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Tips to help you quit smoking

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Patients I’ve seen who succeeded in quitting, sometimes tell me what it was that enabled them to quit this time when they had been unsuccessful many times before. Sometimes it was a change in personal circumstances, sometimes an aspect of the treatment we gave them, but sometimes they tell me there was a single thought, tip or piece of information that stuck in their mind and really helped.

So I thought I’d share a few of those thoughts or tips that helped others, and ask readers to share the things that helped them most. Here are a few:

1. "Move a muscle, change a thought”
This phrase stuck on one patient's head as a reminder that when he was sitting and bored and starting to crave a smoke, he should get up, and get busy to help shake the thought of a cigarette from his mind.

2. “My cigarettes are radioactive”
The information that cigarette smoke contains radioactive chemicals like polonium-210 really stuck in the mind of one ex-smoker and helped her stay off them.It is estimated that smokers of 1.5 packs of cigarettes a day are exposed to as much radiation as they would receive from 300 chest X-rays a year.

In case you don’t mind polonium, here are some other substances found in cigarette smoke:

Ammonia: Household cleaner
Arsenic: Used as a poison
Benzene: Used in making dyes
Butane: Gas; used in lighter fluid?
Cadmium: Used in car batteries?
Cyanide: Deadly poison
Lead: Poisonous in high doses?
Formaldehyde: Used to preserve dead specimens?

3. “Get rid of ALL tobacco and lighters from the house and car”

Many smokers have told me that this was the single most important piece of advice they followed. They said that many times the cravings were so strong that if they had cigarettes in the house they would have smoked them. But having very thoroughly cleared them out of the house gave them some peace of mind and bought them enough time to deal with the cravings when they occurred.

I’d be interested to hear from readers what their most helpful tip or piece of information was when quitting smoking. Feel free to use the comment section to post your favorites.
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About the Author


MA, MAppSci, PhD

Dr. Jonathan Foulds is an expert in the field of tobacco addiction.

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