CBT has been shown to be one of the most effective methods for changing a behavior and has quickly become one of the most popular methods for treating anxiety, but how effective is CBT for helping people to quit smoking? Most smokers that try and quit really want to give up their smoking habit, but often find themselves failing within the first few days. As smoking is a habit, it is very difficult to quit with just will power alone, to quit smoking you need to break your habit. Changing a behavior by yourself can be a difficult task, but in the hands of a good CBT practitioner patients can change their thought process and thus their habit in just a few sessions.
The decision to stop smoking is usually not one that occurs overnight. Everything has a cycle and a process – quitting smoking is no exception. Take a closer look at the Stages of Change Model to see where you might be.In general, there are five stages in the decision to quit:
- Pre-contemplation: This is the stage when you are not even thinking about quitting. You are not ready to start any process. You are not likely to be receptive as to the health benefits of quitting.
- Contemplation: During this stage, you begin to seriously consider quitting. You begin to think of smoking as a behavior you want to change. You are responsive to feedback and education about smoking.
- Preparation: It is during this stage that you may set a ‘quit date’ and start looking into quitting programs. You might start actively thinking about taking small steps towards quitting, such as cutting down on the number of cigarettes smoked. You are actively preparing to quit.
- Action: You actually quit. You actively seek social reinforcement for quitting. You find yourself actively doing things in place of smoking. You may need help with the withdrawal symptoms.
- Maintenance: You are in the process of learning how to handle triggers and developing long-term coping strategies. This stage also refers to long- term quitters.
- Relapse: Even after quitting smoking, the challenge has obstacles including the opportunity to recycle back to the earliest stages or go directly to preparation or action stages.
- Termination: You build the skills and confidence you need to stay smoke-free for good.
Something that we are seeing become more and more popular with people trying to quit smoking is the use of ecigarettes. We spoke with John Dobson, the owner of the popular website Vaping Insider and he had this to say:
“The vaping industry has seen massive growth over the last few years as smokers have begun to discover the effectiveness of ecigarettes as smoking cessation devices. Not only have they been shown to be 95% healthier than regular cigarettes, but they also allow smokers to taper down the amount of nicotine they get over a few weeks so that they can gradually curb their nicotine habit while avoiding huge cravings.”
Remember, you are not alone. More than 70 percent of smokers express a desire to quit and the average smoker makes 7 serious attempts before finally succeeding! More than 50 percent of those smokers who express a desire to quit eventually manage to quit so hang in there and set yourself up for a healthier 2016!