Overcoming Smoking

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Copyright 2000

Dear Annette,

I have been a member all my life and was active most of my life. I served an 18-month mission in Harrisburg Pennsylvania. When I got back things were not the same, I went to the temple to ponder and to church, I went to the singles ward that was in the area but I never really fit

the "Molly Mormon" image and I was heavy not the "Barbie" type young men were looking for I found myself withdrawing and then found myself inactive it has been 9 years or so since. I do go once in a while when I can (I work on Sunday's now so it's impossible to go to church)

I attend church activities about twice a year, the last one was the Women's Conference with Gladys Knight speaking, smoking is not my only problem, but it is the main one. I want to stop but yet I don't I know its bad for me and I've had several relatives die of smoking related diseases, my parents are active members and they are ex-smokers themselves so I know it can be done.

They want me to quit, but I know when I quit I will be okay for awhile and then I obsess about it and start again and then all the guilt starts in...

I am dating a non-member (he doesn't smoke). I know he wants me to quit too, I want to be a good example of the church to him, and for him, so that someday he will see the blessings of the church and the gospel in his life. I know that I have had blessings bestowed on me when I was living right, and I would like to enjoy them again...

I have a testimony of the gospel and of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith, and all the teachings of the church and I know that Gordon B. Hinckley is our prophet today. Please help.

Yours truly,

A Smoker



Dear Smoker,

Let's attack this problem in six ways:


1. Get a Priesthood Blessing.

2. You can use the nicotine gum, inhaler, or the patch. Another way is to figure out how many cigarettes are using now and diminish it by one each day until you are down to one and then none. It just depends if you want to keep inhaling and exhaling smoke each day while you are cutting down.

3. Use good coping skills when you start getting fixated on smoking. Whenever you

Click here for: Coping Skills

4. Pray often that you do not enter into temptation.

5. Reorder you subconscious thoughts about smoking. Tell yourself things:

* Tell yourself that the smoking tastes like ___________ (something that makes you sick to eat).

* Tell yourself that it smells like ___________ (something that you find totally discussing).

* When you tell yourself these things see yourself smoking and then think of the nauseating thing, but transfer the revulsion to the taste or smell of the smoke as the case may be.

See: Reprogramming Your Negative Subconscious Thoughts

6. Use the relaxation when you are angry, tired, or tension-filled to keep you from reaching for another cigarette

* * * *

The other point I wanted to discuss with you is the idea that you wanted to get back to church but couldn't due to work. This a far more important issue than the smoking issue even as deadly as it is. With the cigarettes we are talking about the death of the physical body. Being cut off from the spirit eternally is a spiritual death and one that I wish on no one.

You don't have to be at church to have the spirit of the Lord with you. Don't get me wrong you do need to be at church, but when you can't because there are no jobs in your field that will allow you to do so, then do the next best thing. Hold church or the feeling of church (the Spirit of God) with you throughout your day. You can do this by:


Take God down off His pedestal, dust Him off and use Him. Make Him your friend.

How do you make a friend? Do you talk, share confidences, go for walks together, cook together, cloud-watch to look for shapes, and laugh and cry together?

Do the things that I have suggested above and more. Make your God someone who you can and would want to go to for any reason, just to be near Him, because you have come to love Him so much. So much so that you can't stand to be away from Him because it would break your heart.

Note: All prayers do not have to take place on your knees. A pray can be only a thought away.


1. Read the Book of Mormon.

Many people feel getting up a little earlier in the morning and reading their scriptures in the morning, puts their day on the right track.

The scriptures can be read in the odd moments of the day like at the doctor's office, standing in line at the check-out counter, during your break at work, etc. In our world of hurry up and wait you will find lots of time to read if you keep your book with you. You may be thinking, "I can't read the scriptures in front of people, I'll be embarrassed!"

I have to tell you of an incident that happened to me at a basketball game. I had to go to a basketball game because my son was playing against an "All-star" team at a benefit game. I got there an hour early so my son could warm up. I had to finish looking up material for a lesson and knew I would be there for a while so I brought along my mid-sized quad. I purposefully set myself at the top of the bleachers so no one would be looking over my shoulder so I could do it in peace. I was just finishing up when people started coming in. I started putting my scriptures away when a tall black fellow from the "All-Star" Team came trotting up the bleachers from finishing his warm-up. He shook some hands on the way up and came right up to my husband and me. He said that it was refreshing to see someone reading the bible in public and that more people should do it. He told me thank you and left. It blew me away. As I think of it, he is right!

2. If you do not have a subscription to the Ensign, get one. This may be easier for you to read in public and it surely helps to make a better day. Call up anyone in your ward to find out who the ward representative for the Ensign is and get a subscription now. It's cheap, but well worth it!


1. Set and achieve goals to make you a better person that you love being with.

See: How to Set Goals And Attain Them

2. You can use reprogramming your subconscious mind to help you reach your goals.

I wish you well in your endeavors!

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Annette Nay Homepage

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