Monday, June 10, 2013

Bad Advice From A Good Doctor - What IS The Best Way To Stop Smoking?

Minneapolis, MN - "What is the most effective way right now for patients who really want to stop smoking?"  This was the question asked to Dr. John Hallberg from Tom Crann of All Things Considered on NPR.

Let's look at Hallberg's answer.

HALLBERG: I wish there was "the way" -- that there was a single way to make this happen. I think that over and over again, the thing that comes up is the importance of setting a quit date; that looking out ahead, something significant on the calendar that becomes the date that that person kind of wraps their mind around that they will quit. And then starting to decrease the nicotine and getting up to that point, considering using a nicotine replacement substance when the time comes, such as a patch or a spray or an inhaler, possibly medication. But there is no single way, I'm afraid.

My two cents on the matter...  here we go...


C'mon Dr. Hallberg!  People look to you for more than advice.  They look to you for strength and motivation.  Give it to them and take a stand on something.  Say it load and proud and mean it.

#1.  There is a way to make this happen!  The human brain is so powerful.  We put a man on the moon and created this internet that I'm communicating with potentially millions of people.  Cliche as it may be, where there is a will there is a way.  The power of decision and choice is the most powerful human element   If you can decide to start something then you can decide to stop something.

#2.  Weaning off may not be the best solution.  For some it has worked, but I know for me, it didn't.  What worked was deciding to stop.  When a person makes a real decision to stop smoking, they suddenly find the ability and strength to stop.  Once a person fully, truly and sincerely commits to something the whole world will move to aid in the quest.  If you're truly committed, you'll do it.  Be responsible for your choices.  Yes, smoking, even after it has become an addiction is still a choice.  You are not helpless.

"You are powerful beyond measure."  -Marianne Williamson

#3.  Setting a date and making a big deal out of quitting only adds to the anxiety of the situation and for some just delays the taking of action.  Yoda-ism #1, "Do or do not.  There is no try."  Action is the final key.  Smokers need to go beyond, "this is bad for me" if that was all it took, no one would smoke.  We all know it's bad and we decide to do it anyway.  That's insane.  Period.  If you're going to stop, you need to find a reason bigger than you, commit to that reason and then re-commit every time you feel the urge.  That's all it is you know.  It's just an urge.  With the advent of caller-ID, how many times do you deny the urge to answer the phone?  Just hit the ignore button when nicotine calls.  Simple?  Yes.  Easy?  HELL NO!  Do it anyway...

"But there is no single way, I'm afraid."

He's afraid.  Afraid to speak the truth.  That you, a human being, can stop.  Addiction is powerful.  But it's not all powerful.

Smokers, you're not helpless.  Here's the way - change a couple of mind sets here:

#1 - The time to stop smoking was yesterday.  Take action, decide to stop and commit to it.  Commit to it for a purpose greater than you.

#2 - Addiction is not a reason to keep smoking, it's an excuse to keep smoking.  It's a powerless place to be.  Take the power back.  Every time you light up moving forward, acknowledge that you are choosing to smoke and that you can equally choose NOT to smoke.

#3 - Every time you say "can't" replace it in your mind with "won't"  I can't stop smoking!  I won't stop smoking.  Why won't you stop?  Because I'm addicted to it!

Remember #2, that's just an excuse.  I'm choosing to smoke and I can choose to stop.  I have the power to stop.

Leave quitting out of it.  Quitting may be too big a concept for your addicted brain.  For now, just stop; don't quit.