Why do so many people continue to smoke cigarettes, cigars and pipes or chew tobacco when very few people can honestly argue against the myriad harms associated with tobacco use? At the heart of an addiction is the compulsive need for and use of a substance the user knows to be harmful. Researchers have gauged nicotine, a key component of tobacco products, to be as addictive, both physiologically and psychologically, as heroin. While free of heroin's intoxicating effects, nicotine messes as surely with its users' minds when it comes to kicking the habit. Once a person stops using tobacco, the
physical addiction to nicotine wears off within a few short weeks. It is the psychological dependence, retriggered by both stressful and familiarly pleasant situations, that sends ex-smokers and chewers into relapse. It is that psychological dependence that no number of patches or gums by themselves in the world can conquer.
Enter Stop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco for Life Changes, a workbook-style program for "tobacco cessation" by David L. Johnson, PhD, and his wife, Carole Johnson. Both authors can speak to prospective quitters from experience, for both have successfully kicked full-fledged tobacco habits. Their full aresenal of weapons in the battle against psychological dependence on tobacco includes aversion techniques (one example: rapidly chain-smoking a series of cigarettes in a small, unventilated room, then going a full day without brushing your teeth as a reminder of the unpleasantness) coupled with relaxation exercises, affirmations and self-hypnosis. With such tools at hand, soon-to-be-ex-users can learn to hate tobacco even as they develop healthy attitudes toward themselves as non-smokers and chewers.
Life Changes lays the health (and social) risks of tobacco use straight on the line for its program participants, and arms the hopeful quitter with a methodology for planning to quit -- an absolutely necessity, the authors say, if you want to achieve tobacco cessation for life. To that end, the Johnsons load their readers up with tools, from examples of guided imagery and symbolic affirmation to humorously simple rhymes and one-liners to aversive visualization to relapse and prevention maintenance plan worksheets. Encouraging would-be tobacco quitters to find the necessary levels of confidence, commitment, competence and creativity within themselves, David and Carole Johnson have made of Life Changes a powerful means to the end of freedom from nicotine addiction.