Book Review of Stop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco for LIFE CHANGES:
In our modern-day, addictive culture it is no small wonder that quick-fix approaches for stopping tobacco use are often
ineffective. Typically, these approaches reflect the instant-gratification orientation of our society. People pay big money
for patches, pills, formal programs and purges while expecting an addiction that may have taken a lifetime to develop to just
suddenly go away. For those who understand that ending tobacco addiction is not having results served like a fast-food entree,
there is a powerful option that offers a high predictability of success.
Stop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco for LIFE CHANGES, by David L. Johnson, Ph.D. & Carole A. Johnson, ID, is an original,
definitive manual for those who truly wish to recover from their tobacco addictions. Written with candor, erudition and wit,
the book takes the smoker (chewer, or dipper) by the hand and authoritatively walks him or her through a comprehensive, but
doable, process that not only fleeces the person of a life-threatening habit, but builds in life-enhancement skills that surpass
any rewards perceived from past tobacco use.
This 206-page, quality paperback pursues a step-by-step process that begins with an orientation to the program and includes
a convincing review of current knowledge about the health, social, and economic consequences of tobacco use. These consequences
should strip away every last vestige of motivation for tobacco use in a sane person. We discover preparations for stopping
tobacco which cover every aspect of an individual's lifestyle that supports use and may undermine the stopping process.
Throughout the book the authors include worksheets that facilitate insight, individualize understanding of the quit-tobacco
process, and personalize applications of the program to ensure success. The comprehensiveness of this approach flows from
explanations of every strategic option that can be included in a person's individualized program including the responsible,
effective inclusion, or not, of nicotine-replacement products like patches, gums, inhalers, and cessation pharmaceuticals
that are less effective when used alone.
Once understanding, confidence, and a sense of competence have been established in the reader, the book moves into program
strategies and exercises. These imaginative routines include aversive, powerful hypnotic imagery which undermine desires for
and weakens attractions to tobacco products plus many other tools to effectively replace destructive habits daily with life-enhancing
activities. Indeed, just reading the exercises - without taping and playing them in a relaxation/induction process - is enough
to sicken this reader against the use of tobacco products for life! However, the authors recommend the reader individualize
the exercises and follow the authors' instructions, suggestions, and cautions. Incidentally, without going into current research,
the design of the exercises - including content and strategies - reveals a sophisticated, balanced understanding of subconscious
learning and the power that imaginative processes can have on habits and behavioral changes.
Finally, knowledge, process, and competence blend into a creative integration. LIFE CHANGES provides each individual the
opportunity to develop a healthier lifestyle that leaves no openings for a return to tobacco-use behavior. This 'leave-no-stone-unturned'
approach to tobacco cessation impressed me as the most comprehensive and reliable option available on the market today.
Throughout the book the user's self-defeating thinking patterns can emerge, then broken down and replaced with positive,
life-enhancing ones in a process that makes
LIFE CHANGES a hallmark in the annals of stop-smoking strategies. Each individual needs to take a personalized, total
lifestyle approach to manage ultimately this daily health threat. This total lifestyle approach demonstrates the authors'
understanding of what is necessary to tackle tobacco addiction in the way a surgeon understands cutting away a cancer. Every
part of the threatening tumor (thinking/feeling/behavior) must be removed or a life-threatening condition may spring anew
and attack with a vengeance.
Unlike less effective, quick-fix approaches to tobacco cessation, Stop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco for LIFE CHANGES offers
lifestyle-oriented, self-paced, cognitive- behavioral strategies that address the unique needs of each user in a warm and
readable format that offers the best of what's out there. Unlike approaches that require a full commitment before purchase,
this book has such a powerful introductory message and comprehensive content, I would recommend it to any one seriously wanting
to quit tobacco, in the process of quitting, and even those who may be just thinking about stopping in the future. At a modest
$19.95 retail (USA) price, I cannot suggest a more economical, yet powerful approach to effectively stop nicotine addiction
and prevent relapses. Learning these self-regulation, stress-management, performance, humor, creativity tools and underlying
cognitive-behavioral skills will save lives and deepen, quality relationships.
Granville Angell, EdS, LPC, NCC
Addictions Counselor/Author of The God-Shaped Hole
Self-help CD Review of the Month:
Michael J. Russ's Powerful Self-Talk CD describes the key ingredients for understanding, moving, and unleashing the emotional
power of positive, intentional, and supportive self-talk. Russ identifies unsupportive, negative self-talk that reduces confidence,
dampens esteem, and defeats effort and, even in talented performers. He provides dynamic visual images and energizing music
with specific examples of purposeful, responsible, and pro-active self-talk.
Russ prescribes a six-step model that focuses on more awareness on self-defeating thoughts and their links to external
behavior. The author wants every concerned listener to apprehend negative thoughts and reframe them into 'here and now' opportunities
for alternative choices and verbal pro-active affirmations beginning with "I am ___________. I can do ___________. I
Powerful Self-Talk potentially enables one to consciously plan, produce, direct, and perform valued self-talk scripts
and modify problem-solving roles applicable to daily life and problem situations. First, you can rehearse what you specifically
want to do. Second, you can, through practice and repetition, come to appreciate the inherent power of your thoughts and claim
them as valid approaches to living a renewed life-style. Third your thoughts can be more focused and consistent suggesting
new pathways to mood regulation, self-expression, relationships, and achievable behavioral objectives. Finally, by owning
more consistent thoughts, you can bring energy and direction more effectively into your behavior and establish healthier habits
for living your life.
I recommend this excellent CD on self-talk for any one interested in realizing the importance of "walking the talk"
in order to make meaningful, healthy, and enriching cognitive-behavioral changes for life.
Reviewed by David L. Johnson, Ph.D. Director,
Center for Applied Psychology and Human Services,
Akamai University, Hilo, HI