Twenty one MILLION people have successfully quit smoking. SO CAN YOU, if you really want to! But HOW? Where can you get the necessary strength fortitude, and willpower? Here is the way that really works!
LET'S ADMIT the truth. All kinds of gadgets, gimmicks, potions and medicines have come on the market purporting to help the smoker quit smoking. None of them has proved 100% effective! Gimmickry and gadgetry are not the answer. Pills, drugs, candy, chewing gum are not the answer. All these remedies miss the heart and core of the problem — the smoker himself, and his attitude!
Worse Than War
Smoking cigarettes has killed about three million Americans in the past ten years. In shocking contrast, only about 565,000 were killed in battle in all America's wars, including the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam! Smoking brings sickness, disease and disability to TWELVE MILLION Americans every year. In sobering contrast is the total number of wounded in ALL America's wars from 1776 to 1969 — a total of 1,500,000 wounded, or less than ONE EIGHTH the "casualties" due to smoking in JUST ONE YEAR! Truthfully, it could be said that today war slays its thousands, but smoking slays its MILLIONS! In Vietnam, it is considered a bad week of fighting if two hundred die. Smoking, however, strikes down over 800 Americans every single day! The chances of dying in war are limited to those who are fighting on the battlefield. But smoking stealthily slays people in all walks of life, in the relative "safety" of their own homes!
How to ENJOY Life
Do you really want to enjoy life, its riches, thrills, and delights? Do you want to appreciate tantalizing aromas, the biting, crisp smell of fresh air, and the spicy scents of nature? Then stop smoking! Give your lungs a chance to repair themselves. An astonishing thing happens when people stop smoking. Lung damage is reversed! Body defenses come into play and destroy pre-cancerous cells! The lungs gradually turn pink again. But just one or two cigarettes a day prevents the healing process — and so does switching to pipes or cigars. In 1604 James I, King of England, published his famous Counterblast to Tobacco. He concluded the treatise by calling smoking "a custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomless." A colorful description, no doubt. But today smoking has been PROVED beyond the shadow of a doubt to be loathsome, harmful, dangerous to the lungs — a serious public health MENACE!
A recent publication of the Clearinghouse for Smoking and Health estimated that 51 percent of men 17 years old or older are cigarette smokers and 34 percent of women. The most common consumption rate is between 11 and 20 cigarettes a day. A pamphlet put out by the Public Health Service indicates that about 1.5 million Americans give up the smoking habit every year. The American Cancer Society estimates that there are now 21 million ex-cigarette smokers in the United States, including 100,000 physicians! These figures ought to be very encouraging, if you are a smoker who wants to quit. It obviously can be done! But HOW? Cigarette slaves come up with many foolish excuses why they continue to smoke. One says, "I'll smoke until I get into trouble and then I'll quit and be okay." The trouble is, by the time the smoker knows he's "in trouble," he has waited too long to do anything about it — it's too late! Another says, "No, I'm not going to give up smoking. I may die young, but I'll die happy." What confidence — but in what? Will he really "die happy"? He may think he's happy now, but he's ruining his life, missing out on the REAL PLEASURES of living and experiencing life minus the cigarette cough, the chronic illnesses from smoking, and the final agony of lung cancer or bronchitis! But the usual excuse is similar to what one housewife said: "I'd like to give up cigarettes, but I can't. The habit is too strong." Or as another put it, "I'm concerned about the reports, but I've tried to stop and I couldn't." A Kansas City switchboard operator declared, "I've known for a long time, smoking is terrible for your health, but I've never been able to quit. I don't suppose this will make any difference." Another woman said, "I really think I shouldn't smoke, but it's kind of hard to quit. I'm going to think about it." And another who admitted she smoked three packs a day confessed, "I'm scared. I don't know if I can stop, but I will try — for the nth time." Take a good look at these excuses for continuing to smoke — especially the last five who admitted they wanted to quit but felt they couldn't. WHY couldn't they? WHY were they virtually helpless slaves of the nicotine habit? WHY were they so pessimistic about quitting? Perhaps YOU feel basically the same way. How, then, can YOU quit the tobacco habit? Let's understand!
WHY Do You Smoke?
In order to conquer the smoking habit, you must be willing to face up to the REAL REASONS WHY you smoke. Dr. Daniel Horn, director of the National Clearinghouse for Smoking and Health, took a survey of some 5,000 smokers to uncover the reasons they smoked. He found that 10 percent used cigarettes as a stimulant, while 8 percent simply enjoyed lighting and handling a cigarette. From 30-40 percent used smoking to achieve a pleasant form of relaxation (there are MANY BETTER WAYS to relax!). Another 40-50 percent smoked to relieve anxiety and tension. Many of these, he found, go on to become addicted chain smokers! The last category of smoker is the one finding smoking the most difficult to give up! Forty percent of smokers are "heavy smokers" — they are compulsive smokers! For them quitting is not so easy!
