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Quit Smoking – Why Is It So Difficult?



Smoking is a very common habit; one of the reasons is that it is notoriously difficult to quit this habit. A well-established fact about smoking is that over two-thirds of smokers who want to stop the habit are unable to do so for an extended period of time. Even worse, over half the numbers of people who recover from surgery for lung cancer start smoking again after a while. Millions of people try to quit smoking every year and over sixty-percent of them fail.

Perhaps what makes quitting smoking such a difficult and painful task is the addiction to nicotine. Cigarettes contain nicotine which is one of the most addictive substances used by mankind. This substance works by:

  • Providing your body with Dopamine, a hormone that stimulates the reward pathways of the brain thereby resulting in a pleasurable sensation.
  • Increasing the endorphin levels of the body, thereby giving you a feeling of euphoria.
  • Creating a sense of anxiety and distress when its levels drop in the body.
  • Forming acetaldehyde in conjunction with other additives in cigarettes. Acetaldehyde is also extremely addictive.

Scientists have not yet been able to understand exactly how nicotine addiction works. However, it has been observed that certain people are less capable of resisting their attraction. For instance, teenagers get addicted to it very easily and so do women. Both these categories of people have very low success rates when it comes to quitting smoking.

Of course, there are other reasons why you might be unable to give up this habit. Like most habit-forming activities, you feel a sense of incompleteness when you do not get a specific physical sensation. Smokers become very used to taking cigarettes to their mouths and even spending extended periods with a cigarette dangling from their lips or fingers. They get very fidgety and agitated when they do not have this physical stimulation even for a short period of time.

Since the lack of nicotine causes an increase of discomfort in your system, you’ll find it particularly difficult to quit smoking cigarettes during periods of extreme stress. Therefore, you should never think of giving up this habit unless you are certain that you will be going through a particularly restful period in your life.

Now that you know exactly why it is so difficult to quit smoking, you can have a proper plan in place to give up this habit. You will at least know that your enemy is a formidable one and that you have no reason to be unhappy if you relapse into the habit now and again.