Psychological Self-Help

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(chapter 6). Communication skills or new attitudes or ways of thinking
may be needed instead of smoking to improve your sense (illusion) of
well being (see chapters 13 and 14). New problem-solving skills are
needed for ordinary problems. Finally, it is crucial to identify your
high-risk situations so relapsing can be prevented. Then the counselor
or group can help you learn coping techniques and give you practice
dealing with those situations. This learning of new skills is very
necessary (Tsoh, et al, 1997); you may not have to pay for
professional help, serious work with self-help information and/or
groups might suffice. Completely replacing a deeply ingrained
addiction is no easy task. You will be tempted to "just have a puff on a
cigarette" for years to come. Resist it. You have to find new ways to
Also, in the last couple of years, major Web sites have been developed
that provide information and resources for smokers who want to quit.
Your community probably does not have a comprehensive Stop
Smoking program, like the one described above, so you will have to
pull together your own, including prescriptions and/or over the counter
drugs and a counseling/educational/self-help program. Much of the
Controlling Behavior. The better online sites are at The QuitNet
(, How to Quit
(, Clearing the Air
(, MHN-Smoking
(, Stop Smoking
(, Help for Smokers
(, Quit Smoking
Support (, You Can Quit
Smoking (,
.htm). But certainly review what the American Lung Association
This active national organization provides information and the choice
of a seven-step stop smoking program or a free online smoking
cessation procedure. The support is offered by volunteers and use lots
of educational material. For an appointment contact a local clinic. The
stop-smoking program has been quite successful for several years
(25% to 30% of participants are still not smoking one year later).
Participants say the group support and being with others withdrawing
from nicotine were some of the more helpful aspects of the Smoking
The "cold turkey" and the gradual reduction methods are still
popular and sometimes combined with the nicotine replacement
methods. Some research of nicotine replacement finds it minimally
helpful; other research says it is useless. The use of anti-depressants
is new but seems to be helpful. 85% of smokers have tried to quit
"cold turkey" but most failed. Of those that successfully quit, 60% did
it "cold turkey," 11% used a nicotine replacement, and 5% gradually
cut down (Gallop Survey, NY, PR Newswire, Nov 17, 1998). If you use
any nicotine replacement, however, you are advised to stop smoking
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