Thursday, June 4, 2009

Stop Smoking Programs; Which One Is Right For You?

Stop smoking programs are a good alternative for the prospective quitter who does not want to “go it alone.”

lionroar They offer structure and support, a “formula” of sorts with a series of steps for the hopeful non-smoker to follow. Many who attempt to stop smoking approach the task with the trepidation one might expect from getting thrown to the lions, and a stop smoking program with a clear beginning, end, and logical steps in between make the task appear easier and more likely to end with success.

Stop smoking programs are available in many guises.

Printed material like books and e-books abound all claiming to be the be-all, do-all, end-all solution for the quitter. There are acupuncture programs, hypnosis, shots and injections as well as a myriad of nicotine replacement therapy NRT) products. And don’t forget the quit smoking pills, bupropion (Zyban, Wellbutrin) and Varenicline (Chantix). With all these options from which to choose how is the smoker to decide which program offers the best shot at success?
It helps to look at the success rates of each stop smoking program. Here are some statistics from a report by the US Surgeon General’s Office:

  • Quitting programs combining counseling or support elements with a prescription for Bupropion SR (Zyban/Wellbutrin) found success rates were increased to 30.5%.

  • Quitting programs involving 91 to 300 minutes of contact time increased six month success rates to 28%.

  • Quitting programs involving 8 or more treatment sessions increased six month success rates to 24.7%.

  • 7% of those who used over-the-counter nicotine patch and gum products quit for at least six months.

Here’s an enigma of a program for you to consider.

It’s a book by Allen Carr, “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.” Readers of my blog know that this is the stop smoking program that worked for me as well as for thousands of others.

Carr’s premise is that once a smoker realizes that she really does not want or need to smoke, the process of quitting becomes a matter of simply extinguishing your last cigarette and donning the non-smoker hat. It sounds simple and actually is; as I said, it worked for me as well as Sir Richard Branson, Ellen DeGeneres, Anthony Hopkins, and Britney Spears—sorry for the name-dropping. But what about the statistics?

Carr’s organization claims a 90% success rate after 3 months and 50% after 12.

These are based on the number of people who attend their clinics and do not ask for the promised refund. That’s pretty wishy-washy statistic gathering if you ask me, but if the actual numbers are even one third those stated, Carr’s method is considerably more effective than those being recommended by the American Medical Association, American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association.

Bottom line?

When looking for a stop smoking program to follow it pays to do your due diligence. Research, read, talk to friends and family who have quit, talk to your doctor—and talk to yourself. Ask yourself this question; do I really want to quit smoking? If the answer is “yes”, your chance of success is astronomically higher than the person’s who answers “no”. And it doesn’t matter nearly as much which program you choose.

Click Here! to review a program I highly recommend!

A Quit Smoking Program I Highly Recommend

Hello Soon-To-Be Non-Smoker,

Everyone knows how hard it is to quit smoking, right? Wrong!

It wasn’t hard for me to quit and if you read this blog you know I’ve pointed you in the direction of hundreds of others who say “It was no big deal!” You also know that I believe the difference between a hard quit and a “no big deal” quit is all in your mental approach and expectation.

That’s why I recommend the “Quit Yesterday” quit smoking program.

It takes from smoker to non without the use of gums, pills, patches or voodoo! It teaches you how to adopt the frame of mind that is critical to anyone’s success and gives you a 60-day 100% money back guarantee in the unlikely event your quit doesn’t work.

Take a moment and get detailed information on the “Quit Yesterday” program. Just click on the image below and begin your journey to smoke-freedom!


The Effects of Cigarette Smoking

The effects of cigarette smoking are numerous and often deadly.

smokingeffects When you inhale cigarette smoke you are ingesting over 3,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are deadly. These toxic poisons include tobacco-specific nitrosamines (potent carcinogens), benzene (found in pesticides and gasoline), formaldehyde (a chemical used to preserve dead bodies), arsenic (rat poison), carbon monoxide (auto exhaust fumes) and hydrogen cyanide (a favorite in Nazi concentration camps).

