Smoking Cessation can be one of the hardest things an individual can do due to the powerful addiction of nicotine.
The nicotine addiction has positive reinforcement psychologically that makes cessation from smoking a hard habit to kick.
Dealing with the psychological and physiological cravings along with a detoxification of chemicals from the body after one’s smoking cessation is important for success.
Before one quits there must be a plan for smoking cessation that deals with these three important smoking cessation factors.
To make any great life change you must first go through five basic stages of change.
Quitting smoking is one such life change and thus adheres to the stages of change principle.
The stages are:
1. PRECONTEMPLATION – Not even thinking about quitting smoking
2. CONTEMPLATION – Thinking about quitting, but not quite ready to quit
3. PREPARATION – Getting ready to actually quit
4. ACTION – Quitting smoking
5. MAINTENANCE – Remaining a non smoker
You are currently in one of the 5 stages listed. The following is an example of the first stage:
Pre-Contemplation: You do not want to quit. You hate people constantly nagging you to quit, or all the people who may not say anything but are passing judgement nonetheless. You are an adult, with the right to make your decisions and choose your own path. Smoking or quitting is your choice to make; the only purpose of this pamphlet is to ensure that you have all the information to make the most educated choice. Our purpose is not to throw facts and figures at you, but to help you look at smoking: smoking in general, and specifically why you smoke.
It is important to first know why you smoke. There are 6 main reasons: stimulation, handling, pleasure, relaxation, craving and habit.
Write down a list of the reasons why you think you smoke.
Look at those reasons and see if you could achieve the same goal using a replacement for smoking, something that was not as harmful to yourself and those around you.
For example, if you smoke because it gives you energy, you could easily achieve the same boost by exercising or taking deep breaths. The alternative is much healthier and more effective. This holds true for most reasons; there is usually a healthier and superior alternative to smoking.
Some general facts to know about smoking:
- Nicotine has an initial stimulatory effect, which is why it gives the boost. After this initial stimulatory phase, nicotine acts as a depressant, forcing you to get another cigarette to feel the lift.
- Nicotine does not in fact relax you but rather increases both your blood pressure and your heart rate. It only gives the illusion of relaxation because it gives you a chance to break and get your mind off of whatever you are doing.
- The tar in cigarettes is made up of trace amounts of hundreds of harmful chemical solids, not to mention all the toxic gases released from a cigarette.
- This tar puts you at an increased risk for cancer, asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.
- One of the gases released from smoking is carbon monoxide. This enters your lungs and begins to compete with oxygen for the heme groups in your red blood cells. This causes decreased amounts of oxygen to reach all parts of your body, decreasing the overall efficiency and performance of your organs, muscles and other systems.
Hopefully this page helps you think a little bit about why you smoke and gives you some facts to consider.
Whether or not you decide to quit now, or ever, it is important to realize that it is your decision. However you are not alone if you decide to quit.