One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to quit smoking. But many fail on the way to the non-smoker. The reason is often the same, as Stefan Fradrich has observed. In an interview, the doctor, coach and former smoker explains how quitting succeeds.
- You can also hear Stefan Fradrich live in a webinar at FOCUS Online on 10. January, where he explains in detail how the last cigarette really stays the last cigarette. Here you can get your free ticket!
FOCUS Online: What is the most common reason smokers fail to quit??
Stefan Fradrich: They often fail because they are not properly informed. Many make the mistake and try to quit without preparation. They just give it a try and that’s usually a very bad idea.
Because if you want to quit, you first have a lot of questions: Am I gaining weight?? How bad will the withdrawal symptoms be? Do I need substitutes? These questions cause uncertainty. And what does a smoker do when he is insecure or under stress?? He reaches for the cigarette. There are so many traps you can fall into. But if you know them and know what to expect, then there’s no reason for uncertainty and nervousness. And then it also works with the stop.
So the will alone is not enough?
Fradrich: It’s not necessarily about willpower. That sounds like something I have to fight against. It is about understanding mechanisms and making a deliberate decision. The procedure is like this: ‘I educate myself about what’s going on in the body, what the psychological pitfalls are, why I smoke in the first place, and so forth. And then I smoke the last cigarette.
About the expert
Dr. Stefan Fradrich is a coach, trainer, author, doctor and entrepreneur. For almost two decades he has been developing seminars, lectures, books and programs for success, business and health. Among other things, he helps people to stop smoking in courses.
"To become a non-smoker is actually quite easy"
It’s that simple?
Fradrich: Yes! Most people say after quitting: ‘Oh my God, that was easy! If only I had known that before.’ We often make things huge in our heads. But with the right preparation we say: ‘This is all? Well, I’ll do it now.’
You don’t need cigarettes until you start smoking. No one who smokes today smoked as a child. So there has always been a time in life when cigarettes have not been part of it. And you can get back into this state again.
Are there better or worse moments to stop smoking??
Fradrich: Actually, there is always a good moment. I quit smoking myself in a nasty stressful situation. I’d just had cruciate ligament surgery and got a terrible new boss with whom I argued almost daily. So it’s possible to stop even in such phases. It’s a mistake to believe that cigarettes help against stress. On the contrary, it is the nicotine that causes the stress.
"The withdrawal symptoms after the last cigarette are overestimated"
What is the key insight I need to gain in order to really quit smoking?
Fradrich: That you don’t have to be afraid of any withdrawal symptoms. Tobacco is not heroin or anything like that. The physical withdrawal symptoms are really only very mild. It is more difficult with the psychological consequences, this psychological dependence. Many smokers automatically reach for a cigarette when they’re waiting for the bus or during a coffee break.
Free webinar: Non-smoker in 90 minutes – register now!
Despite all the good intentions, it is often not possible to get away from cigarettes. The reason is mostly lack of knowledge. In the free webinar from FOCUS Online explains Dr. Stefan Fradrich how the feeling "I want to smoke" arises and how you can turn it off permanently. Here you can watch the recording for free!
So there are many temptations?
Fradrich: Yes, there are a lot of trigger situations. You have to understand them. But even that can be retrained. We have a lot of changes in our life, which we accept all the time. And quitting smoking is just as easy a change to make. Smoking is like an artificial itch that you scratch away constantly. Itch, scratch, itch, scratch – stop scratching, then it will stop itching!
Does quitting have anything to do with abandonment?
Fradrich: How many cigarettes you really smoke with pleasure? Most one quarzt nevertheless simply away, without consciously noticing them. Not smoking has nothing to do with giving up, on the contrary: I gain something.
As a non-smoker I am healthier, have more money in my pocket, more oxygen in my body and overall more energy. It is rather that the smoker renounces: He renounces to rest and to relax. He always has the next cigarette in mind and thinks about whether he has enough cigarettes or his lighter with him. In thoughts one is constantly busy! As a smoker, you don’t even realize how much energy and life time you are putting into it.
Free webinar: Non-smoker in 90 minutes
Stefan Fradrich is on 10. January’s guest on a free webinar from FOCUS Online. In the webinar he will explain in detail how anyone can manage to stop smoking. Here you can get your free ticket!