quit smoking, nicotine addction, marcus antebi, goodsugar

What's the most effective way to quit smoking, Now and Forever?

Answer? Cold turkey, then get busy working on yourself.

It can be scary to quit an addiction or a habit that doesn’t serve you well. Approaching the concept of quitting may seem overwhelming because you know how deeply connected you are to that addiction or behavior pattern.

There are two types of addictions and habits. One is physical and the other is purely psychological. Physical addictions include drugs, alcohol, adrenaline, and even food. Psychological addictions include a wide variety of things, some as simple as obsessively looking at your phone.

I have a simple concept that I am asking you to believe because it will enable you to completely overcome your addiction. The concept is this: No matter what type of addiction you have, you can overcome it if you take the right steps. 

You have to break down the steps that you are going to take to fix the problem, and if you do not know what those are then you can use someone’s step-by-step system. Mine looks like what I am about to describe, but yours may be different.

The first step is surrender. You must verbalize it (say it out loud), write it down on paper in some detail, and share what you’ve written with someone you trust. I repeat—You must admit that you have a problem. If you don’t acknowledge that you have a problem, you will have no hope of ever overcoming it.

You will have to surrender and surrender over and over again throughout your life. Especially if you feel tempted to relapse. We surrender by saying, “I am ready to let you go now. This thing I'm doing is causing me problems. When I let you go I will be liberated and I will feel happy.” (Note: That language is my own; you can come up with another phrase that better suits you if you wish, as long as you are sincerely expressing the same thought and intent.)

“I wish to quit doing this thing.” This is a new reality. If you are willing to say those words with sincerity, you are one very big step closer. It’s a new reality to step into “I quit” instead of “I’m still doing” or the reality that most get stuck in: “I’m too scared to try.”

The next step, critical to complete but not necessarily in sequence with other steps, is moving ourselves into a state of quiet and stillness. Some consider talk along these lines to be in the category of esoteric hippie mumbo-jumbo, but it isn’t. Don’t ridicule the concept.

Following is an exercise to help you with that step. Sit quietly in nature and spend 45 minutes concentrating on your breathing. Visualize yourself unhooking yourself from your addiction or compulsive habit. See yourself in your thoughts free from the nightmare of an addiction of any kind. See yourself  as being free.

There are many other steps that must be taken to ensure that your new promise to quit will be absorbed into your subconscious mind. Those steps need not be followed in a precise sequence as long as you do them all and go back to them all frequently.

quit smoking

But the more frequently you can practice sitting still and quiet, even if it’s in your closet, the more powerful and positive the impact will be. When I do so, I might be ridiculed by people saying, “Look, there’s Marcus sitting in the closet, visualizing himself giving up a habit.” But I don’t care about public opinion (or private opinion, for that matter). I care about improving myself by ridding myself of bad habits.

Some consider Yoga to be ridiculous. They make you do headstands and hold a posture for three minutes to effectuate change. But people need to think outside of the box, and if need be try techniques that seem ‘new agey’ and weird if they are serious about self improvement. Doing things differently that seem odd or uncomfortable is preferable to sitting at home suffering wondering how to make yourself better.

If a great master comes to you and tells you to sit in a cave for two days to make your problems go away, perhaps you should try it out of respect for the teacher. I have liberated myself in many ways using various techniques that at first I didn’t fully understand and wasn’t comfortable with. I have put together a mixture of techniques from the various things that I’ve practiced and studied, ranging from yoga practice to kickboxing.

After you’ve become willing to surrender after you’ve sat and visualized yourself free from your addiction, the next step is to get out that damn journal and start writing. Write about how you quit, how you’re going to quit, how you may struggle, your connection to the addiction, just write, write, write (or type).

Most of us have addictions buried very deep in our subconscious minds that we don’t tap into. One of mine was movement. I needed to be constantly moving in order to feel at peace. I was terrible with stillness unless I was sleeping. I was also addicted to changes of scenery. I needed my visuals to change frequently. I got bored or frustrated if I saw or encountered the same things every day.

As I got older I learned how to create balance. I learned that the scenery did not need to change but I could change the state of my restless mind. I could bring my mind to wherever I wanted it to be. I learned that I could become happy looking at a brick wall every day if I had no other choice.

