How to Stop Smoking ..... in Five Days
By J. Wayne McFarland, M.D. and Elman Folkenberg
The world-famous "Five Day Plan to Stop Smoking" includes valuable health hints everyone can use with profit.
- Water on the Outside
- Water on the Inside
- Importance of Regularity
- No Sitting Around After Meals
- Careful What You Drink
- No Eating at This Table
- Instead, Eat Here
- Extra Vitamins Help
- Panaceas May Disappoint
- Divine Help Doesn't Disappoint
No matter how convincing all the facts against smoking may be, it is not mere facts and statistics that you need, but rather a program to help you quit smoking.
The desire to stop smoking is good, as far as it goes; but many people make the mistake of confusing mere desire with willpower. Along with the desire to stop smoking you will want to mobilize your willpower into positive, forceful action.
We feel the best way to quit smoking is to stop all at once - none of this tapering-off business. The reason is: It is better to have a few rough days and be through with it than to drag it out for weeks and months. Slow torture is no fun. You can make a clean sweep of this thing do it easier than you think. It is our purpose to help you get over the craving as rapidly as possible - in fact, in five days' time.
After quitting, the hardest part comes in the first three days, but by the end of five days the majority of individuals find the craving definitely less or gone. Stay by it for ten days, and you make it. Say to yourself, "I choose not to smoke." Keep repeating your decision throughout the day from morning eye-opening through the final yawn of the night. As you repeat it, be sure to mean it! In repeating the decision, "I choose not to smoke," many people discover within themselves a positive, growing resistance to the physical craving for tobacco.
Right now is the time for you to accept fully the fact that how you think, how you use your willpower, has an actual effect, an immediate effect, on your body's craving for tobacco. By all means remember this basic relationship between mind and body, because you can utilize this principle in breaking the smoking habit. Each day, as you decide in a more forceful way, "I choose not to smoke," remember that this strong positive decision exerts an immediate effect on your physical craving to smoke - to the extent that in many people it at once perceptibly weakens the urge. Through a correct use of your will, you not only weaken a craving, but better still you gradually help to bring your habits under the control of reason.
During a period of strong craving to smoke, look at your watch.Observe the second hand as it sweeps around the dial. Regardless of how strong the urge, you can certainly keep from smoking for a mere sixty seconds. With one minute already gone, you can hold out for one more minute. Of course you can. But notice something else. When the third minute elapses you will usually discover that the sharpest craving has peaked craving has peaked and begun to weaken. You are going to need all the willpower you have, but each additional hour and each day will add to your determination and willpower. We suggest some rules to follow faithfully, to help you over peak urges and on toward a new way of living.
1. WATER ON THE OUTSIDE
This is the time to really enjoy luxury. Take a warm bath two or three times a day for fifteen to twenty minutes. Just relax. If you feel you cannot stand it any longer not to smoke, hop right back into the tub or shower. It is pretty hard to smoke in a shower.
In addition, try another relaxing procedure - the cold mitten friction. Known in the field of medical rehabilitation as vascular gymnastic, it will help dangled nerves, step up circulation, and make you feel like a million! Here is the procedure. First, get up in the morning a few minutes than usual. Second, in a warm bathroom fill the washbasin with tepid or cold water. Third, immerse a washcloth in the water, then wring it out thoroughly, with no dripping ends. Fourth, firmly rub an arm until the skin begins to glow.
Keep rubbing until the desired pink color appears, denoting an increased peripheral blood circulation. Some people discover it requires considerable rubbing before the skin turns pink, which fact often indicates the peripheral or surface blood vessels are somewhat sluggish in dilating. However, the same mitten friction applied the next morning will usually cause the surface vessels to dilate much sooner.
Use progressively cooler each morning in order to obtain a greater tonic effect. Do no attempt, however, to cover the entire body with the cold mitten friction on the first morning. On the second morning the second arm could be covered in addition to the first. On the third morning the sequence can run as follows: left arm, right arm, and chest. On the fourth morning the legs may be covered in addition to the arms and chest, so that the entire body will have been covered by the cold mitten friction. Some Spartan souls find themselves eventually tossing a tray of ice cubes into the morning washbasin. A cold, vigorous mitten friction will n\make you feel more wide-awake and stimulated without triggering the craving for another smoke.
