I know the answer to the question, before I even ask it; but I'll ask it anyway. "How hard is it to quit smoking naturally?" Lets see, most people are doing something that is not natural to begin with. They are taking a manufactured product, setting fire to it, inhaling its exhaust and then they are reading this article hoping to find natural ways to stop smoking. Sort of ironic is it not? It really is like the obese man eating 3 hamburgers and then drinking a diet cola. Or better yet, the man who has heart disease, walks in the morning for 45 minutes at a brisk pace, then comes home and lights up a cigarette - just so he can catch his breath. We humans can be pretty ridiculous sometimes.
Okay, so what about this natural remedy stuff. Well lets look at it scientifically for a moment. Many healthcare marvels came about from natural sources. Penicillin is a great example. Who knew that bread mold could cure so many diseases, huh? Well, I think we'd all agree that our scientists continue to find quirky little health aids by turning over rocks, sampling spores and basically just digging around. So how does that help with smoking cessation and my quest to quit smoking the natural way.
First up, lets examine Lobelia (aka: puke weed). This was used by Native Americans to help treat asthma symptoms. In the late 1900's people were using it as a nicotine substitute with varying degrees of success or failure, depending on how you want to look at it. By the 1990's, it was debunked as a smoking cessation aid. However, it has made a recent comeback (as most things do) and is being studied as a possible helper for addictions, although, usable results are still years away.
Next up, Chantix. But wait you say, this was created by the fine folks at Pfizer and is a multi-million dollar chemical that makes smokers quit, but also makes them throw temper tantrums and dream crazy dreams, right? That is still up for debate, but the base ingredient in Chantix comes from a tree, cystius laburnum. Back in the day, soldiers used to chew on this tree's leaves when they ran out of cigarettes, and surprisingly, it curbed their cravings. Now I don't know if they experienced the psych fallout seen with Chantix, but this is just another example of how to quit smoking naturally, even if it is processed through a pharmaceutical company's lab.
Well, what about all these other designer herbs to help quit smoking on the market today? The trouble with many of these is three-fold.
1. Poor quality control
2. No scientific studies to back up claims
3. Finding an ingredient list is challenging at best and downright impossible at worst
But there are these wonderful testimonials and claims of 100% success. Remember, for everyone who quits, that person was 100% successful. If any natural remedy was truly 100% successful, wouldn't we be talking about it on the news every night and wouldn't doctors come out to support it by the thousands? So although testimonials are fun to read and have tremendous enthusiasm, just remember they're just testimonials from people you don't know. But hey, there could be something to their products, who am I to say it won't work. Or perhaps, it's just having a placebo effect on the smoker. Some people are very affected when given a placebo.
But again, I want to bring up my earlier point. I hear people say they don't like to take medications because they prefer to take the natural route. That's great and all, but you're still sticking a processed cigarette in your mouth, setting it on fire and inhaling the exhaust. Why do you want the natural route again? It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I'd rather find something that has a proven track record of success, be dedicated to the process, make and stick to my plan and then follow through with some accountability partners. This is more logical that trying to find out how to quit smoking naturally.