Quitting Smoking… An Interesting Experience With Nicotine Gum

A common strategy for quitting smoking is using nicotine gum. It has a small success rate, according to my clients, but it can take the edge off a craving during the quitting process.

A recent client had a double whammy problem. He smoked about 10 cigarettes a day and chewed gum about the same number of times per day.

At the first session he quit the cigarettes and wanted to taper the gum over the next week.

A week later at our follow up session he had realised something very curious. He had also cut down on his nicotine gum and for most part he had replaced the gum with other things like nuts.

What he realised was that he wasn’t benefitting from the nicotine, he was addicted to chewing, which was helping to keep his anxiety under control.

I suggested he swap all of his gum for nuts, but he wanted to completely break the cycle.

So the question is why can chewing on nuts reduce his stress. It’s because he created a habit and a powerful association. It’s a simple situation of when he does one thing another thing happens.

He then did hundreds or even thousands of times. So as you can imagine it’s not easy to stop.

The solution was to replace the habit of chewing with another habit, which he enjoyed and wouldn’t cause him to gain weight.

The solution came out of left field. I was talking to him about the feeling of breathing fresh air, and a John Denver song came to mind. But his went straight to the old Mac Davis song, “It’s hard to be humble”

This was perfect, he loved the song and he could sing it out loud or in his head whenever a thought about smoking or any stressful feeling came over him.

In addition the line after it hard to be humble, is, “because I’m perfect in every way”. This was also perfect because he knew he couldn’t be perfect as a smoker.

All that was left was to start the process of conditioning and associating the song with feeling calm and relaxed.

It’s as simple as to strongly think and feel memories of being calm, feeling it in his body and to start singing the song. Then do it again and again over a few days, and hey presto, he has a fun trigger he can fire off to release his stress and anxiety.

Leave a Reply

Next Post

Top 10 Weight Loss Myths

In this article, we explore the top ten weight loss myths, and give you the real scoop on dieting, health and weight loss. Myth #1: If you want to lose weight, you have to eat a low-fat diet. Sorry Weight Watchers fans, this is completely false. Low-fat diets are high […]