BOOK REVIEW: Positively Quit Manual by Cassius Cheong

To be clear, I’m not a smoker, and I have never smoked.
The Positively Quit Manual begins by dispelling some myths of smoking cessation; an extremely powerful lesson that prepares the reader for what he is about to learn and endure. Many “stop smoking” techniques focus on the addictiveness of nicotine. Smokers have been led to believe that if they can replace the cigarette nicotine with something else (a patch) then they will more easily be able to quit smoking. A 2003 study by the Department of Psychology at the University of Vermont found that 93% of those who use a patch or similar product returned to smoking.
So why was a non-smoker asked to review this book? I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor and I found this work very enjoyable as Cheong was using REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy); a therapeutic model that can change almost any behavior. REBT believes that our thinking, emotions and behavior all overlap and if they are self-defeating then they must be changed to work with one another in a more productive way. Positively Quit uses REBT (don’t know if Cheong realized this) to help you quit smoking.
Through his writings, Cheong works to reshape smokers’ misguided beliefs about their habit. Many smokers believe smoking calms them. Well, Cheong explains how a lack of nicotine creates anxiety because the body is craving it (thinking). If you didn’t smoke, you wouldn’t be anxious about not having a cigarette. He also explains behaviors associated with smoking that gum can never replace and even describes cigarettes as friends (emotional attachment) which is pretty typical of most smokers. A more appropriate view of cigarettes and how they are involved in a person’s life is a much better way of quitting than nicotine replacement, going cold turkey, or weaning oneself away. All these have a high failure rate while Positively Quit gets to the root of the matter to help smokers kick the habit.
The book is short so it’s designed to help someone quit quickly. It takes the reader through the addiction process, the relapse cycle and adequately prepares the smoker for whatever might happen in the coming days, weeks, and months. Becoming an ex-smoker is a lifestyle change and there are no easy fixes, but if you want to quit smoking and are ready to do so, this book can help.