The Hard Part About Quitting Smoking


With all of the many options available to a smoker, you would think that it should be pretty easy to find one that works for you. But, so many smokers try one method and then relapse, try another method and relapse and then, becoming tired of failure, they simply give up!

Among the many options that a smoker has at their disposal are the many brands of nicotine patches, nicotine gums, nicotine sprays on the market over the counter. These are classified as NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) alternatives. They provide a constant flow of nicotine into the smoker’s system so that the need for a cigarette to replenish the nicotine demand is eliminated. Also eliminated are all of the very harmful Tars and chemicals that really cause problems in a human lung. It is unfortunate, however, that these alternatives do not eliminate the addiction to nicotine, which is sustained.

Of course, there are many drugs which a physician can also prescribe to help his or her patients in their effort to quit smoking. This class of drugs works on the various receptors in the smokers brain to intercept the various signals. These drugs come with several side effects, though, and recently many doctors have become reluctant to prescribe them.

There is always the old standby, the “Cold Turkey” approach, where the smoker simply throws away the pack of cigarettes and prepares to “tough it out” through all kinds of emotional, chemical and psychological issues that will surely arise.

The American Psychiatric Association’s manual states that:

  • more the 80% of smokers desire to quit smoking,
  • 35% attempt to quit each year,
  • and only 5% are successful in unaided attempts to quit.

It is simply staggering that more people have not been successful in their attempts to quit smoking.

The main reason for this low success rate could very well be the lack of “post-quitting conditioning”. If the quitting smoker is not trained in how to handle the various triggers and linkages that are incumbent to their smoking habit, their chance of success is minimal. Each of these psychological, emotional and habitual issues acts as a potential landmine to the smoker that recently has quit. The vast majority of those who have quit, by whatever means, have been unable to avoid these events, triggers, and linkages for very long.

The real solution is for a smoker to get thoroughly trained on the psychological, sociological, and cultural issues prior to ever attempting to finally quit smoking. If they can do this, their success rate will be dramatically improved.



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