Q. What is Self-Help?
A. The self-help method to stop smoking was developed by Drs. Thomas Cooper and Richard Clayton. The Cooper/Clayton Self-Help Kit is designed for the smoker who chooses not to participate in a Cooper/Clayton Smoking Cessation Support Group. It has been tested in a university setting. Research shows that a very high percentage of those who follow the program described in the Participant Book and DVD successfully become nonsomkers and non-users of nicotine by the end of the 12 week program.
Q. What is the advantage of being in a Cooper/Clayton Smoking Cessation Support Group?
A. Research by Drs. Cooper and Clayton over a 25 year period, shows clearly that those participants who followed the program described in the DVD and Participant Book did successfully become nonsmokers during the 12 week program. In addition, almost all of those who attended 10 or more of the 12 one hour Support Group meetings were successful in becoming nonsmokers.
Q. Why do I need to record cigarettes for one week? I already know how much I smoke.
Many smokers are experts at denying the seriousness of their problem. The discipline of recording cigarettes for one week eliminates this denial, plus it provides an excellent tool to determine how much of the alternative nicotine source (nicotine transdermal patch, nicotine gum, or the nicotine lozenge) is needed to minimize withdrawal symptoms.
Q. You mention only the Nicoderm CQ© patch. Are the store brand patches ok?
A. On page 23 of the participant book, "The Cooper/Clayton Method to Stop Smoking", our reason for using only the Nicoderm CQ© patch is given. It provides significantly more nicotine than other patches. Please read that section.
Q. Why can't I use Zyban© instead of the nicotine gum, patch or lozenge?
A. Research showed Zyban© to be an effective aid in smoking cessation. The published 1 year results of 23.1% is less than the 40-45% success rates participants in the Cooper/Clayton Program achieved.
Q. I smoke a very "light" cigarette. Will I need as much nicotine from the nicotine patch, gum or lozenge?
A. Research show that smokers vary the way they smoke to increase the "yield" when smoking so called "light" cigarettes. For practical purposes, most smokers get 1mg of nicotine per cigarette, regardless of the type cigarette smoked.
Q. The nicotine patch, nicotine gum, or nicotine lozenges are very expensive. Can't I get by with a shorter treatment program?
A. Typically the costs for the nicotine replacement product for 10-12 weeks is less than the cost of continuing to smoke cigarettes for six months. Shorts cuts are neither justified nor wise. Please follow the program Drs. Cooper and Clayton describe on the DVD and in the book.
Q. I am down to two cigarettes per day since I started wearing the nicotine patch. That's OK isn't it?
A. Once you start the nicotine replacement product, you must totally eliminate cigarettes if you are to successfully become a nonsmoker. We have never seen an individual succeed in this program while continuing to use cigarettes, even one or two per day.
Q. I feel so comfortable I don't think I need the nicotine replacement product. Why can't I just eliminate the nicotine replacement product and just get it over with?
A. Since 1984 we have observed consistently that individuals who remained nonsmokers at one year were those who used the full term of medication (10 weeks for the patch, 12 weeks for the gum or lozenge.
Q. My work environment is terrible. I think I could do without cigarettes at home if I could just smoke at work. Why won't that work?
A. Cigarettes do not really solve any problems for you. They only give you an acceptable excuse to back away for five minutes or so while your brain works out a solution. You are receiving nicotine still from the nicotine gum, patch or lozenge. Your brain will rapidly learn to accept this new way of providing it nicotine. Continued smoking for any part of the day is almost a guarantee for failure.
Q. When will I stop thinking about cigarettes?
A. Please be patient. If you smoked for 25 years, you are comparing two weeks as a nonsmoker to 1000 weeks as a smoker. Thoughts of cigarettes should diminish as each week passes.
Q. Food tastes so much better now. Why can't I eat what I want and worry about the weight later?
A. Too frequently we have seen individuals use excessive weight gain as an excuse to start smoking again. Our experience has shown that preventing weight gain by eating wisely and exercising is far more desirable than putting your nonsmoking status at risk by overeating.
Q. Most of the foods I like are high in fat content. Do you have any suggestions?
A. Many cuts of meat, such as pork tenderloin or eye-of-round beef, are low in fat. Most people find they lose their desire for fatty foods after three-six months on low-fat foods.
