Surefire ways to quit smoking
A SINGLE DOSE of medicine and a five minutes online chat with Shoaib Khan can help you quit smoking forever. Unimaginable? We thought so too, until our chain-smoking colleague Pranay Kamal volunteered to test Khan’s claims.
Having attempted to quit before, Pranay was skeptic when he logged on to the chat-site. He was asked to smoke while Khan discussed online how each puff felt and tasted. “By the end of the last puff, I could not smell or taste nicotine. I only tasted burnt paper and felt I was inhaling hot air. The taste of tobacco is gone,” says Pranay. “To ensure the urge to smoke does not come back, Khan will give me a one-time dose of medicine—after which, he says, I will never ever revert to smoking.” He did not enjoy his second cigarette later either.
It’s still early to say if Pranay can quit smoking forever. “There are no side effects as we give only herbal medicine to ensure there are no withdrawal symptoms. I have helped over 17,000 people quit their addiction,” says Khan.
Reluctant to disclose what goes into his herbal composition, he says, “I have applied for a patent and will go public with it the day I get it,” he adds. “All I can say is one of my main components is guava.”
Charges: Rs 2,500 (one-time)
This age-old Chinese therapy is also known to help smokers bid adieu to tobacco cravings forever. “I know it sounds painful, but it is not. It feels like a pinch with negligible pain,” says Dr Raman Kapur, head of acupuncture, Sir Gangaram Hospital. “About 20-30 sessions with the dedication to quit can help even hardcore addicts give up smoking,” he adds.
Dr O. P. Chabbra, an acupuncturist with VIMHANS, agrees: “Certain bio-chemicals like endorphins are released when one stimulates some specific points in the body. These help to reduce the urge to smoke and make the withdrawal symptoms milder.” Withdrawal symptoms may range from headaches and nausea to restlessness and sleeplessness.
Self-styled ‘committed smoker’ Premola Ghosh, 55, could not live without smoking 20 cigarettes a day, but quit after one visit to an acupuncturist . “It is now over a year since I gave up smoking and I never feel the urge to get back to it. Although my doctor had prescribed 21 sessions, I felt I didn’t need anymore treatment after the first session. All my cravings —the taste, the addiction — had gone,” says Premola. “I know it worked for me, but it does not work for all. I think one also needs the will to quit,” she adds.
Sessions: Usually between 20-30
Charges Rs 500-600 per sessionGaming on Nintendo DS
An interactive computer game aims to coach smokers quit their addiction. Developed by the Quebec bureau of California-based Ubisoft, the game is based on the successful Allen Carr's Easy way to Stop Smoking method, which has reportedly helped more than 10 million smokers to stub out their cigarettes once and for all.
In the smoking cessation game, players enter a brief personal smoking history and choose a personal coach to guide them through the process of quitting. Fifteen mini-games help to “dispel the illusions about nicotine addiction” and players can track their progress in kicking the habit using the “Path to Freedom” meter. It’s not guarenteed to succeed, just like the Wii Fit doesn’t promise a quick-fix fitness solution.