How to Quit Tobacco 3
Experiences of Others
Here are several experiences that others have had in overcoming the tobacco habit. They will provide you, not only with encouragement, but also helpful information not mentioned elsewhere in this book.
HOT WATER WITH LEMON JUICE
"I chewed and smoked for forty years. When I was 62 years old the M.D. was treating me for anemia, heart trouble, kidney trouble, bowel trouble; and then he told me my prostate gland was enlarged. By then I was down to skin and bones and weighed only 120 lbs. Being barely able to drag around, I told him I was going home to die without his help.
"Two years later I went back and he went all over me and said, 'What in the world have you been doing? There's not a thing wrong with you.' I weighed 160 lbs. and was working hard every day. I am 69 years old now and got the best health I ever had.
"Here is how I got rid of tobacco. After a meal, craving for tobacco is worst—so I decided to go hungry for a few days. The first thing in the morning I drank a quart of hot water with lemon juice and then I started eating very light for a few days, but kept up drinking a quart of hot water every morning one half hour before breakfast and still do. That is one habit I will never quit.
"I also quit tea, coffee and all soft drinks; also liquor of any kind; white bread and white sugar.
"I don't think anybody could love tobacco anymore than I did. I tried to quit several times, but had no luck until I tried washing it out with water."
You will notice in the above experience, that the individual went on fruit juices alone for several days. About twenty years ago, the present writer read the story of a man who was hitching rides on freight cars across the country, and was accidentally locked in a car containing oranges. For about three days, that was all he had to eat. When released, he found he had no more taste or craving for tobacco. By that three day fast, while loading up on oranges, he cleaned out his body while filling it with vitamin C.
FRUIT AND VEGETABLE DIET
"I quit smoking quite by accident, after smoking for almost 30 years. About two years ago, I went on a fruit and vegetable diet. I go on one every year, but this time I stayed on it longer than ever before. When I was done, I noticed I didn't care for the taste of cigarettes so very much. I found I would light one and only take a few puffs of it, then lay it to one side. So one evening I said to my husband, that was the last one I was going to smoke. He laughed at me and made a bet that I couldn't go a week without smoking. I won the bet and it will be two years in September that I quit. I no longer have a desire for cigarettes. In fact, I hate the smell of tobacco."
In several of the following experiences, you will note the importance of drinking water when the craving comes, also the importance of keeping the hands busy doing something. This is good. Keeping the hands busy keeps the mind busy. And soon the withdrawal days are past.
FOOD SUPPLEMENTS AND KEEPING BUSY
"I want to tell you what I learned from my experience in quitting smokes. I think it is virtually impossible to quit unless there is an attractive positive appeal in doing it. Some gain right now. Fear of future ill health is not as strong an appeal as the almost immediate improvement in present health.
"It seems hard for a smoker to realize that it is a real pleasure to be a nonsmoker. But accepting that fact will help him quit. Not only do foods taste better, but one's sense of smell is keener; and there is an absence of all the unpleasant minor irritations that smokers put up with. A person simply feels better in general tone.
"I don't know a better way to bring about an honest to goodness desire to quit smoking and feel better than by getting serious about eating a healthful diet, particularly rich in food supplements with their extra vitamins and minerals, and understanding what the benefits will be. In the light of this approach I gradually felt ashamed of smoking, began to dislike it, and finally was willing to hold myself to the task of quitting.
"I can offer a few pointers, based on my experience and my observations of a few others whom I've seen fail to carry through. The first few days were relatively easy. Then the cravings began. I staved them off by eating various things, particularly sunflower seeds and dried apricots. Sometimes I found that doing some work with my hands took my mind off the craving. I remember that my throat, nasal passages, and mouth would involuntarily crave to go through inhaling motions, as if the muscles and tissues of these regions had developed a set of habits, which they insisted on repeating. I wonder if the tenaciousness of the tobacco habit isn't centered in this area of the upper respiratory tract. The habit of inhaling seems soothing to these tissues and muscles because of the extreme repetition, and gradually it is relied on to help overcome any tenseness. This may be why people who try to quit smoking find that eating is a real aid—the swallowing tends to satisfy the habit demands of the throat.
"Besides eating or using my hands, I found it beneficial whenever I felt like having a cigarette simply to postpone it, mentally, for several hours. For example, if I wanted a cigarette at one o'clock after lunch, I would tell myself, 'I won't seriously consider the problem until 4:00: This actually worked, and enough postponements of course will take one through many days. Two weeks seemed the length of time it took to get out of the stage of wanting a cigarette. After this, I felt it became increasingly easy to ignore the urges, and within a month I felt confidence in permanently having dropped the habit. In less than six months it was as though I had never smoked at all. I have noticed more than once that the period at the end of two weeks is critical. If one can hold out three weeks, I think his chances are good."
THREE DAY FAST
"The more cigarettes I smoked the more addicted I became, like anyone else. After five years of this I began to realize my mistake and tried to quit the cigarette habit. No soap! I don't know whether you would call it lack of willpower or not, but I tried everything. 'This went on for about 10 years. It was a fight against the slavery of tobacco. I began to lose weight as a result of loss of appetite. My ambition went along with it.
