Quit by Choice

while you still have a choice.

Help Me Quit Smoking – A Short Review of smokefree.gov

I just ran a Google search for the term “help me quit smoking” (I run searches on terms that I would use to search for information on how to quit smoking, just to keep up with what Google is showing people who are searching for those terms).

The first site to come back in the search results was smokefree.gov, so I clicked through and had a look around. It’s a well-designed site, clearly laid-out, and with just a few choices of what to do when you get to the home page.

In the middle column, there’s the title “Get started,” and directly underneath that is a set of choices labeled, “Use the Step-by-Step Quit Guide.” One of the choices under that is “Trying to stay quit?” so, since I quit some time ago, I checked that one off and clicked the “Go!” button.

This took me to the following page:

http://www.smokefree.gov/qg-staying-sticking.aspx

When I landed there, I read that “Beating an addiction to nicotine takes a lot of willpower and determination.” I don’t agree with this statement; I believe that beating your addiction to nicotine takes the ability to let go of unrealistic expectations and learning to just allow the craves to happen and not make a big deal of them.

The next section, “Keeping Your Guard Up,” bears quoting at length:

Your body has changed since you began to smoke. Your brain has learned to crave nicotine. So certain places, people, or events can trigger a strong urge to smoke, even years after quitting. That’s why you should never take a puff again, no matter how long it has been since you quit.

At first, you may not be able to do things as well as when you were smoking. Don’t worry. This won’t last long. Your mind and body just need to get used to being without nicotine.

After you’ve quit, the urge to smoke often hits at the same times. For many people, the hardest place to resist the urge is at home. And many urges hit when someone else is smoking nearby. Look at your Craving Journal to see when you might be tempted. Then use the skills you’ve learned to get through your urges without smoking.

This is very sound advice; journaling is one of the most useful things a quitter can do. You can read more about my take on journaling in my articles, “How Do I Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight?” and “Romancing the Smoke” (among others).

The next section, “Fighting The Urges,” does not bear quoting at all; as I’ve said before (and will say again), the absolute worst thing you can do is fight your craves. Remember, “Resistance is Futile.”

The last two sections, “Staying Upbeat” and “Keep Rewarding Yourself For Not Smoking” both are very good advice, too. All in all, this visit left the impression that smokefree.gov is a worthwhile resource. If you visit it, come back and let me know what you thought.

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