Many people believe that lung cancer and emphysema are the most common effects of cigarette smoking but the blue ribbon actually goes to heart disease. Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the US and the #1 killer of smokers. Researchers report that among smokers there were 1.6 million heart disease related deaths worldwide in 2000; compare that to 85,000 deaths from lung cancer.
If those two gruesome effects of cigarette smoking are no enough to get you slapping on a nicotine patch consider a few others:

Stroke: a stroke is the effect of a part of the brain loosing life-giving oxygen caused by the rupture or blockage of a blood vessel. Imagine the part of your brain that controls speech gets deprived of food and starts dying; suddenly you can’t talk, only babble incoherently. Diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking are the three leading risk factors for stroke.

Cancer: in addition to lung cancer smoking greatly increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, lips, tongue (I had a smoker friend who lost his tongue!) and esophagus.

Emphysema: your lungs are full of little sacks that fill with air when you breathe and deliver oxygen to the blood stream. Emphysema happens when those sacs enlarge and rupture causing carbon monoxide to build up and make it difficult to inhale and exhale. Grab a straw, stick it in your mouth and try breathing through it. Gets kind of tedious after a few inhalations, doesn’t it? Now imagine the straw getting narrower and narrower to the point that you suffocate…

Those are just a few of the effects of cigarette smoking.

Others that everyone around you knows (but won’t tell you) is that your hair, fingers, breath and clothes stink; so do those nasty ashtrays you leave laying around. You get more colds and flu, your teeth are yellow and you can’t walk up a flight of stairs without gasping for breath.

But you knew all of this, didn’t you? When you think about it you wish you could quit but you’re afraid to try because “everyone knows how hard it is to quit smoking,” right? Not me; it was easy for me to quit smoking and it can be for you, too. Click Here! when you're ready to quit.

As Featured On EzineArticles

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

“Today I Chose Freedom Over Slavery”

As mentioned in a previous post I've been hanging out on a popular smoking cessation forum. I think I'm making some friends and I know I've made some enemies. There are people who insist on believing that quitting smoking is as painful as water-boarding and do not want that sacred belief shattered. I came across a post the other day that moved me to the point of asking the author (my new friend Maggie!) if she'd mind if I shared it on my blog. Maggie was kind enough to agree and I think she does a wonderful job of illustrating the internal conflict that can take place between "the myth" and the logic that tells us that it's really not all that tough to quit smoking. I hope you enjoy her inspiring story.

Today I Chose Freedom Over Slavery

Here I am into week 3. What a journey! What a learning experience! Week 1 was relatively easy---I was so excited about my quit. Then week 2 was my "hell week."
Then yesterday was "interesting." I felt good about my quit---I mean really good & grateful & free---as if I'd turned a corner. A friend on the Forum reminded me to keep watchful because I'm still addicted to nicotine. Later I went out to a movie & toward the end of the film (no smokers in the film) I felt this "yen" for a cig. It sort of nagged at me. I did the deep breathing, reminded myself of all that I've read, etc. It passed & it returned. Again & again.
On the drive home, I passed many places where I bought cigs only weeks ago & I even had to stop for gas where of course they sell cigs. The yen got pretty strong. Crazy thoughts like "I could smoke thru the weekend & then begin a new quit on Monday." I kept replacing these thoughts with: "A desire is not a need," "You can choose freedom over slavery."
lanaiLater, sitting on my lanai with my chamomile tea, I reflected that this yen, strong as it felt, was so different from the old compulsion which shut my brain down & drove me to buy more cigs. My brain actually functioned & reminded me---no, I reminded myself---of the fact that I've made a choice (Carr calls it a vow) & that today I choose freedom over slavery. This was not really an overwhelming urge to smoke but it was strong. I'm trying to say it was hugely different from my former compulsions. All the readings, especially Carr &, fill me with knowledge & knowledge is power. All the quit testimonials on the Forum fill me with hope & courage. And lots of prayer & gratitude are bringing peace & joy.
nightsky1I was relaxed as I beheld the beautiful night sky---the moon & the stars. It seemed as if they all were thanking me for not polluting their space with smoke. I never before reflected on the fact that my smoking was polluting God's beautiful earth.
Thanks---I can't say thank you too often---to all who have reached out to me. This is a chain of grace that grows stronger every day."
Thank you again, Maggie, for allowing me to share your poetic post.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

