For some, it may be that cute guy/girl that they fancy – and who doesn’t smoke. For me, it was the smell that lingered on everything and everyone. And it can definitely be the want of freedom – the freedom from the constant thoughts about when, where and how (and how soon) to get the next cigarette. Let’s look at them in detail:
Did you know that already after 48 hours, your nerve endings damaged by the smoking will start to regrow, slowly returning your sense of smell and taste back to normal? Within 10-14 days, the circulation in your gums and teeth is back to normal. After 2 weeks to 3 months, your lungs are starting to improve and from this moment on, your risk of a heart attack starts to decrease. Within 8 weeks, your insulin resistance becomes normal. Within 1-9 months, your lungs will regain their self-cleansing ability, thereby reducing the risk of infections. In 1 year, the risk of you having a heart attack, a stroke or a coronary heart disease is roughly a half of that of a smoker. Within 10 years, your chances of developing lung cancer are about 30% to 50% of those of a smoker (1 pack a day smoker), and your chances of surviving it also improve by almost a half. In that period of time, you’ve also reduced the risk of getting cancer of throat, esophagus and throat. In 15 years you are as likely (or hopefully unlikely) to get lung cancer as somebody who never smoked. And after 15-20 years of not smoking, your chances of developing pancreatic cancer are the same as those of a person who never smoked. This timeline is of course very average and individual results may vary, but it’s a good indicator of why it’s a good idea to stop right now.
The body will have a lot to recover from. A cigarette contains around 4000 different chemicals, 43 of which are known carcinogens plus a bracing 400 toxins, you’ll perhaps be surprised to know that you’re inhaling, among other substances, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, DDT, ammonia or arsenic. They make you sick more often and progressively deteriorate your general health.
The amount of money you save can be surprising – and very easy to calculate. You can use this calculator during the first weeks of non-smoking to remind yourself how much you’ve already saved! You can make a quick calculation by taking the cost of a packet of your favorite cigarettes, multiplying it by number of packets a day and multiply that by 7 – to get your weekly savings, by 30 – to get your monthly savings, or by 365 – to get your yearly savings. Really try this – the numbers are very motivating.
Make this little fantasy exercise. What could you buy every week for the money you calculated? Every month? Or every year?
Even if you don’t actually manage to put aside the money every week as you plan (and you wouldn’t be the first one to do that) and you don’t end up treating yourself to that lovely vacation at the end of the first year (but maybe you will!), it is still very good not to have to fret towards the end of the month where to get the money for the next packet.
Need I elaborate? Waking up in the morning to a bedroom in which you couldn’t resist having a good night smoke… or even if you are civilized and you don’t smoke in your home, you’ll still get the horrible, stale smell in your hair, your clothes, on your fingers, on your breath… A subheading of this category could be teeth – unless you’re using some sophisticated methods, you will have stains. All these enticing additions to your personal charms present quite a good reason to quit, especially if you have your eye on that cute non-smoker. They will notice, and more so than you do. They may be OK with it, because you’re such a great guy/gal, but your happy co-existence will be much smoother without the cigs. As will, naturally, the kissing (insert another little fantasy exercise).
That, that one point, is great. It’s awesome! The first time you’ll notice a day had gone by without you thinking about when you could sneak out for a smoke, where is it possible to smoke, do you still have enough cigarettes, can you have a cigarette now… the first day without this will be simply fantastic. You are stuck in a loooong meeting that spans several hours and there’s no possibility to get out? Yes, it still sucks, but at least you can concentrate on the task at hand and you don’t have to obsess about WHEN CAN I FINALLY INHALE!
Imagine the horror of landing after a 3 hour flight on a strictly no-smoking-anywhere airport – with not enough time on your overlay to sneak outside and still make your way back through the crowded local TSA equivalent – and then having to board another flight, this one 10 hours long…
The long lessons at school become so much longer when you’re gasping for a smoke…
Let’s admit it, you’ve voluntarily made yourself into a slave and it’s time to be free.
The methods most of us are probably very well aware of are various forms of nicotine replacement. These include various patches, nicotine chewing gums etc. These methods are so well publicized and marketed that there’s really no point going into them, save perhaps saying that for many smokers, these were their false starts. Based on multiple personal experiences, we prefer to not dwell on these methods and leave their description and marketing to their producers. There is an added danger that seeking this method and going through your doctor, you may unwittingly end up with psychiatric drugs in disguise – e.g. Bupropion (marketed as Wellbutrin or Zyban) which is actually an antidepressant, or Topamax – a seizure prevention medication with a list of warnings that would reach from Anchorage to Seattle. Our assumption is that since you’re here and not on a Nicorette official page, you’re also interested in the more alternative therapies. That was what eventually worked for us, so we’re more than happy to recommend:
This method was developed in the 1920s, but its principles are supported by some of the new findings of quantum physics.
