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Why itís Hard to Quit Smoking

Any former smoker will tell you that quitting isnít easy. A testament to that: The American Cancer Society says 70 percent of smokers want to quit but well over half of those that want to quit never even attempt to do so. That means out of 100 smokers that want to quit nearly 60 wonít even try.

Some say itís because quitting is so difficult and quitting for good often requires multiple attempts. In fact, if you were addicted to both heroine and nicotine, smoking would probably be more difficult of the two.

So, why is it so hard to quit?

The simple answer is nicotine addiction, but it is not so simple. Itís two-fold. There is physical addiction and psychological addiction.

Physical Addiction
Nicotine is naturally occurring drug in tobacco. When you inhale smoke from a cigarette, nicotine spreads throughout the body and messes up the link between nerve cells. This communication breakdown between cells causes you to have a relaxing feeling. When that feeling passes the body craves the feeling again, craves the nicotine, so you want to smoke more. Like drinking alcohol, the more you smoke the more your tolerance builds and more cigarettes are needed to get, and sustain, that buzz.

While trying to quit the physical addiction will cause nicotine withdrawal. The absence of nicotine will cause your body to react with symptoms such as:

  • Impatience or Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping and Fatigue
  • Depression, Anxiety or Hostility
  • Difficulty Concentrating

Psychological Addiction
Over long periods of time as a smoker, a person will begin to use the buzz achieved by nicotine to either mask pain or sorrow and help deal with unpleasant situations or improve and add to the enjoyment of other activities.

If physical addiction were the only issue, there may be a higher success rate for quitting. But dealing with physical dependence and the psychological addiction simultaneously can be overwhelming. Because cigarettes can be used as an aide, this tool for coping, the attachment is stronger. These addictions take such a hold on people that the FDA says an astonishing 50 percent of people who survive surgery for lung cancer due to smoking will reach for a cigarette during recovery.

Smoking becomes linked to so many day to day routines that quitting can affect every part of your life. Talking on the phone, finishing a meal, having a beer or morning coffee, driving, winding down after a long day are all things that may prompt the desire to smoke. And getting angry, frustrated, scared or embarrassed can do the same thing.

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As a teenager growing up on a dairy farm in northeast Nebraska in the 1960s, Mr. Steffen picked up smoking casually, and kept the habit into adulthood. During winters, he would sometimes light up next ...

Published:  Mon, 14 Oct 2019 00:00:00 GMT



So You Started Vaping to Quit Smoking. Now What?

Should you give up vaping entirely? What can you do if completely quitting nicotine simply isn't feasible for you right now? What exactly do we know about the health risks of vaping versus smoking? We ...

Published:  Fri, 11 Oct 2019 17:02:00 GMT



Slowik: How laundry taught me to cope with stress and quit smoking after 40 years

I experienced a similar revelation when a pile of dirty laundry taught me how to cope with stress and quit smoking cigarettes after 40 years. I last smoked a cigarette on Sept. 20. On Sept. 24, House ...

Published:  Fri, 11 Oct 2019 00:59:00 GMT



As vaping illnesses rise, so do pleas to quit-smoking help lines

text and chat lines to young people trying to quit smoking in 13 states. Even though "quitlines" were designed to help people kick cigarette habits, calls and texts from people who use e-cigarettes ...

Published:  Sun, 13 Oct 2019 17:05:00 GMT



People's Pharmacy: Can stop-smoking drug trigger violence?

The Food and Drug Administration has also received reports of traffic accidents and other accidental injuries linked to this stop-smoking drug. My doctor wants me to stop taking zolpidem after years ...

Published:  Mon, 14 Oct 2019 09:11:00 GMT



Helping Teenagers Quit Vaping

"Everybody who comes in smoking cigarettes knows it's going to kill them," said Dr. Sharon Levy ... "There are kids who come to our clinic thinking we're making a big deal about nothing." "How do we ...

Published:  Mon, 14 Oct 2019 02:00:00 GMT



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