You Think I'm Crazy, Don't You? Meet Some More Whackos…

 I’ve begun posting on a very popular “Smoking Cessation” forum.

insane I espouse the contention stated in the title of this blog and my comments are ignored by everyone but a couple of other loonies that share my conviction.  I’m not sure if they don’t believe me or they just don’t want to let go of the myth; after all, the myth (”Everyone knows how hard it is to quit smoking”) provides them an excuse if they fail. If they fail at something that’s easy they’re left with the reality that a) they’re a wuss, and b) they’d rather play Russian Roulette with heart disease or lung cancer than quit smoking.

In order to bolster my credibility and further convince you that quitting can be easy, I’ve enlisted the help of some others who’ve discovered “the truth”. Read what they have to say about their quitting experiences and please stop calling me names behind my back!

“No withdrawal pangs, just a feeling of relief that I didn’t have to smoke any more, and that it wasn’t going to be hard at all. All the smoking triggers that I worried about — car trips, after meals, phone calls, stressful times at work or at home, leaving work and lighting up, having a beer at the bar — none of those things triggered the urge. The urge is gone.”

“Any slight twinge I felt would be welcomed as a healing pain. Tobacco companies have spent Hundreds of Millions of Dollars to CONVINCE you that quitting is hard, uncomfortable, and torture. My healing pains were very slight, short lived, and welcomed after I understood the mental score. I no longer smoke and life is TRULY improved. I know it is scary to picture yourself as a non-smoker attending the usual smoking occasion (pubs, socializing, lunch breaks, relaxing, etc). But, trust me, you do not have to suffer a slow death to enjoy normal life. EVERYTHING is better without nicotine and tobacco, EVERYTHING.”

“Easy as pie!”

“It really is easy, I have not gained any weight, I was not evil, it really went smooth, I promise.”

“The hardest part was before I quit, of being afraid to quit. The quitting wasn’t even hard, in fact, it gets more joyful every day that passes, unlike when I quit before. I was slightly physically uncomfortable for about 2 days (similar to that feeling of getting a cold) then it was gone. It’s been over a month now and to be honest, I don’t know exactly how long because I haven’t counted and I don’t really care, there’s no struggle or internal strife or the need for a “reward” by celebrating anniversaries or whatever. It’s just done. It’s like I never smoked. And it had been 15 YEARS of smoking and being convinced that I would smoke till the day I died!”

“I crushed any remaining cigarettes in the pack and threw them out. I just plain stopped smoking. That was 15 months ago. No withdrawal. No cravings. You can be around smokers and not want one. Simply seeing cigarettes or smelling them doesn’t make you want them.”

These snippets were taken from reviews on of Allen Carr’s “The Easy Way To Stop Smoking”. If you need more convincing that it’s easy to quit smoking there are several hundred more testimonials here:

Book Revues on Amazon

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

5 Lame Excuses Smokers Give For Lighting Up

slash I smoked cigarettes for a lot of years, more than I can bring myself to admit to. So when it comes to giving reasons, or should I say “making excuses” for continuing to suffocate myself, I am a pro.

I’ve met smokers who claim not to believe the overwhelming evidence that smoking is hazardous to your health. There are some that believe it but are willing to risk painful death rather than quit. And there are smokers who just don’t ever think of such things; Mammy, Pappy, Gramps and Uncle Bubba all smoke so why shouldn’t they? But these people are rare.

The vast majority of smokers realize they are using a six-shooter with three bullets chambered

…to play Russian Roulette. But when asked (by others or by
themselves) why they continue this dangerous game they give reasons like, “It relaxes me” or “Because Uncle Bubba, Gramps, Mammy and Pappy do.” The word “reason” implies honesty, facts and rationality. None of those are characteristics of the explanations smokers offer for continuing their habits; what they call “reasons” are actually “excuses.”