Coming to such a state is not easy. But I am at the point now where I can do things I need to do, such as shop and go to work, and enjoy the changes of scenery rather than be addicted to them. My practices of meditation helped me a great deal with that particular struggle. And I want to stress that meditation will help you a lot in your journey to overcome whatever addiction or obsession you may be struggling with.

As meditation is crucial, I’d like to conclude this short section by describing a simple meditation practice exercise appropriate for beginners. Sit quietly for 10 minutes, three days a week. Visualize yourself in a better place. Visualize yourself being free from whatever unpleasantness your obsession or addiction may have brought into your life.

It is my fervent desire that some of the things that I will suggest in this book, in addition to the crucial entities of admission, surrender, and calming of the mind, will help you get to a state of great physical and mental health and happiness with your improved circumstances.

Please continue reading.


Format of this Book

This book contains quite a bit of information. It is all very important to anyone who strongly desires to quit smoking. Eight primary things—“action items” in popular terminology—are at the heart of what a successful tobacco addict needs to do to quit for good. Those eight things are all mentioned in some detail in this book.

I was tempted to list those eight things as numbered steps when I began this writing project. Doing so is the usual way of producing a document with material that is in some sense technical. It’s a very widely used format in today’s informationally-centered age, and also a preferred format for many who think in a linear fashion.

After much thought in the matter, I decided not to do that. The reason I chose against it is that I was reminded that in my own recovery my true success occurred only when I approached that recovery in a completely holistic manner. I realized that a non-smoker has to address many things in his or her life simultaneously during the process of quitting. He or she can begin by starting with any one of the eight primary essential things. But each one of the eight things must be attended to simultaneously very early in the process of the non-smoker’s complete recovery.

I suggest you read this short book in its entirety first. Then, begin putting all of the various steps into place. Remember that quitting smoking is more than just stopping the use of a substance. It’s a complete lifestyle change for the better. This is why you must understand what you are getting into and address all of your needs simultaneously as you begin your smoke-free lifestyle.

quit smoking

About Addiction

Addictive. The nicotine and the chemicals that are put on the tobacco of commercially manufactured cigarettes are overwhelmingly addictive. 

With any addiction, the causes are the same, even though the symptoms (whether you become a smoker, drinker, gambler, spender, over/under eater, junk food addict, sex addict, religious zealot, adrenaline junkie, etc.) are different.

But smoking is a uniquely difficult addiction to overcome for several reasons.

All addicts are attracted to any number of possible distractions in the form of a habit. The addict is looking for something to change the negative feelings at any given point in a day. Some addictive behaviors have dramatic mood and chemical altering effects, and others have more mild effects.

We are creatures of habit by nature; anything that we do over and over again becomes a very ingrained habit. Each cigarette requires a person to take about 15 drags. Multiply that by the number of cigarettes smoked in a day, then multiply that by seven days (one week). 

That’s a tremendous number of times to be doing something. So it’s no wonder it becomes an ingrained habit in a very short period of time.

Smoking is a learned behavior. We picked it up somewhere from someone. It seemed like a perfect solution to feel better at the time. If someone is addicted to a substance, they almost certainly had a traumatic experience or systemic trauma in their early childhood life. The science of psychology supports this assertion.

Smoking actually is a ritual of sorts. The actions that the ritual entails have a soothing effect on us. Emotionally, we’re wired so that consistent patterns make us feel safe. It’s an extreme understatement to say that this feeling of safety, given the incredible danger that smoking entails, is incredibly deceptive.

The Addiction Cycle

The cycle of addictive behavior begins with obsession. We are obsessed with the sources of our pain. That pain is throbbing and it causes fear. The fear in our lives (likely originating from our traumas) persists and becomes constant.

The constant pain and fear then makes us anxious. We must fix the anxiety. We take a puff, and it changes us physically and mentally. We’re then compelled to do it again and again. When this madness is taking place we can go on for years repeating the behavior.

It gets us through until we are ready to admit that this behavior is incredibly dangerous to our health. In actuality, the addiction stops working. We still feel anxious. Beneath the anxious feelings from our old trauma, we feel anxious regarding the fear and concerns that smoking in itself causes us.


