The statistics on smoking, and the effect it has on our health, are well documented. And second-hand smoke can be just as harmful for our friends, loved ones, and strangers alike. That doesn’t make it any easier to quit when you think you should be ready to give it up, does it? In fact, what usually happens is that we decide to quit, and then life happens and we find ourselves smoking more than ever. The patch, gum and other devices are actually sending nicotine directly into the bloodstream, and nicotine is considered to be one of the most harmful chemicals found in cigarettes! But, for some, these methods can and do work, sometimes for good, and oftentimes only for a while.
There are, however, safer and healthier ways to quit the butts habit forever. I have witnessed the following method(s) to work hundreds of times, and most of the people I’ve known to quit in this way did it in the first try and NEVER went back to smoking! Sounds good, doesn’t it? Here is how you, too, can become cig-free for life!
There are four main components to smoking addiction:
Chemical dependence- Cigarettes are well-known for their chemical load that is deposited into our lungs and into our bloodstream. Strangely as it seems, our bodies become dependent on this toxic load being there at fairly consistent levels. When we don’t have these toxins coming in, we physiologically crave this mix of chemicals in our lungs and in our bloodstream. That is why so many smokers light up immediately upon awakening. Some brands of cigarettes are believed to contain between 300 to nearly 400 ingredients, many of which are addictive chemical compounds! We think of cigarettes as rolled tobacco, but they are really so much more than that.
Emotional dependence/ Stress- Many people reach for a cigarette every time they feel stressed or anxious, and feel that smoking takes the edge off. Initially, it does feel that way, but smoking is actually shown to significantly increase stress and anxiety levels over the long-term. So, if we don’t find other tools to handle our excess stress and anxiety, our smoking habit will likely increase with time. Check out the many articles I have here on my site to deal with stress.
Finger activity- Smokers tend toward fidgeting with things, including their cigarettes. When attempting to quit, they often report that having nothing to do with their hands can be very difficult. It seems like a small thing, but it can be the downfall when attempting to quit.
Breathing deeply- An interesting fact is that smokers tend to breathe very shallowly, usually taking their deepest breaths as they take that first long drag from their cigarette each time they light up. Shallow breathing does not effectively deliver oxygen to fill the lungs so as to oxygenate all our blood and cells, nor does it allow the necessary release of toxins and carbon dioxide through the exhale. Therefore, most smokers crave a deep breath, but the brain associates this with that first drag, and we then interpret the craving as a desire for another smoke.
If you know you are ready, or nearly ready, to give up those cigarettes for good, start now, right this very moment as you read this blog post by taking deep, calm breaths as often as you can. If you get stuck in traffic, need to wait in line at the grocer or feel frustrated with the boss, breathe in, slowly and deeply, then calmly exhale. Before inhaling again, stop for a just a brief moment, and then exhale a little bit more, preferably to a brisk count of five. This helps to release those toxins, calms the spirit so as to reduce the anxiety and stress levels, and leaves more room available in the lungs for the next inhale to deliver oxygen throughout your body. I have known several people who have, often unintentionally, used this technique alone to quit and have never gone back to their former cigarette habit.
Next, you’ll want to reduce your body’s toxicity load in a way that is safe and proven to work in scientific studies and won’t cause increased physiological cravings. Studies show that turmeric and green tea both work to detoxify the tar, nicotine and other toxins associated with cigarette smoking from the body. Further research has provided evidence that they work synergistically even greater than either herb does alone. Turmeric and green tea are also known to provide relief from excess inflammation, which can happen within our bodies more readily when we’re smokers.
Please note: Most of the turmeric and green tea supplement products on the US market are not very pure, to say the least. Please be sure to choose a product by a reputable company made with certified organically grown turmeric and/ or green tea, whenever possible, so that you will be provided the greatest results. Please note that curcurmin is NOT turmeric; it is only one of the many components of the turmeric tuber, or horizontal root, and does not work as well as real turmeric. (Look on the back of the label to see if it says 95% curcurmin. If it does, look for another product.)
There is an amazing clinical study done in India with men that were heavy smokers. This study was done with a product formerly called Smokeshield, but now renamed Supercritical Antioxidants (produced by New Chapter, Inc.), available at most co-ops, natural pharmacies and health food stores throughout the US, Canada and Europe. New Chapter has also come out with a similar product, same ingredients, called SMOKE. For this purpose, they are interchangeable.
A little background on that study; the men who were chosen to be part of this study had smoked for at least ten years, smoked at least one pack of cigarettes a day, agreed to continue smoking throughout the study and had the blood toxicity levels to put them in jeopardy for smoking-related cancer.
They took one capsule in the morning and one capsule in the evening for 30 days. At the end of the study, their blood was tested again and their toxicity markers were down to a clinical zero! Remember, they kept smoking, so these results were no small feat!
A similar, very potent product that may also be chosen for this same detoxification purpose is made by a wonderful company called Gaia Herbs. The product is called Liver Cleanse.
