by: S. D. Wells
(NaturalNews) Most people who smoke at least a pack of cigarettes per day have tried to quit at some point in their smoking "career," but unfortunately returned to smoking, mainly because quitting involves combining several strategies and behavioral modifications, it's not just about the nicotine. In fact, smokers create several habits, rituals, and behaviors that they take for granted and fail to replace when trying to quit. That is why quitting cold turkey without help sends 95% of ex-smokers back to cigarettes within 6 months.
(1) Breathing pattern: Smokers take between 9 and 14 drags off one cigarette. If you smoke a pack a day (about 20 cigarettes), that means you are inhaling, holding, and exhaling over 200 times a day in a particular way (two packs a day = 400). Although the smoke contains over 700 toxins, the breathing pattern is relaxing and meditative. When smokers quit, they fail to replace this ritual, which leads to stress and builds anxiety, especially when they feel the urge to smoke. Try pretending you have a cigarette and breathe the same way as often as you smoke. This also aids in digestion.
(2) Change of environment: At least 90% of smokers change their environment every time they have a cigarette. That means leaving an office, restaurant, factory, home or party to step outside. This change of scenery is an escape from the hustle and bustle, or the stress of work. Add to the fresh air a glance at the sun or stars, and you've built in some stress relief. Take "fake smoke breaks" after quitting.
(3) Replace nicotine with natural stress relievers and motivators: Hundreds of chemicals in cigarettes disrupt the central nervous system, creating and heightening anxiety, nervousness, doubt and frustration. Nicotine provides just enough kick to make smokers feel normal for 20 to 30 minutes. Ex-smokers must replace and replenish the body's capacity to produce normal hormones that defeat anxiety and motivate them into action (http://addictions.about.com/od/overcomingaddiction/f/vitamin_B.htm).
Specific natural foods, vitamins and supplements boost dopamine and serotonin production, and balance the central nervous system. Vitamin B complex, mucuna, and cabbage are great examples(http://www.serotune.com).
(4) Hand to mouth habit: Multiply a dozen drags of a cigarette by a pack a day, and that's about 250 hand- to-mouth motions a day, a ritualized behavior that must be replaced by something productive and mood enhancing. Eating raw mixed nuts, sipping a healthy drink, nibbling on dark organic chocolate or chewing licorice replaces cravings and converts a bad habit into a productive one.
(5) Shift your acid heavy system to alkaline: Most smokers have given up on nutrition and exercise. Common food for smokers includes meat, dairy, processed foods, alcohol, sugar, salt, and possibly artificial sweeteners. In order to defeat stress, the body must be more alkaline than acid, which means consuming mostly fresh vegetables, fruit, and spring water. This balances the system and detoxifies it, driving away the urge to smoke(http://www.findaspring.com/).
After breaking the nicotine addiction in 3 to 4 days, a new non-smoker must face the facts that there are at least 5 major ritualistic behaviors they've created and fostered that must be replaced somehow with productive ones. Without addressing behavior modification, attempting any smoking cessation program is like running a marathon with a broken foot.