Below are the top reasons why quitting smoking is such a difficult task.
When somebody tries to quit smoking there's generally a large fear of what withdrawal will be like. Some will imagine a scene from a movie where somebody withdraws from a hard-drug, some will assume it's an easy task and just a matter of willpower.
It's actually somewhere in between.
A study from 2012 showed that the addiction on a physiological level is due to not only nicotine but the blend of chemicals that react with it when used in tobacco - that is why there were similar relapse rates among subjects who used nicotine-based aids and non-nicotine methods to quit.
The good news is that nicotine leaves the bloodstream within a day or two and is usually gone from the entire body within 12-20 days. This means you just have to hold on for just 2 to 3 weeks!
By then, the rest of the chemicals that react to cause the addiction on a cellular level have gone and all you're left with are the lesser intense cigarette cravings.
This is the one that has people relapsing after the first month of quitting.
The senses that are activated when smoking a cigarette are numerous. You're smelling, tasting, touching and even hearing the experience!
As a result you are left with habits that are controlled by your subconscious. Some habits are tougher to break than others.
For example: Some may find that they want to have something in their hands or in between their fingers. Some may find they want to chew or put something to their lips. Some may find they still want to play with their lighter to get that scratch sound when they light it.
It doesn't matter what it is, your habits will guide you to what's familiar - THIS is where your willpower has to kick in!
Some people will pick up another habit to replace the one that's leading them back to the smokey edge.
If it's an oral habit then you'll often find snacking to be most pleasurable. If it's a touch habit it may be twirling a pen in your fingers. If it's a sound or smell, you may find yourself wanting to stand with other smokers and listen to them light their cigarettes and inhale in the second-hand smoke.
One alternative to smoking that has really taken off in recent years is vaping. Some are using regular e-cigarettes to deal with the habits while others are into using vaporizers with mods and different kinds of flavored e-liquids.
Why vaping? Because of fulfilling similar habits (oral, touch and taste) and containing very few ingredients in comparison to the thousands of chemicals in tobacco cigarettes the popularity of vaporizers seem to be increasing.
3. Internal & External Triggers
These are the reasons you started smoking in the first place.
Just to show an example: Seeing your parents smoke, seeing your friends smoke and then hearing their excuses for smoking.
Then you decide to try one after having a bad day - you just cued the trigger for your reason to smoke.
Emotional triggers, both external or internal can change your logic and responses toward feelings of anxiety, stress and in some cases, excitement.
Anytime you feel stressed about anything there is a tendency to "go for a smoke" - this is a trigger. Try to figure out what your triggers are so that you can do your best to avoid them!
Stress is natural but chronic stress is not!
If you find yourself stressed often, try meditating or even simple breathing exercises like breathing in gradually and deeply for 3 seconds and exhaling even slower for 5 or 6 seconds. Repeat until the stress is manageable!
I hope this helps.