Once again, I have known several people to quit smoking during this 30 day detoxification process as they were preparing their bodies to take the big step to quit! Even though the clinical study lasted 30 days, I have always urged folks to continue to detoxify their bodies throughout the entire quitting process, and continue to do so for approximately one month for every year they have smoked in their lives. Some have reported back to me that they have continued to take the Supercritical Antioxidants or Liver Cleanse, even to this day, because they appreciate the way they feel in their new, cleaner, healthier bodies! With the chemical exposure we are bombarded with through air, water and the food supply, this may, indeed, be a wise decision.
So, with a clean and purified body to work with, if you haven’t already, it’s time to smoke that last butt, for good! Pick the day, hour and minute, enjoy the last one if you want to, and don’t look back!
Now, many smokers say that the hardest part is the stress. Whether it’s accurate or not, smokers and former smokers report that, when times get really tough, the thing many want to do instinctively is to reach for a cig and take that first long drag. Well, what are you going to do instead? Think about this, and take action. Check out the great herb for stress called Holy basil, or contact me to schedule a Healing Wellness Consultation to get a more customized approach to the stress load you experience.
Take a long deep breath, and instead of focusing on the inhale, let your attention be mainly on the completion of the exhale. Long, slow and relaxed, let it out, so that your next inhale may better nourish your nervous system and its oxygen needs.
If deep breathing helped, but was not enough for your needs, here is a powerful answer for those intense emotional cravings. They’re homeopathic remedies, little pellets that you let dissolve under your tongue. You may use them to quit, especially in the first few days when it’s the most difficult to deal with the stress and anxiety. And you can also use them anytime in the future when life feels difficult, and you feel those cravings and desires coming on, so that you don’t ever light up again! Keep a container with you so you’ll have them when stressful situations strike.
Again, a little background. Homeopathy is a medical system designed to stimulate the body’s inner healing processes to regain harmony and balance. Homeopathy is based upon the concept that very dilute amounts of plant (or mineral) medicines can alleviate the symptoms of illnesses that very high doses of the same plant (or mineral) may actually cause. This is the theory called ‘like cures like’. In Germany, homeopathy is the most prescribed form of holistic medicine, being practiced by more than 80% of all medical doctors there.
We are a culture that firmly believes and practices ‘more is better’. In homeopathy, however, the less we have of the original substance, the more potent the homeopathic remedy becomes. The milder doses are considered so safe that they may even be administered to newborns, small children and people with numerous allergies or chemical sensitivities without concern.
Usually, homeopathic remedies are purchased as tiny simple sugar pellets that are placed under the tongue to dissolve and easily enter the bloodstream. It is best if we don’t touch them with our hands, so they are usually placed onto a folded piece of paper, then dropped into the mouth under the tongue.
So, now that you have a functional understanding of homeopathic remedies, we can discuss dealing with the emotional cravings for a smoke. There are several excellent homeopathic remedies that can immediately eliminate the urge for a cigarette, and they tend to work best on those emotional cravings that are so challenging to get through.
The following is a list of homeopathic remedies, in order from top to bottom according to how many people I have known to use them successfully to permanently eliminate the smoking habit from their lives. At least one or two of them are available at virtually every health food store in the US and Europe. There are others, as well, but these are the ones I have used and / or seen others successfully use.
Natra-Bio’s “Smoking Withdrawal”
King Bio’s “Smoke Control”
B & T’s (Boericke & Tafel) “Smoke Free”
Homeo-Care Stop Smoking Formula
Boiron’s “Quit Smoking Care Kit”, or the single herb called Lobelia from any homeopathic company.
Replace the fidgeting with flavored toothpicks (Thursday Plantation are excellent and available at most health food stores), a tongue depressor, a gum stimulator or even modeling clay such as Fimo or Sculpey. This will quickly replace the fumbling with a cigarette, especially when stress levels are high, and relieve the desire to return to your former unhealthy habit.
Now, let’s address the reason for weight gain when quitting. It may be somewhat obvious. When giving up cigarettes, we often replace the need for an emotional release and something to do with our hands with eating, especially snacking. This is a bad scene for the waistline! But, not to worry …, the program above has been the chosen method of quitters I’ve known and coached all over the northeast, and weight gain has never been an issue. So use this plan or get my support to increase your chances of success. (After my small fee, imagine the money you’ll save!)
Need help? Contact me to schedule a Healing Wellness Consultation. Get the support you need. Save money, save time, save your life!
So, good luck with becoming a healthier, more vibrant you! Please, once you have successfully gotten over the hump and feel your energy levels returning, send us a donation that you can now afford, possibly the amount that you would have spent on cigarettes in a week, a month or even a year, so that we may continue to provide you, your loved ones and our world community with detailed information about herbs, supplements and healthy lifestyle choices that you will not find anywhere else. Thanks. Be well.