thumbnail of The smoking dilemma; How to Stop Smoking
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
There are at least 20 million ex cigarette smokers in the United States today. Persons who have successfully given up a very dangerous habit. Still 70 million Americans continue to smoke despite the fact that most of them say they would like to stop. I'm Dr. Ralph grinder professor of health education at San Diego State College. And this is one of a series of programs on the smoking dilemma. In the next few minutes we'll explore the problems the failures the successes of stopping smoking. Our guest today is Dr. Irving Baron Saniel psychiatrist who is working with groups of people who are trying to give up smoking. Dr. Barron How tough is it really to give up smoking. I think this fairy said I with a smoker there are smokers and there are smokers there are all kinds of different personalities who are smokers there isn't one personality type who makes up a smoker.
Some people it's when they decide that they want to stop smoking it's relatively easy and have little difficulty. But for others it's extremely difficult. Smoking become an important part of their lives and it's something when they do decide they want to stop smoking becomes an important very important thing for them in a very difficult thing. I imagine some people find it especially difficult in view of the fact that their environments continue to remind them of the pleasures that they had while smoking their friends who smoke. The television ads that were traced smoking in such nice ways in drama such things as having ashtrays all over the place all these things I would imagine support for the smokers are right there are a lot of things that when a person is trying to stop smoking they're reminded of smoking. You mention ashtrays. This reminded me to take out a cigarette and smoke.
We go to a party everybody's lighting up and smoking. Some people who have staff smoke talk about how difficult it is when they particularly in the early phase of their stopping they speak of how difficult it is being around people who smoke not so much that it irritates them but it smells so good. I see you're involved in so called cessation clinic work that is working with groups of people who voluntarily sign up meet periodically in an effort to get some help from others and stopping smoking. By that does this mean that there is hope for stopping only among those who really want to stop. Basically I think this is so unless you can motivate to people who don't care about stopping. But the only way a person can stop is
be highly motivated by the people who come to the groups at the cessation clinics have really thought quite a bit about this and it was an impulsive move or impulsive move that product into the clinic that they had to. Pay a high price in terms of waiting to get into the clinic and there is a small fee for the clinic but this too is something that they had to think about before joining it. So they're very motivated. I've noticed a lot of smokers use various shall we say rationalizations for why they smoke. Do they discuss these rationalizations in smoking clinics. Do they you know mention I don't smoke that much of the damage is already done so really why should I stop now. Or you gotta die of something. Something. Are any of these many different reasons the people use for for not stopping at these disguises.
Actually when someone gets to the clinic I think they've. Decided pretty much that they don't need these rationalizations. However there are times when the going gets rough that they may start rationalizing and denying the need for stopping smoking. And this is something that's a human problem is that we don't like to face things that are. Unpleasant and people when they're faced with the reality of smoking will resort quite often to denying that reality exists. I may say yeah I know it is. In reason I don't think the reality of a health threat right. The reality of the health threat. This is the main appeal that suggests to smokers that they should stop the threat. In your experience do you find this is a major appeal for stopping in the people who come to the clinics this is been a I think the main appeal.
