Frank R. LaBarbera, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.
In case you have not heard smoking is not good for you or the people around you. The good news is everyone can quit if they REALLY want to. The big problem is that most people get some perceived benefit from smoking and REALLY do not want to quit and will fail. You must truly want to quit.
Nicotine patches and gum are available to help with the drug addiction and withdrawal. Coupled with good behavior modification, they can help you quit. Without modifying your habits or behavior they are, however, worthless.
Going cold turkey works well for many people. Self hypnosis and acupuncture are worth a try. Get rid of things and avoid places that remind you of cigarettes. Replace cigarettes with light exercise. Use your family and friends for support. Invest the money you save on cigarettes and insurance. Buy something you want.
If you are worried about weight gain, remember that most ex-smokers eat instead of smoking, so the weight gain is avoidable. Avoid foods high in fat. Do not eat too much sugar. Drink a glass of water. Exercise. Take a short walk. Snack on raw vegetables, popcorn, or sugarless gum. Do not panic if you gain a few pounds at the beginning.
If you are not quite ready to quit try the following to help yourself cut down. Play a game with one rule - you can smoke as many cigarettes as you want but you MUST write down the date, time and a couple of words why you want this cigarette BEFORE you take the cigarette out of the pack. Wrap a piece of paper and pencil around the pack so there are absolutely no excuses for not making a note before taking the cigarette. You will probably not be able to quit this way but you can significantly reduce the number of cigarettes by eliminating the ones you really do not need.
Good luck. If you have any questions or need help call me.
Frank R. LaBarbera. M.D. 914 686-1600
Copyright © 1996 Frank R. LaBarbera, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. All rights