Dr. Mike Lists His Top Ten Tips to Quit Smoking

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Let these tips help you quit smoking this November 16th, The Great American Smokeout Day.

November 16th, is the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout Day this year. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, seventy percent of smokers want to quit each year, 46 percent of smokers try to quit each year, but less than 7.5 percent of smokers succeed in quitting for a year (http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/tobacco/smokfact.htm ). Dr. Michael Rabinoff, an expert in smoking cessation, provides the following list of tips to make it easier for people to successfully quit for good.

1. Have a "big enough why." Spend time thinking about why you want to quit. What are your personal reasons to quit? Then write down the reasons. Post your written reasons on your refrigerator and elsewhere, and let the list remind you every day of these important reasons. It's your life, so be motivated to succeed. Take time every day to experience the feelings of how important it is for you to quit, once you know your personal reasons… once you know your big enough why.

2. Throw away all cigarettes and related items. Toss them in the garbage. All cigarettes, matches, ash trays, lighters, rolling papers, cigars, hookahs, logo clothing, and other items from tobacco companies that they try to use to brand you as a smoker --discard anything to do with smoking.

3. Set a quit date. Determine a definite date when you will quit (or will start a gradual scheduled reduction program).

4. Change your identity and self-image to "I am a non-smoker." You are no longer a smoker having a problem with quitting. Change your identity to that of a non-smoker so that smoking isn't congruent with who you are. In a calm moment, you may want to close your eyes and visualize yourself as smoke free, happily breathing fresh healthy air into your lungs, and feeling relaxed doing so.

5. Share your goal with friends and family. Tell them you're quitting and ask for their support in helping you to do so.

6. Avoid all triggers, and learn new replacement behaviors. Identify your personal triggers for smoking beforehand, and write them down. Avoid alcohol, coffee, and other triggers for smoking. If you smoke when you are anxious, replace that behavior with a new one, perhaps simply breathing in fresh air in a relaxing manner. Some people learn Yoga, meditation on the breath, and other techniques to quickly relax and to replace the urge to smoke. When's the last time you just took a good ole deep breath and relaxed? If you've been drawing in cigarette poisoned air to get that deep breath, skip the poison and just breathe the fresh air. Over the long run, your body will thank you.

7. Set a no-smoking policy. Don't allow anyone to smoke in your home or car, and avoid other people when they are smoking. Even a few whiffs of smoke have been known to entice people trying to quit back to smoking.

8. Get support. Utilize group counseling, an individual counselor, Nicotine Anonymous, and/or Quitlines. For example, the National Cancer Institute Smoking Quitline toll-free number is 1-877-44U-QUIT.

9. Use scientifically proven methods. Use methods that have been confirmed to be effective by research. When testing single methods in rigorously designed studies, the best results have been shown in studies using medications, such as with the new Chantix (varenicline), bupropion SR (brand name Zyban or Wellbutrin), second-line medications, nortriptyline hydrochloride or clonidine. Nicotine replacement therapy is also helpful. (Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, Washington, D.C., U.S. Public Health Service, 2000.)

10. Combine methods and "Commit To Quit." Combining methods for quitting seems to be most effective, though there are far fewer studies that have tested the many possible combinations than for single methods. If money and time are big issues, try the scientifically proven methods first. However, we're literally talking about your life here, so if you're not constrained by money and time limitations, then invest your money and time to be successful at quitting. If using non-harmful complementary methods help you to achieve success, that's wonderful.

Never give up! Take to heart these words from Winston Churchill, "Never Give Up.", until you succeed.

The author of Ending the Tobacco Holocaust, Michael Rabinoff D.O. Ph.D., (Elite Books, November 2006, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 1-60070-012-8, available at local bookstores, Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble) is a psychiatrist with many public presentations to his credit. He has a driving passion to get the message of the book to a wide audience, and the ability to engage experienced professionals to assist him towards that goal. More information about the book, and additional free information, can be found at http://www.TobaccoBook.com.

Dr. Michael Rabinoff D.O. Ph.D., is a board certified psychiatrist, on the research faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA, sees patients at The Permanente Medical Group, and is C.E.O. of Biogenesys, Inc., a small research corporation.

Media Contact: Josh Tyree 503-652-5216


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