Choosing a Method to Stop Smoking

Now that we have made the long overdue decision to stop smoking, we must now validate that decision by taking immediate action.

Choosing a Method to Stop Smoking can be a daunting task for many of us. What do we do now? Where do we go from here? We find ourselves at a crossroads.

We have never done this before and these are uncharted waters. Despite all the research that has already been done, what Smokers don’t have is sufficient and accurate information on the best ways to stop. They lack a track to run on. They need a road map.

What Questions to Ask

Determining how to choose a method will require an honest evaluation of the products available today. Will they work for me? What about success rates? Over what period of time? Will I be putting drugs in my system unnecessarily? What are the potential side effects? Is there a drug-free solution?

Let’s look at these questions one at a time.

Success Rates

In another post, we talked about Chantix, it’s side effects, and it’s stated success rate. They claim a 44% success rate. What exactly does that mean?

Their suggested program involves taking their product daily for 90 days. At the end of the 90 days, 44% of the people that started still remained. The other 56% had already gone back to smoking.

But what happens on Day 91 to the 44% when they take the drugs away?

Dr. Anjan Chatterjee, a medical director at Pfizer is on record as saying the success rate after one year drops to 23%. That’s according to Chantix maker, Pfizer. Other estimates are closer to 14%

Either way, you are now left withdrawing (on your own) from the Chantix. Chantix has only delayed the inevitable withdrawal for 90 days for 44% of their clients and now you are withdrawing from the nicotine you have absorbed over the last 90 days.

Success Rates over Time

So as we have seen in the Chantix example, success rates are meaningless unless we factor in the time element.

Will I still remain an Ex-Smoker 30 days after my stop date? What will happen in 6 months? How about after a year?

What statistics are available? Where can I find them? How do I read the data and what do I look for?


Statistics can be skewed, so be sure that the data that you are analyzing is the correct metric that you are seeking.

Be aware that validity of the sample can also be skewed by the size of the sample, how the sample data was collected, and the criteria for collection of that data.

Know what you are looking at and ask for help if you are not sure how to analyze it.

Drugs vs No Drugs

Smokers seeking to stop smoking all know that every patch, pill and potion on the market contains nicotine. Nicotine is the very drug upon whose reliance and dependence we are trying to break. And nicotine is not the only drug in them.

The introduction of drugs into your body in order to stop smoking may cause exposure to other related health risks not normally associated with smoking.

Honestly ask yourself a question:

Does using a drug to stop using another drug really makes sense? 

Be sure that your choice does not introduce further chemical harm to your body from gums, patches, pills, or vapes.

Electronic cigarettes and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) are covered in more detail in other posts on this site.

Your choice should be one of the non-drug routes, especially if you are a pregnant woman.

The most popular Non-Drug choices are Behavior Modification, Acupuncture, Hypnosis, and Abstinence Psychotherapy.

Stack the Deck in your own favor.

At Stop for Life , we recommend Abstinence Psychotherapy​ for your Personal and Professional Guidance System .​

Aversion therapy is best left alone even though it is drug free. It does work for some people, but it is extremely uncomfortable and has a very low success rate.

So there you have it. Your own personal Road Map to quit smoking.


What methods have you tried?

What was your experience?

Please leave questions or comments below.

Available Here


16 Replies to “Choosing a Method to Stop Smoking”

  1. I have seen many of my friends who use vape pens as an alternative to smoking. Although I have heard that it can become another addiction.

    What are your thoughts on Hookah as a viable substitute in order to curb smoking addiction? Or would it cause withdrawals because of lack of sufficient nicotine that the body is used to?

    1. Good questions, Jessie….

      I do not support using vapes or pens (or Hookah) to stop smoking. In fact, I do not support any type of substitution. Substitutions actually make stopping much harder to quit and dangerous to future attempts to stay quit.

      You are somewhat right and close to the truth about switching additions. It actually isn’t switching addictions. Since it is still a situation of introducing nicotine into your body, it is simply using a different vehicle to deliver the nicotine.

      You might enjoy reading the post on NRT or the one on vaping.

      Thanks for checking in !



  2. I know many people just have started vaping to quit smoking all together.

    I’m still not sure how healthy that is for you too though.

    Do you think Vaps are safer, or what side effects can they have?

    Also I’ve heard maybe eating or picking up another habit is an easy way to quit smoking — though still not very healthy if you eat a lot. Lol

    1. Hello Michael,

      Attempting to eat our way through withdrawals , as you noted, will not work. It is merely a way to avoid the problem rather than address it and solve it.

      Vapes are definitely not safe. Similar to the eating issue, it too is merely a substitution. Smokers falsely believe that vaping is safe because, except for nicotine, it doesn’t have many of the chemicals found in cigarettes. It is NOT safe.

      Vaping not only uses nicotine, which is the source of our addiction, but it also comes with it’s own unique set of chemicals and poisons and now causes new diseases such as Popcorn Lung

      Another article on this site addresses that specifically. You can read more details about it there.

      Thanks for the feedback.



  3. What a great website!  Smoking is such an addictive habit and I know people really have a hard time quitting.  Many of my friends have smoked over the years and I know what a struggle it was for them.  I was wondering what you think is the single-most effective tip for quitting?