YOU picked up this book—that says something important about you. The urge that caused you to pick it up is a side of your higher nature seeking to improve. The side of you that is looking for a flaw in this presentation is the side that looks for a reason to  resist change. Change is scary—especially when it involves deep physical and emotional connections.

From these words forward, you must come to believe that if you quit smoking your life will be 1,000 times better. You will have a great sense of relief not to be a prisoner of a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. You’ll be relieved to not be shackled to an ashtray. You will be relieved to know that your body can forgive you from the damage that smoking has done, and your body can begin healing right away.

Emotional and Physical Health Issues

Many of the sensations experienced in the act of smoking, such as the texture of the cigarette in the mouth and the warm feel of the smoke, are addictive on an emotional or psychological level. And it bears repeating that the nicotine and other chemicals that are put on the tobacco are overwhelmingly physically addictive.

The degree to which an addiction can get a hold on a person’s mind is based on the person’s temperament. Anyone who smokes consistently is acting in accordance with addictive behavior patterns. But some people have much more fragile psyches, and may have much deeper degrees of anxiety; they would likely be a good deal more dependent on the addiction than others.

Some people are able to quit smoking almost instantaneously because they have a spiritual awakening. One of the results of their experience may have been an instant 180 degree shift in their thinking, so pronounced that they become enabled to reform their own behavior.

Such scenarios are wonderful, and people who reform in such a way should be held in the highest regard. Having said that, it must be understood that the majority of people who make the decision to quit smoking are not instantly delivered. They are in the grip of an addiction, and they will need to invest time and effort to overcome it.

If you are ready to work on your emotional world and find alternative behaviors to soothe your anxieties, restlessness, discomfort, sense of loneliness, emptiness, sense of pointlessness and early repressed feelings, you have a great chance of succeeding at conquering your addiction.

To surrender any addiction, you must first “hit bottom” emotionally and/or physically. The physical bottom for an addiction such as smoking might be a serious illness, and hopefully you can be ready to quit before that happens.

The emotional bottom means that you have to be absolutely fed up and done with smoking and the way it makes you feel both physically and emotionally. You have to be done with suffering in a relationship that sucks: You and smoking are going to break up!!

So the first requirement to quit smoking is having a deep desire within you to be done with cigarettes for good. If you still romanticize the addiction, if you still are in love with it, it will be very difficult to surrender.

Even if you have not yet hit bottom, you can raise the bottom up by imagining all of your future problems and by following the processes that are outlined in this writing. You can work on reaching the bottom both by talking about the problem and giving yourself more and more information about the effects of smoking and how to quit.

People with a strong will often can speed up this process of raising the bottom. This is the case because their personality traits enable them to see the bottom coming, and subsequently they get out of the freefall descent into the pit of self-destruction.

But the person who has already hit bottom and is done will find it much easier to make the necessary physical, emotional and psychological changes that quitting for good will entail. He or she will have the fortitude to endure through any of the difficulties that quitting might bring.

Emotional Processing

There are a number of methods you can use to gradually shift yourself into the proper mindset to give you the strength to quit smoking for good. You do not need to find a replacement addiction. But you do need to be able to process your emotions and your anxieties on a daily basis. You need to be able to identify the different moods that you’re going through and sit with the sensations that each one brings.

When you get into this habit things become much easier. If you repress such emotions, or if you consciously or unconsciously seek a replacement addiction, it will be much harder for you in the long run.

Cigarettes are like a close friend when they bring us pleasure. But they also cause us to suffer, even in the short run. They provide us with such an incredible sense of grounding and safety that it’s hard to believe that we can live without them.

But they are an addiction. The act of taking part in the addiction is what is important for us to understand, and it’s a little difficult to explain.

An addiction seems all powerful. But it is nothing compared to the might of your powerful free will. When you are ready, you will find a way to quit. Quitting, letting go, surrendering the addiction may not ever be something that you do. But you are the judge and the controller: You can decide to let go.

More to come online…

Cigarettes are like a close friend when they bring us pleasure. But they also cause us to suffer, even in the short run. They provide us with such an incredible sense of grounding and safety that it’s hard to believe that we can live without them.

