So, you feel like you are ready to quit smoking… You can’t change something if you don’t acknowledge the problem or make a plan of action to fix it. Now, I am assuming that you’re not content with being addicted to cigarettes or you probably wouldn’t be reading this. You're unhappy with the fact that you smoke and want to change it.
Let’s be honest. When it comes to quitting smoking, going cold turkey is not only hell, but most of the time, it doesn’t work. We start out with the best intentions, but once the withdrawals set in, we feel so awful we give up and start smoking again. If you are ready to stop smoking for good without feeling like crap, you need a different approach.
Most people say they want to stop smoking, but they are not clear about when that will happen. Most of us have our head in the sand about smoking because we don’t want to face it. It feels too painful to face what smoking is doing to your health, happiness and appearance. But, (and possibly a horrible smelly cigarette butt), it’s more painful not to be as healthy, happy, not to mention as sexy, as you know you could be if you were free of the habit of smoking.
We know it's not good for us - so why do we do it?
Approximately 1 billion people around the world are smokers. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 5 million people a year die prematurely as a result of smoking.
5 million people are dying from smoking a year… That’s around 14,000 people a day, dying from smoking-related diseases.
Smoking kills more than 50% of all smokers, mainly from cancer, and even though it’s the single largest avoidable risk of premature death, there are approximately 30 million new smokers a year, as estimated by scientists. The average smoker lives ten years less than a non-smoker and is much more likely to contract many different, horrible diseases.
So why, when we know that cigarettes are poisonous and that they make us much more likely to die of a horrible disease do we continue to smoke? Blame it on the nicotine. The main stimulant in cigarettes, nicotine, has a substantial effect even in tiny doses.
Nicotine's mood-altering effects are somewhat unique, as it is both a stimulant and a relaxant. It causes a release of glucose (sugar) from the liver, and adrenaline, making you feel more alert and calm at the same time. It’s no surprise so many people are hooked on smoking. However, don’t be fooled by the payoffs that nicotine can give. It is more deadly than arsenic and strychnine.
That craving for cigarettes is partly due to your subconscious believing you need nicotine. When it’s in your system all the time, your body starts to think that it needs to be there for your survival - just like air, food, and water.
The pull of nicotine comes from the fact that it brings relief. Unfortunately, this relief is only temporary. Not many smokers realise that a lot of the stress relieved by a cigarette is caused by smoking the one before.
The stress on your body, brought on by being poisoned by the thousands of toxic chemicals, triggers the release of endorphins. Endorphins are our natural pain relieving chemical. Endorphins are more potent than morphine or heroin! To guarantee it has a “painkilling” supply for the next assault (or cigarette), the body stockpiles endorphins and waits for the next cigarette to release them.
When the expected chemical trigger from smoking doesn’t arrive, the smoker experiences increasing stress from low blood sugar and low endorphins and craves the endorphin and sugar hit they now associate with smoking another cigarette.
The cycle works something like this: experience stress, smoke a cigarette, trigger an endorphin and blood sugar release, feel a temporary relaxation, deplete endorphin supply and blood sugar, experience increased stress. And round and round we go…
So how do you quit?
1. Commit to quitting smoking and start to see yourself as a non-smoker.
Set a date for when you will stop smoking so you can get prepared for it. I find Wednesday and Thursday good quit days since stress seems to build during the week and by Wednesday or Thursday people’s stress levels are high, and they break down and have a cigarette. Write out a quit smoking contract and sign it to make it official.
You also need to change your identity as a smoker. There are certain things you don’t do. Smoking needs to become one of them. Say to yourself “My name is ____________, and I don’t smoke!” Say this over and over. Picture a healthier, happier future version of you that is a non-smoker. Feel how good it’s going to feel to be free of the burden of smoking.
2. Get some supplements to help you with the process.
I do believe that Vitamin B-3 (Niacin or Niacinamide) is one of the most important supplements you can take when it comes to treating addiction. Nicotine and niacin occupy the same receptors in the brain, which is why it is so helpful in reducing nicotine cravings. Vitamin B-3 was part of the original AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) protocol, and they had an 80 percent success rate with helping people get sober when B-3 was recommended.
I also highly recommend taking Chromium Polynicotinate or GTF Chromium to regulate your blood sugar when you quit. When you quit smoking, your blood sugar can become lower than when you were a smoker, since you are not having that blood sugar boost when you smoke. When you tried quitting smoking before, did you feel anxious, achy, tired, irritable and hungrier than usual? Did you crave sweets more than normal, feel slightly dizzy, foggy-headed or even slightly confused? If you did, you were likely experiencing low blood sugar symptoms.
That’s because every cigarette you smoke triggers a small blood sugar release. When you quit smoking, your blood sugar can become lower than before since you are no longer having that blood sugar boost from smoking. Taking chromium is an excellent way to regulate your blood sugar while keeping yourself feeling balanced and calm while quitting smoking.
Get some chewable or liposomal Vitamin C. Suck on a chewable vitamin C tablet or take some vitamin C each time you want a cigarette. Studies have found taking Vitamin C is as effective as nicotine replacement drugs for cravings. Smokers are found to have below average levels of Vitamin C – in a pack a day smoker as much as 40 percent less than a non-smoker.
Link for more on the supplements I recommend.
3. Get help. I believe hypnotherapy is one of the most effective ways to quit smoking.
I was a pack-a-day-plus smoker for over ten years. I quit many times but always found it a massive struggle and would find myself back puffing away before long. I tried patches, gum and prescription medication and it was just one session of hypnotherapy that finally broke the spell cigarettes seemed to have over me.
Your behaviour is driven by your subconscious mind, and if you change your associations with smoking at the subconscious level, it’s much easier to quit. Withdrawal symptoms are partly the effect of subconscious responses. We strengthen these responses with our beliefs and our inner dialogue.
Do you ever hear yourself say, “Quitting is too hard; I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop. I just want a cigarette so much, and I can’t think straight until I have one.“ You are telling your body to crave a cigarette and making yourself feel like you can’t think clearly until you smoke one. With hypnotherapy, you can stop this cycle at its source, your thoughts. Don’t save your health and happiness for some other time, make that change now. Will it be easy? Nope. Will it be worth it? Absolutely.
Here is a free quit smoking hypnosis video on youtube you can watch to help you get started. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hO3TGF49IXM&t=17s
Or check out my book The Smoking Cure: How To Quit Smoking Without Feeling Like Sh*t