2. WATER ON THE INSIDE
Drink six to eight glasses of water between meals. Keep a record if necessary. The more liquids you down, the quicker the nicotine leaches out of your body. Take no alcoholic beverages - no beer, no wine.
The average person may not realize the importance of sufficient water for the proper function of the human body. The brain, for example, is approximately 75 percent water. The nervous system cannot function properly without adequate fluids. Water is vital not only to help you get rid of nicotine from the system, but also to keep your nerves running smoothly.
For the next few days, then, there is a suggested water schedule: Upon rising in the morning, try to drink a glass or two of warm water, At first you may be forced to start with the proverbial thimbleful until your stomach becomes used to it. But start forming the habit of drinking water the first thing upon rising. Them drink two glasses of water between breakfast and noontime, plus another two sometime during the afternoon. That will total six glasses in all.
Those glasses of water in addition to fresh fruit juice may cause your kidneys to think that Christmas and New Year's have both arrived on the same day. In fact, you may even slosh a bit when you walk. But by substantially increasing your fluid intake during the first twenty-four hours, you may find yourself round\ing the corner on craving much sooner. After twenty-four hours you can cut down on the water, but keep your intake of fresh fruit and fruit juices high.
3. IMPORTANCE OF REGULARITY
Get adequate rest especially during these five days, have regular time for meals, a set time to go to bed (eight hours of sleep won't hurt you). No nightclubbing these five days. You are going all out to conserve your nervous energy.
So plan to retire a bit earlier than usual tonight. Give those nerves a good rest. Fatigue in its may forms is an enemy of willpower. Because they habitually stay up till the national anthem is played at the close of the late, late
show and thus rob their bodies of needed rest, many people stumble groggily out of bed with eyes looking like two burnt holes in a blanket. With jangled nerves already screaming for a cigarette, how can a person chronically fatigued possibly wage a strong-willed campaign against anything, let alone tobacco? Whether your fatigue arises from lack of adequate rest or from simple overwork, we suggest that during these five days you make definite plans for obtaining sufficient sleep at night.
4. NO SITTING AROUND AFTER MEALS
After meals, get outside, walk and breathe deeply for fifteen to thirty minutes. Do not sit after eating. This is the time you will want most of all to smoke. Get outside.
Heretofore you've been in the habit of eating a substantial dinner, only to collapse your feet in you favorite easy chair with a smoke, a newspaper and television. At this moment your favorite easy chair has become a dual booby trap, all saturated with the aroma from thousand previous smokes and a part of an established pattern. There you sit encircled by the permeating aroma from sofa, curtains, rug. No wonder your craving to smoke comes to life with a vengeance.
get up and go to your favorite workshop hobby or outside for a walk. You might even go so far as to help your wife with the dishes. But whatever you do, just don't sit down after you eat. After a meal a walk is the rule for you.
Here is another reason: it is estimated that brain cells require some five times the amount of oxygen required by another part of the body. It must naturally follow, then, that by reducing the amount of oxygen available to the brain, we may well impair certain mental functions. May we not logically assume that impaired mental functions due to insufficient oxygen would likewise hinder the exercise of strong willpower, so vital in resisting the urge to smoke?
Further, medical research indicates the frontal areas of the brain, usually the first to be affected by an insufficient oxygen supply to be closely associated with functions of willpower, reason, and judgement. Therefore, during the next few days when strong willpower and calms nerves are so vital, decide to take time out for extra amounts of oxygen,and particularly after meals.
5. CAREFUL WHAT YOU DRINK
Do not drink alcohol, tea, coffee or cola beverages. Try to avoid all sedatives and stimulants in order to build up your nervous reserves as quickly as possible. Milk or butter milk is the beverage now. For a hot beverage, use a cereal drink.
Many smokers, while trying to kick the tobacco habit double their daily coffee intake, not realizing its ability to trigger an explosive craving for the very tobacco they are trying to quit. But there is more to the story. In addition with the established pattern of drinking a cup of coffee with a cigarette, caffeine in the coffee stimulates nerves. You need no extra nervous tension now. Keeping calm is the watchword.
