Ninety nine percent of smokers know that, at some point in their life they will stop smoking. Their reasons for stopping will vary and the time they choose to stop will also vary. But we know that health scares to themselves and or close family members, as a result of smoking, along with government health warnings, anti-smoking campaigns and the Surgeon’s General warnings on cigarette packets, don’t usually convince you or the many others out there to pack it in.
Your reasons for stopping smoking will be yours and yours alone. You may have many reasons or just a couple but, when you arrive at the decision to stop smoking you will go through five general phases.
Phases of Stopping Smoking
Pre-contemplation: This is the first phase, you are not thinking seriously about stopping smoking in the near future, although you know that you will at some point.
Contemplation: In this phase you are actively thinking about stopping but you are not usually quite ready enough to make a serious attempt yet. You may say things to yourself such as – “Yes, I’m ready to stop smoking but, I’m under a lot of stress and I don’t want to gain weight” or “I’m not sure if I can do it.”
Preparation: During this phase you are serious about stopping within the next month and, you may even have tried to stop in the past 12 months. You will usually have some sort of plan on how to stop – be it with patches, a hypnotherapist, gum, acupuncture, will power etc. 100ml ejuice
Action – Stopping Smoking with Help (Stage 1): This is the first 6 months when you are actively finding ways to kick the habit. Once you’ve found your way, you set a date and promise yourself that – “This is it.” Many people fail to even reach this phase because of the pitfalls that we outlined in the sections before.
Staying Stopped (Stage 2): This is the period of 1 week to 5 years after stopping when you are aware of the danger of relapse and, sometimes actively take steps to avoid it.
Unfortunately most smokers only get as far as phase 4 – stopping smoking, but they completely neglect or are unaware that to successfully quit smoking they must prevent relapse and stay stopped.
So once the decision to quit smoking has been made, it is very important to follow through with the Two main Stages to quitting smoking. Both stages involve a lot of detail and some well thought through planning and preparation – when it comes to smoking the old phrase – ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’, is extremely appropriate.
In Stage One – Stopping smoking, you need to look at the things that make you smoke – not just addiction. You need to find out what are your main reasons for smoking, many of them are individual to you. For example, do you smoke mainly due to stress, do you smoke mostly out of habit, do you light up when you are bored, do smoke mostly as a social activity, is smoking your main / biggest / only pleasure, do you frequently use it as an excuse to leave a boring, uncomfortable situation.
These factors play a huge role in your smoking behaviour. When you do stop – these situations and times will arise again, and if you don’t plan on how to deal with them your mind will automatically remind you to smoke. So it is important that you find out what each of these situations are.
The best way to do it is to write down every single cigarette you smoke and why you smoke it, for a few days. Then analyse the results and plan on how you are going to break those links and ensure that they can no longer be a valid reason for you to smoke. For example, if you smoke due to stress, find two main ways to reduce stress in your life.
Firstly, find something that you can do quickly at the time of stress, for example, you may like to use a variety of breathing techniques, a stress ball, you may want to take a short break and go for a walk, or you may want to lie down or just scream out at the top of your lungs if it is convenient to do so.
Secondly you need to set time aside every day specifically for relaxation and stress relief. Find out the one thing, other than smoking, which completely relaxes you. Maybe it’s a trip top the gym, half an hour in the sauna, reading a book, a jigsaw puzzle, a walk on the beach with your dog etc.