"Somehow an older friend persuaded me to forsake all food and tobacco for three days. Taking into my body only water. I did this. The first day was tough, no food or tobacco, just water and plenty of it. The second day I became weak and had to cut down on activity. The third day I was weaker and noticed quite a loss of weight, but drinking as much water as I could. Every time I began to hunger either for food or tobacco, I would take a glass of water, then this would leave for a while. The morning of the fourth day I began to start back on regular diet, starting with juices, then soups, then vegetables. I attempted to smoke a cigarette but became nauseated even though my body craved it. I tried again and again but became nauseated. After I got back on the regular diet the fifth day, I began to feel better and better. At the end of three months I weighed 15 pounds over my highest weight level before the fast. Today I feel better than I did at 16. My weight maintains a perfect normal level and my vitality is at its highest. 'I haven't smoked a cigarette in four years."
SCARED OUT OF IT
"I literally had smoking scared out of me. I was entertaining over the weekend just three years ago, and my guest, observant of my chain smoking, told me of a friend of hers who had been a smoker and had been bothered with pounding of the heart—she gave up the smoking and the pounding disappeared. This sounded good to me because, as it happened, I had been plagued with a pounding, racing heart for about a year and a half. I quietly took my last cigarette that weekend, and have had no pounding of the heart ever since, and what a relief!"
IDEAS THAT WORK
"Tapering off is usually disappointing. I tried it many times and the effect is demoralizing. Deciding to go through with a do and die determination was the way I did it. Many another persons have succeeded, and it is one of the educational experiences of life I'm glad I did not miss.
"Do not drive yourself wild by throwing away the pack. Keep it handy so that you will know at all hours that you can help yourself, but don't. After a year that pack will be a nice souvenir. Nothing can make a smoker as frantic as knowing he is miles or hours from relief. Keep your next smoke nearby, but be stubborn enough not to touch it.
"During the first few days the reactions will amaze you. I busied myself with writing down the symptoms of my cure, as they took place. You will be amused by the strange changes taking place within your body. Your appetite will be ravenous. Give way to it. Keep an ample supply of nuts, fresh fruit, juices and various favorite snacks on hand. Don't force yourself to wait until meal time arrives, for by then you will be famished. Each time you need an increase in your blood sugar [which tobacco temporarily gives], try a snack. Sure you will gain a little weight; but, in a few months, it will be gone again. I went from 181 to 196 during the first six weeks; but, at the end of the first year, I was again at 185. The change was not serious, nor did I diet to lose the excess. When my body was entirely adjusted, it disposed of the excess weight.
"Since quitting, I've had fun encouraging others to quit, and I've learned a lot from my own and their experiences.
"A good time to stop smoking is during the summer months. When I felt the need for another smoke, I ate a bunch of grapes, a peach, half a cantaloupe, a pear or some plums. For variety, one can have nut meats or sunflower seeds. Eat plenty of green salad prepared with sprouts which supply much vitamin C. Keep your body in topnotch condition while you are quitting by using complete vitamin dietary supplements. The greater your vitality the easier it will be for your body to take the changes that are taking place, and rid itself of nicotine and coal tar which has accumulated in every cell.
"You will have trying times. A little noise will have you on edge nervously. You may want to gulp your food if it is too long between meals. There may be some nicotine fits. Often you will want to sleep during the middle of the day, but those symptoms will pass as your body adjusts to its new unpoisoned freedom. You will sleep like a baby, a good baby, and an extra hour or two a night will help. You will rise refreshed as you have not been since you started your smoking career.
"Another good technique is to keep yourself busy, especially during the first weeks. Lean heavily on your favorite forms of recreation and choose a few jobs, such as painting the house, which can keep you occupied until bedtime. You'll get rid of much nervous energy in that way. Keep your mind as well as your body occupied and you will have less time to feel sorry for yourself and be tempted to have another smoke.
"If you have smoked for many years, you have forgotten how good food can taste. After a few days away from tobacco, your taste buds will revive and thrill to the delicious flavor of foods you thought were tasteless. You'll chew them well and savor them, for they have nice flavors which you have missed if you've been smoking for years.
"You'll be amazed when you no longer have to drag yourself from bed in the morning. With zest you will meet the new days. You can chase buses without panting and your heart won't pound when you climb a flight of stairs. You will enjoy a new feeling of freedom, accomplishment, and mental alertness. Ideas will flow more easily. You will have more interest in doing things, starting new projects, and carrying them through to completion. Your mental perceptions will be sharper.
"It's been almost four years now since I quit. The desire for tobacco is gone. The smell of it has no appeal. I am simply indifferent to it. It is obvious that those who smoke cannot know the feeling of wellbeing the nonsmoker has. I feel sorry for them.
"As much as anything, smoking is the need for something to do. If your hands need something to occupy them, take up knitting, or doodling, drawing or whittling. If you need an injection of sugar in your blood, try snacking on vitamin-rich fruit. You'll get the lift which will carry you through. As soon as possible, forget that you quit smoking; forget that you ever tasted tobacco, and your mind will cooperate. In a few months you will not give it a thought.
"Better health will be yours after the experiment. Your stamina will improve. You will find you can work harder and play harder without tiring. Since tobacco depresses the blood vessels and restricts circulation, after you stop smoking you will discover you are warmer on those cold days when you used to freeze. Your breath will not offend as many people as when you were smoking. Your eyes will clear when you have taken that irritating tobacco smoke away from them.
"More power to all who have the will to stop. Life is more pleasant and exciting without the weed."