Simon smoked a half-pack of cigarettes every day for five years.
“I used to run for both pleasure and exercise. I would run half marathons, and it was very meditative for me. But when I started smoking cigarettes, my cardio really suffered”
He had tried quitting numerous times without success – until he discovered Pavlok.
“It’s empowering when you know you can tackle something as tough as cigarette smoking, it puts other difficult things into perspective. My family has a history of lung cancer, and I really felt ashamed that I was addicted to cigarettes. Using Pavlok took me from ‘it would be nice to quit’ to ‘I need to quit’ – and I did”.
Like many smokers, part of Simon’s habit was tied to ritual. “I would always have a cigarette after breakfast, and I would always have a cigarette at the end of the day after work, so those are the times I wanted to target first”.
He started by shocking himself at the same time he would be craving his morning cigarette. After two days, he progressed to shocking himself whenever he wanted a cigarette in the evening.
Over the course of one week Simon reduced his smoking habit by a few cigarettes each day, and after seven days he was no longer smoking cigarettes at all.
Once Simon quit smoking and gained control of his cravings, he immediately began to notice an improvement in his health and relationships.
While Simon’s desire to smoke cigarettes was gone within days, his cravings for nicotine were still a challenge to overcome. In the weeks after he quit smoking completely, Pavlok continued to help Simon. “Pavlok helped train my brain to speak a little bit louder as I fought these cravings” said Simon, referring to his practice of shocking himself whenever he had a nicotine craving. “Recognizing the difference between the mental and physical aspects of the habit helped me feel more in control.”
“To really want to quit is a fine line of being honest with yourself. Breaking through that veil is really crucial, because it is so easy to continue to rationalize. Once you’ve broken it, you look back and realize it was all shrouded by the dependency. For me it was just a little shock in my arm that helped to wake me up and really blow the smoke away from my cigarette habit”.
When asked if he thought the shock from Pavlok hurt, Simon really put things in perspective: “It doesn’t hurt, but it’s uncomfortable. But when you’re face-to-face with something that is important to you like quitting cigarettes, it totally outweighs the discomfort. If you can trade a little bit of discomfort for something that you know is killing you, that’s not a bad trade-off at all”.
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Habits, Technology & Behavioral Change