How to quit smoking and why is it so hard?

broken cigarette with the word stop. stop smoking concept closeup

We all know the health risks of smoking, but that doesn’t make it any easier to kick the habit. Whether you’re an occasional teen smoker or a lifetime pack-a-day smoker, quitting can be extremely tough.

Smoking tobacco is both a physical addiction and a psychological habit. The nicotine from cigarettes provides a temporary and addictive high. Eliminating that regular fix of nicotine causes your body to experience physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings.  Because of nicotine’s “feel good” effect on the brain, you may turn to cigarettes as a quick and reliable way to boost your outlook, relieve stress, and unwind. Smoking can also be a way of coping with depression, anxiety, or even boredom. Quitting means finding different, healthier ways to cope with those feelings.

Smoking is also ingrained as a daily ritual. It may be an automatic response for you to smoke a cigarette with your morning coffee while taking a break at work or school, or on your commute home at the end of a hectic day. Or maybe your friends, family, or colleagues smoke, and it’s become part of the way you relate with them.

To successfully stop smoking, you’ll need to address both the addiction and the habits and routines that go along with it. But it can be done. With the right support and quit plan, any smoker can kick the addiction—even if you’ve tried and failed multiple times before.

Many of us smoke to manage unpleasant feelings such as stress, depression, loneliness, and anxiety. When you have a bad day, it can seem like cigarettes are your only friend. As much comfort as cigarettes provide, though, it’s important to remember that there are healthier and more effective ways to keep unpleasant feelings in check. These may include exercising, meditating, etc.

Coming up with a plan to quit smoking is extremely important, don’t do this alone and share it with people around you, set a date which you want to quit and mentally prepare yourself for that, make sure that the date isn’t too far away because you might lose motivation.

Also, it is essential to note that identifying what triggers your needs for cigarettes, maybe when you’re alone or bored, or you’re feeling anxiety, and there’s some sort of comfort within the cigarettes to relieve the stress. This is something that needs to be addressed in order to successfully quitting, making sure that you have removed everything that is smoking-related like lighters, or even washed up your car and clothes, surrounding yourself with nonsmokers is also a big factor into helping you quit this bad habit.

Many people find it extremely difficult to deal with no smoking after having food, usually that is the one time where the body reacts to nicotine and it is crucial to be able to manage it on the best possible way, the way around it can be that you take healthy snacks, or chew in gum in order to remove that need for nicotine.

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