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Tips to quit smoking

Independent golf tips for the professional at Leisure

July 2009

Tips to quit smoking

I've been a nicotine addict for 40 years, and Iím writing this is the hopes that someone may find my experience useful to help them to quit smoking.  I had tried everything to quit smoking and Iím convinced that tobacco is one of the most addicting substances on the planet.  I watched both of my parents struggle to quit smoking, and I watched both of them die an early death because they could not shake this most powerful addiction.  Neither of my parents lived past age 60, and I watched not of them die from smoking-related illnesses.

Also, see my  notes here on "fear of death" anti-smoking ads.

But even that knowledge could not keep me from smoking.  I had all of the risk factors to become a smoker:

  • Both of my parents smoked and died from smoking related diseases. 

  •  I live in North Carolina where the ďgolden LeafĒ is respected

  • I live on a farm that produced Tobacco for more than two centuries

  •  I work at home and have the freedom to smoke all day long

Tobacco use and smoking is engrained in my family tree.  My Grandpa chewed tobacco, and Iíve heard tales of how he had remarkable accuracy.  Grandpa Pace could huck a wad if brown tobacco juice across a room and hit the side of a Mason jar.  Visitors to Grandpaís house were dazzled as they watched the brown liquid fly across the room, with the rejected sputum slowly running into the dark pool of slimy tobacco juice.  His mother, my great grandma Sarah, smoked a Meerschaum pipe, just like the granny in Lil Abner!

 I smoked for over 35 years, and during that time I smoked more than 250,000 cigarettes.

Iíve been an ex-smoker for a year now and I still get cravings from the moment I wake up until I go to bed.  Thankfully, the intensity of the cravings gets better each month, bit even after a year I know that Iím still susceptible to a relapse.  Iíve seen people quit smoking for years, only to start smoking after a major life events (death of a loved one, terminal disease, divorce, loss of job).

I quit smoking because of fear of death, nothing more, and still love smoking.  Iím ever diagnosed with a terminal disease, Iím sure I will start smoking again.

Tips for tools to quit smoking

Iíve tried to quit smoking for decades, and Iíve used every possible quit smoking treatment.  I hate needles, yet I let some quack acupuncturist stick needles all over my face, and Iíve even tried the hypnosis to quit smoking.  Having tried all possible quit smoking techniques, I recommend ANYTHING that you think might help you.  These are the aides that helped me quit smoking:

  • Nicotine patches

  • Wellbutrin (Zyban)

  • Chantix - Chantix can be taken together with Zyban and nicotine patches, I used all three.

  • Nicotine addition clinics (e.g. Hazelton) - I attended an evening program for nicotine addicts, and I remember the powerful videos of dying smokers offering tips on quitting, folks like Yul Brenner

  • Scare tactics - Many quit smoking campaigns offer-up fear of death ads for TV

But even with the tips and tools, thousands of smokers die each year because they cannot quit.

Quitting smoking as if your life depends on it

With my family genetic history of smoking and lung cancer, I was almost guaranteed to develop lung cancer if I did not quit immediately.  In fact, if my life did not depend on it, I would not have been able to put-up with the suffering that accompanies smoking withdrawal.

I have attended several treatment programs over the years, and while none of them achieved long-term results (quitting smoking for more than one year), I learned some important skills for quitting smoking:

  • Take it very seriously - Smoking is a powerful addition, stronger than heroin and crack.  You need to take quitting very seriously.

  • You will gain weight Ė Smoking changes your physical metabolism, and itís true that smoking keep you thin.  According to my doctor, most people gain 30 to 40 pounds.  You need to be prepared for this, and not use weight gain as an excuse to start smoking again.

  • You grieve your lost friend Ė Quitting smoking is like losing a good friend, and you will grieve when you quit smoking.  You go through the same 5 steps of grieving as noted in  the book ďOn death and DyingĒ, and you need o recognize the stages of quitting, especially the ďnegotiationĒ stage, when many people start smoking again.

  • You will fail Ė Do not be discouraged if you cannot quit smoking on your first few attempts, itís part of the quit smoking process.  Most people make at least three earnest attempts to quit smoking before they successfully quit smoking.  Each time you fail, note your "trigger" emotion (anger, grief), and be aware of its power to make you start smoking again.


Successfully quitting smoking

Successfully quitting smoking involves planning.  You need to set a specific date to quit smoking and psychologically prepare yourself for what will be a serious emotional and physical ordeal.   I started my forcing myself to smoke only in a small closet, to make it inconvenient to smoke, and some people choose brands of cigarettes that they find nasty tasting.

I cannot imagine anything more aggravating than being diagnosed with lung cancer, knowing that it was wholly preventable if you succeeded in quitting.  Remember, over 500,000 people die from smoking every year, and many of these people have tried repeatedly to quit.  Donít become a victim of this powerful addiction; quit smoking as-if your life depends upon it.

 


 

 

 

Note: The opinions expressed on these pages are the sole opinion of Donald K. Burleson and do not reflect the opinions of Burleson Enterprises Inc. or any of its subsidiaries.

Suggestions?  We are always seeking new tips for the professional at leisure, and any suggestions would be most welcome.  If you find an error or have a suggestion for improving our content, we would appreciate your feedback. 

Copyright © 1996 -  2010 by Donald K Burleson. All rights reserved.