The principle seems simple enough. All substances have a very unique specific wavelength or frequency. Bioresonance reads the frequency pattern of nicotine – specifically adapted to you, just before start of therapy, you will smoke your last cigarette and bring the cigarette butt with you so the machine could read the specific pattern as it relates to you. Then it takes and inverts that pattern mirror-wise and sends the signal back to the body. And what happens when you have two exactly opposing waves of exactly the same but opposing force and pattern? They cancel each other out. Flatline for cigarettes. For you that means that your body suddenly “forgets” that it’s used to nicotine. This will drastically reduce the nasty side effects of quitting the smoke – you can look forward to greatly reduced nervousness, angry snapping, restlessness and other joys commonly accompanying nicotine withdrawal. By making your body forget it ever knew nicotine, it also stimulates it to detox right away. And there goes your cigarette craving, just like that. The estimated efficacy is 80% which is impressive.
Sounds great, any downsides?
There are some. For one, you will feel like an idiot and a tin-foil-hat aspirant as you will sit there with a strap on your head and your bare feet on an electrode. But write it up to experience, it’s well worth it.
More importantly, although your nicotine cravings will be gone, your habits, instilled by years of happy and comforting intercourse with the cigarette are still there and still strong. You will probably sorely miss the rituals. The feel of the cigarette in your fingers. The lighting up. The cigarette after a nice meal, the comfort and ease of having something to do when you’re stressed… But these problems will very soon be gone – the first day or two are the toughest and things only get rapidly better as time progresses. And you can battle these behavioral cravings. Here are potential remedies:
- Create new rituals
For example preparing a pot of green tea (after lunch? Instead of a smoke?) is satisfyingly fussy (goodness, did you know how fussy if you want to get it right?!) and considerably healthier. You can even light up a few candles to add to the experience – you’ll mightily impress both yourself and your companions without letting on that you were really just desperate for the lighter action.
But if you’re a rougher type and green tea ritual would be simply too weird, there’s plenty more to choose from. You can institute a post-meal game of cards. Or perhaps a game of pick a pair? Solitaire? A round of Candy Crush on your mobile? The possibilities to keep your fingers busy are endless.
- Get busy
Time your quitting into a period of extra activity – going on a holiday (new environment, yay!) with a full schedule, visiting non-smoking friends (that works wonders), taking up a new hobby or starting to play a new instrument… Even a busier patch at work with its inevitable increased stress shouldn’t present you with any problems, you’ll be just fine. Feel free to go out with your friends for their smoke – and enjoy lighting up everybody’s cigarettes because that’s what you’re craving – the clicking of the lighter, not the actual smoke. Standing there and feeling zero need to actually inhale is… nice. You’re on your way out. And this is a big benefit of bioresonance over the other methods – you are safe around smokers.
- Create new rituals
PROS OF BIORESONANCE
– price. It’s a one-off, usually very affordable investment that you will likely get back just from a few days of not smoking. Most places offer the possibility of a second therapy within a certain period of time if you feel you need a boost, at a significantly reduced price.
– workability. Estimated workability is 80%. If you’re in the lucky 80%, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
– support. Most places give you a booster chip – a piece of metal retaining the frequency pattern that you can put on your body when you feel you need some cavalry to help you out. If you have problems, you can come in for a second therapy that is usually much cheaper or, in some centers, even free.
– no chemicals. Need I say more? Your liver will be even happier.
CONS OF BIORESONANCE
– you have to stop, immediately, and never have another cigarette. Given the principle of the therapy – it makes your body forget it ever smoked – even one cigarette reestablishes the pattern and you’re back to square one of the smoking trail with all the benefits of the therapy gone in an instant. However, it’s not hard to stay off the cigs with this method.
– oh the habits. The need for nicotine is gone, but the need for your ingrained habits remains. That will be the battle you’ll be fighting, but hopefully some of the tips above or your own ideas and/or determination will handle this within the first week. Looking again at the list of the many reasons why it’s great not to smoke helps. And look forward to that first day that will go by without you even once thinking about a cigarette. And it will come soon.
Based on the ancient Chinese tradition, this method can help you overcome the craving. It is said to alleviate some of the more enjoyable symptoms of quitting, such as irritability, problems with concentration, jitters, increased appetite and cravings, problems sleeping or anxiety. It helps you relax and it helps your body to detoxify.
A very important aspect when deciding for acupuncture is to choose the right person or center to do it. Look for reviews, check their website and see how they describe their approach to this particular service and what their credentials are.
What to expect
Before the first session, the acupuncturist will probably go through a questionnaire with you and possibly give you a basic physical exam which will include blood pressure, lung exam, pulse examination and might even check out your tongue. This is important, because the acupuncturist will have to find out what points and what combination of points will be the most effective for you individually. Smoking – like all addiction – is a pretty complex issue involving both physical and emotional aspects and the acupuncturist will want to address them all.