Q. I really miss cigarettes after a good meal. How can I prevent this?
A. Smokers frequently rush through a meal to get to the cigarette. Also, the cigarette is the signal that eating is finished. Try getting up from the table, brushing your teeth, taking a walk as a signal to your brain that the meal is finished. Learn a new healthy behavior to replace a damaging behavior.
Q. I quit smoking once for two years and then relapsed. Will that happen this time?
A. Many who quit smoking "cold turkey" say they are constantly thinking about cigarettes. Their brain won't let them forget the level of nicotine it craves. Such craving doesn't occur with the Cooper/Clayton Method. Be positive! Make a list of the advantages of being a nonsmoker and post it a in place where you spend a lot of time. Remember, you are better off as a nonsmoker.
Q. I initially feared I would not be successful in this program. I now fear that I will be successful and never smoke again. Is that normal?
A. The memories of cigarettes last longer than the true addiction symptoms. Remember that your brain is learning to deal with life as a nonsmoker as is also learning to accept smaller and smaller amounts of nicotine as normal.
Q. I didn't realize how much smoking was controlling my life. Is it normal to feel anger towards cigarettes now?
A. Yes, Both are normal and healthy! You have taken care of a drug that formerly controlled you. Enjoy!
Q. I really grieve at certain times when I realize that I will not have another cigarette. Will that go away?
A. As we previously stated, the brain of an individual, who started smoking in early adolescensce, has never had an adult emotion without nicotine. Remember almost 75% of the U.S. adult population are nonsmokers. They prove that there is life after cigarettes. Keep feeling positive about your gains, the grief will disappear as more positive thoughts dominate.
Q. The last time I stopped smoking I suddenly relapsed when a family member was taken away. Will that happen again?
A. You will feel more empowered as you distance yourself from the cigarettes. Don't be impatient, you are right on schedule in making a major behavioral change.
Q. I am really afraid to make the change from more to less nicotine - will this next step be hard?
A. You have already made the biggest change, from cigarettes as your choice of nicotine to the patch, gum, or lozenge. This next step will be a slight bump., but not a major crisis. You've shown you can be a successful nonsmoker. Keep up the good work!
Q. The last time I gave up cigarettes i gained a bunch of weight. Will this happen this time?
A. No! If you begin to exercise as we suggested and are watching what you eat, it is not necessary to gain weight. In fact, it would be wise to consider you are not gaining weight at all if you gain 3-5lbs. Smokers on average weigh 3-5lbs less than nonsmokers of their age, gender, and body build.
Q. I notice I don't drink as much coffee as I formerly did. Is that normal?
A. As we stated, the smoker must put more caffeine into the body because the body is metabolizing caffeine 2 1/2 times faster in a smoker vs in a nonsmoker. You can get the same stimulation as a nonsmoker with only 40% as much coffee.
Q. I am taking two prescription drugs on a regular basis. What should I do now that I no longer smoke?
A. Inform your physician that you have eliminated cigarettes and will be totally nicotine free in a short time. Ask what adjustments should be made in your dosage.
Q. My body is sending me good signal since I stopped smoking. When will I return to 100% health?
A. As described by Doug Dollemore, Cathy Raymond.. "Disease Free at 60"
- Within 8 hours of quitting
your pulse rate and blood pressure drop, and
oxygen levels in your body rise.
- Within 24 hours
your risk of heart attack is reduced
- Within a month
your circulation improves, your energy levels surge
and your lung function expands by up to 30%.
- By 1 year your risk of heart disease is half that of someone who continues to smoke.
- In 5 years
your stroke risk is reduced.
- In 10 years your chances of getting lung cancer are the same as someone who has never smoked.
- One Surgeon General's report called cigarette smoking " the single greatest preventable cause of death in the United States". You have eliminated that risk. Congratulations.
Q. I am beginning to distance myself from my former "smoking buddies". Should I feel bad about this?
A. You have made the decision that you are better off as a nonsmoker. You can't make that decision for any other person. Your success, however, may give them courage to attempt to join you as a nonsmoker.
Q. What can I do to improve my chance to remain a nonsmoker?
A. You have proved to yourself that you can master an addiction to nicotine. You have also seen the struggles others experienced as they made the journey from smoker to nonsmoker. Remember that a cigarette burns for only five minutes. It would not be a good decision to risk years of quality life as a nonsmoker for five minutes with a burning stick that you suck on ten times and discard.
Q. What about the new prescription drug "Chantix"?
A. Chantix is a prescription product and is not used in the Cooper/Clayton Program. Discuss use of Chantix with your primary health professional if that is your choice.