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123 Best Kept Secrets of Smokers Who Quits
1. If you've tried to quit smoking, chewing or dipping before and failed, your chances of success are better . . .not worse!
Most tobacco users who succeed at quitting don't strike pay dirt on their first try. With each attempt to quit, you learn something new. The accumulation of these learning attempts prepare you for the final drive to success.
2. An idle mind is the playground of the devil.
Successful quitters recognize one important fact. As they begin to slow down their rate of tobacco use, they have more time to fill. If they fill their minds with nothing, the ugly prospect of relapse looms high. That's why successful quitters get busy with hobbies, sports and other activities. When the "tobacco" man calls, leave an assertive message . . I'm out having a ball. Can't see you today!
3. Take a short ride on the wagon.
Successful quitters tell us that restricting alcohol for 4 to 8 weeks after their quit date helps tremendously. There is a strong association between tobacco use and alcohol use. Alcohol affects the part of the brain that is responsible for planning and controlling your behavior. A couple of drinks weaken your resolve to avoid tobacco use. Restricting alcohol and caffeinated beverages during the critical 1 to 2 months after your quit day reduces your chances for a potential relapse.
4. Have a "Quit Buddy."
It's better to talk with someone who's experiencing the same set of emotions as you are. We suggest you get one of your friends to quit with you. In addition, the IHC Quit Smoking Program® includes a support telephone line to trained counselors who are ready to listen and talk with you as you go through the program or communicating through email.
5. Why does your own personal plan of quitting usually fail?
It sounds a little harsh to say that any plan of quitting you come up with yourself is doomed to failure. But this isn't a self-serving statement for the companies that market smoking cessation programs. Maybe you've heard tobacco users say they cut down on their own but just couldn't get beyond a certain point. There actually is a very logical reason why "home-grown" quit programs fail. You see, when you start to cut back, which smokes, dips or chews do you eliminate, the ones you enjoy the most? No. You subconsciously cut out the least enjoyable cigarette, dip or chew. And, in this subtle way you actually reinforce your habit. What is needed is a systematic plan such as IHC Quit Smoking Program® that gradually eliminates tobacco across the board.
6. Be realistic. Quitting smoking, dipping or chewing is not easy.
If you've been taken in by the occasional tobacco user who tells you it was a piece of cake to quit, remember you're listening to the exception not the rule. Listen to those that have struggled, learned and won. A good dose of realistic thinking will prepare you to succeed better than anything else.
7. Smoke, dip or chew at times you DON'T want to.
Even though you've heard that nicotine is one of the strongest addictive drugs, there is hope. There are two sides to your addiction. . . physical dependence on nicotine and habit. Once you recognize and change those habitual times that you use tobacco you begin to weaken the chains that bind you. This is something the IHC Quit Smoking Program® program does automatically. You can do it on your own and hasten the day when your habits of smoking are broken.
8. Adopt a specific quit program. . . and stick to it.
Once you've made that all important decision, don't allow yourself to waiver. . . to make exceptions and stir away from the program.
9. Tell the world you're quitting.
Closet quitters aren't successful. Keeping quiet about quitting almost ensures failure. . . because no one is pulling for you in the biggest challenge of your life. Hold yourself accountable for your commitment by announcing it to your friends, to family, and to associates. Some even go as far as to make a bet with someone that they can quit. Going public like this gets people to join your team. . . to provide you with the moral support you need.
10. Start thinking like a non-smoker or chewer.
If inwardly you say you're a tobacco user and always will be, you'll find the thought of quitting a strange one. That's why its effective start rearranging your personal view of yourself. There are some simple things you can do to reverse the process. For example, sit in the non-smoking section of a restaurant and visualize yourself as a non-smoker. These techniques will not automatically convert you from a tobacco user, but they will cultivate a changed internal view of yourself.
