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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I decide on a time to quit smoking?

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    I love the idea of no longer smoking. However, I know it's going to be soo difficult. I don't know if I'm ready to quit entirely now. How do I pick a date? When is the best time?
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  • 1


    Richard Hill

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist

    Resident counsellor/psychotherapist at the Davis Health Centre with a solution focused approach; an international lecturer on the neuroscience and psychosocial genomics of human behaviour; author … View Profile

    There are a number of complicated issues in giving up smoking, but the answer to your question is very simple - now.

    Asking what date and what time are indicators of procrastination - the art of being active, but taking no action. Busying yourself with finding the right moment, the best way, the ideal time is a way of occupying yourself, but only delays the actual process.

    It is good that you love the idea of not smoking. That is an excellent start. You can utilize that by taking some moments to visualise yourself when you are not smoking - how healthy you feel, how it is easier to breath, how much extra money you have in your pocket. This is good, but still procrastinating to some degree.

    I wonder if you can shift yourself out of just your ideas and get a feeling of what your body is saying. When do your lungs want to give up smoking? How soon do your lungs want to stop being at risk of becoming cancerous. What about your heart? I know a cardiologist who no longer asks heart attack patients if they smoke. He just asks - how much. What is your skin saying, especially your face? How about the delicate smell centres of you nasal passages? How do your peripheral capilliaries feel about smoking? How many of them are already shutting down, causing you to feel colder each year and sometimes a little numb in the fingertips and toes?

    When is the right day and the right time to fall in love? That sounds like a silly question. For goodness sake, you just know. Your whole body tells you. When is the right time to have a baby? Gosh, never? anytime? Having a baby can be soooo difficult and occupies you for years and years - but it's worth it.

    When is the right time to give up smoking? The day, the hour, the minute, that you truly understand that to lose a single day of your life would be a tragedy, but to gain extra days and to have a better quality of life is sooooo worth it.

    Best wishes for the challenge. It will test your resilience and coping skills, but the question of whether you want to live longer and with greater quality of life in later years - well how is that a question at all?

  • Jeremy Barbouttis

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist, Sex Therapist

    Jeremy is an expert in Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, Sex Therapy, Relationships & Addictions. Jeremy is a Clinical Supervisor with the Australian Hypnotherapists Association.Specialisations: Stop Smoking Hypnosis, … View Profile

    I am not sure if deciding on a time to stop smoking is really the right decision to be pondering. I would suggest you decide to stop smoking and all else will follow. Once you have decided to stop smoking, then you might consider how much happier you will be as a non-smoker. However, if you imagine being a non-smoker and you feel a different emotion, like fear, disbelief or anxiety, then I suggest you think about seeking out the services of a therapist or hypnotherapist who is registered and specialises in stop smoking. Someone who specialises in building your confidence and self belief that you will be much better off as a non-smoker will get you on the right track.

    There is no good time to stop smoking. You just have to get onto it today and stop having the one last cigarette. It's just an excuse.

    Jeremy Barbouttis - Clinical Hypnotherapist & Counsellor

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