They are often their doctors have told them that they never really confronted them that if they don't stop they're going to be in a great deal of trouble. As far as their life expectancy goes they are quite a few people have severe physical illnesses because of the smoking. But almost equally as important is the feeling of the feeling that the smoking is getting the best of them that I hear something that they can't lick. They feel bad that they are able to master their smoking but don't want to be hooked anymore. Very somehow to conquer this saying they will be in better control of themselves which is an appeal to venture I very definitely appealed to be able to feel that you can control yourself. What other appeals do the mere use of those who encourage want to stop. Yeah well these appeals are something that I don't particularly bring out
I think these are things that people have brought out in the clinics in the groups themselves because different people have different things that appeal to them some of them have been economics a brownout. How much money it's costing them. And it runs into quite a bit of money when they have stopped and they feel quite good about feeling quite good. This is one appeal and they really feel better they really feel better and they feel better about themselves too. That's right they think they have a an increased self-esteem and feeling that they were able to master this difficult problem and it is a difficult problem. It's not something you can say well if you want to stop just stop. So when someone does master a difficult problem they feel pretty good about it. Do they talk about the improvement you know smell taste of being able to walk up stairs without being winded that sort of thing. Very definitely there have been a number of people who've had chronic emphysema
and severe coughing waking up in the middle of the night coughing and. Quite a few of them have stopped smoking. When they stop smoking and stop coughing they're able to taste their food better able to smell things better generally better feeling. Do they ever discuss smoking as a moral issue as a symbol of you know and he wife so anything like that. No this is something that's never really been brought up and I groups. What about techniques that would help smokers drop. Should smokers cut down first or should they make a clean break and just stop. Well this too depends on the type of smoker. I think first of all it's very important for the smoker to be very conscious of his efforts to stop smoking and tell himself he's going to stop smoking and then
try and get some understanding of why he is smoking. And this is something that Lou is the feel of self-knowledge here insight into the reasons why he smokes and how he uses cigarettes really does help him. Yeah it does help because if he is a little better understanding he better able to control something that if he didn't understand what was causing it. So if he says I smoke because when I'm tense I need something to help me relax. So next time he's tense and he really feels the need for a cigarette. If you understand this process maybe you can get rid of his tension in some other way then strain. What about the use of drugs to help people stop smoking. So far in the groups we've had we haven't resorted to drugs you know I imagine. Though I don't I imagine that there will be instances in maybe instances were of people maybe suffering from a great deal of tension
anxiety and in stopping smoking and if the tranquilizers may be of benefit under supervision medical supervision and I think this could be helpful. But tranquilizers are not prescribed as a routine measure and in a sort of know at these clinics we don't prescribe it if you ever feel that it would be necessary and I have felt this was so. In our particular groups they'd be referred to their physician for determination. What about substitutes for smoking that many of the smokers are trying to stop. Reach for candy and go and give a deep breathing exercises that are some times recommended for stopping in the particularly in the early phases. People will try different substitutes again the substances are best for them some people will try to deep breathing some people do it. Eat candy chew gum chewing a pencil. The more they've been hooked on gum candy and pencils instead of cigarettes.
Usually not usually in the beginning. They may find that they're doing this more but then after a period of time they're no longer hooked. So it's just a matter of learning this habit right over a long critic and this is something that helps to unlearn. What about trying to avoid smoking situations I suppose it could be interpreted as running away from life but do any of the people try to avoid situations in which they may be tempted. Yeah I don't. I feel that sometimes the avoiding situation is nothing to be ashamed of. Again this is particularly in the early phases where you need everything you can get your hands on to help you with the smoking situations is something that will make of it facilitate their smoking then I think that they should avoid a smoking situation and time this doesn't mean that forever they can never enter a smoke filled room. Now a person who's trying to stop is trying to take something out of his life
that perhaps has formerly been fairly important to him. Does he need to turn to other things. Does he need to develop new forms of enjoyment new routines to substitute for this or can he make a fairly clean break without a big change in his lifestyle as it were. Sometimes people have to make some changes in your daily habits. You write in order to give up something that's been so important that person wants to have something one wants to get something from it. And this is one of the fears and that people have one is dumping smoking but something's being cut out of their lives right. Now what about help from others. Those of us who are around persons who are trying to stop what could we do to help him. What about kind of company really reminding them or criticizing when their smoking was healthy. Well this is certainly something that people family and
friends feel that's going to be helpful but is usually something that's going to bug you. And sometimes smokers when they're bugs will smoke. And this is a great way of telling someone to get off my back and start smoking. What about the use of praise or encouragement. This should be used delicately. And not too often. Sometimes you can make people feel like they're doing it for other people and not for themselves people. Most successfully when they do it for themselves so it is helpful to get some cred praising her judgement and and to expend some concern periodically and perhaps one of the better techniques would be to join. If you're a smoker to join the person who's trying to stop in his efforts to stop his then in other words stop yourself. Yeah I have. When people have other people around them there are attempting to stop smoking this is very helpful very supportive.
The smoking dilemma
How to Stop Smoking
Producing Organization
San Diego State University
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-1c1tjn4v).
Other Description
For series info, see Item 3735. This prog.: How to Stop Smoking. Irving Baran, M.D., psychiatrist, San Diego County
Public Affairs
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Producing Organization: KEBS
Producing Organization: San Diego State University
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-42-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:28
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “The smoking dilemma; How to Stop Smoking,” 1968-11-08, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 23, 2021,
MLA: “The smoking dilemma; How to Stop Smoking.” 1968-11-08. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 23, 2021. <>.
APA: The smoking dilemma; How to Stop Smoking. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from