Why Quitting Smoking Is So Hard?

Why Quitting Smoking Is So Hard?
Photo: freepik

Quitting smoking is hard—very hard. The science behind that is that smoking is addictive. So, without immense willpower and sometimes professional help, it's difficult to quit smoking. Although nicotine works like any other harmful drug, adults can get a pack of cigarettes from the drugstore without question. Also, smoking has become part of pop culture. It is challenging not to be influenced by this bad habit, as the entertainment industry continues to romanticize smoking through famous celebrities.

Read More: How Long It Takes Your Body to Reverse the Damage of Smoking

Here are some insights into why you can't just quit smoking right away:

  • The main ingredient in cigarettes is nicotine. Each cigarette contains roughly 10–12 milligrams of nicotine. It is designed so that nicotine slowly spreads into your brain, triggering the release of dopamine. The release of dopamine makes it pleasurable to use.

  • Gradually, your brain gets used to nicotine. Whenever you feel distressed, your brain finds the urge to smoke for instant relief.

  • Whenever you try to stop smoking, your brain gets irritated. As a result, you feel uncomfortable and anxious. You might struggle to concentrate and suffer from sleep deprivation, making it hard to quit smoking.

Here's What You Can Actually Do to Quit It for Good

Quitting smoking is not easy because it acts as a pleasure agent in your brain. The key is to stop cravings and adapt without nicotine.

Here are some ways you can gradually decrease your cravings:


Understand Your Triggers

Why Quitting Smoking Is So Hard?
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Lots of situations can trigger the urge to smoke. Some people smoke because of stress, anxiety, and boredom. Some people want to smoke when they see others smoking. Some smoke out of habit, like finishing a meal or drinking coffee. So, finding the trigger points can help you quit smoking.

Distract Yourself

Why Quitting Smoking Is So Hard?
Photo: freepik

Whenever you are craving smoking, try to distract your mind from it. You can do a quick puzzle or brain teaser. Or you can chew gum. You can also try doing chores or chatting with a family member. Basically, keep yourself busy anytime you feel the urge.

Read More: Does Smoking Cause Dementia? Study Finds Higher Risk Link

Start Physical Activity

Why Quitting Smoking Is So Hard?
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A little jog or stroll in the garden will freshen up your mind and also help you adapt to quitting smoking. If you are in the office, you can try stretching, stair-climbing, or doing some jumping jacks.

Endeavor Relaxation Techniques

Why Quitting Smoking Is So Hard?
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Relaxing techniques can calm your mind and lessen the urge to smoke. You can try yoga and other mindful exercises. Praying and meditation also help you fight the urge.

Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Why Quitting Smoking Is So Hard?
Photo: BalashMirzabey, freepik

You can ask your health provider for additional help to quit smoking. Your healthcare provider can prescribe short-acting nicotine replacement therapies like nasal sprays, inhalers, nicotine gum, or lozenges. These short-acting therapies can help reduce intense cravings and help you adapt.

Call for Help

Why Quitting Smoking Is So Hard?
Photo: freepik

Join a support group and engage in sessions. Listening to others' quitting journeys can encourage you. Consider getting advice from a psychologist. You can also try the free telephone quitline, 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669), where you can speak confidentially with a trained quit coach.

Get Online Support

Why Quitting Smoking Is So Hard?
Photo: freepik

The government has initiatives to reduce smoking rates in the United States. is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where you can find the information and resources to fit your needs. You can also try engaging in social media groups to learn how others have handled smoking cravings.

Read More: This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Smoking

Quitting nicotine addiction can be challenging, but you can achieve it with immense willpower and grit. Do not hesitate to get help from your family and friends. Always keep in mind that quitting smoking benefits not only you but also your loved ones.

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Health Magazine: Why Quitting Smoking Is So Hard?
Why Quitting Smoking Is So Hard?
Although quitting smoking is challenging, with immense willpower and determination, you can overcome your nicotine addiction.
Health Magazine
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