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Sometimes I get new books to review. I just finished The Smokefree Way by Tamir Turgal. As an addiction counselor, I’ve read many books and heard many people talk about addiction and the process of setting oneself free. I’ve never read anything as clear and direct as this one.
Turgal offers a cognitive approach to recovery from addiction to tobacco, perhaps the most persistent and frustrating addiction of them all. When most people try to quit smoking, they gravitate towards the biochemical treatments of puffing, patches and pills. But, what Turgal says is needed, is a change in thinking. He exposes many of the delusions, excuses, misperceptions, and lies that keep people stuck in their addiction.
For instance, many people are overwhelmed by how hard they think it is to stop smoking, forgetting how hard it is to keep smoking. When you smoked your first cigarettes, you didn’t feel good, you were coughing and dizzy, but you persisted. For a few days after you smoke your last cigarette, you also don’t feel good; but, if you persevere, you’re free. Yeah, you’re grouchy when you quit. Temporarily. But, when you smoke, you stink. Sure, when you quit, you gain weight. Temporarily. When you smoke, you can’t breathe, Quitting requires some sacrifices. But it’s costly to smoke, time consuming, and shaming. Quitting is hard, but it’s no harder than smoking.
Turgal deserves an award for cutting through the bullshit, the smoke and mirrors, that surrounds cigarettes.