Can You Quit Smoking Using Willpower Alone?

quit smoking

Why don’t you quit smoking?

You go to your doctor for your annual check up. She asks, “Do you smoke?”

You answer, “Yes, just like I told you last year.”

“You need to quit smoking”, she tells you again, for the tenth time in ten years.

“How?” you ask.

“Just quit,” she replies.

You mumble, “I’ll try,” all the while thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if it were that easy?”

It really isn’t that easy, is it?

There are both physiological and psychological challenges any smoker has to face when trying to quit smoking. Even the most determined smoker is rarely able just say “I quit” and never smoke a cigarette again.

Commitment the Key to Smoking Cessation

In order to quit smoking you need to be committed to any smoking cessation program you choose.

The fact is that only 6% of smokers will be able to successfully quit smoking on their first try. Being able to engage your willpower after you make the decision to quit is key to your long term success.

You can increase your odds of quitting by understanding what habit is and how it functions in a smoking cessation program.

Habit – The Reason You Smoke

The reason you smoke is because you have a habit.

Habits work automatically. Your smoking habit involves both physiological reasons along with psychological reasons for smoking.

Here’s how your smoking habit works:

First you have a cue, let’s say a morning cup of coffee. If in the past you’ve associated your morning cup of coffee with a cigarette your brain will go into a routine where you seemingly automatically reach for a cigarette. When you smoke the cigarette you receive a reward, a sudden rush of nicotine into your bloodstream, reinforcing your habit.

Your morning cup of coffee is known as a smoking “trigger”, a reason why you reach for a cigarette. This causes your brain to run a program or a habitual pattern.

In order to quit smoking you need to interrupt the habitual patterns you go into.

How to Interrupt Your Patterns

If you want to use willpower alone to quit smoking, the first thing you need to do to quit smoking is to understand what triggers you reaching for a cigarette. The easiest way to do this is to write down when and where you reach for every cigarette that goes into your mouth.

Once you know what your triggers are you need to interrupt your pattern. This could be going for a walk or putting a piece of celery in your mouth.

The problem with the willpower method is it is one of the hardest methods to quit smoking there is. Only about 7 percent of smokers who attempt to quit this way actually quit smoking.

That’s why you should investigate other methods to help you quit.

Other Methods to Quit Smoking

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is one of the most common methods people try to help them quit smoking. The problem with this method is that it doesn’t work much better than using willpower alone.

Another method is prescription medications. The only FDA approved drugs are Chantix and Zyban. While these medications work better than NRT, these drugs are associated with some extremely severe side effects.

If you live in California, another method you can try is to call 1-800-NO BUTTS. This service provides phone counseling to any California resident at no charge and works for about 25% of the smokers who call in.

You can also use one on one psychotherapy and/or hypnotherapy to quit smoking. In fact, hypnotherapy has been used by millions of smokers to quit smoking and has been found to be very effective for helping smokers who want to quit.

For more information about the many methods you can use to quit smoking and their effectiveness fill in the form below.

What to Expect

The first two weeks after you quit smoking will be the hardest.  That’s because your cravings will be the strongest during this period.

Your body needs to adjust to lower levels of dopamine as it flushes out all the smoke created compounds found in cigarette smoke. You’ll also have to be able to resist your psychological triggers.

You can assist yourself by meditating on the long term consequences of smoking. You can reinforce this by viewing photos of diseased lungs, thinking about the shortness of breath you experienced walking up a set of stairs or not being there for your kids or grandkids in the future.

You Can Quit Smoking

Less than a decade ago 24 percent of Americans smoked cigarettes. Today that number has decreased to 18 or 19 percent.

You too can become an ex-smoker. You just have to make the decision to quit and then get the help you need.

Remember, it doesn’t matter what you use to quit smoking, what’s important is that you actually quit.

Do it for life!

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About the Author

Wil Dieck is the founder of Total Mind Therapy©, a system that uses Neuro Emotional Conditioning (NEC)©, a process that combines advanced hypnotherapy (hypnosis), NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques and the deep breathing meditative breathing techniques from Qigong, a Chinese Martial Art into a highly effective healing and transformation process.

For more information about Wil and (NEC)© just follow this link…