If…the smoker is unwilling to quit, one is to motivate the smoker… i.e., focus on personally relevant information on, risks of smoking, rewards of stopping, roadblocks to quitting, and repeating this advice. Journal Of General Internal Medicine 2003.
The message that tobacco use does not alleviate stress but actually increases it needs to be far more widely known. American Psychologist 1999.
However with all these statistics many smokers just brush them aside or even blinker themselves to not reading them. The life expectancy stat is the obvious one that gets dismissed and then gets followed up with some “disturbing” facts:
1. Smoking brings in tax revenue to the economy
2. Alcohol is just as worse but no-one goes on against them
3. You can die in a plane crash and people still travel in a plane
4. It is my life I can do with it how I please
You must of heard, or even said one of these odd statements but why? As a side note the Government does bring in tax money from cigarettes but they are trying their best to make it uncomfortable for the smoker (higher taxes, banning from public places etc) without banning smoking outright because of peoples choice.
Remember the alcohol prohibition? This is where Government tried to ban something that was indeed a social problem but look at what happened…people died from underground alcohol making and crime erupted. Smoking banning would probably go the same way, people would make their own and the underground market would explode and people would die because of illegal batches and creation of cigarettes. Just look at the illegal drug market…this is what cigarettes could easily be.
I personally do not like the “it’s my life I can do with it how I please” statement. True it is but own life issues never stay at own lives. They tend to spread and incorporate the people who are the opposite of. For example:
1. A smoker will take breaks through work time to smoke, but a non-smoker doesn’t, but still gets paid the same
2. A smoker will have areas built for them out of tax money, but non-smokers do not get that money back
3. A smoker will increase everyone’s health insurance policy and medical contributions because of the amount of resources needed to keep that smoker out and in hospital over their time of smoking is impossible to pay with just smoker contributions.
But the poor excuses that are often pushed against the non-smoker are hiding something. Even with the points above a smoker will have a rebuttal. Why? Why defend something that we have seen that clearly has no benefit but gives you the most terrible issues through life?
Almost 10% of smokers fear the fear of failure. They fear that they will not be able to quit, they fear sometimes the unknown. Sometimes they fear of being unpopular, or they fear that they won’t have anything to do or anyone to talk to.
“Named must your fear be before banish it you can”
Yoda, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
If you didn’t know something or didn’t have all the information, then 9 times out of 10 you will say NO. And that is not just for you, that is everyone. Fear of the unknown has ravaged history since time began. Unknown things have been killed, tortured and flatly refused. Saying NO is much easier than going into an unknown place- it is a shield. “The best defence is a good offence?”
Fear is never what we actually fear…it has always been blown out of all proportion by ourselves. An Economics Nobel Prize winner once stated that even if we have all the information at hand we will never have the full 100% information to make the right decisions. We will never know what the road will be tomorrow.
And what’s the worst that can happen? You drop from 20/ day to 5? At least the step has been made. How about if you go back to smoking? Fine, but you did it…it wasn’t that bad was it? Sure you could have had a smoke but that is the addiction talking. Remember nicotine is a very potent drug, yes, lets use its right term. It is a chemical, but first and foremost it is a drug and drugs are difficult to remove yourself from.
But fear and the name itself, is fear inducing and nowadays we don’t like to say fear…because it is wrong to call it that. Optimistic denial, a great fluffy term that hasn’t got the punch as fear has…so we don’t really fear the term.
If we don’t fear the term or we don’t put a name to that fear then we gloss over it, we rationalize it even more…we do not act upon it. We desensitize ourselves because we have now nothing to fear because it is not a fear now…everything is fine again.
You need to define the nightmare, define your fear, define the “what if”, define the worry…what is actually stopping you from quitting?
Sometimes it is the craving and even the non-smoking part, the difficulty in feeling for another cigarette is a reason why some smokers do not give up. The fear of not smoking.
Most smokers enjoy the “buzz” that nicotine produces. Well actually the fear is loss of addiction. Without addiction? You would actually be calmer and less agitated and be in a better frame of mind and your mind would be better as well. Constant drug fixes give you the high and brings you back down- you go up and down up and down. This is not good for any system as it can not function properly in this way.
Fear exaggeration- which actually is fear itself is actually poor for your brain and body systems. Keeping yourself in fear actually increases the chances of stokes, heart attacks because of the heart increases in beats and your blood pressure increases.
One of the most frequent concerns (note concerns are called fears) is gaining weight. This is more common with women smokers. But does smoking cessation increase body weight?
Smoking increases metabolism slightly:
Smoking burns up to 200 calories a day in a heavy smoker
So because smoking burns calories, metabolism is increased slightly
Nicotine is an appetite suppressant
When you quit smoking, a gain of between 5 and 10 pounds during the first few months of cessation is normal.
Smoking cessation throws our bodies into shock initially. Increased appetite is a side effect of quitting tobacco for most people. One or more of the following reasons may be at play:
1. Cigarettes as an appetite suppressant
Smokers often avoid between meal snacking by lighting up. Nicotine is a stimulant, and may also interfere with the release of the hormone insulin. Insulin controls glucose levels in the blood. When this function is blocked, a person will become slightly hyperglycemic, and as a result, the body and brain may slow down the hormones and other signals that trigger feelings of hunger.
2. Food as a replacement for smoking
Early on in a person's quit, the urge to smoke is frequent and uncomfortable. It's natural to look for something to ease the discomfort, and food is often used as a replacement. Not only does it fill the void left by the cigarette, food can be an emotional comfort, easing the pain of withdrawal.
What sometimes happens is that when smokers smoke they do something else (remember that other hand?), eat or drink more by socialize more in groups. So they eat that little bit more. Then when they stop smoking they gain weight- but usually because they increased their food load whilst smoking.
Try as well not to turn to alcohol. Not only is alcohol high in calories, it can be a huge trigger to smoke. For many people, smoking and drinking go together like a hand in a glove. Avoid the empty calories in alcohol, but more importantly, don't put yourself at risk of relapse by drinking early in your quit.
What can counter this slight increase in weight? Do as we should all do, just walk around the block most evenings. After supper, walk with your partner, talk to them…if you do not have a partner then just with yourself or in a walk group and just admire creation. But don’t diet; you won’t be able to do it. If you walk, it is just a walk. You are not “running or exercising”, just walking, and that is easy to do after supper. But if you plan to exercise or plan a regime it just doesn’t work because you get caught up in the diet fads.
Also try to carry around some munchie busters. Sunflower seeds, veggie sticks, or fresh fruit carried around in a little snaptop sandwich box. You will actually notice co-workers watching what you are doing and in some cases will admire what you are doing and some will become jealous because they haven’t been able to do what you are doing. And keeping a healthy lifestyle- it’s a double whammy to them, some just can’t handle it.
Before fear takes a grip on you, step back, think and relax. Is it really that bad? Can I over come it now? Do I need some time to prepare and gain my shield for this, but I am not putting it off.1. Its Difficult To Quit Smoking7. So Far...The Best Treatment Methods Around