But they are an addiction. The act of taking part in the addiction is what is important to us, and it’s a little difficult to explain.

An addiction seems all powerful. But it is nothing compared to the might of your powerful free will. When you are ready, you will find a way to quit. Quitting, letting go, surrendering the addiction may not ever be something that you do. But you are the judge and the controller: You can decide to let go.

Cigarettes, like any addiction, are not in themselves what is causing the addiction. It is your mind and your habitual thinking about all of existence that is confusing you and keeping you bound. You have crossed circuits regarding the ways you think if you engage in a harmful addiction. Don’t think of yourself as being held in judgment. You only need to answer to yourself and reflect on what you are doing.

What do you want to do next? If you want to let go of smoking, then take this verbal journey. Hold this book near you, day by day, and read it.

Take one step forward – specifically, open your mind and your heart to healing. It is within your reach. You can heal your mind if you allow your mind’s natural pathways to open.

If you follow the directions of people who have succeeded, we can lead you. Good teachers want nothing in return.

Before getting into specifics regarding my five-step process, I’d like to explain things about my particular approach.

A lot of people in the process of teaching someone to quit smoking spend a lot of time showing them the health risks. I think this is effective with certain types of people. The person I’m thinking of is a person who is so much in denial that when they understand the negative effects, they say to themselves “Holy shit, what the hell am I doing?” Then they’re ready to stop.

But for some people, with the reminder of all the negativity that can be caused by a habit like smoking, the fear overcomes, the anxiety kicks in, and the first impulse is to smoke. The key to overcoming this is to write about it. To understand their own addiction, a person must write down specifics about why they are friendly with it. What they like about it, descriptions about the relationship that they have with tobacco, and what it does for them. The more detail that is put in the writing, the more enlightening it will become. This process will be explained in some detail in my comments about the five suggested steps.

My five-step process to quitting smoking is detailed in the remainder of this book.


Get a notebook or use a digital writing system (think of it as your digital notebook – e.g., Google Docs. (existed at the time of this writing in 2020 AD). Give your notebook an affirming title: e.g., How I Quit Smoking. This notebook (or digital system file) will be your journal.


The assignments for writing in your journal are suggested. There are countless writing assignments that you can invent on your own. The writing is the physical work, and this physical work has a mental healing effect. It is transformative. When you write, you transform a thought and/or a thought process which is totally invisible into a physical and energetic thing. It has the possibility of either losing its energy and power or causing empowerment for you.

Regarding cigarettes, talk about the law of attraction when you’re tempted to smoke and write it out. The addiction can be so strong that molecular bonds occur. And the emotional and psychological components associated with smoking are deserving of an epic study. (Incidentally, I am a recovered smoker, having picked up the habit at age 14 and subsequently quit.)

You must take the time to sit down and understand and explore your own behaviors. And you must convince yourself that you are hopelessly addicted and without your self-help powers, without being a self-starter, without turning to your highest power, you cannot quit on your own.

In other books that are written on addiction, much is written on root causes and psychoanalyzing many aspects of our emotions. This type of work is valuable. And you can do some of it on your own. Doing so is one of the primary reasons for writing in your journal.

Understanding addiction causation is universal. The cravings for toxic substances are born in a person’s dysfunctional ways of thinking that are rooted in childhood trouble or trauma. People who come from loving, nurturing homes where their physical and emotional needs have been met and carefully developed generally do not have cravings for destructive things.

But there are many exceptions to that particular rule. And whether or not your addiction is firmly rooted in childhood trauma, you must do a great deal of soul searching and reflection regarding your cravings. And you absolutely must put it all in writing.


The moment I found cigarettes I was hooked. This occurred in 1983 when I stole a pack of cigarettes from my father.

Many people that I know who picked up smoking found it to be the most difficult addiction on the planet to overcome. Nicotine addiction might be as difficult to overcome, or even more so, than amphetamine and opioid addiction.

Everyone knows that the nicotine substance is chemically addictive. But it’s also crucial to understand that when you smoke frequently you embed it into every aspect of your routines. We are creatures of habit. We learn things, and when these things give us satisfaction we are programmed to repeat them. Repeated behavior is often very difficult to surrender.