The Cigarette ADDICT
Smokers are addicts. So reports a study of brain waves of heavy smokers. Tobacco deprivation caused a drop in frequency of slow brain waves. Abstinence leads to an increase in fast waves of electrical activity in the brain, which explains why smokers who forego tobacco feel restless and unable to concentrate. During the period of abstinence, the pulse slows and the blood pressure rises. These findings were confirmed independently by Dr. Henry B. Murphee, associate professor of psychiatry at Rutgers. The conclusion: Heavy use of tobacco causes a TRUE ADDICTION, and is not merely a hard-to-break habit! (San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle, May 11, 1969). All regular smokers tend to develop some degree of dependence on tobacco, some to the point where significant emotional disturbances occur if they are deprived of its use (Smoking and Health, p. 350). Why is this? Says Dr. C. W. Lieb, "Botanically speaking, tobacco is a drug, a narcotic. And unlike alcohol or opium, its 'soothing' qualities do not take effect until the smoker has become addicted to it. The 'soothing quality' is in large measure a relief from the irritation caused by drug craving. "Those who smoke, however, do not usually face up to realities so honestly" (Don't Let Smoking Kill You, p. 11). Dr. Lieb asserted, "But nicotine is a drug, and as one continues to smoke, one gets used to it. One becomes, in a word, an addict who develops higher and higher thresholds of tolerance. The confirmed heavy smoker can handle amounts of nicotine that would poison a non-smoker" (p. 19). Tobacco is not physically addicting, in the same way as heroin or cocaine or the barbiturates. Nevertheless, it is addicting in the sense of the user becoming DEPENDENT On it, craving its effect, becoming habituated to its use. The smoking habit becomes COMPULSIVE in some heavy smokers because of psychological dependence on it! The cigarette addict, therefore, although not addicted in the same way as a heroin addict, does rely heavily on tobacco and thinks he cannot do without it. His mind is addicted to it. The addict sometimes calls his cigarettes "coffin nails," or "gaspers." He might admit he smokes "like a furnace." He almost invariably begins his daily routine with a cigarette. His day begins with a cough, a gasp, and a lit cigarette between his teeth! Such smokers may become addicted to smoking in the same way alcoholics become addicted to alcohol. To them, cigarettes seem to satisfy an urgent psychological need. The cigarette addict believes that smoking helps him keep calm under tension or in a stress-filled job. Because of this, it is very difficult for him to abandon the cigarette habit. But even the "addicted" smoker can overcome and quit the habit. There is hope for all smokers! The first thing to do is realize why you smoke. Then, you must think of all the reasons why you should NOT smoke. If you really try, and perhaps write them out on paper, you could think of dozens of good reasons why you should not smoke! What are some of the reasons? First, of course, there is the threat of lung cancer or other fatal diseases; also, the nonsmoker has more energy and vitality to enjoy life; his mind can function better; he saves money. Other reasons to quit are to prove you have willpower; to set the right example for your children. When you stop smoking, your food will taste better. Your throat won't be continually clogged with phlegm. You will get rid of the hacking cigarette cough. Actually, you will gradually begin to feel MUCH LESS NERVOUS, even though that may seem hard to believe. The first few days after you quit, you might feel more nervous, but gradually the nervousness will diminish and you will be calmer and more poised. Remember, smoking is actually a "crutch" to many people. It helps them "escape" stress and strain and tension. Smoking is one of the channels of ESCAPISM available to people, today, but which has a fatal KICK-BACK — a deadly BOOMERANG effect on the smoker! When you quit smoking, you will begin to ENJOY life much more. Breathing fresh air will be a pleasure; smelling the wonderful odors of nature will tantalize your olfactory nerves. You will sleep better. No more danger of accidents, or fires in bed. No more ugly, smelly cigarette butts lying around the house. ALL THESE THINGS will become yours, after you conquer and kick the cigarette habit — COMPLETELY! Some of these blessings will come gradually. Some will become apparent very soon. Think of these benefits from not smoking. Think of the gruesome COST of smoking. Form in your mind the strong desire, motivation, and RESOLVE to quit smoking! Do these things, and you will have made a good beginning in stopping smoking. But there is more that you must do, if you want to make SURE that you completely overcome the vile, noxious habit.
