“Sit to Quit”
Mindfulness training for smokers and tobacco users
About Mindfulness Training for Smokers and Chewers
This is a seven–week course that uses training in mindfulness to help you quit using tobacco products. Most of us live our lives on automatic. We go throughout our day reacting to one situation after another. This “automatic” behavior is a big part of addiction. In fact, most of smoking/chewing is automatic. When a smoker/chewer gets stressed, drives a car, talks on the phone, there is an impulse to use tobacco products without ever thinking about it.
Mindfulness means taking a moment to step back from being on “automatic.” Mindfulness means to “wake up” and be aware of whatever is happening in the present moment. This is a simple thing to do, but most of us are so conditioned to living in a fast–paced world that moments of mindfulness can be rare. Because of this, mindfulness needs to be “practiced.” With practice, mindfulness can become a mental habit, just like being on automatic.
Mindfulness is developed through practicing mindfulness meditation. As you meditate and do other mindfulness practices, you will notice that mindfulness shows up naturally in your daily life when you need it. Ultimately, you will use mindfulness to help you overcome almost everything that causes relapse.
You will learn how to use mindfulness to manage triggers, urges, withdrawal symptoms, stressful situations, strong emotions, addictive thoughts and automatic behavior. If you practice meditation you will develop a powerful tool for managing relapse challenges not just now, but far into the future.
This course is not a quick fix. It is a powerful tool that will be more and more powerful the more you practice. It will take some work, but many smokers/chewers, including those who have used tobacco for many years and tried to quit many times, have used this method and been successful. If you do the work, the work pays off.
Mindfulness will not make withdrawal symptoms go away, but will give you skills to use during difficult situations.
The core of this intervention is:
- meditating once a day
- participating in a two–hour class once a week for seven weeks
- a six–hour quit day that involves meditation
- doing other mindfulness practices like mindful smoking, walking and eating
The course is not about understanding the idea; it’s about practice. For those who practice every day, success rates in tobacco cessation have been outstanding.
Participant Requirements and Information
- Attempt to quit using tobacco products
You will be asked to attempt to quit using tobacco products on the Quit Day which will be the Sunday after the fifth class. Make a firm decision that you will quit for good when this day arrives. It’s good to cut back, but do not attempt to quit before the Quit Day. With each class you will learn new skills designed to help you succeed. Once you have learned these skills, you will be much more successful.
- Practice meditation every day for two months
Please do your very best to practice meditation fifteen to thirty minutes every day for two months. If you can only practice five minutes per day at first, that’s fine, but make a resolution to practice every day. Meditation is the foundation of learning mindfulness; the “real world” mindfulness skills will be much easier and more natural if you are practicing meditation. We hope that you will continue to utilize the skills you have learned throughout your life.
Class size is limited; please call now for upcoming dates, to register and receive information.
If you are interested in this seven–week program please contact Jason Noble, RAMC Health & Fitness Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org 608.768.6252
Facts about tobacco use and ways to quit
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death AND disease in the United States. Smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke. Smoking related illness in the United States costs more than $300 billion a year including nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults and $156 billion in lost productivity.
Understanding Nicotine Addiction
Understanding the psychological component behind your cravings is the first step towards defeating them. It’s very important to understand that nicotine addiction is two-fold: the physical addiction that nicotine has on your body and the psychological hold the routine of smoking has on your brain. The key to a successful quit is to attack your addiction on both fronts.
Quit Smoking Checklist
- Remember why you want to quit — by reminding yourself will help you stay motivated even when the strongest cravings hit.
- Set your quit date — having a specific day to quit will keep you accountable and help you mentally prepare for quitting.
- Identify your smoking triggers — each person has different triggers and they can come from anywhere; they can be physical or visual reminders. Identify these triggers before your quit day and what you will do instead of smoking when these triggers occur. Having a plan will help set you up for the best possible outcome.