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Psychological Quit Programs

A good quit smoking program will combine a strategy for eliminating nicotine with techniques for getting rid of your psychological dependence. 


Regardless of whether you choose a residential, class-room, or home-study program, the psychological factors around quitting are the same, so whatever kind of program you choose, make sure it has a strong psychological component.


Sign up for the Quit Smoking Tips below to learn more about techniques for eliminating the psychological dependence, and learn more about choosing a good program. 


Mini Quit Smoking Course

This free mini-course is a series of quit smoking lessons delivered over e-mail. Each lesson explains an important concept and an action step you can take to address it. Plus you will also get answers from the Quit Smoking Advisor, published every couple of weeks.

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The Quit Smoking mini-course is provided by Quasar Transformations, producer of The Complete Quit System.

 The Complete Quit System is a proprietary program designed to eliminate both the physical addiction and the psychological dependence related to smoking. 


Residential Quit Smoking Program:
Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center

The Mayo Clinic program is an 8-day "inpatient" or residential quit smoking program located in Rochester, Minnesota.  It's been in operation since 1992.  This is not the oldest residential quit smoking program in the US (that would be  St. Helena's program), but Mayo Clinic probably has the widest name recognition, in part because of their reputation for excellence in medical research.  Their web site is here:  www.mayoclinic.org/stop-smoking


The Mayo Clinic quit smoking program approach combines pharmacological interventions (nicotine replacement therapy and/or prescription medication) with cognitive behavioral and  stress management techniques.  Staff appear to be primarily made up of medical professionals, and the program occurs in a medical setting.  


The cost ranges from a little under $5000 to a little over $5000, and enrollment is limited to a maximum of ten patients at a time.  Costs vary within that range because aspects of the program, such as individual counseling sessions, are tailored to the needs of each individual.  The cost of the pharmacological interventions is not included.


45% of the graduates from this program report being smoke free after a year. 


Follow-up to the program includes a series of phone calls, spaced out over a few weeks, depending on the needs of the patient.  Graduates of the program also leave with information about local support groups such as nicotine anonymous, and contact information from some of the other group members to rely on for support.

A Typical Day at Mayo Residential Quit Smoking Program

[excerpted from the Mayo web site]

7:30 - Breakfast/Rounds with the Treatment Staff
9:00 - Group Session: Relapse Prevention
10:15 - Break
10:30 - Group Therapy
Noon - Lunch
1:00 - Group Session: Pharmacology of Nicotine Addiction
2:00 - Individual Counseling
4:00 - Group Session: Stress Management
5:00 - Dinner
6:30 - Group Exercise Session

My Recommendations

The Mayo Clinic program is staffed primarily with medical professionals, and takes place in a medical setting.  It is well established, having been in existence for more than 15 years, and is run by an organization with a stellar reputation, at least in the area of medical research..  My impression is that this is likely to be a well-run program, but with a bit of a 'medical' flavor to it.  If you're considering a residential quit smoking program and the medical approach suits you, this is the program to check out.

If you prefer a residential program with a less medical flavor to it, you may want to look at  St. Helena's program.

If you feel that a residential program may be overkill for you at this time (or you simply don't have the time and money to invest right now), consider one of the less expensive options such as  quit smoking classes or  home study programs.

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