Plan Out Your Strategy — AVOID TEMPTATION
Realize before you begin that giving up cigarettes may be a major project, for you. Depending on the extent of your habit, it may require firmness of determination and tremendous personal effort! But the reward is certainly worth it. Therefore, face up to the fact that at first, when you quit, there will probably be more nervousness, tension, and a craving for tobacco. Face the fact that smoking has had a deathlike hold on you, and to overcome it will take time, effort, and a certain amount of suffering. But realize that YOU CAN DO IT! And the final result is WORTH IT for you! Always keep your goal in mind. Never let it grow hazy, or disappear from your view. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE GOAL! When do you usually smoke? Face these particular times of temptation by AVOIDING THEM as much as possible. Don't foolishly put yourself in a situation when you might compromise with your goal, where friends or relatives might persuade you to give in "just once." Chances are, if you do you will be HOOKED once again, right back where you started! So don't take a chance on it. It may be tough sledding for a while, but with help there is no doubt — YOU CAN DO IT! Don't deceive yourself with a "tough guy" approach and proclaim you're going to quit, but still carry a pack with you — it won't work that way! Throw away all cigarettes you have — and if you buy more, throw them away the first time you get back strength to do so. Flee cigarettes! Keep away from them, and keep them away from you! You must realize from the start that one of the hurdles you must cope with is our smoking society — your environment. Cigarettes are advertised everywhere, and your friends and relatives probably smoke. Prepare your mind to face this difficulty squarely. Don't give up to outside pressures. Determine within yourself that NOTHING - no, not anything — will deter you from the path you have set! As you proceed, you might reinforce your behavior by giving yourself little rewards along the way. This might help make the pathway somewhat easier for you. Also, smoking substitutes (fruit, raisins, chewing gum, or such things) might help you a little and get your mind off cigarettes. Fruit would be a good substitute. These things, however, do NOT take the place of your own willpower and sheer personal MOTIVATION to overcome smoking. They are merely stop-gap measures which may provide a little help along the way.
Some have found, too, that deep breathing and exercise helps overcome smoking, by getting the mind off the temptation and onto something more worthwhile. The basic key to remember, however, is simply this: When you quit, quit completely. Stop all smoking. Use the "cold turkey" method. Tapering off almost never works! The "tapering-off method" only spreads the agony of withdrawal over a long period of time. As one man put it, "Tapering down is about as humane as cutting a dog's tail off by inches so it won't hurt so much." Some few may quit smoking successfully by "tapering off." We cannot recommend this method, however. It is too risky — and doesn't work for most people!
Should a CHRISTIAN Smoke?
All the facts show plainly that NOBODY ought to smoke, for the simple reason it is proven hazardous to health. But for the Christian, there is additional incentive NOT to smoke! If you are a Christian, or want to please the Creator God and do what is right in His eyes, then you should not smoke for one very simple reason -SMOKING is against God's will. It is contrary to His divine LAW ordained for our welfare! How so? Nowhere does the Bible say "Thou shalt not smoke" in so many words. But it does say, "Thou shalt not KILL"! And smoking virtually amounts to committing slow suicide! It means subjecting your body to all kinds of pain, punishment and pollution. It means extending an open invitation to lung cancer or some other fatal disease. God says, "Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man DEFILE [margin, destroy] the temple of God, him shall GOD destroy; for the temple of God is tioly, which temple you are" (I Cor. 3:16-17). That is plain language. Smoking defiles and pollutes the human body — the temple of God's Spirit. Therefore, if a person smokes, He comes under God's judgment — he is courting God's anger! Smoking, to put it in Biblical language, is a SIN! But what is "sin"? In I John 3:4 we read the definition: "For SIN is the transgression of the law." Whatever breaks God's Law, therefore, is SIN. Does smoking break the law of God? The law of God says, "Thou shalt not COVET" — or, "Thou shalt not LUST." Coveting, or lusting for anything, including cigarettes, violates the law of God and constitutes SIN. The apostle James wrote under inspiration, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). You KNOW that smoking is harmful. You KNOW that it would be good NOT to smoke. You KNOW that smoking defiles and pollutes the human body, the temple of God's Spirit. You KNOW that smokers covet or lust after that little tiny weed called a cigarette! You KNOW, therefore, that if you smoke you are breaking God's holy, inviolable, immutable, inexorable LAW! If you want to please your Creator, and do what is GOOD for YOU and what is also right in His sight, you must not smoke! Jesus said we are to live by EVERY WORD OF GOD (Matt. 4:4). The apostle Peter says we are to be OBEDIENT children, not fashioning ourselves according to the former LUSTS (I Peter 1:14). Therefore, if you desire to receive God's blessings, and enter into His coming Kingdom, you must not smoke! God says, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore GLORIFY GOD in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Cor. 6:20). Does it glorify God — honor our Creator who gives us every breath of clean air we breathe — if we pollute our bodies, ruin our health, court lung cancer, and lust for self-gratification by smoking a drug called tobacco? What about it? "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or WHATSOEVER ye do, DO ALL to the glory of God" (I Cor. 10:31). Far from glorifying God, the use of tobacco in any form HARMS the body, and is offensive, not pleasing, to others around you. Smokers are those who love themselves MORE than the Creator God or His Word (II Tim. 3:2-4). Paul warns, "For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, NOR COVETOUS MAN, who is an IDOLATER, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God" (Eph. 5:5). When you get right down to it, smoking becomes an act of IDOLATRY — putting a weed before the True GOD! Moses, a man of God, forsook the "pleasures of sin for a season" — the temporary pleasures of this world, of which smoking is one — that he might obtain the everlasting, truly satisfying HAPPINESS which comes from obeying God (Heb. 11:25). Those who seek the temporary sensual pleasures, however, will howl for the miseries they reap (James 5:1-5). Christians are commanded by God to Come OUT of the sensual pleasures and lusts of this world (Rev. 18:4) — to become HOLY, as God is holy (I Peter 1:15-16). Christians are no longer to live according to the lusts of men, but to the will of God (I Peter 4:1-5). Think about that. Smoking becomes a SPIRITUAL SIN — a sin against character, as well as a physical sin against the health of the human body. It becomes a matter of IDOLATRY, as well as a matter of physical health! Does this mean Christians are not to enjoy life? Of course not. Christ came to bring us life MORE ABUNDANTLY (John 10:10). He intends for us to be truly happy, radiating with joy. He wants us to have the right kind of pleasures which are GOOD for us! Smoking, however, obviously is not one of them! A Christian has a tremendous MOTIVATION to quit smoking, if he has picked up this dirty habit. He also has God's PROMISE to help him conquer the habit because God has decreed that "SIN SHALL NOT HAVE DOMINION OVER YOU" (Rom. 6:14). No sin can "lord it over" you, regardless of what it may be, because God extends a promise to all who really WANT to quit smoking! "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to CLEANSE us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). GOD HAS OBLIGATED HIMSELF TO CLEANSE US FROM SMOKING, when we repent, acknowledge our sin, and CALL on HIM for the extra help we need! Therefore, YOU CAN QUIT! But remember, once God HAS intervened for you, and you have succeeded in rooting out the sin of smoking, don't ever turn to it again! If you do, it will become MUCH MORE DIFFICULT to quit the next time — or the next, and the next! "For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning" (II Peter 2:20). May God grant YOU will take action, and obey... he laws which He has given for our GOOD!
Join the "QUITTERS"
Many have successfully quit smoking. A man from Philadelphia wrote us, "Two and a half years ago, with the help of the Eternal, I quit smoking... Truly God's ways are best. Take it from one who is smoking none now and enjoying it more!" A woman from Baltimore wrote, "I didn't believe you when you said 'you can quit smoking,' but I've proved it's true. I quit a month ago, thanks to hearing you talk about it. I smoked for 15 years." A man from North Carolina, in the heart of the tobacco belt, writes: "For forty-one years, I have known nothing but tobacco. I raised tobacco, worked tobacco in my neighbor's fields, 'slept' tobacco, 'ate' tobacco, and as a child, 'played' tobacco. I even began smoking at an early age and kept up the habit for twenty-eight years. All this changed for us ten months ago." This man says he began listening to The WORLD TOMORROW program, and reading The PLAIN TRUTH magazine and other literature we sent to him. He concludes, "We also began reading and studying our Bible to 'prove' this new doctrine we were hearing. In this study, I proved to myself, from the Bible, that smoking is a sin. On February 20, 1966, I was smoking 40 to 50 cigarettes a day — I gave up smoking, asking God in humble prayer to come in and clean me up. To this day, I have not wanted the first cigarette!" There is a real witness! You can have that same Source of spiritual help! God loves you, and He is not pleased if you are ruining your life through smoking. He is much concerned for your health and welfare and doesn't want to see you suffer. He is willing to help YOU overcome smoking, if you turn to Him, and ask Him. A woman from Odessa, Texas, wrote, "Something wonderful has happened to me. I have been smoking for a number of years. I wanted to quit for some time, but I just never could seem to do it. So I wrote for your article on smoking. After I read that I knew I had to quit. I don't know how many times I read that article. I prayed constantly and on the evening of August 28, God intervened and I knew instantly that this was the help I had been waiting for. I quit smoking and have never even wanted one since. When God says He will cleanse us of our sins, He means just that. I never knew what those words really meant before." These people, with God's divine help, successfully quit smoking. You can too, no matter how much you smoke or for what reasons. Quit now and start living!