I started smoking cigarettes when I was 15. It was normal in my family, I loved the social aspect, and I have quite the addictive personality. Fortunately, when I went through my yoga teacher training in 2017, I quit. I used meditation as a way to distance myself from the cravings. Being in the mindset of breath awareness and body respect really helped me curb my addiction.
Then, due to being around smokers, drinking, and stress, sometimes the cravings would reemerge. From 2018 – 2020 I went in and out of buying tobacco. Then in late 2020 I got COVID, and reality hit me hard. A single cigarette wasn’t as harmless as the first season of “House of Cards” made me believe it was. My lungs are still so weak, even months after COVID, you would think I would have learned? But, if I have a glass of wine and there’s a cigarette around, I succumb to those urges once again. What’s scary are the unbearable lung and chest pains to be endured the entire next day from that single cigarette. I honestly don’t know what’s going on in my body or what I am doing to myself. It sort of makes me think that COVID is going to save my life in a way. Because, every cigarette I smoke now I immediately feel the consequences in my body, and this means the cognitive dissonance is not working as well as it used to! With every cigarette (and the pain involved) I have become much more conscious of what I’m doing to myself. Cigarettes don’t just increase my chances of lung/gum cancer, but they hugely increase the chances of forming every single type of cancer and many other health issues. I know it’s time that I give it up forever, with no exceptions.
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Something that has really been helping me are our CBD Pre-Rolls. First off, I don’t feel terrible after I smoke them. My lungs don’t weaken and I don’t experience the chest pain as I do after smoking a cigarette. Additionally, consuming CBD through smoking means the CBD goes straight to the brain which helps the craving for nicotine dissipate.
I always recommend pre-rolls for customers looking to use CBD to combat stress. Why wouldn’t an oil do the trick? The body has more cannabinoid receptors than any other type of receptors. Therefore, when consuming a tincture the body will take the CBD wherever it has too much inflammation, too little inflammation, or wherever needs the most attention. This is a good thing – because the body knows where and what needs to heal. But, for example, if one has knee pain? A topical CBD application will give an individual the ability to target the knee. If someone needs to calm down mentally? A pre-roll gives one the ability to target the brain. This is very helpful when combating addiction.
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Additionally, smoking is fun. You go outside, look at the sky, and that can be very relaxing in the middle of a workday – especially in the monotone reality we currently exist in. CBD pre-rolls can give you the relief and the satisfaction of the daily habit, while calming mood and cravings; all without increasing your risk for cancer.
I am not saying CBD has to be your answer, maybe a replacement behavior will do it for you. But I do think it’s a wonderful option that’s working very well for me. Below are some additional tips I have found very helpful when quitting.
Quick Tips for Quitting:
- Find a replacement behavior
- Ex. When craving a cigarette, one could meditate and focus on breathing.
- Researching the bodily implications of smoking
- And how fast the body heals after quitting!
- Get cigarettes out of the home – throw them away
- If they are around – you will smoke them!
- Nicotine Replacement?
- Many swear by nicotine pills, patches, and supplements to kick the cravings.
- Find your will/why/motivation – why are you doing this really?
- You are not doing this because your dad told you it’s stupid or because your mom thinks it’s gross. You have specified a reason why you want to quit, find it.
- Ex. I have 2: 1) Respect & gratitude for my body. 2) I don’t want to die ten years earlier or blame myself when a doctor tells me I have cancer.
- This might help one appreciate his or her lungs while providing motivation to get them healthier.
- Maybe stop drinking or if you do, do it with someone who won’t let you smoke.
- There are antecedents which create programmed/conditioned behavioral patterns. AKA: If I pick up my dog’s harness? He wants to go on a walk. If I have a glass of wine? I want a cigarette.
There’s so much shame and glorification around smoking. Tim Dillion, a comedian who faced much addiction in his life, claims cigarettes are the hardest addiction to quit because they always look good. Quitting smoking is hard and it stays hard, but breathing clear and treating your body with respect and love – that’s worth it.
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An Article By Evie Louise
Evie Louise is a recent psychology graduate from New York University. She is a certified in International Cannabinoid Clinical Therapy. Evie sees all forms of the cannabis sativa plant as the future of psychiatry, and hopes to use it in her therapy practice as a full spectrum approach to mental health and wellness.