Why The ‘Quit Smoking Oath’ Plays A Crucial Role in Your Effort to Break Free from Smoking

By Medically reviewed by Panel Perubatan Hello Doktor

Smoking cigarettes predisposes a person to develop various health conditions, the most notorious of which is the dreaded lung cancer. Not only that, smoke from tobacco is also harmful to the people who inadvertently inhale it by being close to the source of the smoke, an act known as ‘passive smoking’. With the detrimental outcome towards human health and the financial burden it poses towards the government, the case against tobacco is very simple and clear. However, the addiction that it causes within smokers makes giving it up anything but simple. 

The Reality of Quitting Cigarettes and Why The ‘Quit Smoking Oath’ Matters

While healthcare professionals might able to help you quit smoking, the reality is that they can only make the battle more bearable – the one who must put up with the temptation and struggle will always be you. The journey to quit is a partnership between you and the healthcare professional. So long as you keep on going, they will keep on helping, and the sweet victory of quitting is a triumph that they also deeply cherish. In order to keep on going, your underlying motivation must be robust and consistent. In fact, the will and the motivation to change is the most important aspect that will keep you going amidst the difficult journey. Motivation can come from various sources so take your time to reflect on your priorities and what is it that makes you appreciate life more.

Once you are determined to quit and have engaged the help of healthcare professionals, a quit date characterised by total abstinence is set with a time frame of two weeks from the date of consultation. With it, a quit smoking oath is sworn by the smoker, a commitment that he must try his very best to fulfill. Pretty much everywhere the quit-smoking program will entail a quit smoking oath at the beginning of the journey. This is a popular approach because of the psychological influence of commitment.

Commitment is a binding pledge that obligates you to assume a position or carry out a course of action. Making a commitment to what you do—whether in your personal life or in your professional life — is one of the most fundamental principles of success. Commitments such as the quit smoking oath are powerful because they influence the way you think and your subsequent coping mechanisms. Unlike a half-hearted hope or ‘best shot’, signing up to a pledge or commitment means that you will try harder to materialise your commitment in the face of obstacles. In addition, it gives a sense of direction, a reminder to what is that you are doing and why, as well as taking away the option of looking back.

A key element to being committed is being reminded of what it is that you are committing to. That is why follow ups are essential to keep the motivation going as healthcare professionals are able to assess, evaluate and remind you of your quit smoking oath and how far you have come in your quitting journey. Words of encouragement from the people that support you are a form of reward that help to emotionally incentivise you to keep on adhering to your pledge and stay committed to your goal. While making a pledge may not seem like a solid and robust action in achieving things, when it comes to the psychologically vulnerable, it can be a powerful tool to enhance a person’s motivation and will to change. That is why it is incorporated in almost all quit smoking programs and other rehabilitation course to instills powerful psychological cues.

How to find help

Understanding how painstaking the journey can be, the Ministry of Health of Malaysia has launched a nationwide initiative called ‘mQuit clinics’, a joint effort between the government and the private sector with the aim of providing quality, effective and comprehensive quit smoking plan for smokers all across the country who wishes to quit. For more information on this revolutionary program, please visit jomquit.moh.gov.my

The holistic approach and management embedded in the mQuit services includes:

  • Helping smokers develop a customised quit smoking plan
  • Providing smokers with the right resources and advice on quitting tobacco
  • A comprehensive smoking cessation plan with follow-up sessions by dedicated healthcare professionals
  • Prescription of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), such as nicotine gums or patches, to facilitate your smoking cessation journey by controlling withdrawal symptoms

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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