July 06, 2011

THREE ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO STOP SMOKING

I’m an occasional smoker, and am getting ready to quit again. The best ways to stop smoking are the tried and tested ones – pure undiluted will power, joining an NHS (Local Medical Centre) Anti-Smoking Programme, reading Allen Carr’s book, getting some patches or gum, or having the doctor tell you you’re gonna drop dead in six weeks if you don’t quit. All of these methods have a proven track-record.

But what if you wanna stop, right, but…..you know. What if you’re a rebel? What if you’re a bit ‘funky’?

Alternative Methods Of Beating Nicotine Addiction.

Let’s not beat about the tobacco bush here – smoking is nicotine addiction. You DO NOT do it because it tastes nice, because you find it relieves stress or for any other reason. You do it because you are addicted. To nicotine. The only stress you are relieving is the stress of your inner self saying ‘where’s my nicotine hit you bastard? I will cwy and cwy and cwy unless you feed me now.’

Beating it is a bitch. I’ve smoked on and off for years (more off), and have had several successful stops. When I say successful, I mean I lasted at least a year, not just a couple of weeks etc. You may be wondering at this point why I haven’t stayed permanently stopped? Well, being around other smokers and so on….just the usual stuff. But I’ve used many methods of stopping, some recommended, and some not. Here’s three I’ve tried, which really work.

METHOD 1 – REPLACEMENT STRATEGIES

This is a method I’ve employed to varying degrees. In essence, what this means is that when stopping, and especially during those crucial first few days, deny yourself NOTHING except nicotine. Wanna cake? Have one. Want two cakes? Have three. Want cake, orgasm and whisky simultaneously? Off you go, so to speak. In short, deny yourself nothing pleasurable whatsoever, until the nicotine pangs go away. Three Cadbury’s Flakes and a milkshake might not replace the urges for a ciggie, but they won’t half cheer you up while you’re waiting.

Obviously this has after effects, and shouldn’t be done for longer than a week or two, especially if you put on weight easily, but worth it if you beat smoking.

METHOD 2 – DENIAL STRATEGIES

This is simply a reversal of Method 1. STOP EVERYTHING. Sex/masturbation. Chocolate. Desserts. Caffeine. Alcohol. Everything bad. FOR ONE WEEK. Then, give yourself one thing back per day in the second week, or whatever you feel like.

What works here is that your mind is taken off smoking during that first week because you haven’t had your caffeine/booze/orgasm that your body/mind likes. You are distracting your nicotine cravings with more subtle cravings for other things. This helps to put smoking in perspective with your other (real) desires, and also, actually, stops some situations where you are likely to want to smoke – eg, with booze, after tea and coffee or after sex. Genius. Live like a monk for a week. Worth doing in itself. This works. I’ve tried it.

It’s a great exercise in self-control – and you’ll be proud of yourself for achieving it.

It’s also a lot cheaper than method one, unless you own a corner shop.

METHOD 3 – SMOKE SOMETHING ELSE

You don’t hear about this one from the NHS, for obvious reasons. But it works. Also please note, that this is only achievable in countries where certain things are either legal, or is highly available and not-that-illegal. If you live in Korea, only some of this below is relevant. Read on…

If, like many, you have partaken in the occasional ‘illegal’ cigarette – you know, a spliff, well, it’s possible to make joints without tobacco – or even better, make a bong, or buy a small pipe, available cheaply from most good head shops, and just smoke the weed, sans-tobacco. This really helps and works if you are a pot smoker wanting to give up tobacco. You might find yourself stoned a lot during those first few days though, as the points in the day where you might have just had a ciggie, e.g. first thing in the morning, you find yourself getting the bong out. Make no mistake, nicotine cravings are a bitch to handle.

Also, you can try herbal cigarettes if marijuana is not your thing. Again, especially for those first crucial three or four days, having something to smoke that contains no nicotine can be extremely helpful in relieving those nicotine cravings.

You can also make joints with these in place of tobacco if needs be.

Both marijuana and herbal cigarettes are non-addictive, although if you’ve never smoked pot, I wouldn’t recommend that to start with. Get some herbal fags.

The point here is that smoking SOMETHING ELSE, something non-addictive, during that first week, can really help you. I’ve tried this (though I’m not saying whether I tried herbal ciggies or pot!) and it really works, by helping you when you really REALLY wanna smoke….something.

The three methods above all work, as do the traditional ones mentioned at the top of the article.

I’m about to stop again. I’m not sure which method I’ll pick. I’ll write about it afterwards.

Smoking is evil. It’s an addiction. Almost everyone I know who smokes wants to stop. Why don’t they? Coz it’s fucking hard that’s why, so give them a break and show them this article, and if you’re his/her lover, you better hope he doesn’t pick method one.

9 comments:

  1. Och, stop whining and get on with it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Smoking is not evil. Calling things evil is something addicts say when they are addicted to something. I've done this myself when drinking too much coffee. I've curbed this by taking up intensive exercise and changing my diet to eat more animal protein. For me that was trading too much of something for something healthier. Coffee isn't evil. I like to drink a strong cup a day now or 4 week ones throughout the day.

    What is the root of the smoking? It doesn't have to be something along the lines of your mother didn't love you enough. It could be your just bored.

    ReplyDelete
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