In step 1, we identified our various triggers and how smoking has become an integral past of our lives. We also realized that smoking is the single most frequent voluntary activity we engage in every single day. That means that changing our behavior is really a big deal.
In step 2 we attempted to begin writing about how we smoke. How often and what are our associated activities. Now we come to another step in our process. We need to acknowledge at least two things.
In step 3 we considered some of the obstacles we face when we stop smoking. The two major ones we discussed are the fact that it is not easy to stop smoking and that we will definitely have times when we are uncomfortable.
Now we will address some of the nuts and bolts aspects of quitting smoking. You will begin to decide what method of cessation you will use. There are a number of different approaches you can take.
Cold Turkey without nicotine Replacement
Stop Smoking with Nicotine Replacement
Taper Down Nicotine Replacement
Each of these approaches has its own merits. Which one is best for you depends on a variety of factors. I will review these with you during your first visit and help you to select the method that it best for you. Here I will briefly discuss each of these approaches.
COLD TURKEY — NO NICOTINE REPLACEMENT
The Cold Turkey without nicotine replacement is the most challenging in the very early stages. It is also the one with the greatest success rates. Acupuncture can help significantly to reduce the withdrawal symptoms associated with this approach.
STOP COMPLETELY WITH NICOTINE REPLACEMENT
Stop smoking cigarettes and use nicotine replacement. This approach helps to reduce the level of withdrawal symptoms in the earlier stages. It tends to prolong the time period over which withdrawal symptoms continue. After you have dealt with the withdrawal from cigarettes, you will then need to withdraw from the nicotine replacement product. Acupuncture can help reduce the symptoms in both stages of withdrawal.
TAPER OFF WITHOUT NICOTINE REPLACEMENT
This approach can be done in any number of ways. Some examples include only smoking one cigarette in a specified time period. For instance, you could decide that you will smoke no more than 1 cigarette per hour. The specified period of time would increase over time, so that eventually you would be down to one or two cigarettes a day, at which time you would stop smoking completely.
Alternatively, this method could be done by selecting a particular number of cigarettes that you will smoke every day. You could smoke them all in a few hours or stretch them out through out they day. The frequency of your smoking would be in your control, as long as you do not exceed your daily limit. You will then reduce the daily limit until you have stopped completely.
The point at which you are no longer smoking any cigarettes could be a few weeks or a few months. How long this process would be would again depend one your particular facts and circumstances. You would make this decision after we learned more about your smoking habits. In either case you will experience withdrawal symptoms because your are reducing the amount of nicotine in your system. Acupuncture can help reduce these symptoms.
TAPER OFF WITH NICOTINE REPLACEMENT
This is similar to the process discussed above, however, it would include a time frame for introducing the nicotine replacement and also for eliminating the nicotine replacement. As was the case with the Cold Turkey with Nicotine Replacement method, there will be withdrawal symptoms and acupuncture can help to reduce them.