What qualifies me to write this article and other ones like it?
This is written by a ex-smoker who worked as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. Cigarette smoking took the lives of close family members, including my mother and father. I stopped smoking while smoking 40 cigarettes a day and never started smoking again. It is easy to quit smoking once you make up your mind to quit and use these techniques.
CDC Fact Sheet
Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction), and diabetes. For every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, about 30 more people suffer with at least one serious illness from smoking More than 16 million Americans suffer from a disease caused by smoking.
Unknown statistics: What the CDC cannot list are unknown statistics for the millions suffering this moment from the loss of a loved ones. Believe me I miss family and friends that are gone.
Why is the smoking habit so hard to break? The smoking habit is so hard to break because of the illusions smokers believe about smoking. Think about it for a minute.
- It tastes bad.
- Is expensive
- Destroys your health
So why do you feel panic if you think about quitting smoking? Smokers don’t smoke because they enjoy it. Smokers say this because it is an addiction and now that we know that we need to find out the real reason smokers smoke.
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Why a lot of smokers say they smoke.
We already know why a lot of smokers say they smoke. I am speaking from experience.
It feels good…. Not true when you start coughing.
Relaxes me…. Not true when 30 minutes later you want a cigarette.
Smoking is the source of pain
The real reason smokers smoke is Addiction and the belief that they enjoy smoking.
Smokers believe the cigarette gives them pleasure when in reality it is the source of their pain. Each cigarette maintains the addiction. This is like a drug addict thinking the drug relieves his pain when in reality it is creating his pain.
Quit smoking timeline
Studies have shown it takes 3 weeks for all the nicotine to leave the body. The quitting smoking timeline may be shorter or longer. When I quit smoking it took one month for the craving to leave my body. Smoking is not relaxing you it is destroying you.
When I first began working as a Respiratory Therapist in Texas many years ago, at least 40 years ago, all the Respiratory people smoked in the Respiratory Department. Close to a 100% of the Respiratory Therapist did and even the doctors smoked in the nurse’s station. Why even patients were allowed to smoke and sometimes fell asleep and would cause cigarette burns in their mattresses.
So why did I quit smoking
While in the middle of this I began to notice what was happening to the older smokers. They were on oxygen all the time and were admitted to the hospital frequently. Not to mention that terrible cough and phlegm production. I begin to think this could be me in a few years. How pleasurable are cigarettes compared to ending up like that? Remember cigarettes being pleasurable is an illusion it is a nicotine addition. There is nothing like seeing what cigarette smoking does first hand. By the way second hand smoke can kill you too. So the people you smoke around are receiving the chemicals.
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My smoking withdrawal symptoms
My smoking withdrawal symptoms were nervousness the nicotine was leaving my system. This will pass. My lungs cleared the mucous out and this passes and then I did not have to get up every morning to cough up phlegm. My missing something to do with my hands was one of the biggest smoking withdrawal symptoms I dealt with so I learned to do hand work like embroidery.
The stop smoking time line
The stop smoking time line depends on when the smoker makes up their mind to stop smoking. This will happen once the smoker realizes that smoking is an addiction and can derive no pleasure from it. The pleasure is an illusion.
The way I quit smoking may be called quitting cold turkey. However once the nicotine was out of my system there is no more craving. The craving came from the nicotine.
To me the best way to quit smoking is by going cold turkey.
After telling smoker friends how to quit smoking for years and always ending by telling them I am going to write about how to quit smoking one of these days. Well today is the day.
Have an open mind and you too can quit smoking. You must however first see the illusions you believe about smoking compared to the reality of smoking.
Illusions vs Reality
|Relieves stress||Creates stress of the thought of running out of cigarettes late at night.||Stress does not relieve stress|
|It is Relaxing||Cigarette smoke is not relaxing you it is hurting you.||Damages nerves-Think about it.|
|Relieves Boredom||Smoking takes away your interest in doing other activities so it is an illusion that it helps with boredom.||Think of the things you would do if you did not smoke.|
|Helps concentration||Smoker has to smoke before trying to concentrate on anything…then he has to smoke more to decrease wanting a cigarette||Destroys arteries…deprives brain of oxygen decreasing concentration|
|Helps me with Relaxation||Truth is nicotine is a chemical stimulate…causes high blood pressure||Eventually the smoker begins to smoke more and more. Where is the relaxation in that?|
This chart was done with the help of Allen Carr’s book: The Easy Way to Quit Smoking
All smokers think about is the fix
There is nothing worse than talking to a smoker and all that is on the smoker’s mind is getting a fix. The person talking to them knows this too even though the smoker thinks he can be discreet about it. Cigarettes do not make the smoker’s life better they make it worse. They do not make the smoker more in the moment. The cigarettes take away the smoker’s peace of mind. When the smoker stops smoking they are not giving up anything.