To muster up the strength to quit smoking (or any other difficult addiction or life-dominating thing that needs correction), it is necessary to sit down and write out the problem. Then, it’s necessary to write out the solution. This process is akin to writing a business plan. Following is some detail about the writing process.

The first part of your writing should describe your behavior associated with your addiction. It should be at least five pages long. It should cover all the details about anything faulty or mistaken that you did because of your addiction. Simply paying the price for a pack of cigarettes is a mistake in itself. Then, putting your health at risk shows insensitivity to danger and perhaps low self-esteem or even self-hatred. If it’s possible that those are your issues, you must determine whether or not that’s so by your own convictions.


It’s very important to understand some things about the magical plant tobacco if you’re going to surrender it. It actually is considered a sacred plant among many indigenous people groups who use it in sacred ceremonies. This is difficult for people of modern mindsets to grasp, but it is true. 

Tobacco is a plant that was discovered to have certain properties. One property is that it had a stimulating effect to the human chemistry by its use at night, just through inhalation and getting the smoke to surround you. That’s why when the Europeans discovered it and gave it to their leaders they concluded that it was a substance that could make one euphoric.

But what was really happening was that while they were puffing on it their chemistry was beginning to crave it. When they were satiating the craving it felt tremendous and they didn’t understand why. And they didn’t follow the instructions that came with a long time of use with the plant - they abused it. They abused it the same way that 12-year-old children would abuse cotton candy if they got into a factory and ate all they wished. Even if they felt disgusting they wouldn’t be able to identify that feeling.

The craving for the substances within the cotton candy would call to their chemistry with demands for more. The mind would agree and say “Yes, you are lacking the substance.” The addiction sets in on both the physical and psychological planes. When a person takes a modern cigarette and steps outside on the balcony or curb at work just thinking,

[ he or she is thinking about things while they’re 'praying' with tobacco. They’re blowing the smoke in the ancient 'fashion' and whatever they're thinking about, they are 'sealing' that though in. If they are thinking about negative things, they are are sealing the negative thoughts in. If they are thinking positive thoughts they are sealing those in as well. The only problem there is that they are intoxicating themselves and harming their lungs while doing so.]

The smoke from the tabacco seals in all our positive intentions and emotions of that moment. That’s why the ancient people used it in their ceremonies. They used the smoke to communicate to other creatures. It was a translator. It was both spiritual and physical. The smoke and the fire were both mediums for talking with the cosmos. Not with spirits, not with ghosts, but with higher energies and vibrations moving in the universe and reverberating on earth.

So here comes Philip Morris. They see how addictive this thing is and they package it and make it completely irresistible. It’s so compact, everything is branded and labeled, each cigarette is the same shape and has the same taste. But each cigarette is a different experience because you’re involved. Sometimes cigarettes bring you up, sometimes they bring you down. Sometimes they make you creative, sometimes they slow you down. Sometimes they make you irritable, sometimes they make you cough and wheeze and be sick. Sometimes they make you feel invincible, and sometimes they make you depressed. Because you can’t believe you’re taking the action of smoking. 

I used to feel like a weakling and a prisoner because I had to have a pack of cigarettes with me when I left the house. I had all the accoutrements to accompany me - the cigarette lighter, the ashtray. I had a couple of cigarette lighters and more than one favorite ashtray, because I loved the ritual.

And a ritual it is. A ritual becomes a routine and becomes pedestrian by accident. The ritual should be secret. If a person is to work with that plant medicine, they must be prepared to set their intentions and they must have a complete ceremony around it. And they have to be trained how to do it, because if they do it incorrectly they will fall into the magic spell of tobacco.

And it doesn’t make a difference to me whether or not you believe it. If you’re reading this book with the intention of quitting, you have it. Whatever you’re doing isn’t working, and I am offering you a solution. I want nothing from you except the low cost of this book. It’s best if you don’t even know my name. I just want to pass to you the knowledge experience and the understanding that I have attained during this time on earth. But I want to make it clear – I just want to help.

