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I’m Afraid of Being too Stressed if I Don’t Smoke

You think smoking relaxes you? Nothing could be further from the truth! Not only does nicotine quickly cause addiction, but it also triggers some physical reactions, including a false sense of relief.

This relief is more a relaxation of the body and soothing of the brain you feel when you give your brain the nicotine fix it needs. It’s not stress; it’s withdrawal!

The “addicted” brain communicates its need for nicotine via a series of messages that create tension and other withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms occur naturally, at regular intervals, whenever nicotine is eliminated by your body and you fail to provide another “fix”. Because human beings, like all other living creatures, are hard-wired to avoid pain, you then have to find a way to light up a cigarette so you can ease the stress.

This is what that sense of relaxation that smokers talk about really is. It’s a vicious circle created by your nicotine addiction. In other words, instead of being truly relaxing, cigarettes are really a major source of tension!

You can break the vicious circle by adopting some of the following strategies when you feel a nicotine craving coming on:

  • Take two or three deep breaths just before you light your next cigarette and see what happens.

  • Start your next breaks with just you, that is without an attachment to a small paper cylinder filled with plant chips. Give yourself the right to take this moment to break the routine, slow the pace and catch your breath (the breath that cigarettes are taking from you puff after puff).

  • Start doing the things that you normally do with the little paper cylinder without it …by practicing the two preceding points, regardless of how you feel in different situations, be they happy, sad, difficult, boring, etc.


In the Register to I QUIT NOW section, you’ll learn innovative and effective strategies to get through your nicotine cravings without smoking. For now, keep exploring the three parts of this section as they will prepare you to get the most from it.

I need help

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.

HELP ONLINE

You want to quit smoking at you own pace and keep track of your progress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Sign up to the I QUIT NOW online help for free and discover our everyday life tips and experiential exercises to help let the cravings pass.

HELP BY PHONE

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To find out the current situation in your area related to COVID-19, please contact directly the Quit Smoking Centre nearest you.

HELP BY TEXT MESSAGE

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