    1. Hi Shannon,

      The single most effective method that I endorse is Abstinence Psychotherapy

      Over the course of a Smoker’s life, the brain chemistry changes.  Abstinence Psychotherapy treats the thinking processes that lead a Smoker back to smoking long after the nicotine is gone.

      I am preparing another article addressing that very subject, so check back in a few days.


  4. I am not smoker but two of my closest friends are and I watched them trying hard to quit many times without any long-term success. They would just quit it for a short while and then start over again. However, recently electronic vaporizer cigarettes have helped them almost quit it. These electrical cigarettes also have some negative effects but they are much less harmful in comparison with real ones.



    1. Hi Albert,

      The reason that you don’t see your friends stopping over the long term is because of what they have done to their own minds over the course of their smoking lives.

      This is why you see people relapse often after many years off smoking… It isn’t because of the nicotine… Nicotine is gone in less than 72 hours. 

      E-Cigs contain nicotine, which is exactly what we don’t want. We don’t want to continue to trigger the body’s demand for Dopamine. Keep away from E-Cigs.

      I employ Abstinence Psychotherapy with my students for that very reason. It treats the damage done to our thinking so that we can remain healthy Non-Smokers for as long as we choose to.


  5. I’ve heard so many people that have tried to give up smoking but have found it so hard to do so. There is not many I know who have stuck.

    The best prevention is not starting at all! 

    The stats you provide are very interesting and to give one thing up for another then how is that benefiting you? Chantix doesn’t seem to be the answer if you then have to withdraw from that. 

    I am also not a fan of vaping due to the unknown health risks that cannot be accounted for as yet? 

    1. Hello Darren,

      The people who you know that tried and failed probably did so due to the method that they used to stop. You point out their unwillingness to “Give anything up”…. There is nothing to “Give up” and nothing to be lost.

      Like you, I do not recommend vaping due to the unknown health risks. Further reseach is needed.

      Abstinence Psychotherapy is the method that I recommend. In fact, I walk the Smoker through it “Step by Step” over a 5 day period. They stop on Day #3 with my technique.

      Thanks for stopping by !


  6. HI John!  Great topic!  There are still people smoking.  It’s a killer and somehow we need to stop!

    The person must want to stop, though.  Anything in life we do we must want to do or it won’t work.  Conviction.  Sometimes events happen in our lives that open the opportunity to stop a bad habit we have.  and often time we take that opportunity and cross over.

    Very important is substitution, but of physical activity, as you say, exercise.  Pick up a physical hobby because that will get you adrenaline going.  Which is what cigarets do, also.

    Lets not forget however there are people that smoke because they are nervous anxious people.  I believe in these cases some sort of medication will calm them.

    I can sense you have a passion for this.  Thats wonderful, just what we need about  “everything”.  I believe that when we are passionate about what we do, we do a better job.

    Thank you John for what you do!  There is still a long way to go.  Best of luck and success!

    1. Hi Zara,

      You are correct about a desire to stop being necessary. Making that choice and immediately following through is the key. Procrastination is the ONLY thing stopping us from better health… Crazy,Huh?

      I do not recommend physical exercise or activity as a substitution. I emphasize that as one of the fantastic benefits derived from stopping smoking, but I do recommend waiting for about 10 days after you stop before you begin any exercise program.

      You have recognized my passion for this!… I am impressed at your perception…. Yes, as I state in the video on my home page as well as in my own story, I want to help as many people as I can… 

      Thank you for your kind comments.


  7. I am not a smoker myself, but unfortunately in my husband’s family there are some smoker. I do everything that I can to make them quit smoking but nothing has worked so far and I am getting more and more mad as my little children start playing “smokers” after meeting them.

    Do you have any suggestion or tip that I could tell them how and why to stop smoking? (I cannot really send them to Abstinence Psychotherapy as they live in a village.)

    1. Hi Kisumu,

      I hear your frustration at the influence that the Smokers in your family are having on your kids. Unfortunately, a Smoker will not quit until he or she wants to quit.

      Lecturing a Smoker will not help. In fact, it will cause them to become angry and to smoke in defiance.

      The good news is that Abstinence Psychotherapy is available right here.

      I hope this helps.


  8. Lots of great advice.  I quit smoking 8 years ago.  When I quit I was a 30 year smoker and was smoking 2 packs a day.  One thing we have to understand is that everyone is different but the one constant is that you have to absolutely want to quit.  Without the want nothing will help.  However if you really want to quit then a little help is always welcome and thats where your pointers come in nicely.  Education as well will eventually help bring the numbers down.

    1. Hello Dale,

      Congratulations on quitting smoking !

      You are absolutely correct about the Smoker wanting to stop smoking. I address that in an article about motivation to stop smoking. 

      Actually, Smokers often fear stopping smoking because they percieve stopping as worse than smoking. This causes the procrastination that will surely defeat a Smoker every time. Of course, this is not true. It is a product of what we have done to our own minds over trhe course of our smoking lives.

      Only when we say “ENOUGH!”  do we take the very small step that changes our lives for the better… Ironically, it is only then that we discover that we succeed simply by making a choice and a commitment to ourselves.

      Best wishes,


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