Metaphysical Observations

When I quit smoking the universe gave me the help I needed. I’m referring to the universe as an entity, with no spiritual connotations. I’m speaking of the universe in terms of our participation in it as chemical beings. It’s chemistry when I sit down and pray and when I sit down and do work (meaning work on meditation and character development). I’m tuning in to the highest frequency in my consciousness which has its source, my dear friend, in the cosmos.

Ask any philosopher, or even most physicists. I don’t use the word spiritual because it confuses people; when they hear it they think of ghosts, some type of astral matter, or something abstract. The entire universe is so complex, it’s reasonable to say that the whole entity is spiritual in nature. Perhaps there’s a divine creator, but that is not pertinent to this particular discussion. 


As you continue to develop yourself you’re going to watch yourself switch from one addiction to another - you’ll see the pattern. I pray that you find this out early so that you can get to the work early. I want you to have freedom and liberation from the various forms of suffering that smoking guarantees. Suffering is in store for anyone with any addiction. This is because every addiction keeps us out of the present moment.

The secret to quitting smoking, first and foremost, is simply telling yourself on day one, “I am willing to quit. I am willing to let it go. I am willing to move forward. I’m willing to feel the scary feelings, I am willing.” When you get scared, when you hear yourself saying “I don’t have to take action right now,” just be willing to take action anyway. So, for the next few days after resolving to quit, keep telling yourself, “I am willing to, I am willing to.”

If you find yourself to be really stubborn and you don’t see a transformation, perhaps you’re secretly unwilling to. Perhaps you’re telling yourself that you need to take a few steps backwards. This may be grounded in anxiety. But you can face up to that anxiety, and you can overcome it.

You can quit!!

Notes Regarding My Own Journey (M. Antebi)

 When people read self-help books, they’re often looking for a certain tone from the writer. People love books with doctors or celebrities on the cover. I’m an anonymous person. Sometimes I write in a peculiar way, and sometimes in a rushed manner. But I have been off of cigarettes for 30 years. I had a one-year relapse at age 20 - prior to that I had been off cigarettes for five years. I remember the terror when I got sober at age 15, because I went to a drug rehab center and almost everyone in the place was a chain smoker. That was allowed, and it was terrible. I was terrified that I’d have the temptation to smoke again. I spent more time focusing on not smoking that I did on staying away from marijuana. But I managed to do it, and stayed off of cigarettes until I was about 19 years old.

My own cigarette relapse was a classic story. Under tension and pressure and feeling depressed, I was at a party and I took a cigarette to try to relax myself. I smoked it and I enjoyed it and I felt no craving afterwards; in fact I didn’t think about cigarettes for three months after that. The only thing I could think was ‘Wow, I could have a cigarette once a while, and I’d be safe.’ And then one night three months later I did the same thing at another party. I had a cigarette thinking that it would just be something to relax me. Then, Bam, I ran to buy a pack of cigarettes. I was a smoker again, just like that.

For the following year I smoked without being able to control myself. It made me suicidal and depressed. I was so unhappy and felt so pitifully, incomprehensibly demoralized by my lack of control over myself. I was afraid of the addiction and I felt imprisoned, but I couldn’t see any way out. I tore up a dozen packs of cigarettes. I resolved to not touch another one, then I found myself buying a pack of cigarettes again later. I was hopelessly addicted.

My smoking habit was about one pack per day. It wasn’t until I finally broke my fast with intimate relationships that I had a breakthrough. I met a young girl who I really liked and we got together. Then she told me that I had to quit smoking if she was going to date me. It was a no brainer. I threw out my pack of cigarettes and I used her as my higher power to overcome my addiction. I never touched another cigarette again.

That relationship ended a year later, but I didn’t pick up cigarettes again - she was my boost. I needed that because I didn’t have the wisdom or the people around me to teach me. I would never find it in a book because I wasn’t searching.

But I quit. And so can you!! 


If you have a strong desire to quit smoking, you can do it. But you must consider the many issues associated with your own addiction, the nature of tobacco, and the psychological principles common to all people who are determined to stop unhealthy behaviors of any kind. You must commit to a very deep level of soul searching, self-discovery, and commitment to self-improvement. I very strongly encourage you to do so by strictly adhering to the five step process that I have described in this book.

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