If you are tired of feeling out-of-place by being a smoker and find it hard to quit smoking you are not alone. Enlightenment is what is needed to make your move to successful cessation from the powerful addiction of nicotine.Today smoking is viewed as a taboo because of the proven health hazards of smoking and second-hand smoke. More and more places are introducing bylaws to limit areas where you can publicly smoke. You are now outnumbered by ex-smokers and non-smokers. You smell, your clothes smell and if you smoke in the house everything in your house smells. You know this and you want to quit; but how do you quit?Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances. When you introduce it into your lungs, it reaches your brain in 6 seconds. It can take only one cigarette to become addicted and once addicted over time you form habits around smoking. You have one with coffee, a favourite drink or alcohol, while talking on the phone, when you get up or after you eat. You know your own habits that are tied to smoking. When the cravings hit you smoke and it feels good. Those cravings are both physical and psychological.The reason why it can be so difficult to quit is because of the combination of those physical and psychological cravings that support your addiction. The physical craving is from the lack of nicotine in your brain’s feel good receptors that takes place of your endorphins. Those craving are triggered by the nicotine floating around in your blood stream. The psychological cravings come from your minds inner self that rationalizes your addiction. That inner self is the addictive voice that you created with this addition. The Rational Recovery Group whom teaches the addictive voice recognition concept for dealing with addictions calls this inner voice the beast. You can give it whatever name you want; it supports your addiction.As a smoker, in your mind you may want to quit smoking, but when the mind and brain is in conflict it is the brain that usually wins. Your brain which is stimulated by pain and pleasure is addicted to the temporary pleasure provided by nicotine. When you’re out of nicotine the toxins from the cigarette make you feel bad but you want to feel good. Your mind with your addictive voice will make sure of that. Now that you know all this how do you quit?In order to succeed in smoking cessation you must deal with three aspects to quitting smoking. They are the physical withdrawal, the psychological withdrawal and the detoxification of the body from nicotine and toxins introduced by your smoking. Foremost you must want to quit and even though the process of quitting may be a tough challenge, you will succeed and you will join the ranks of ex-smokers.There are a variety of methods for quitting smoking. Cold turkey with a plan using information found on the Internet will work. There are support groups, websites and quit smoking books that will improve your success. Quit smoking aids known as the patch, gum and now inhaler work by slowly withdrawing the nicotine over time. Aids do work, however, they still put nicotine into your system and they too may become habit-forming. Another method is using drugs known as Zyban and Champix. Your doctor can prescribe one of these drugs to help with the physical withdrawal from nicotine. Their down side are the hefty warnings regarding their possible side effects. Other natural health methods are, acupuncture, laser therapy, hypnosis and bio-resonance. These methods are drug-free and despite the fact that each of them does not have an official study on their success rate, unofficial data shows them to be quite high. They usually have a program that deals with the three aspects to quitting smoking and provide support.Knowledge gives you the power to achieve your goal. Garner as much as you can on the methods to quit and make your decision. Also check to see if you have referrals. Whatever method you choose, you must incorporate in your plan the three aspects to quitting smoking. Want, know, do and you will succeed.
