If you are among the nearly 3 million smokers in NY and you happen to go through a pack a day, by stopping smoking and saving that $10/day you’d have an extra $300 a month to put towards a car payment for a sporty BMW. Perhaps a high performance import is not your style, after a year of being smoke free you’d accumulate $3650 for a grand vacation! Still not practical enough? How about $10 a day for your children’s college fund?
Not everyone wants to stop smoking for the financial benefit, most of the people I talk with about smoking want to stop for health reasons, and some people want to stop for social acceptance, since smoking has become rather unpopular recently.
Here are some of the impressive health benefits of being smoke free:
- After 10 years of not smoking the risk of developing lung cancer is cut in half.
- After 15 years your risk of heart disease is the same as someone who has never smoked.
- Too long to wait? In just 20 smoke free minutes your blood pressure becomes decreased.
- In just 24 hours Your chance of heart attack decreases.
How’s that for quick gratification? Here is some more good news, stopping smoking is simple, smokers can do this by just not buying and using cigarettes. Becoming smoke free is simple, but granted, it is not necessarily easy.
Ask any smoker who has stopped, and most will say stopping smoking was a challenge, and many who have stopped without help of any kind or “cold turkey” have returned to smoking, leaving that method as the statistically least effective way to to become and remain smoke free. But, fear not dear reader that method does work for some, so if you have been successful stopping cold turkey, pat yourself on the back and let your chest swell with pride because you beat the odds and are healthier today because of your decision.
There are various approaches for stopping smoking each developed with the smoker’s comfort and improved health in mind. The newest is the prescription medication Chantix, it does not contain nicotine you’ll need to see your physician for this. Laser treatments are a drug free medical approach that stimulates acupuncture points without using needles. Traditional acupuncture has helped many.
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) has been available over the counter for over 2 decades. The patch, gum and lozenges combined with stop smoking support/counseling are around 30% effective in helping smokers become tobacco free. “Electronic cigarettes” are actually another nicotine delivery system and unless their use is combined with a behavioral program it is unlikely that it will turn a smoker into a non-smoker, that is to say someone who is tobacco and nicotine free.
My area of expertise is hypnosis, and most people I meet are quite familiar with the fact that hypnosis can be successfully used for smoking cessation. Actually, statistically speaking, hypnosis works just as well as NRT combined with support counseling. Hypnosis is a natural and drug free way to become smoke free, though some smokers will use hypnosis with some form of NRT. In individual hypnosis sessions we can be flexible and help people transform their smoking habit in the way they feel will feel comfortable and be successful.
Some people like to feel supported when they work on being smoke free, and choose the Great American Smoke Out day in November, or make a new year’s resolution. Well, there is another opportunity to feel world wide support and it is coming up soon. May 31 is World Wide No Tobacco Day. Even if you have failed at a past attempt, keep working at it. Each time you learn about your personal challenges and what doesn’t work. So go ahead ask your family and friends for their support as you prepare to be smoke free, and start thinking about what you’ll do with improved health and more money for living the good life.
New York State Smokers’ Quit-line at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) or online at www.nysmokefree.com.