How long will you choose to carry on smoking?

I can sympathise with smokers for many reasons, I really can I used to smoke after all. Further more I quit many, many times. I became a professional at quitting the evil habit, but I was even better at starting again!

I fully appreciate how smoking is addictive. Although my belief is that nicotine isn’t addictive, yes not addictive. The fact is, if smoking was addictive you couldn’t sleep for 7 hrs straight without a cigarette, but you can. You can travel to one airport to another for over 12 hrs and cope (real addictions would cause tremors, panic, chills, nausea, muscle cramps, insomnia, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting and shaking). Also smoking is a consistent behaviour and real addictions tend to spiral for more of the substance. i.e. Heroin addicts need more and more heroin and want it more often. Smokers stay at a consistent 20 a day.

But here’s the addiction, the associations we have to smoking.

The associations and triggers tend to be the hardest part when quitting smoking. It was for me.

When stressed, we smoke. When socialising, we smoke. When we are bored, anxious and down we smoke.

Our body makes these neuro-associations to smoking, so that when we go through stress (or other situations) our body tells us ‘We NEED a cigarette”. It does this because our body is trying to help us- for example to deal with stress, fill up time when bored, or maybe to calm us when we’re anxious.

Although nicotine patches are great, as well as other helpful aids, we must also re-learn the associations and replace the behaviour of smoking with something more beneficial.

First of all:

We must change the way you think about smoking. As you think of smoking you will have a picture, perhaps a feeling, even a sound. Now imagine something you really repulse. Once again you will have a picture, a feeling and a sound. Now blend the pictures together, combining the cigarette with the repulsive feelings and sights. For example, think of smoking a cigarette with plug-hole hair wrapped around it (And its not your hair!). It certainly changes the way you feel about smoking doesn’t it? This begins to make new associations from pleasure to repulsion. After a few times of this with strong repulsive feelings, you may never touch a cigarette again! Try it!

Then we must break the habit; start doing your daily routines differently. Instead of going downstairs for a cup of coffee and a cigarette in the morning, jump straight into the shower instead. We are creatures of habit, now become a creature of freedom. Begin to break all your other smoking routines, as this will lead you to new unconscious habits as a non-smoker, without the need to smoke. Warning: if you don’t create the habits you want you maybe become one of those smokers who pile on the weight, as your body will need a replacement- and it might choose it for you.

Once you’ve broken your routine, you can then replace the behaviour, so make a list of all the alternative behaviours you wish to replace it with and start taking action on them.

Some examples are:

* Starting a new health regime

* Chewing gum

* Taking up a new hobby

* Drinking more water.

* When you get an urge/craving, just sit in the feeling till it disappears

* This alone can help you kick the habit- let alone all the other helpful aids available. Also I have my Stop Smoking CD which will come up with new unconscious empowering beliefs, feelings and replacement behaviours to make things that much easier.

Enjoy a smoke-free life and enjoy each moment!

Your friend


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