Smoking cessation.
Who was it who said "God, make me good but not yet"...

That's what giving up smoking is like.

In my experience, the only way you'll successfully quit is if you really really want to... then it's suprisingly easy

But, you've got to really really want to do it first.
I agree with NathanSoc, but don't neglect prayer.

I quit one time for 7 years.  How it happened:

I wanted to quit really bad, but couldn't.  So I prayed for God to help me.  I was 25 years old.  Within a month I came down with severe asthma out of the blue - never had it before.  Everytime I lit a smoke I coughed up a lung.  Between that and the patch I was able to quit.

I still have asthma, but started smoking again.  That's another story.

Prayer does work, and it appears God has a dark sense of humor at least when it comes to me.  This isn't the only prayer He's answered for me with a kind of irony in His response.  But He is Our Father - He knows what's best, and the asthma was probably the only thing that would have pushed me over the edge to quit.

NathanSoc, I believe that was St. Augustine.

I have a couple suggestions, after observing my friends from St. Mary's. Many of them smoke, and do not "need" a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. They smoke when they want to, enjoy it, but can take it or leave it, which is the ideal use of tobacco, as Fr. Ripperger, FSSP, (? I think that's who it was) was speaking about in a sermon that Nicollette posted in here somewhere as an MP3.

The main thing seems to be to smoke at random times. This sounds strange, but it makes sense. Part of the addiction of tobacco (and drinking, for alcoholics, caffeine, for coffee-addicts, etc.) is habit. If one is accustomed to always light up whenever they go out the door of their house, then pretty soon they won't be able to leave without feeling a strong compulsion, through sheer force of habit, to light up. Their morning stroll will not be complete until they've smoked a cigarette or three. If there's no mental association with smoking at a given time, place, or activity, then there is no really strong compulsion. Sure, the pleasure given by the substance is attractive, but much of the addiction seems to be psychological, rather than a true chemical addiction.

Second, roll-your-own cigarettes, together with cigars and pipe tobacco, contain more actual tobacco and less chemical additives. These chemicals are none too healthy, beng added for such sundry purposes as to encourage a more even, rapid burn, to encourage the nicotine to be absorbed into the bloodstream from the lungs, etc. It is my contention, after observing the habits of my friends who smoke commercially-purchased cigarettes, compared with those who smoke other things, that there must be something in the commercial varieties that encourages a stronger chemical addiction.
Third, obviously, don't smoke exorbitant amounts... it's expensive and if one smokes a lot, one tends to become more addicted. The "context" idea above won't work if you're never without something short and white in the mouth. Set a limit and slowly reduce.. if you normally smoke 3 packs per day, save yourself some money by reducing yourself to 2 and a half, if you smoke one pack, start trying to smoke 2/3, etc.

Although all of the above is not really a "method of quitting," it seems like it's mostly common-sense, and could be applied "in reverse" for somebody who wanted to cut down on their smoking. Cut down, as Mornac said, and then don't smoke in various circumstances, after which point it's much easier to either quit cold turkey, or reduce the habit so it's more manageable and you don't measure time by how long it is to the next smoke.

I would like to add here that nicotine is as addicting as cocaine. That is what the scientific evidence provided by Nicotine Anonymous says. I believe it. I didn't actually go to Nicotine Anonymous because I wanted to at first. I was dragged there by my then boyfriend who decided "we" were going to quit. They say going to a 12 Step program ruins your addiction, and it is definitely true. I didn't stop smoking when the boyfriend did, but as a result, I left him and came back to the Church. After that, I began to "see" that indeed, nicotine was a powerful drug that was physically, mentally and spiritually addictive. I saw I had to quit if I wanted to stay clean and sober from alcohol and other drugs. That is what got me to go to Nicotine Anonymous which led me to quit and stay quit. It has been 20 years since I have had a cigarette. It has been 24 years since I had any alcohol or abused other drugs. God helped me, but I had to do the footwork, and to do that I needed to become willing.
The last poster is so right, a 12 Step program will, if followed and stuck to, take care of the addiction. And you  must understand, if someone is truly addicted to the nicotine (or alcochol, or cocaine, or heroin, or chronic overeating, or sex, or overworking...)then just advice to "be temperate" or "reduce consumption" will be like water off a duck's back. It is a form of gluttony and the demons rejoice in it b/c their hooks are in the addicted one.

If the chain smoker could smoke moderately, he or she would be doing it already.

If the alcoholic could drink normally/socially, they would be, and not have whiskey bottles hid all over the house and start drinking at noon every single day.

If the chronic overeater could eat normally, they would not be 75 (or whatever) pounds overweight and constantly be tormented by overconsumption which they do not want but cannot stop....

If the sex addict could have a normal relatonship they would not be on the "porn and prostitutes" cycle of binge and self loathing, binge and self loathing....

The first step is as follows:

We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable.
All 12 Steps found here.

It may be possible for some people to achive sobriety/abstinence/true self control after an addiction  and then go back to be able to use the substance moderately, but such are extremely rare.  It is not advised to try since 99+% of those who do go back to the addicted state...



Several noted priests have said that the 12 Step program invariably results in Catholics becoming better Catholics. It is not a cult.

If I had a $ for every time that I quit ... .  I had good short term effects from the patch and another time from acupuncture.  I think the acupuncture would have ultimately worked, but I stopped going for treatments.

What did it from me permanently was the extreme pressure from my wife, and guilt I experienced from sneeking around trying to hide it from her.  So, it was no virtuous act on my part.  It wore me out.  I've been smoke-free for about 7-8 years now.

I think the best thing is to combine prayer, the crutch of your choice (patch, gum, acupuncture, etc.) and a good dose of willpower. And don't give up, try again if you fail.  For years I averaged under a 1/2 a pack a day just from the constant efforts.  So even though I didn't quit, it was better than smoking a couple packs a day.  And cheaper.

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