Smoking – What are the phases of a person who decides to quit?

For most smokers, taking the first steps is the biggest challenge, the stage where he decides in his head that he will put down a cigarette. This period is usually preceded by a long struggle, ideally preparation.

There are very few who quit right away, success is usually preceded by several – on average 2-3 – unsuccessful attempts. The more times someone tries, the more prepared they are to start the challenge closest to them, the more they have the tools, tricks, practice to cut into the process, and the more accurately they see that what temptations and challenges you will face during quitting. In order to encourage people to plan their quitting efforts as consciously as possible, the experts of the Korányi Institute gathered what phases smokers go through during quitting.

Quitting smoking usually starts to take people seriously over the age of forty. By this time, smokers will begin to experience the harmful effects of smoking on their own skin, the dual dependence – physical and mental. However, due to lack of knowledge and leaving nicotine due to experiencing withdrawal symptoms, they often do not believe that they can give up their harmful passion. A survey by the National Korányi Institute of Pulmonology shows that more than a quarter of smokers (26.4%) have already attempted to quit smoking, primarily to protect their own health (58.2%). It also turns out that the vast majority of Hungarian smokers (78.7%) did not or would not use external help to quit. Only 18% would use external support in the fight against smoking, although statistics show that subsidized smoking cessation is twice as effective as trying smoke-free on your own. The low rate of help may also be due to the fact that few people know what quit support options are available.

During quitting, all smokers go through the following 5 phases:

1. Denial phase (do not think about quitting)

People who are at this stage don’t really think about quitting, and even if someone points out the harmful effects of smoking, they stand up for their smoking habit. These people are usually past a couple of unsuccessful quit attempts, or they feel their addiction is too strong to put down a cigarette. Smokers at this stage cannot be convinced of the positive health effects of quitting. However, once most smokers get to the point where they start employing the idea of ​​quitting.

2. Reflection phase (considering quitting but not yet ready to quit smoking)

At this stage, smokers have reached a point where they already feel a problem with smoking that needs to be addressed. They see the consequences of their harmful passion much more clearly and are considering giving up sometime in the near future – usually within 6 months. At this stage, they are much more open to receiving information about quitting and more easily recognize the barriers that prevent them from quitting.

3. Preparation (preparation for quitting)

By this time, smokers had decided they wanted to get used to it and start preparing to quit smoking. It is already clear here that the arguments in favor of quitting far outweigh those against, and take small steps to quit. For example, they start smoking less cigarettes at first, or make statements that it’s serious, something needs to change. What’s more, they set a date for quitting.

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4. Quitting Phase

This is the stage when smokers are actively trying to quit. They were spiritually prepared for the process and set up various plans that could help them overcome the personal and external challenges that led to the failure of the attempt. This phase usually lasts for about six months – this is the period when a smoker trying to quit needs as much help and encouragement as possible. In order to succeed, smaller rewards can prove useful, and the involvement and support of family and friends is essential.

5. Maintenance phase (preservation of smoke-free)

Quit smokers in the maintenance phase have already learned to anticipate temptations and also know how to deal with them. They use new methods to get bored, to overcome stress, or to counter social pressure. Sometimes a strand of cigarettes slips in, but they stay on it on the road and learn from it so that no more accidents happen. This helps them feel in control of their own hands and supports them in staying smoke-free.

Sometimes, trying does not lead to success. Nearly half of quit smokers return to smoking within a year. In this case, the most important thing is not to give up trying. Using previous experience, you should try again, until you finally succeed in quitting permanently. If someone does not go through this process alone, there is nowhere to turn: the National Institute for Early Pulmonology’s Smoking Cessation Support Center on 06 80 44 20 44 can be called 24 hours a day, where smokers can receive not only advice, but also spiritual support and confirmation. to quit. The institute “Problem? Not a single thread! ” A telephone application called smoking cessation also helps smokers maintain motivation to quit and prevent relapse. In addition, an intensive behavior change support program is available at key lung care institutions and health promotion offices, which provides a structured framework for developing skills to overcome difficulties, applying relapse prevention solutions, and assisting the participant with a timed STOP day. on the road.

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Source: Napidoktor by napidoktor.hu.

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