That’s normal - especially if you’ve had a lot of difficulty in the past.
Quitting smoking can give you a case of the blues:
“Are my nicotine cravings ever going to stop?”
“I’m always on edge.”
“I become a real monster.” etc…
These thoughts make it harder for you to quit smoking. You may start thinking “If it’s going to be this bad, I might as well light one up!” Instead, press "pause" and take few minutes to consider the following information; it will help you change the way you look at these difficulties, counter negative self-judgment and keep you motivated to stick to your goal of getting free from smoking.
Understanding the cigarette addiction
It’s not lack of willpower that makes a person fail at quitting smoking or fall back into the trap after many years without smoking. Other factors weighs more heavily in those outcomes:
1. The age of initiation to cigarettes
Almost 80% of current adult smokers fell into tobacco’s trap as teenagers. At that age, the brain is still developing. Introducing a substance like tobacco at this period of life, which acts directly on important parts of the brain, may lead rapidly to a strong physical addiction.
What’s more, adolescence is a key stage in the development of personality. Turning to a substance that quickly becomes linked to all of life’s events – by the power of the physical addiction it establishes – also creates a strong psychological dependence.
So, starting smoking in adolescence might entail those far-reaching consequences:
2. Physiological and psychological impact of nicotine
Nicotine, the natural occurring drug in tobacco, triggers in the brain the release of different neurotransmitters, like endorphins. These compounds produce a cascade of positive effect (pleasure, stimulation, relaxation) without disrupting the smoker behaviour.
Normally, your brain produce and manage its neurotransmitters mainly:
This is a fundamental system of our body called the “reward circuitry”.
In the case of a daily smoker, smoking disrupt very badly this important system: it drives his brain to depend on a foreign chemical, nicotine, to produce its own endorphins. So, in order to feel good, a daily smoker come to depend mainly on his nicotine doses. Therefore the powerful physical and psychological addiction cause by tobacco smoking.
In short, it goes like this:
Nicotine’s effect on the brain and body
The powerful association of this effect with the situations, thoughts and emotions
The enormous amount of time that a regular smoker bring a cigarette to his mouth
The brain and the body remain especially sensitive to nicotine and gestures/behaviors associated with smoking even after living as a non smoker for many years (variable according to people).
This explain why:
You understand better now why it’s perfectly normal to worry about quitting smoking and why it’s irrelevant to judge oneself negatively when failing to quit: you’re facing a powerful programing!
Good news though: a programing, however powerful it may be, can be override!
To do so, explore this section to accelerate your smoking deprogramming and be better prepare for the next one, the “THAT’S IT, I QUIT!” section.
You can also benefit right now from the free support of the I QUIT NOW services that you'll find in the I NEED HELP section.
As soon as you’ll feel ready, create your profile at the “THAT’S IT, I QUIT!” section. There you’ll find new tools to go through the cravings to smoke without smoking.
Each year, thousands of people just like you free themselves from tobacco’s hold.
You can do it too. Really, you can!
You would like to have support from smoking cessation professionals to help you quit smoking, but you don’t know which service to turn to? Learn more about the I QUIT NOW services and their free personalized support via online help, by phone, in person or by text message.