World No-Tobacco Day is observed around the world every year on May 31. This yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what the World Health Organization is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations.
For the occasion, Berytech brings you a blog post written by the team at Slighter – a lifestyle change solution to help master your smoking habit and reduce cigarette consumption. Slighter is a portfolio startup funded by Berytech Fund II.
The Origin of Slighter
Samer Gharib or Sam – the founder and CEO of Slighter, started smoking at the young age of seventeen. Trying every cessation method under the sun, he found none of them actually helped him quit. One night, while reading “how quitting cold turkey was as simple as just doing it,” he grew frustrated by the fact that it wasn’t simple at all.
Sam questioned if there was a better way to stop smoking and that’s when the idea of a coaching algorithm dawned on him. He thought: we don’t become hooked to nicotine overnight. We gradually train ourselves by increasing our intake over time.
Like anything else we want to change in life, we have to modify our actions little by little and make consistent changes every day. That’s why Slighters’ main solution is based on the premise of gradual reduction. Sam thought to house the algorithm in a lighter because it is a smokers’ fundamental companion.
Combining Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Nicotine Fading to Reduce Smoking
Many studies show that a good strategy to help change your habits is a mixture of cognitive behavioral therapy and a technique known as nicotine fading.
Utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (also known as CBT) stems from the idea that our thoughts and feelings directly impact our behavior. Therefore, if we were to change our thought patterns, it can change our actions in a more productive or positive light. That is why, changing the way we think, and feel are essential to overcome either an addiction (like smoking) or mental illness. CBT helps channel negative feelings into constructive, motivational thoughts that will lead to change rather than talking down or criticizing yourself harshly.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the best ways to “unlearn” smoking and has a ten-fold better success rate with smokers than other therapies. With CBT, smokers are able to replace those negative thought patterns and behaviors with positive feelings and healthier coping skills. So, instead of thinking that you need to “go big or go home” when it comes to beating your addiction, you can learn how to look forward to the little successes that will eventually turn into a huge personal win.
The CBT method alone does not mean smokers won’t still have regular nicotine withdrawals. That’s where the Nicotine Fading method plays an equally important role. Nicotine Fading is the gradual reduction of daily cigarette usage to significantly decrease nicotine consumption over a period of time. Combined with an effective nicotine fading strategy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help you stay in control, lessen the impact of withdrawal or probability of relapse, and helps you cope with your symptoms in a more effective way.
Reduction Lessens Withdrawal Symptoms
In most cases, nicotine withdrawal symptoms are simply too great to overcome, at least when trying to quit cold turkey. It’s obvious to see why these symptoms can get the best of you. Nicotine affects nearly all areas of your body, from your heart and blood vessels, to your hormones and brain function.
Nicotine Fading is a smoking reduction technique that does not use any chemicals, is non-invasive, and minimizes the effects of nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Over an established period of time, you will gradually cut back on the number of cigarettes you consume overall. By gradually reducing the amount of nicotine you consume, you minimize the effects of withdrawal, making it easier for you to quit smoking altogether.
Where Does Slighter Come In?
Slighter was developed around the idea that reducing gradually and slowly is the right way to overcome smoking addiction. It is a completely chemical-free reduction tool to help you cut back on smoking and lessen nicotine addiction. Using a custom reduction program backed by innovative learning software, Slighter can help you reach the point where nicotine withdrawal is no longer a concern. Knowing that self-monitoring is difficult to do alone, a mobile platform tracks your progress, and connects you to other smokers that are on the same journey.
With Slighter, you have a personal coach that guides you through the gradual nicotine fade-off of your daily cigarettes, all in an effective and chemical-free way. Slighter empowers you to take ownership of your health and not feel like you are alone. The best way to quit anything, is to hold yourself accountable, stay motivated, and have community support.