11. Don't be taken in by the "cravings for the rest of your life" trick.
Some tobacco users fear that the strong urges they currently have to smoke or chew will persist for their entire lifetime. Anyone who seriously believes this will hardly want to swim upstream where those strong currents of the urge will push you under. Here's where the application of a simple truth will help. It's the urge, when successfully handled, that makes it easier to cope with the next craving. In short, one success makes the next successful resistance that much easier.
12. Weight gain is not inevitable.
It is true that there is a 30% change in metabolism when the artificial stimulus of nicotine is removed. However, you can counteract this change and actually lose weight. Just as an athlete overcomes injury by over-compensating, tobacco users should take similar steps to overcome weight gain. Avoid sweets, eat non-caloric health snacks, and begin an exercise program.
13. Measure your progress against realistic short-term goals.
Imagine a mountain climber who after his first day's effort to climb Mt. Everest despairs. . . because he didn't reach the peak. This sounds ridiculous, but some smokers fall into a similar trap. Establish short term goals along the way and reward yourself for successful achievements of each phase.
14. Write down all the reasons you want to quit.
Those who succeed at quitting get specific. And nothing helps so much in this regard as committing your reasons to writing. You might even summarize those reasons on a small card and carry it with you throughout the day.
15. Testing yourself with the just one cigarette or chew is risky.
Successful quitters tell us something worth noting. Once they quit, they cut loose from any attempt to test themselves to see if they really quit. Keeping a pack of cigarettes and a lighter or a can of snuff on hand "just in case" is dangerous.
16. Don't fall for the "just one cigarette" or "just one dip" myth.
Research shows that most of the people who smoke or chew "just one more" start again. There's only one safe thing to do, when "just one more" sounds possible, think to yourself: "It's a myth." Play it safe, if you've been successful. . . stick to it and let your success be as long as your life.
17. Avoid high risk situations.
Right now make a list of your most common smoking or chewing situation. Then figure out your own plan on how you will avoid these situations. Avoid people who smoke heavily or sit in the non-smoking section of restaurants. Confirm your good habits by avoiding high-risk smoking or chewing situations.
18. Take non-cigarette breaks.
What was so pleasant about your former cigarette breaks. Smoking was part of it, but there are other trappings of the breaks that you don't have to give up. Enjoy the change of scenery. Talk with others. Just because you are not smoking doesn't mean you can't enjoy the activities associated with the old breaks.
19. Physical withdrawal symptoms are good!
Sure the withdrawal symptoms are not fun, but look at it this way. These physical manifestations are a sign that your body is beginning to heal itself. As the healing process completes, the pain will go away.
20. Exercise works like magic.
There is a simple way to ease stress, lose weight and help you to cope with urges. Exercise. You don't need to run a marathon, or go to aerobics class 5 nights a week. Recent evidence indicates that even moderate exercise can be beneficial such as a 10 minute walk three times a week.
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Behind the Scenes of a single cigarette
Cigarette smoke is a mixture of over 4000 chemicals, many of which are harmful to the human body.1 Currently all tobacco products available that are smoked deliver substantial amounts of toxic chemicals to their users and those who breathe their smoke.
Cigarette smoke is a combination of:
- mainstream smoke - the smoke inhaled by a smoker
- sidestream smoke - the smoke from the end of a lit cigarette
- second-hand smoke - the smoke exhaled by a smoker plus sidestream smoke.
Of the more than 4000 chemicals present in cigarette smoke, more than 60 have been identified as cancer causing chemicals, 11 of which are known to cause cancer in humans and 8 that have been associated with causing cancer in humans.
Cancer causing chemicals in tobacco smoke include:
- Vinyl chloride
- Ethylene oxide
Toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke include:
- Nicotine – the addictive agent in tobacco smoke
- Formaldehyde – used in preservation of laboratory specimens
- Ammonia – used in toilet cleaner
- Hydrogen Cyanide – used in rat poison
- Acetone – used in nail polish remover
- Carbon monoxide - found in car exhaust
- Tar - particulate matter in cigarette smoke
- Toluene - found in paint thinners
- Phenol – used in fertilisers.