The NHS is running a big campaign called Stoptober which provides support throughout October for people trying to quit.
If you need a little extra one to one help and support how about coming in for a session in Harley St? I am offering a 15% reduction in the price of the session throughout October, which comes with 3 months backup giving you unlimited sessions in the first 3 months…if you need them. Only one in five clients need more than one session.
Remember that millions of people have quit smoking and have never looked back.
Special Offers Page
Look forward to the first few days of discomfort. See those days as the cleansing process similar to getting hot and sweaty in the gym.
Make sure you know that smoking has no value to you in your life. All smoking does is to set up the next cigarette. It does not give you anything, it does not help, it is a self serving addiction.
Don’t count the days that you have stopped. You are never going to smoke again so what are you counting for? Even though each day you are reclaiming your health there is no point in keeping a score. Counting the days that you have stopped is a sneaky way of missing smoking. It is over so stop counting.
Total and complete abstinence is the only way. Decide that you are never going to smoke again. Do not tease yourself that ‘just one’ is possible or an option even after a year. You are now an ex-smoker and you do not smoke.
Do not focus on the health benefits of stopping smoking because in your head you giving smoking a false equivalence. That is to say your brain is saying the health benefits outweigh ….well…outweigh what…the benefits of smoking?
The new study into e cigarettes discussed here in the Guardian by Luisa Dillner compares the effect of using e cigarettes to using nicotine patches in stopping smoking.
Both e cigarettes and patches give the smoker a low chance of stopping smoking.
I suggest that because nicotine is a highly addictive drug then putting more of that drug into your body is not the best way to try to ‘kick the habit’.
Abstinence is a concept that is shied away from for obvious reasons. It puts the therapist and the client in a more confrontational position whereas ‘cutting down’ is a more softly softly approach. Who wants to look the client in the eye and say..this is it…you will never smoke again. Not wanting to upset the client or put them under pressure can be seen as important in order to keep the client within the program..don’t rock the boat.
The alternative to complete abstinence is the drawing out of a painful process where the drug is drip fed into the system creating even more ‘need’ than before as the client is spending longer periods in withdrawal.
It is no surprise that patches and e cigarettes are not very helpful to stop smoking.
New research out today shows that stopping smoking actually reduces anxiety, which is the very opposite that smokers fear when they think of quitting.
This research lend more weight to the concept that nicotine addiction messes with your mind and that the addiction keeps you in a state of fear about stopping. One of the central fears about stopping smoking is the effect on anxiety levels and the ability to relax without a cigarette.
My previous post criticised the new ad campaign for setting up a false choice between your health and smoking. This new evidence released today adds weight to a possible campaign that does not involve health and would do away with scare tactics. The simple fact is that when people stop smoking, all the worries about what might be lost as a non smoker fade like smoke rings!
Quit Smoking Help In London
People do not fit all the same size. For those who want to stop smoking in 2013, they will respond to a range of different ideas and products. The NHS is promoting Quit Kit which is available at your chemist..or pharmacy if your prefer…I prefer chemist but there you go.
I suggest making CBT and Hypnotherapy as one of your options in your Quit Kit for 2013. Not just because it is my business but because drug treatments and scare tactics dont always hit the right spot with everyone. Getting your head around stopping smoking can be just as powerful as using patches or any of the other products on sale. Find a good therapist who understands the nature of the nicotine habit. Make sure they give a good deal on aftercare, the weeks and months following the session and go for it.
Keep me in mind. Make Hypnotherapy and CBT part of your Quit Kit in 2013
Hypnotherapy in London
Stop Smoking Video
The UK government has just spent 2.7 million quid on an ad campaign to dissuade people from smoking. Sound like a good idea? Well, nearly.
If they had asked me…and they didn’t… I would have tried to prevent them from using the tired old scare tactic that smoking causes cancer.
It seems like a good idea to tell people that smoking gives you cancer and you dont want cancer so….stop smoking. The trouble with this approach is that it doesnt get to the real appeal of smoking: the fact that smokers believe that smoking helps them in their lives.
Every time a smoker reaches for a cigarette they are making the trade off between the chance of getting cancer on one hand and getting relief on the other hand. The new stop smoking ad campaign only plays into that argument. The reason that people continue to smoke despite the risks of cancer is that they think that its worth the risk. Smokers are very aware of those risks and spending another 2.7 million on ramming that message home doesn’t help things much.
We all make trade offs about the risks and benefits to our actions. Would you risk cancer if you could get a life long addition to your life which helped you feel good, helped you relax or helped you with confidence and time for yourself? Well I wouldn’t blame you if you said yes! This is the false trade-off that is reinforced by the efforts to hi-light the dangers of smoking.
OK clever clogs, so what’s your suggestion?
Focus the campaign on the fact that smoking is a nothing. Smoking gives you nothing, it does not help you in any way whatsoever. All the so called benefits to smoking are an illusion. It takes guts to tackle the issue of ‘what does smoking do for you’ which is why the government has shied away from it and just gone for the scare tactic.
Create a campaign around the pointlessness of smoking, the empty lie that smoking creates relaxation or confidence or ‘goes with a pint’. Tackle each false promise that smoking tries to make and demolish the arguments one by one.
Stop smoking sessions in Harley St
Stop smoking page on my website
The ideas that underpin CBT are really useful in stopping smoking and I use lots of CBT thinking with my clients when they ask for help to quit smoking in my Harley St clinic.
Are the cravings so awful that you have to smoke? Well this question needs to be dealt with using tact and hopefully a good rapport. Most clients have experienced hardship in their lives which far exceeds the pain of needing to satisfy the craving for cigarettes. Dealing with each cravings in turn and not seeing all the cravings as one big pile is also helpful. Challenging the idea that the cravings are not earth shattering is a basic CBT style weapon that builds confidence in stopping smoking.
I am a smoker, it is who I am!
CBT is useful in questioning the assumptions we make about who we are. There are lots of things we do which do not form our identity. A smoker is only a smoker if they smoke! You are choosing to smoke and therefore forming this idea about yourself. If you choose not to smoke then you are changing the idea about yourself. What evidence do you have that you cannot change? Millions of people have changed their view of themselves by changing what they do, why not you?
I am addicted and powerless to not smoke
It is true that stopping can be a struggle for many and that it takes a fair amount of motivation and guts to stop. But powerless? It is more realistic to say that you dont like the cravings and you want to relax quickly and so you take the easy route of picking up another ciggy. It is always you that has put the cigarette into your mouth, not the addiction. Clarifying what is within your control and not succumbing to ideas of powerlessness is one of the most useful aspects of using CBT to stop smoking.
Fancy a session to stop smoking? Come into Harley St for a session and be an ex smoker in 2013
Stop smoking clinic
Try this video of me chatting about stopping smoking