In short the answer to the question: “Is there a best way to quit smoking” is yes. There is a best way to quit smoking for everyone but the method that may work for you may not work for others. What you need to do is find out which way is best for you.There are several methods you can employ to quit smoking. The main ones are behavioural therapy, hypnosis, drugs, nicotine replacement therapy, will power and ‘alternative’ methods. I will give a brief description of each approach along with its pros and cons.Is cognitive behavioural therapy the best way top quit smoking?Cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the most successful methods to help smokers quit with success rates well above 50%. This is not the same as the standard literature you find all over the place. It is not the ‘set a quit date’, ‘write out a quit plan’, ‘stay in and avoid alcohol’ etc. etc. That doesn’t work.Cognitive behavioural therapy breaks smoking down into twenty or so component parts and changes the way you think about smoking, component by component. The end result is that all the reasons you think you smoke for are destroyed and you lose the will to smoke.It is not a magic bullet. It is just one particularly effective approach to quitting smoking that uses no drugs whatsoever and leaves smokers feeling liberated the moment they quit smoking, rather than being fraught with anxiety. It is cheap when compared to other systems (less than $50) and is normally sold with a no quibble money back guarantee.Is hypnosis the best way to quit smoking?Studies suggest that hypnosis is successful to the tune of 30% of smokers in single sessions. Using multiple sessions, success rates of 60% plus have been reported. There is some evidence that women struggle to quit as readily as men using hypnosis.It works by changing a person’s mental attitude toward smoking using powerful visualisation techniques. Hypnosis is similar to neuro-linguistic programming or NLP. Both use similar relaxation and meditation techniques to overcome cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms. It is far from suitable for everyone but it is non-chemical and there are no drugs to use.Hypnosis products can be bought over the internet for around $50 but one to one sessions with hypnotherapists can be considerably more expensive, to the tune of several hundred dollars.Are drug therapies the best way to quit smoking?The pharmaceutical industry seems to think so! Zyban is found to work in about 16% of smokers and Chantix has been found to be about 22% effective. It is not 44% effective as claimed by Pfizer, its manufacturer.Drug therapies are almost always used alongside counselling to help smokers achieve their aims of becoming non-smokers. Drug therapies can be provided by health authorities or may be included within medical insurance. They generally cost in excess of $300 to complete the courses if bought privately.The downside to drug therapies aside from cost is that you may suffer from side effects which can be serious enough to stop you using the drug.Another downside is that you do not get a money back guarantee with them, unlike my own book (which uses cognitive behavioural therapy) and most hypnosis products available on the internet.Is nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) the best way to quit smoking?Studies show that NRT can increase you chances of quitting smoking when compared to people trying to quit cold turkey taking it from around 5% to around 10%. It comes in the form of ‘transdermal’ patches, which deliver nicotine through the skin into the bloodstream. It also comes as gum or pills (lozenges and microtabs) or plastic cigarettes or nasal sprays.Nicotine replacement therapies work on the assumption that smoking consists of nicotine ‘addiction’ and the ‘habit’ of smoking. Smokers are expected to overcome the ‘habit’ whilst still getting their nicotine hit from the NRT product and then they are expected to reduce their nicotine intake until they are free from cigarettes and nicotine all together.The downside of NRT is its expense in relation to the success rate it achieves. It is just as expensive as smoking and can leave people still needing the nicotine in the form of gum or lozenges for many months or even years after quitting smoking. NRT is often used in conjunction with Zyban to enhance both NRT and Zyban effectiveness. This makes it twice as expensive of course!Is willpower the best way to quit smoking?Will power has a very low success rate and smokers generally need to make several attempts over several years before they successfully quit smoking. The benefits of the willpower method are that the long terms success rate is very high. Chantix, Zyban and NRT approaches to quitting smoking can be more effective in the short term, but in the longer term, willpower quitters stay off the smokes for good.The financial benefit of this method is very good of course because it doesn’t cost a penny! This is however a false economy because it takes so long to successfully quit, there are a lot of packs of cigarettes bought between attempts and the final, and successful quit.Are alternative methods the best way to quit smoking?Alternative methods include herbal remedies, acupuncture and laser treatments amongst many others. Anecdotally, these methods have been found to be successful but the scientific evidence is not available. TV programs showing how ‘successful’ each of these treatments can be rely on interviewing one or two individuals – hence the anecdotal support.These methods are frequently expensive and rarely come with a money back guarantee. They are virtually all supported by counselling in the form of book, audio tapes or one to one sessions.So what is the best way to quit smoking?My advice is to start by accepting there is going to be a cost to quitting smoking. There is going to be a higher cost to continue smoking, not only in terms of cash, but most significantly in terms of health.If you want to quit smoking be prepared to accept that you may need to try several methods before you find your very own best way to quit smoking. The one that works for you will not be 50% or 30% or 22% effective – the one that works for you will be 100% effective and that is what really matters.Start by considering products that come with money back guarantees so you can try it and if you fail, you can get your money back. Then move onto the next system until you come to those solutions that do not have money back guarantees.As ever, my advice to any smoker trying to quit is to never stop trying to quit. Fall down seven times, get up eight!