Another prominent enemy of willpower is alcohol. In any form, it strikes directly at your vital brain centers of reason, willpower, and judgement. For this reason confer upon it, during the next few days, the dubious honor of being labeled Personal Enemy Number One.
In almost every group of people trying to break the smoking habit, we consider a sizable number who make excellent progress until the fateful afternoon they drop in at a cocktail party. They fully intend to nurse a glass of ginger ale during the affair - until some old friend entices them into "just a tiny one for old times' sake". A half pack of cigarettes later they're still trying to figure out what made shambles of their willpower.
6. NO EATING AT THIS TABLE
Often we can tell when a man is smoking heavily, for all his food is highly spiced. Also he eats heavily of meats, gravies, fried foods, and rich foods, making it well nigh impossible for him to stop smoking.
The reason the average smoker uses strong condiments is that tobacco deadens his taste buds. He often requires liberal doses of strong-flavored condiments to punch through this deadened sense of taste. When he suddenly stops smoking, his taste buds begin to awaken from their many-a-year anesthetic, to proclaim a wonderful improvement in the flavor of his wife's cooking, calling for yet another display of willpower; namely, "I choose not to overeat". So by all means, during these five days give yourself every chance by leaving off such condiments as hot sauce, mustard, black pepper, chilli, and horseradish. Remember, if it's hot when it's cold, you'd better not use it.
During these five days omit rare steaks and rich and/or greasy foods from your diet. Give your body the best possible chance to recuperate through the use of plain, simple food prepared in as natural a manner as possible. Some people discover that a well-seasoned rare steak is in itself sufficient to stimulate a strong craving to smoke. The craving may possibly be stimulated from purine substances in the meat and by an increase in blood ammonia absorbed from the breakdown of the high protein of the meat, since high ammonia levels may stimulate the central nervous system. The rarer the steak, the greater the amount of ammonia formed. Substitute fish for other meat; it will also help keep cholesterol low.
While we are discussing certain foods at this point, we also suggest that you abstain from rich, sugar-heavy desserts.
In white refined sugar there is neither calcium, phosphorous, iron, nor vitamin B1. Even more important, your body requires vitamin B1 in order to burn blood sugar. Therefore, whenever you eat an excessive amount of sugar, your supply fo vitamin B1 - which should be strengthening your nerves - is being constantly drawn off to burn up the excessive sugar being eaten. No wonder, then, that the nerves so often become jumpy an irritable.
Therefore, during these five days when you're breaking the cigarette habit, dispense with rich pastries and desserts containing liberal amounts of sugar. This will help to give your nerves the best possible chance of weathering the present storm.
7. INSTEAD EAT HERE
For meals, eat all you want of fruit, grains, vegetables, and nuts. Eat abundantly of fresh fruit (this is your opportunity to go on a fruit jag). It is best to eat fruit and vegetables at separate meals - nothing between meals. And only sugarless gum, if you insist.
On reason individuals give for not stopping smoking is that they'll put on weight and look like a balloon. They ask, "Which is worse, to be overweight or risk the bad results of smoking?" Don't worry about the problem of overweight during the first few days. You will be drinking excess amounts of water, so you may put on a few pounds; but this water is essential to help you get rid os the nicotine in your system.
However, this problem of overweight is indeed important. But you will have more progress in handling it during these five days than most of you probably realize. Your will power has been steadily strengthened. It has kept you from eating and drinking certain things that would be harmful. It can now be a valuable weapon in your battle against overweight. Most people can control their weight a lot easier than they can control the smoking habit. So just take courage: we are ready to discuss some valuable hints on how to keep your weight normal.
Here is a simple plan to aid you in losing weight. It is sound and it will work.
The object is to lose one pound a week. This a good average. Of course, you lose weight more slowly than on an "crash program," but you also avoid looking like a scarecrow or a dried prune. Nutritional deficiencies are much rarer. The stress on the human body is less.
