I'm a smoker, which is a huge turnoff to a lot of girls. I'm going to quit on my birthday in September but want all the help I can get. What's the latest research?
Well, first of all, congrats! Your choice will expand your dating pool to include nonsmoking babes while drastically lowering your chances of getting lung cancer. Respect.
As for the how-to, the No. 1 rule: Don’t go cold turkey. The likelihood of failure is too high.
Here are some techniques to help you wean yourself off cigarettes for good. I recommend using them all -- the more weapons in your artillery, the better your chances for winning the battle.
- Nicotine patches They look like square opaque adhesive bandages and send nicotine into your blood through the skin. Now you just have to deal with what to do with your hands and mouth.
- Zyban This oral medication kills cravings with one awkward side effect: It can make you a bit hornier than usual.
- Acupuncture Tiny needles go all around your ear. This treatment is so popular, even hospitals and clinics perform it for all kinds of addictions. It’s worked in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and it can work for you.
- Deep breathing Learning how to breathe -- and not just in an involuntary reflex kind of way -- can produce a calm similar to smoking, which forces you to think about taking deep breaths (something we rarely do during the course of the day).
- Tea tree oil toothpicks Munching on these little sticks can satisfy that oral fixation and give you something to do with yourself now that you aren’t holding a butt.
Finally, stay away from smoking friends and activities as much as possible, and don’t be shy about reaching out for support. For more help, call 877-YES-QUIT.
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About the Expert
Dr. Belisa Vranich is a clinical psychologist, author and public speaker specialising in relationships and sex. She is also a member of the Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute and a sexpert at GoodInBed.com.