The scientist, psychologist or life coach who creates a guaranteed method for giving up smoking will become rich in the time it takes to extinguish a fag. Physical changes occur in the brain once exposed to nicotine, increasing the level of dopamine to create a feeling of pleasure – and why would it want to give that up?
It doesn’t, and in fact wants more, which is why the wannabe-quitter is almost fighting against himself to quit. Self-resolve and willpower sometimes aren’t quite enough and tricks and psychological devices need to be employed – such as these:
Establishing why you want to give up
One of the reasons 20-somethings are sometimes ambivalent towards quitting is that the effects have not yet been felt. They feel fine and so do their friends, and maybe even their parents despite smoking for the past 30 years.
It won’t last forever. According to the results of a recently released four-year study from BMC Magazine as many as two out of every three smokers will die from the habit, probably 10 years earlier than non-smokers.
A momentous, life-altering event might kick one into giving up, or perhaps the possibility of one happening. If you’ve lost a parent prematurely you don’t want to go the same way if you’re a mum or dad, do you?
Prepare yourself for exposure events
If you know you’re going to an event where people are smoking, or the home of someone who does, then you have several options. The toughest is to go as if nothing is happening and endure the smell, but a better option is to remove yourself from the situation. Stick with the non-smokers, go in another room, or leave the party early.
One of the most curious sights of 90’s football was Barcelona head coach Johan Cruyff, during his stint in one of the most pressured jobs in the game, sucking on a lollipop on the touchlines. The Dutch legend was forced into giving up his cigarettes after a heart bypass operation, but it saved his life.
That feeling of needing something to compensate for the physical action of holding or smoking a cigarette is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome, but there are options. As well as sweets, lozenges and sprays there’s also vaping, which contains far fewer chemicals and no smell or staining, although there are no definitive studies to prove its health benefits in comparison to tobacco. Who knows, you might even become an evangelist for the movement and make a living through a Phoenix Electronic Cigarette Franchise.
Food and drink
The NHS suggests that those who are trying to quit should think about their diet and how it affects an urge to smoke. Studies back up the beliefs that fizzy drinks, meat and drinks with caffeine all make cigarettes taste better. So you have two options armed with this knowledge; avoid them and go for something that makes cigarettes taste horrible such as cheese, or enjoy your favourite food and then implore everyone around you to support you and keep your resolve strong in the time afterwards.