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Quitting Smoking: More Than Willpower

  
  
  

quit smoking resized 600I could quit smoking if only I had more willpower….

Quitting smoking is more than just a matter of willpower.  Nicotine addiction works not only on a physical level, but on emotional and behavioral ones as well.  Nicotine is—without a doubt—one of the hardest addictions to overcome.  So what makes nicotine so addictive?

  • It only takes 7 seconds after that first puff for nicotine to "hit" the brain.
  • It is rapidly metabolized by the body. This is why most people have to smoke every few hours to maintain nicotine levels in the blood.
  • It is legal.
  • It is readily available, and can be purchased almost everywhere.
  • It is socially acceptable, although this is changing.
  • It is deeply embedded in our daily lives (from getting up, to a smoke with coffee, to driving to work, to smoke breaks, to socializing, to after dinner, to relaxation/de-stress, etc).

For these reasons (and more), it's important to create a quit plan that addresses the many facets of nicotine addiction.  The first place to start might be to use an FDA-approved quit medication (i.e. nicotine replacement therapy, Chantix, Zyban), as these medications can help take the edge off withdrawal symptoms so that you can focus on the behavioral and emotional components of quitting. 

Next, develop effective coping strategies for emotions like stress, anger, sadness and anxiety. New ways of dealing with them include deep breathing, exercising, journaling, meditating, working on a hobby, playing a musical instrument, reading a book, listening to music, talking it out with a friend, playing with pets/grandchildren/kids, going for a walk, working in the yard or garden, etc.  These new behaviors may not seem effective at first, but KEEP DOING THEM.  They will become more effective with time and practice. 

Last but not least, enlist in the support of family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc.  Connect with other folks who are quitting/have already quit either here at QuitNet or in the 3D world.  Support is one of the most important factors in keeping a quit!

Remember that you didn't become a smoker overnight.  It may take some time to get used to being a non-smoker again.

 

Liane

Master Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist

Comments

Happy smoke free Tuesday!
Posted @ Monday, March 12, 2012 11:33 PM by stephanie
Wow... if i would have had a cig last night I would have smoked it. So glad I did not have one. Much better today. It was all because of my dang furnace. Its going to quit also, but I wish it would not. Still a little cold here in Wyo.
Posted @ Monday, March 26, 2012 5:17 PM by Tawnya
Hi,  
 
I am trying to order the patch and the web site wont let me in. Any suggetions?
Posted @ Tuesday, April 10, 2012 11:38 AM by Joyce
Hi Joyce, 
 
Sorry to hear you are having trouble ordering the nicotine patch. Have you already contacted our customer support (once in QuitNet, click on "Help" at lower left of your screen and fill out a "helpdesk" form). That's the best department for problems relating to the site, including ordering. Good luck!
Posted @ Sunday, April 15, 2012 10:53 PM by Liane
Day 6 smoke free, and has been difficult and found that though most people that are supportive of me quitting can also be a hindrance not because they are trying to help but because the first thing they ask is how am I doing with the cigarettes. I know they are interested in how well I am doing, but it is also a constant reminder of the cigarettes.
Posted @ Friday, April 20, 2012 7:54 AM by rsaxton
I think this website is a blessing and it helped me leave 50 years of smoking behind me. I also have to thank my family for giving me the strength and putting up with all of my B***tching. I certainly tested my willpower and I found it right there where I left it. I have not looked back since. Thank you Quitnet and of course all the little wonderful quitters that helped me along the way. This is one type of quitter I Love. Be Well. Troii
Posted @ Tuesday, April 24, 2012 7:27 PM by Troii
I am having such a hard time. I smoke about 2 a day and wonder if I will ever be free. I don't want to do even that amount, but I cave in when someone near me has one. Today has been particularly hard. I have been up since 3:00a.m and I think maybe that has something to do with it. i chew gum, eat mints, read and I am packing up my apt. Does anyone anecdotes?
Posted @ Wednesday, April 25, 2012 1:20 PM by karen
I'm not sure why I continue to use smoking as a crutch. I started smoking when I was 11. Smoked pack a day until I was about 34. Since then I have used various methods: chantix, e-cig, cold turkey and have been successful...meaning I can go weeks without smoking but as soon as I get overwhelmed it is the first thing I do and I cant get it out of my head until I light one up. An e-cig does nothing for me during this period. I want to be smoke free but fall off the wagon. Any suggestions?
Posted @ Tuesday, April 09, 2013 2:14 PM by angie
I have quitted for 3 months ,till now.sometimes want to nicotine crave.I don't know why?
Posted @ Tuesday, December 24, 2013 7:28 PM by Jieyan
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