Following are the five main excuses smokers offer for why they smoke and, as you might expect, my sarcastic rebuttals to their pretzel logic.

1) “It looks cool/sophisticated/rebellious.” james deanJames Dean looked cool; so did the Marlboro man and the “Rat Pack” guys. But that was 40 years ago when fins on cars and poodle skirts looked cool.

When was the last time you saw someone sucking on a ciggie and thought, “Wow! That dame looks really cool!” It doesn’t look cool, it looks pathetic. Ditto all that for ‘sophisticated’. Rebellious? Sure, I’ll give you that. But as soon as you come to grips with your true identity it’s time to give ‘em up.

2) Peer pressure. That and #1 are why most of us started; our cool teen-aged friends convinced us that we needed to smoke if we were going to be ‘in’ with their crowd. But you’re not a teenager any more, you’re a grown-up- start acting like one and lose the fags.

3) “It’s an oral fixation.” Stick a pencil in your mouth, or a straw, or a toothpick (love that look!). Or stick a cigarette in your mouth—just don’t bother lighting it.

4) “It gives me something to do with my hands.” Pick up a pencil, or a straw; heck, pick up a cigarette—but just don’t bother lighting it.

5) “It relaxes me.” Take a few deep breaths like non-smokers do when they get tense. Stretch. Take a walk. Say a prayer. Meditate. Call your doctor; they make pills for that and your medical insurance pays for them.

There are plenty of other excuses for smoking but they’re as lame as the ones above.

Marlboro Man

Bottom line is this: there is one reason, and one reason only why you
smoke—you’re a drug addict! See ya’ next time with more encouraging and enlightening “It Was Easy For Me to Quit Smoking” banter!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What “The Myth” is and Why It’s Perpetuated

"We all know how hard it is to quit smoking," declared the TV host.

scissors (I thought that an odd statement from a man who I'd heard profess that he'd never smoked himself.) He then introduced his guests, three recent quitters who'd appeared on the early morning show five months prior and, in front of their families an millions of viewers in TV land, dramatically tossed their cigarette packs in the trash. Now they were back to speak of their progress.

Much to the disappointment of the skeptics out there all three were able to confidently label themselves "non-smokers." One had quit with the help of the nicotine patch, another used Chantix and the third received acupuncture therapy. Then came the bombshell burst that, despite its potential percussive power, went unheard.

"On a scale of 1 to 10," the host asked, "how would each of you rate the difficulty of quitting?"

"4," said acupuncture.
"Yeah, that would be about right," proclaimed the patch. "I'd say 4."
"1; it really was no big deal," stated Chantix.

Then the show's chief medical expert was asked to comment. She congratulated them for their successes but cautioned that they would have to be wary because of the high incidence of relapse during the first year; thanks for the vote of confidence, Dr. S. Within minutes she had a scathing email from me demanding that she stop perpetuating "the myth." Three guests had declared in front of millions of people that quitting smoking was no big deal!
The myth states that quitting smoking is akin to living the rest of your life with a pain similar to giving birth to a rosebush.

Following are three reasons why I believe this lie is perpetuated.

#3. It gives the unsuccessful quitter an excuse when he fails. "We all know how hard it is to quit smoking," he proclaims. "Of course we all know," agree his disappointed supporters.
#2. In the unlikely event the quitter succeeds it gives her unparalleled bragging rights. "Hey! Did you hear that I quit smoking?"
"Holy shit, that's unbelievable! I climbed Everest last Spring wearing Speedos and wooden shoes and thought that was tough. But you quit smoking? That's unbelievable; we all know how hard it is to quit smoking!"

And finally, the #1 reason that the myth is perpetuated is...

Because we tend to get what we expect in life. If we believe the car salesman will cheat us we look for evidence to support that belief. If we believe a certain ethnic groups will act in a certain way we will find reasons to be right. If we believe that performing a specific task, like quitting smoking, will be difficult, our brain will demand that belief be validated.
I came to believe that quitting would be easy--and I got just what I expected.

(If you'd like more information on the power of beliefs in creating our reality, please visit
this page on my website, "A Personal Growth Journey.")
The Power of Beliefs