This program starts with good breakfast. Right here is where people fail. They skip breakfast, and then they continually catch up on nutrients the rest of the day. They may even nibble between meals, but snacking is disastrous to any weight-control program. You cannot eat between meals and control your weight.
Folks sometimes eat only two meals a day, but the wrong two. They have a meal at noon, and then really a feast at night. Make your lightest meal the one at night. Reduce your fluids to four glasses, and use salt only in preparing the food, none at the table. Reduce all your servings by one third. Cut down or reduce to zero fried foods, rich gravies, and desserts. Use sugarless mints and sugarless gum. Snack only on carrot sticks or celery sticks.
8. EXTRA VITAMINS HELP
For extra amounts of vitamins, particularly of B complex, which is the vitamin to help your nerves as you deprive them of nicotine, take at each meal one or two tablespoons of wheat germ. As a substitute for wheat germ one or two tablespoons of dried brewer's yeast is another good source of B complex and also of excellent protein.
One way to take brewer's yeast is to stir tablespoon of dried yeast into a glass of tomato juice, hold your nose, and drink it down, This is for the folks who feel that they have been cheated unless there is some nasty-tasting medicine to take. Others of you wishing added amounts of vitamin B1 can check with your family physician for such vitamin B1 capsules or tablets as he might wish to recommend during this particular period of time.
9. PANACEAS MAY DISAPPOINT
Special tablets or other aids to stop smoking may help you. Some individuals swear by them, while others seem to receive no benefit. You may wish to try some of them. If those nerves of your begin complaining too loudly about this whole process of giving up tobacco, feel free to contact your own doctor who may suggest a mild tranquilizer for a day or so. For any type of medication it is always wise to consult your family physician.
10. DIVINE HELP DOESN'T DISAPPOINT
The most important part of this whole program is to ask God to help you. If you have never prayed before, this is the time to learn. Heaven will help any man or woman who is really serious about stopping the use of tobacco. Place your will on the side of God, and you are invincible. You can never fail with God as your partner.
The greatest book ever written says, "Ask and ye shall receive." Here we not only have God's promise but also assurance of His power to aid us in overcoming any defiling habit. Don't hesitate for a moment to ask for strength. But as you ask, simply believe that you will receive strength, and you will. A basic natural law is "Strength is acquired through effort." This law holds true in muscles, in willpower, and in faith. Just try it and see.
For that irresistible urge that may strike you during the first few days of stopping, pause right where you are and say to yourself: "I choose not to smoke." Then get a drink of water, start deep breathing, and ask for divine aid. You will note that the craving begins to lessen in a few minutes and that you have made it through a real crisis. These periods of extreme craving will gradually lessen. You can make it.
Follow the outlined schedule each day, and you will feel better and have a sense of well-being unknown to you for a long time. Furthermore, you can look the world straight in the face because you are the one, not the cigarette, who is running your life. When you feel the lowest, you may very well be a greater deal nearer to a major breakthrough than you realize.
Recently a heavy-smoking business executive declared, "I am amazed at how may beneficial side effects there are in this plan to stop smoking." Whereupon he listed a number of benefits experienced through more exercise, deep breathing, and the stronger willpower to regularize personal habits. For him the plan had already paid off in an improved sense of well-being. He concluded by saying, "All these benefits have come to me within the frame work of giving up tobacco." We believe that is as it should be. In ceasing to smoke, you are certain not the victim of some negative decision that deprives you of a cherished habit. Instead, in the process of quitting you can open other doors leading to new avenues of altogether better living.
Now for a word of definite warning. If you allow your willpower to drift into gradual inactivity, thus becoming careless in habits of eating, drinking, working, and sleeping, your guard will be imperceptibly but steadily lowered. Don't forget that just beneath the surface lies a once well-established neuromuscular, psychological addiction, ready without warning to unleash a savage craving to smoke.
Keep your guard up. Your job now is to establish the habit of not smoking just as firmly as before you had established the habit of smoking. Remember, This will take time, but you can make it!
1979 Southern Publishing Association. Printed in U.S.A.
The Five Day Plan to Quit Smoking by McFarland and Folkenberg
One Man's Tips and Testimonial