It’s easy to make the resolution, “I’m going to quit smoking.”
And it’s easier to break that resolution.
Sure, you can convince yourself that this is the last time you’ll ever smoke a cigarette, and you might really believe it, too – but when you’re faced with something as simple as finishing a meal or having a drink, you can feel a sudden need to smoke. And you’re just as good at talking yourself into having one as you were at never having one again.
It only takes 3 days for your body to completely eliminate all of the nicotine in your system, and this is why quitting ‘cold turkey’ is often recommended. But you can still experience cravings like this for weeks, months, and even years after your last cigarette.
This is because your brain, even at the biological level, is constantly learning through associations. Whether you’ve smoked five cigarettes or five thousand cigarettes, each one has served as a lesson. Nicotine has taught your brain to associate smoking with a form of psychological relief, based on the way it activates your reward pathway.
So when you’re finishing your lunch, your brain lights up with neuronal firing, leading to you thinking ‘I should have a cigarette now.’ And your brain is very efficient at creating and maintaining these associations, which is what’s responsible for the high relapse rates among those attempting to quit.
While products like nicotine patches and gum can help you through the withdrawal period, you’re left to rely on your willpower alone when it comes to facing the way your brain has learned to need cigarettes. Nicotine substitution methods like the patch have a success rate of only 9% — over 90% of users go back to cigarettes within 6 months.
Aversion sessions interrupt this reinforcement loop by adding an unpleasant factor to these associations. A negative consequence to smoking a cigarette changes the way your brain works –- instead of fighting your cravings as they come, you can rewrite the code itself at the neuronal level.
In a scientific study, following five days of pairing shocks with cigarette smoking, 60.6% of subjects successfully quit — maintaining total abstinence from cigarettes over a year after the sessions. Beforehand, these subjects smoked an average of over 32 cigarettes per day, and 80% had tried to quit in the past.
Scientists have been using electric shock in labs for over 50 years in experiments to end bad habits. This technology has always been limited to research studies.
Now, Pavlok puts it in your hands, literally — by building a wristband with simple “one-button activation”. You can safely self-administer electric shocks, and you can control the level of intensity for each shock using an app on your phone. Pavlok’s device means you can take advantage of the scientific research for your own benefit!
A great example of Pavlok’s success in quitting cigarettes is Marty, who was a pack-a-day smoker for over seven years. He used Pavlok to quit smoking by following the method above, including continuing to shock himself until his cravings subsided.
No matter how long you’ve been a smoker, it’s never too late to quit. Even if you’ve been smoking cigarettes for years, or have tried and failed to quit in the past, Pavlok can help you break your habit in five days!
We know that once you try Pavlok, you’ll love it, and you can join the incredible group of smokers who were able to quit using electric shock aversion sessions.
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Habits, Technology & Behavioral Change