In the UK the powers that be have decided to rename October to Stoptober. There is a large marketing campaign and no doubt millions of pounds are being used to market this initiative, which is aimed at helping people to stop smoking.
A worthy cause.
But is this money well spent?
Is it useful to try to tell people to stop smoking for a month?
In my humble opinion this fails on a number of levels.
Firstly, as an ex smoker I resisted any attempt people made to get me to sop smoking. It just made me more determined that ‘I would be the master of my own destiny’, ‘make the choices I wanted to’, ‘ live the life I chose’. Of course, in retrospect this was just my nicotine riddled brain trying to make excuses to keep feeding myself a drug, but at the time any and all attempts to get me to stop smoking only strengthened my resolve to do as I chose.
Secondly, why stop for a month? Statistically if you can stop for at least a month you are more likely to stay a non smoker, but statistics do not tell the entire story. I would suggest that most people who continue to smoke fail quickly – I know I frequently did on the numerous attempts I made with patches, gum, electronic cigarettes, cold turkey etc. Occasionally I would go for a moth of two, but when it came time to give up my alternative nicotine source I was generally smoking again pretty quickly.
The main problem I have with the concept of quitting for a month is that mentally you are then preparing yourself to start again in November. You are looking forward to it. You are telling yourself if I can just get through the next month then everything will be OK – you are torturing yourself with denial. When I finally managed to be free of smoking for good I made the decision with absolute certainty that I would never smoke again – and it worked. The first couple of days were a bit annoying but at some time on that second day I had a moment of pure joy as I realized I had done it – I was free!
Thirdly there is the cost aspect. At a time when there is cost cutting all over our public sectors and the NHS is being squeezed to the point that cancer sufferers can’t get the drugs they need, I think we should be spending our money more wisely. Yes prevention is better than cure. Yes I would rather they spend money on stopping someone getting ill than treating the illness. Yes we should help people to stop smoking. How? By investing in the most effective way to help change a habit, thought or idea – Hypnosis. It’s not just for entertainment. It is a powerful amazing therapy that helped me and thousands if not millions more to be permanently smoke free – and Happy about it!
The last issue I have with Stoptober is that I think it’s being used for the wrong thing. For the reasons I have already stated I think stopping smoking is for life and should be thought of in those terms from the start. So what could we stop for a month and see some benefits? Take aways? Alcohol? Coffee shop visits? How would your life improve? How much money would you save? What would you do with that money? A treat for yourself or maybe a donation to charity as a treat for your soul?
Maybe it’s a thought we should stop thinking for a month. Maybe it’s a word we stop using. Maybe it’s something we should START….
Whatever works for you, do it!
If you need a helping hand to make changes in your life Hypnosis is a great tool.
Talk Therapies is based in Coventry, UK.
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