You will probably need a few treatments. The average is 4-6 treatments about 1 to 3 weeks apart, you may need a follow-up after a month or two after these first ones.
As an added bonus, you may be recommended some herbal teas and/or supplements for the time in between treatments that will help you control your cravings and foul moods even more. As another aid, the acupuncturist may place tiny beads on specific points (usually ear) and secure them with tape. When you need, you can stimulate these points which should take the edge off your peaking nicotine rabies.
It is a good idea to come for the first acupuncture session already missing the cigarettes. If you’re a heavy smoker, a few hours may suffice, if you’re smoking occasionally, you may need a few days – the key thing is that you have to feel the urge to smoke. You should definitely not enjoy “just one last one” right before the session.
- COLD TURKEY
This method with no aid other than steely resolve is only for the hardcore, totally dedicated tough guys and girls, but has been tried and has been successful given enough motivation. It can be done, has been done by many, but here, all the general recommendations below apply with double strength. Also, time it well. If you know you’re about to visit your difficult in-laws for two weeks in a small cottage in the middle of godforsaken wilderness with only the howling of wolves for external entertainment, wait. Unless you think the huge distance from any tobacco shop will save you. But don’t be surprised if a week into such a thrilling adventure you’ll find yourself happily jogging to the said shop 10 miles through deep snow.
This is safer as a support system rather than the only way to tackle the evil habit, but it can help you get through whatever other method you have chosen.
Apparently ear massage can help you when the cravings hit. The techniques are many, for instance simply to massage your earlobe, circular motions, pull at it gently. Or massage the upper part of the ear (the wind catcher in some cases) in slow, circular motions.
GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ANY METHOD YOU CHOOSE
- Boost your body.
Nicotine is a poison and together with the many chemicals in cigarettes leaves many toxins in your body. Once you stop smoking, the body will start detoxifying and giving it vital vitamins and minerals to help it battle the released toxic substances will greatly help reduce unpleasant physical symptoms. You should definitely not skip B-complex vitamins of extra strength. If you have nightmares, add extra B1 (thiamine). Vitamin E is very effective – and abundant in e.g. sunflower oil you can just add to your meal. Lots of vitamin C (even above recommended daily allowance) will also help. That plus lots of fruits and vegetables (which provide vitamins and minerals in their most easily bioavailable form) will go a long way. You can also try some detoxifying tea, for instance nettles.
Try and avoid sugar and junk food – but don’t go crazy if you’re used to your daily sweets fix. It would be counter-productive to try to tackle two huge addictions in one. Just try to keep it in check.
And lastly – drink lots of water. It will help your body flush out the toxins faster – and the faster it does that, the faster you’ll feel better.
- Get busy.
You want to have as little time to focus on your craving as possible. Start a new hobby. Tell friends to go crazy with you. Make a holiday with non-smokers. Climb a mountain. Start a new project.
- Try to reduce stress.
Not the best time to start an inter-office war. Not the best time to provoke your boss whose father is probably called Lucifer. Look at the brightness of the leaves behind your window, rejoice in the sounds of children’s laughter from a nearby playground (although it may be good to do so from a distance where you cannot distinguish any words) and keep repeating to yourself that this will soon be over. The first three days to a week are the worst, then you’re already on the mend. And feel heroic. Because kicking this habit, that’s exactly what you are.
- Reward yourself.
It’s nice to have something to look forward to. Whether it is a cup of Starbucks or a beautiful handbag / set of roller blades at the end of the first month, that’s up to you. Choose something that will keep you motivated and happy. Remember, by not smoking, you’re saving yourself some serious money!
- Plan escape routes.
What will you do when you’re overcome with cravings? Call your friend? Have a nice, loud singalong with Metallica? Go for a run? It’s good to assess your options beforehand.
On a Personal Note in Closing
I personally have been an avid, even obsessed smoker of many years, had a few false starts (nicotine replacements), but I properly quit twice, the first time with the help of acupuncture after which I was a non-smoker for 2 years (why did I start again? Why?!) and now, very happily and with the help of bioresonance the efficacy and ease of which truly shocked me, I’ve been a non-smoker for 9 years with no intention or inclination of ever going back. Both times I quit I was on 2 packs a day, both times with years of smoking under my belt.
As far as I can judge from my personal experience, bioresonance is with me a definite winner. You simply don’t want to smoke, it doesn’t stir you, there are no panic attacks, no feelings you’ve got bugs crawling all throughout your body. You just crave the habits, the rituals, the fingerplay. With acupuncture, which was also very helpful, you get the unpleasant feelings, just not in full force, plus you will know with a strange kind of certainty that your body doesn’t want the cigarette. You will want to light up, but you will be strengthened in your resolve by a very strong message from your body that this is bad for you. And strangely, it really helps.
I wish you all the best on your road to freedom.