Okay, Don't Quit

Chapter 7

Addiction Cigarettes

If you've been serious with solid isolation and confusion effort for two weeks or more, it's time for a frontal assault on your addiction cigarettes.

The isolation maneuvers should be reducing the good feelings your cigarettes had produced in the past. If you sense that several of your addiction cigarettes just aren't worth the trouble of going through the isolation steps, that's excellent. If you're getting the inkling that sometimes smoking isn't worth the effort, the program is beginning to work.

Not Worth the Trouble

Putting the final phase of pressure on the addiction cigarettes involves several steps.

First, take a look at your cigarette priority list. Pick the lowest priority addiction cigarette and bring the entire isolation system to bear on it. Mouthwash, earplugs, pliers...the works.

To increase the pressure on your addiction cigarettes even further, add several things you just don't like. Put on a scratchy sweater, listen to a radio station you dislike, or get a couple of ice cubes involved in the way you have the cigarette.

Get creative: tickling feather, sticky fingers, and crackers. Anything goes.

The next day avoid the trouble of doing all these extra behaviors and skip this cigarette. The following day, however, make sure you force yourself to have this cigarette and give it the full treatment. A garlic clove under the tongue, crumbs in your shoes, a blindfold, whatever you've designed for this cigarette. In the future, this cigarette will always get the full treatment.


Betty lifted her left arm up. It didn't take long before it was uncomfortable.

Bob held an ice cube in his other hand.

Tony stood on one foot.

Bill put hand cream in his other hand. He hated the feel of hand cream.

Anne put on a down filled hood. Not only was it annoying, it was hot.

Sue pulled on a pair of tight shoes.

Ed disliked the smell of vinegar. He poured a bit on a dish and held it near his nose.

Jim put on his old motorcycle helmet. He couldn't see well; it was too tight; and it felt stupid.

Paul put a couple of small pebbles in his shoe. Sometimes he placed a drop of water on his nose.

From this point on, feel free to skip this cigarette if it's too much trouble. The goal is to make not bothering to smoke more pleasurable than smoking.

If it's too much trouble to smoke, don't bother.


When you're ready, move up to the next cigarette on the list. Give it the full treatment. After a few days, allow yourself to skip it.

Give It Time

When you're ready, continue moving to the next cigarette. If the program seems to drag on, that's good too.

Each day the burden of these disruptions weighs heavier and heavier on your smoking habit. You have the habit on the run.

Getting To Like It

Occasionally, the isolation maneuvers will have the opposite result — you start liking them.

If you find yourself getting to like these rather stimulating trips to the garage, or you find yourself enjoying the solitude of facing the basement wall, you're headed in the wrong direction. Your effort is fine and needs to continue, but you need to add elements that make the isolation cigarettes more unpleasant.

You may need to chew fish. (Any full flavored, non-sweet food will do.)

Chewing fish goes like this: Prepare a serving of fresh fish fillet and chill it in the refrigerator. Don't get carried away and try to use food that doesn't taste right — use wholesome, fresh items. When you go for your isolation cigarette, take a mouthful of the fish. Chew it thoroughly, but don't swallow until your isolation smoking is over.

After a few days of chewing fish, feel free to skip this cigarette.

You get the idea — isolation time is not supposed to be that much fun.

If you find yourself becoming comfortable with the disruptions, you need to make them more disruptive.


Ellen worked with people throughout the day. They smoked, and she smoked. She shifted fingers and put ice in her mouth when she smoked. For a while it seemed strange, but she got used to it.

She decided to focus on talking and smoking. Out of fifteen cigarettes at work, she would start by smoking two of them without talking. It wasn't very smooth, but she was back on the disruption path.

Bill was getting to like his isolation time, and the idea of chewing fish didn't appeal to him. He tried wearing a heavy coat. That didn't seem to make much difference.

Eventually, he tried smoking lying down — on his stomach. He hated it. It was uncomfortable; it felt strange; and it was annoying getting down on the floor. It was perfect.

Tony used sardines. He'd pop one in his mouth before heading down to the basement for his addiction cigarette. The first few times weren't that bad, but then it seemed to get nasty. It quickly became easy to skip more of these cigarettes.

Flushing the Nicotine

Several medical people have suggested that drinking water helps flush nicotine from your system. You might try increasing your water intake slightly during this period. (Others mention that too much water may flush out essential vitamins, so moderation is the best approach here.) Even without any increase in water intake, flushing occurs naturally as you reduce your daily count.

Nicotine Gum

Nicotine pills or gum can be helpful if they're used in conjunction with the entire program. A pill can offer enough of a dosage to get you past the need for a specific addiction cigarette.

For example, you're down to six addiction cigarettes a day. Three are under severe isolation, two are under modest isolation, and one doesn't allow for any unusual behavior. You could substitute half a pill's dose for the cigarette that doesn't lend itself to the program's unusual maneuvers.

In general, however, it's best to avoid pills if possible, for they can dilute the power of your isolation efforts.


Ann had a difficult time getting away from her desk. She used nicotine gum to get past her ten and eleven o'clock addiction cigarettes.

On sales trips Ted couldn't go through his regular isolation maneuvers. He'd substitute a nicotine pill occasionally.

Bill bought a package of nicotine pills, but he felt like some kind of street addict whenever he went to take one. Out of pure determination, he'd skip that pill and the cigarette too.

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