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If conventional smoke cessation methods work as well as they claim, there will be no need for this post.
In my first article, I listed out the average success rates for the 6 most common methods people use to quit.
Check out the table below:
Ways to Quit
|E-Cigarettes / Vaping||18 % Quit-rate||Est. $630 per year|
|Cognitive Behavioral Therapy||11.5 % Reduction-rate||$22-212 per session|
|Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy||50-65 % Quit-rate||$75-125 per session|
|Nicotine Replacement Therapy||6.8-7.9 % Quit-rate||$35 for gums, $42 for patches|
|Cold-Turkey / Willpower||Around 5 % Quit-rate||No Cost (Free)|
|Non-nicotine Medications||14-18 % Quit-rate||$267 for Zyban, $448 for Chantix|
The Downsides of Conventional Methods
At this point, I want to say that I am not against any conventional method per se. If you were able to quit using any of these methods, great! I’m absolutely supportive of it. Let me know in the comment section below.
The truth is most people don’t find success with them. At least, not for the long term according to my research.
Another major downside of using conventional methods is that they are not cheap. The cost can add up very quickly especially if you go for therapies, medications or NRT.
It is okay if we spend money knowing that we will be 100% smoke-free by the end of it. Unfortunately, the success rates are quite low as you can see.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is one of the common ways to quit today. Theoretically speaking, the success rate is 0%. It is an 11.5% reduction-rate (aka smoke lesser).
And before you decide to jump both feet into hypnotherapy, I want to make it clear that there is not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of the use of hypnosis yet.
More on this in the future.
- Will Life Be Boring or Different After We Quit Smoking?
- Nicotine Benefits: Can Nicotine Itself Be Good For Us?
- 5 Reasons Why Smokers Find it Difficult to Quit Smoking
Understand Yourself and the Enemy
To stop smoking is a war.
The good news is if we understand our enemy and his tactics, we will be able to defeat him easily.
I hope this goes without saying but many of us attempted to quit without first understanding ourselves much less the enemies. Guilty as charged.
Heard of anyone who went cold-turkey only to relapse hours later? I’m not proud to say but it was also yours truly.
Why? Because I didn’t make the effort to understand myself and the enemy.
Now, instead of continuously using a blunt ax to chop a tree – which obviously doesn’t work for most people – let us focus on sharpening our ax right here. I had sharpened mine so I can assist you.
We want to chop down this tree with a single swing, not with many half-hearted or half-assed swings.Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax. - Abraham Lincoln Click To Tweet
We like to think of ourselves as intelligent human beings making conscious decisions but the fact is most of our attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and characters are determined by forces of which we are largely unaware.
We have been brought up believing that smoking is cool, normal and desirable by tobacco marketing executives.
The truth is these intelligent marketers know the power of our subconscious mind and they did a pretty good job at influencing our perception of smoking.
90% of smokers lighted up their first cigarette below the age of 18.
It makes sense to market to this unaware segmented audience through videos, movies, TV or even cartoons.
Teenagers believe they could never be addicted to nicotine. Most teenagers are kind of naive to think they could stop at any time.
Unfortunately, nicotine is extremely addictive.Trying or experimenting with nicotine often leads to addiction. Click To Tweet
We are inclined to be emotional beings more than we are rational beings.
Most of us know the disadvantages and reasons why we shouldn’t smoke.
Sadly, we smoke despite knowing all these because we believe cigarettes give us ‘pleasure.’
But the truth is smoking gives us absolutely nothing!
Recommended Read: Debunking 4 Commons Myths of Smoking (FACTS VS MYTHS)
Knowing Our Enemy
We derived nothing by blaming or pointing figures at tobacco manufacturers, our governments, ad-agencies, health establishments, etc.
Our enemy isn’t flesh and blood. Our enemy is a cunning liar and he is supremely subtle.
Who is our enemy?
It is a drug called nicotine.
