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Smoking Addiction

The Danger of Smoking

There is unlikely to be many people left in the world who are unaware of the dangers of smoking. This is a behaviour that has a long history, but it is only in the last hundred years or so that it has really become popular. In that relatively short time, tobacco is believed to have been responsible for tens of millions of death. It is one of the biggest killers that man has ever faced, and the worst thing about it is that it is completely avoidable – unless, of course, you are a baby and people are smoking around you. It might be interesting to discuss the horrific statistics that show how dangerous smoking is, but this is hardly necessary. Most people already know how bad this behaviour is for them. They do not need any more convincing that they should stop, but their problem is actually stopping.

Why Is It So Hard to Stop Smoking?

If learning about the dangers of smoking cigarettes were enough, it would be doubtful that anyone would be still involved in this behaviour. The reality is that most people continue with this habit despite being aware of the dangers. If people tell them that they should stop they will usually agree, but they just find it too difficult to do this. Here are a few reasons for why it can be so hard for people to stop smoking:

  • Tobacco is physically addictive, and this means that the body adapts to this toxic material. When the individual tries to stop, their body has to readjust, and this leads to the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal.

  • The symptoms of withdrawal from cigarettes are never any worse than a mild flu, but they are made worse by the fact that the individual knows that they can end the symptoms at any time by smoking another cigarette. These withdrawals will go on for a few days, and it can be difficult for the person to resist the temptation to relapse back to the behaviour.

  • As well as the physical addiction, the individual will also be psychologically addicted to cigarettes. This means that they may feel unable to cope without a regular cigarette to look forward to. This psychological addiction can also help explain why people can sometimes have occasional cravings even though they haven’t had a cigarette in a long time.

  • Some people will identify themselves as “smokers,” and it can be hard for them to give up this identity. They may enjoy mixing with other smokers and enjoy the social aspect of the whole things.

  • There is usually a ritualistic element to this behaviour. For example, the individual will always have a cigarette during their coffee break. Humans like to have these rituals, and they can struggle to give them up. It takes time to build up new rituals.

  • Some people will use this behaviour as a means to cope with stress. If they do not have other strategies for dealing with the difficulties of life, they will struggle without this crutch.

  • Many smokers will have been engaged in this behaviour for decades – they may even struggle to remember a time when they did not smoke. Giving up this addiction can be like leaving a friend, and this can be hard step for people to take.

How to Break Away from Smoking

Cigarette smoking is a serious addiction, and the longer you remain trapped in this behaviour the more it will end up costing you. There are plenty of options for breaking away from this behaviour including:

  • There are now many clinics around the UK that specialise in helping people to break away from cigarette addiction. Hundreds of thousands of people have already managed to break away from this habit by attending one of these smoking cessation clinics.

  • Some people have success with hypnotherapy. This is where hypnosis is used to help the individual increase their motivation to quit. While there are some nice success stories with this method, it does not work for everyone.

  • Neuro linguistic programming (NLP) is another approach that seems to help some people break away from this type of addiction.

  • Many rehab facilities around the UK (and elsewhere in the world) offer programmes directed specifically at people who are trying to break their smoking habit. If this is something that interests you, please contact us here.

  • There are nicotine rehabs that use approaches such as the 12 Steps to help people break away from this behaviour.

  • Nicotine Anonymous is a 12 Step fellowship where people can get support for ending this type of addiction. The good thing about this option is that it provides a programme for living without cigarettes.


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