Category Archives for "How to Quit Smoking"

How to Quit Smoking

The very idea that you need a way, method, technique, or tool to quit smoking is odd. If you want to quit smoking, or quit doing anything, surely, you just quit!

Of course it’s not so simple in the case of smoking, and I’m only too well aware that many smokers have genuine difficulty in quitting.

A whole industry has grown up of quit-smoking aids, from nicotine patches and gum, e-cigarettes, and prescription drugs, to say nothing of gimmicks like hypnosis, laser treatment, magnets in your ears, coconut oil, and so on.

All these approaches offer techniques of one sort of another; none offers understanding.

The Symonds Method (the word ‘method’ is used merely for convenience) on the other hand is based on helping smokers to understand and to demonstrate to themselves why they really smoke and why quitting seems so hard; then it will be easy.

How E-Cigarettes Make You Feel Bad

It seems these days everyone is jumping on the e-cigarette bandwagon – the debate is swirling back and forth. Are e-cigarettes harmful or good for smokers? If they’re harmful, how much less so than smoking? Should vaping be permitted/banned everywhere/on public transport/in classrooms/hospitals? Should they be regulated, and if so, how and how much? As […]

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The Hard Way to Quit Smoking

I have written before about the American Cancer Society’s efforts to scare people into quitting smoking (29 April 2016 https://www.nicotinemonkey.com/stopping-smoking-through-fear). This august organisation appears again in connection with the so-called Great American Smokeout, an annual event in November. It’s worth looking at the current offering in a little more detail. There’s a film titled: ‘Smoking […]

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How Addicted Are You?

A little-known advantage of not smoking In the NHS Smokefree website there’s a section headed ‘Addiction test’. The purpose of this is to find out how dependent you are on nicotine. The underlying concept, however, is wrong. If you’re addicted to nicotine that sufficiently defines your problem. The implication that there are degrees of addiction […]

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How Not to Stop Smoking – Part III

In the Tobacco Control Industry three unhelpful concepts regularly crop up in learned articles in scholarly journals. Or scholarly articles in learned journals. Trying to give up This is the idea which is derived from the common response people give if asked whether they smoke. If they do, they’re likely to say, ‘Yes – but […]

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The Dangers of Stopping Smoking

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: almost everything that most people believe about smoking is wrong. Browsing the internet will reveal plenty of examples. Here’s one I came across recently. It’s a YouTube video by a certain Dr Eric Berg. He’s not a doctor in the usual sense of the word but […]

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E-Cigarettes May Be Hazardous To Your Health

Is this the beginning of the end for ENDS? The acronym – much medical writing is scattered with annoying non-standard abbreviations of this sort – means Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems. These drug-delivery devices (for that is what they are) were in the spotlight at a conference in India of the FCTC (there we go again) […]

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The Art of Medicine and Stopping Smoking

The distinguished medical journal, The Lancet, in June 2016 reported the results of a huge multinational collaborative effort to investigate the risks of psychiatric side-effects of two drugs used in smoking cessation: varenicline (Champix®) and buproprion (Zyban®); no evidence of increased harm was found compared with nicotine patches and placebo (dummy) treatments. This must have […]

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Chewing the Wall and Climbing the Carpet

In the best tradition of the orthodox approach to smoking cessation, this year’s vintage of the quaintly named Stoptober scheme, produced by NHS England, has just finished. At least it’s an improvement on the previous two versions. Last year’s seemed intended to encourage smokers to quit through humour. Is it a laughing matter? The idea […]

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Why NRT Makes it Harder to Stop Smoking

NRT, let me remind you, means so-called nicotine replacement therapy. Why ‘so-called’? Because nicotine is not a replacement for anything, nor is nicotine being replaced with something, so the name is wrong. It really means cigarette replacement but could equally well and more accurately be called nicotine maintenance therapy (NMT). The idea is that, since […]

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Stopping Smoking is its Own Reward

In my research on smoking I recently came across a book and a website with the following titles: ‘Smoke-free in 30 days’ and ‘STOP SMOKING! in 28 days’ (sic), respectively. Here’s a quote from the latter: ‘Getting hooked doesn’t happen over night (sic) and getting unhooked is best done in the same way: over a […]

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Cold Turkey

So much activity in dealing with the smoking problem is directed towards trying to get smokers to stop. But you have to start doing something before you can stop doing it. In this regard it seems the official policy is to discourage young people from taking up the habit by various means, which according to […]

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How Many Attempts Do Smokers Need Before They Quit?

                How many centuries spent    The sedentary soul    In toils of measurement…?             (W B Yeats)           This curious concept is examined in a medical paper (doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011045), the combined effort of seven authors from Canada and the US, published in May 2016. Their answer: at least […]

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How Not to Stop Smoking – Part II

What does the US National Cancer Institute have to say about stopping smoking? On their website there’s a long section titled ‘How To Handle Withdrawal Symptoms and Triggers When You Decide To Quit Smoking’. This implies that you may indeed suffer such symptoms and that ‘triggers’ are also something you will need to be aware […]

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Millions and Millions of Vapers

In support of the suggestion that e-cigarettes (‘vaping’) should be available on the NHS, there is a clip shown on the BBC Radio 5 Alive program (19 August 2015) featuring Professor Kevin Fenton from Public Health England. He points out that “more than 2.5 million smokers have already purchased their own e-cigarettes…some are using them […]

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World Expert on Smoking and Addiction

With such a billing, who might this be? It’s Professor Robert West, a psychologist and self-styled ‘world expert on smoking and addiction’ who thinks unless e-cigarettes are made available we’re condemning smokers to death (BBC interview, April 2014). He published a book in 2013 with the intriguing title The SmokeFree Formula, A Revolutionary Way to […]

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