It is important you read these articles to find out the lies of nicotine:
Nicotine is extremely subtle, it has caused more than 8 million deaths every year. And most smokers don’t even know that they were held in this trap
It hurts me to know that these are preventable deaths.
As tragic as dying prematurely is, I’m more saddened by the victim’s loved ones.
If there’s something we need to deal with NOW let the majority of our focus be dealing with nicotine.
I am saying not merely for combustible cigarettes but for any products that may contain nicotine. That includes NRT, pipes, and E-cigarettes.
We have no reason to allow this enemy to infiltrate our bodies.
The Best Way to Quit Smoking
The best way to quit smoking is to do it willingly and be happy about your decision.
You are probably thinking: “duh!”
But do you know there are ex-smokers who still wish they could smoke today?
Do you think they are happy? Probably not.
Most people would not be ecstatic to deprive themselves of something they think they ‘enjoy.’
If you read the two articles on nicotine I wrote earlier… you will know that the fight with nicotine is easy to deal with. It isn’t what you thought or imagined it would be.
Pause and read those articles if you haven’t already. They are that important. Don’t have the time? Save the links somewhere so that you can read them in the future.The difficult battle is the one we have with ourselves. Click To Tweet
To put it simply… the best way to quit is to invest in ourselves and know the enemy.
What Happens When You Don’t Understand the Enemy?
If you try to quit without first knowing yourself and the enemy you will experience a lot of undue emotional roller-coaster.
And by emotional roller-coaster, I meant dark depression.
It is no wonder why 95% of the people who tried going cold-turkey relapse in less than a year.
To be honest, I’m not fond of those who managed to quit successfully using willpower too. Perhaps, there is a reason to be worried about them.
Read: Cold Turkey: The Danger of Using Willpower to Quit Smoking (MY STORY)
Just use the scenarios below to imagine that you are one of the ‘lucky ones’ who managed to quit by going cold turkey:
- You stop yourself from hanging out with your friends in a bar because you are afraid you might relapse.
- Whenever you see a smoker, you silently envy him or her.
- Every time you feel stress at work, you blamed yourself for quitting and not allowing yourself to smoke.
Then my question to you is, why do you have to live a life with so much fear?
Quitting is supposed to be a happy endeavor because it is a BIG ACHIEVEMENT. There is so much to rejoice but yet you fail to celebrate each moment.
On the contrary, you are piling up more stress by envying smokers.
It is the lack of your understanding of this enemy that makes you believe you are giving up a genuine ‘pleasure’ when you quit.
Smokers and smoking will continue to dominate your life even though you have officially stopped smoking.
It is really saddening if you think about it…
This is the lies of nicotine. It is not only the caused of millions of deaths but the caused of undue stresses, worries, depressions, and many relational issues that we don’t usually see on the surface.
That is why I put so much emphasis on investing in yourself and understanding the enemy first.
Quitting Smoking Doesn’t Have to be Hard
My hope for you is not just to quit but to be a HAPPY non-smoker and be damn proud about it.
My wish is for smokers to envy you at your new-found freedom instead of the other way round.
Most of your smoking friends would be interested to know how you managed to quit and that is when you seize the opportunity to share your experience.
It is so much healthier to influence smokers than to have smokers influence us.
Read: Quit Smoking Timeline: What Happens When You Stop Smoking
Tips to Quit Smoking
Understand that quitting can be easy or difficult. It depends on your understanding of the enemy. My hope with this post is to help you better understand this enemy thus making your next quit attempt a tad easier.
Here are a few tips:
- Know that it is absolutely possible to be a happy non-smoker. There is nothing about you that makes quitting uniquely challenging. Many smokers have done it and so can you.
- There is no ‘pleasure’ or ‘enjoyment’ associated with cigarettes. These are propaganda created by our enemy, therefore, know that you have nothing to lose but everything to gain.
- Understand that smoking is drug addiction (read those 2 articles if you haven’t already). Face the truth and accept the fact that you are addicted, don’t fear the enemy but face him.
Thanks for reading.
I hope I’ve been of service to you and your loved ones.