Thinking you are giving up something is an illusion. It is just the opposite giving up cigarettes will give you a better quality of life. Think about that instead of what you think you are giving up. The smoker will be able to be with others without thinking about the next cigarette. Feel and increase in confidence knowing if he quit smoking he can do anything. This is what the smoker has to gain by quitting cigarettes.
Then you also will not be causing others to be second hand smoking. For example a smoker that is a parent creating second hand smoke around an asthmatic child.
Your health at risk
The only thing a smoker is giving up is a life of smoking pangs. Thinking about cigarettes all the time. Percentage is high the smoker will have health problems. Possibly end up on oxygen.
My thoughts about quitting were: You don’t have to smoke there is nothing in it for you. It is a matter of time before it makes you sick. It is like playing Russian Roulette, why take that choice?
No more cigarettes
Will power is what quitting smoking cigarettes looks like. However in many ways it is not. It is your choice whether you smoke or not. Remember why you are quitting instead of focusing on the illusions of why you were smoking.
If you just cut back you are torturing yourself never letting the dragon out of your system. Thinking more of cigarettes by thinking of the next time you get one.
Allen Carr says in his book “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking” .
- There is nothing to give up. There are only marvelous positive gains to achieve.
- Never visualize the odd cigarette. It does not exist. There is only a lifetime of filth and disease.
- There is nothing different about you. Any smoker can find it easy to stop.
“It is the drug that hooks you and not the nature of your personality.”
Remember once the cigarette habit is dead you will not miss the cigarette.
One excuse smokers use is I will put on weight. This is not true because some smokers quit and eat more sweets while getting over the hunger to smoke another cigarette. It is not because of quitting cigarettes it is because of eating more.
Here are some of the benefits of stopping smoking. Just think of the positive aspects for stopping smoking: The confidence you will gain, the quality of life you will gain, and last but not least the money you will save.
For me the negative aspects I saw at the hospital were enough.
Find someone who have smoked for years with health problems and hang out with them for a while and you will be convinced it is a good time to quit now.
When I quit since I was smoking at least 40 cigarettes a day and would have smoked more if I would have had time. I really missed having something to do with my hands so I took up doing embroidery, which worked wonders for me.
Whenever I thought of a cigarette, I would not think of it in a glamorous way, instead I would think of how it smelled, the stink. I would think of how I had saw nicotine roll out of someone’s nose that smoked for years. I would think about how my mother would put her cigarette butt out in her cup of coffee in the morning. Really gross. Find something you can do with your hands. For me I continued to want a cigarette and each time it came up in my mind I would tell myself, “You can smoke in five minutes”. That way I could continue to put off smoking. Eventually the voice went away because the poison in my system was cleaned out.
Follow these steps to quit smoking cold turkey
Change your beliefs about quitting smoking. Realize the illusions you hold about smoking from the facts by reviewing the chart above. Find something to occupy your hands when you miss holding the cigarettes. Picture something gross about smoking instead of the illusion that it is good in some way. For me I had a plastic baggy with cigarette butts so I could resist wanting to smoke. The grossness helped me. Most of all know the craving will stop once the nicotine is out of your system. Make the decision to never smoke again. Make this decision firmly in your mind. Be happy about it. The craving will leave given time. Separate yourself from the chemical addiction. All smokers have the right to go back to not smoking. You are free from the prison of smoking.
I used thinking of what would happen to my health if I went back to smoking having seen first hand what it does to people. If you don’t believe me visit your local hospital.
This is the first medical article I am putting NO disclaimer on. Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health and your life. Enjoy life!
My personal experience as an ex smoker and Respiratory Therapist
Allen Carr’s book: “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking
CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
*Three images on this page sourced to Wikimedia Commons