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by David L. Johnson and Carole A. Johnson
Infinity, 2000
Review by Nancy B. Leake on Nov 12th 2001

Stop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco for Life ChangesNow is the time to quit. Tobacco users have been forced to take their habit outside, away from the office, away from the public. Prices of a pack-a-day habit soar to over $1100 a year. Banned from public domain and condemned to poverty, users should consider ceasing. This program is a great way to succeed.

"An effective, tobacco-cessation methodology must involve the ongoing identification, strengthening, understanding, and collaborative use of one's skills, purposes, meanings, and resources for life" and the skills are available in this workbook and tape program. Over 120 aversion, visualization, relaxation, hypnosis, affirmation, cognitive-behavioral exercises, worksheets, stress-reduction activities, and participant strategies are included. The basis of the program is to eliminate all behavioral involvement with tobacco for life and to stop the excuses for not quitting.

The book begins with the bare facts about tobacco use and its health risks. Most know tobacco's risks, but it helps to correct any misperceptions. A major misconception is the extent of physical withdrawal, which disappears in one to two weeks. It's the psychological withdrawal that can persist for life.

The option to use other cessation methods is given with the program. Several nicotine replacement devices are available --- patches and gum (available over the counter), nasal and oral inhalers (available only by prescription). Zyban, a pill that decreases addictive withdrawal, is also available by prescription and contains no nicotine.

To start the program, plan ahead to quit; the better the plan the better the results. Four skills will help quitting: Confidence. Commitment. Competence. Creativity. Confidence - believe you can succeed and that there will be problem areas. Plan for problem situations, use the plans and modify them when needed. Commitment - take an active, personal involvement in the program, learn to work through daily situations with the tools, and analyze the behavior of tobacco use. Competence - a minimal level of knowledge and skill is needed to work the program. Creativity - a behavior that exhibits imagination, originality and productivity; it will help you deal with difficult times when they arise.

Many tips describe steps for cessation. Destroy all smoking products. Remember to be pleased with success and reward the self. Develop a personal action plan and use life changes repeatedly.

The workbook contains a wide range of techniques for success. Aversive techniques and mental refocusing exercises reinforce the harm of tobacco when thoughts of using tobacco occur in pleasant situations, such as in enjoying a smoke after a relaxing feast. A full section of relaxation and self-hypnosis exercises are included. Many can be read into a recorder for use or order the prepared tape. The creativity section was a personal favorite of mine--imagining different ways to use ashtrays (use the stand-alone ashtray as a bird feeder). The book finishes with reviewing exercises, relapse prevention and maintenance plans, and support resources with phone numbers and websites.

As a health care professional, I have cared for many smokers, many of whom were serious about quitting. Using older methods, including tobacco replacement, they fell back on old habits. This book teaches how to avoid that pitfall by changing lifestyle habits. When you become serious, before you take the plunge, I suggest Life Changes because you want to change for life, not weeks, months or just years. If you practice these core routines, individualize the worksheets, and do the program one hundred percent, you will win. Once you succeed, frame the Certificate of Achievement from the back of the book. You deserve it!

My daughter smokes, even though she saw the harm to her father and the difficulty he had quitting. I'll give her a copy of this book and hope she puts it to use. It will work, if you work it. "The body does not want to be used like a cheap, disposable ashtray, a 'barbecue' pit, or end up like a dirty, disabled trash can!"


Author web site

© 2001, Nancy B. Leake, All Rights Reserved

Nancy Leake writes about herself:

I am a retired family nurse practitioner turned freelance business writer. I write book reviews for various places and will be reinventing my review site WriteTimeWritePlace Reviews shortly. I have written a monthly column, "Market Watch," and have been published in many newsletters; webzines; and magazines, including Advance for the Nurse Practitioner; in a poetry anthology "In the Company of Women"; and have contributed to the "Management Guidelines for Adult Nurse Practitioners" by Lynne M. Hektor. I live in Fort Lauderdale with my husband and Bezel, my spoiled parrot.

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