Smober Up – Quit Smoking Interview with Ray Zahab

Smober up quit smoking

Just the other day, Doug and I, were contacted about an opportunity to interview Ray Zahab, the host of Smober Upâ„¢.

Smober Upâ„¢ is a webisode series sponsored by Nicorette® which follows 8 regular Canadians who not only made the tough decision to quit smoking, but agreed to share their personal experiences on camera.  Okay stop, I know what you might be thinking.  If you visit the YouTube channel for Smober UPâ„¢, it actually has quite an ‘edgy’ reality TV show feel to it.  It might even be a better production than many Canadian TV shows.

Just to clarify, ‘smobering up’ is not something you do after imbibing in too many alcoholic beverages.  From the beacon of information that is the Urban Dictionary, the top definition of smober is as follows:

“Smober: The act of being nicotine free and no longer smoking; like sober for an alcoholic, Smober defines you as being a recovering nicotine addict.”

Ray Zahab himself is a former pack-a-day smoker who’s now an ultramarathon runner, personal trainer, and motivational speaker.  In fact, he’s part of the first team of runners to cross the Sahara desert coast to coast.  And you thought quitting smoking was difficult!

Yesterday, I spoke with Ray during a telephone conversation.  I’ll try to provide some of his motivational insights from this conversation with the proviso that I’m not actually a journalist nor had I ever conducted a telephone interview of this nature prior to yesterday.  I’m sort of presenting this in a quasi Q&A format though I wasn’t able to write fast enough to actually jot down accurate quotes.

How did you get involved with Smober Upâ„¢?

Ray indicated that he knew from personal experience how difficult it is to quit smoking.  He also noted that the experience of quitting smoking was “life altering” for himself.  After finding out about Smober Upâ„¢, he indicating that he wanted to get involved.

How did he personally manage to quit smoking?

Ray mentioned that he manage to quit smoking cold-turkey after a few different failed attempts over the span of several years.  He noted that he would have taken advantage of social networks if he were aware of them at the time.

What advice would you offer for people who’re trying to quit smoking?

  1. First, make a decision to quit
  2. Set a date:  “critical”
  3. Get another people involved to make yourself accountable
  4. Have a long-term plan to replace smoking with something proactive
  5. Consider how your smoking affects other people
  6. Find Social supports because there’s “power in numbers.”

Advice on how to turn ‘habits’ into healthier choices?

  1. Set goals.
  2. Find your passion.  For Ray, running was not something that he was involved with prior to quitting smoking.
  3. Find someone who is living a healthier lifestyle that you want and seek their advice.  To my recollection, Ray mentioned that his brother’s a runner who’s living a healthy lifestyle.  He got involved with running after being inspired by him.

What effect does the ‘achievement’ of quitting smoking have on people?

Ray suggested that making a decision to quit smoking and to follow through with this decision has a powerful “ripple effect” on peoples’ lives. It sounds like this sense of achievement from quitting smoking can be used to help people overcome hurdles in other areas of their lives.

What has your experience been like helping other people to quit smoking?

Ray was quick to point out that he works with Jessica, a clinical therapist, on the show as well.  He also mentioned that the experience itself has been invigorating and that he enjoyed empowering other people.

After watching the webisodes on the Smober Upâ„¢ YouTube channel, I actually found myself getting invested in the efforts of the people who’re in the process of quitting smoking.  I did try to ask Ray how things were working out for Sumit and Fraser (two people on the show).  Of course, Ray let me know that I would have to continue to watch the webisodes to find out.

Lastly, Ray himself has an extensive presence on the Internet including a range of things from a Wikipedia entry to other online sites.  He mentioned impossible2possible as a website that I should take a look at.

For more info about Smober Up™, you can visit their website to connect with their Facebook page, YouTube channel, and even get some discounts from Nicorette®.

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