By David Trevena
Over the past four years at the Stop Smoking Centre, we have helped over 2,000 people quit smoking. In that time, we’ve heard every story and have lost count of the times clients have begun by saying, “You may think this is silly, but…”
So first of all, let me ask you, how determined you are to stop smoking? On a scale of zero (not bothered) to ten (nothing will stop me), how determined are you to quit?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
If you have scored less than eight, you almost certainly have ‘mixed feelings’ about stopping. But don’t worry, that’s normal. Many smokers know all the reasons why they ‘should’ stop, but still struggle making the final decision. They beat themselves up, complaining of a lack of willpower. But they are wrong, it isn’t willpower, you just need to make the decision.
Smokers who find it easy to quit say things like:
“I spent a year thinking about it before I finally decided to quit…
“…You just make a decision.”
Our experience of helping many hundreds of smokers is that ‘Making that decision’ is the main reason why those who quit easily found it easy to stop. Honestly answering the following questions will help you ‘get off the fence’ and reach the decision to quit.
Please answer the following questions:
How many cigarettes you smoke each day? ____
Note down what are you doing when you are smoking.
Is it while having a drink, after a meal, taking a break?
How many of these cigarettes do you actually enjoy? ____
Many clients tell us they smoke ‘all the time.’ If that’s your belief, just calculate how many hours you are actually smoking each day – assuming it takes about four minutes to smoke each cigarette, just multiply the number you smoke each day by 4. Then divide by 60 to get the number of hours you smoke.
Hours I smoke: ____
How many hours you are awake each day (Hint, the Av is 16 hours)? As you can see, even a heavy smoker doesn’t smoke all the time. In fact, even a heavy smoker is a ‘non-smoker’ more hours then they are a smoker!
Total hours awake: ____
Now let me ask you, why do you actually want to stop smoking? Tick which of the following apply to you:
o Want to be there for my children/grandchildren
o Am pregnant, or intend to start a family
o Dislike the smell
o Controlling my life
If you ticked health, do you have current health issues?
For example, shortness of breath, wheezing, lack of energy, asthma, bronchitis or emphysema? Or have you suffered from colds or viruses that you just can’t shake? If you have noticed smoking is affecting your health, write down the specifics here:
If you ticked health but don’t have any current health issues, is it because (like many) you are concerned of what might happen if you continue to smoke? You are probably aware of all the facts:
· Smoking causes 120,000 deaths a year in the UK, that is 330 people every day
· Smokers in their thirties and forties have five times the amount of heart attacks as non- smokers the same age
· One half of smokers will die prematurely
· Studies by ASH and the BMA indicate that around 50% of UK male smokers in their thirties and forties suffer from smoking related impotence
· Women who continue to smoke are more likely to experience vomiting, urinary infections and thrush.
Is smoking stopping you from doing what you want to do (i.e. getting fit, participating in your favourite activity), or is it the fear of what might happen if you continue to smoke? Use this space to describe specifically what your health concerns are:
Now, make a note of all that you will gain by stopping smoking. Will you gain more health? More energy? Self-confidence? A clean smelling house? More money? Describe what you will gain by becoming a non-smoker:
Imagine how you will look in six months as a non-smoker? How are you feeling? What are others saying about you?
Now, try to imagine how it would be if you continue to smoke… Imagine yourself in five years time if you continue to smoke. How would you look? How would you feel? Fast-forwards another ten years. How does it feel now? What are you saying to yourself? Can you go another ten years? How is your health? What are you saying to yourself?
As best as you can, switch between the two future scenarios, Smoker… and Non Smoker. Switch between them more quickly now, four or five times. Smoker…Non-Smoker. Smoker.. Non-Smoker… etc
What do you notice? Most of our clients find the ‘non smoker’ becomes more compelling.
You can download the free report, “Secrets to Stopping Smoking Without Cravings or Weight Gain” from www.stopsmokingcentre.co.uk
Dave Trevena, with his wife Elaine have helped over 2,000 smokers quit at the Stop Smoking Centre. You can download their free report, ‘Secrets of Stopping Smoking Without Cravings or Weight Gain’ from, www.stopsmokingcentre.co.uk
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