Quitting Smoking: Taking Ownership

February 12th, 2016


Quitting smoking: A common phrase we hear at Alpha Lifestyle Center is, “If it works for me…” or “If I quit…,” followed by reports of co-workers, friends and family members that will be calling soon to make a laser stop smoking appointment. I always respond the same way:

“The decision to quit smoking happened when you made your appointment, so you are already to be congratulated! Whether or not you find our program beneficial in helping you to quit is certainly fair to debate, but take ownership of your decision to quit and the commitment you have made to yourself.”

This is not to skirt the responsibility of our program to deliver what we promise. But, you should not invest in our program to see “if” you quit smoking. You should use our program once you have “decided” to quit smoking, to make quitting more manageable. There is a very subtle, but significant, difference.

An individual who is only “trying” to quit smoking still has two options:  1) smoke or 2) don’t smoke. Smoking is actually still an option when “trying.” But, “trying” satisfies the intelligent minds’ need to make an attempt so it becomes embedded in the language of quitting. Trying just isn’t good enough! If you’ve made a decision to quit smoking, own it!

The goal of this conversation is to try to shift the balance in favor of personal ownership (vs. blame) to give the customer an edge in the emotional/psychological battle over nicotine addiction. You have to see yourself as a nonsmoker; not a smoker “trying” to quit.

Our program is so unique in our approach to nicotine addiction. We offer a multitude of resources that go well beyond the actual laser treatment to provide a unique and comprehensive approach to tobacco cessation without pain, needles or drugs. We are extremely confident that our program provides value to any smoker, but we want customers to have very honest conversations with themselves about their own responsibility in becoming a nonsmoker.

On occasion I hear a variation of this from a customer waiting for their appointment:

“I’ll be honest; I don’t even want to quit smoking. I promised my wife I’d do this for her birthday.”

My response:

“I’ll be honest, too. This is not the best investment for you under those circumstances.”

In all cases, the client continues on with their laser stop smoking appointment.  In those cases where the customer stuck with the program and really did quit you can only imagine the referrals we receive!  Just think about what they are telling their friends: “I didn’t even want to quit, but somehow I did!”

To be clear, we are not recruiting individuals with ridiculous claims or by using a handful of extreme success stories. If you “want” to quit smoking or are “ready” to quit smoking, we can help!  But it sure is fun for us when we hear of a remarkable success!


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