Photo by Ander Burdain on Unsplash

Wanting to quit smoking is merely a minuscule part of the battle. The real fight starts when the first step has been taken when smokers must steer clear of temptations.

Studies indicate that the strongest way people show their desire to quit smoking permanently is by trying it 3-5 times.

Cigarette smoking is among the most preventable causes of diseases and death in the US. But it also is one of the toughest to avoid and withdraw from. It’s made to be addictive and has, since its conception, proven to work by disrupting thousands of lives. Yet regardless of the estimated 325,000 annual casualties attributed to it, companies continue supplying it.


The answer is simple, and it all revolves around consumers’ uncontrollable and unstoppable desires.

Why Do People Find It Tough To Quit Smoking Permanently?

According to the Kick The Cigarette Habit by Dr. Oren, cigarettes weren’t deemed addictive in their earlier production. Although scientists knew it highly affected users’ mood, nobody admitted it was causing dependency until recent studies. The National Institute for Drug Abuse, alongside the American Psychiatric Association, identified smoking as an addiction that causes psychological dependence.

This means that with constant usage, people’s conditions would gradually rely on the substance. Hence, depending on the consistency and quantity of their consumption, it may begin to regulate their behaviors and temper. Users may even start to form routines around smoking with the constant need to satisfy chemical cravings, lifestyle, and emotional needs.

Smoking is addictive, but this addiction often parades itself in a positive light.

It may harm the users’ lung conditions, but this doesn’t show immediately. Beyond this repercussion, it doesn’t have many apparent and immediate consequences. Not to mention, the typical substance abuse symptoms addicts commonly observe that are heavily detrimental are absent in chain smoking. Instead, they would only feel the satisfaction the habit causes. They can still function appropriately despite heavy usage and perform at best despite constant consumption.

Smoking seems harmless until it suddenly isn’t.

This is why, despite the life expectancy of light smokers being eight years shorter than that of non-smokers, they may still find it challenging to quit smoking permanently.

They know the consequences of their decisions. In fact, these effects are shown in cigarette packets or public advertisements. But still, people find themselves struggling to stop, and it’s attributed to the substance’s addictive nature.

Knowing The Repercussions, How Does One Stop?

Smoking is one of those vices that don’t only endanger the users but also influence those around them. 25% of coronary heart disease deaths are attributed to smoking. Not to mention, smokers are also at high risk of heart disease. Regarding their influence on those around them, there are an estimated 33,951 annual deaths from secondhand smoke.

Indeed, smoking can be fatal.

But as the world is filled with temptations, trying to quit smoking permanently is a tough road to tread on. Smokers must constantly battle temptations and urges to win over their vices. It can be challenging, but every chain smoker can champion this change with steady and determined strides. Every cigarette stick turned down is a craving ignored. This is a step closer to stopping for good.

What are the specific and helpful steps to quit smoking permanently?

Don’t Switch

Many smokers may believe that switching to a weaker alternative can help them quit smoking permanently. Substituting the real deal with an option may only drag out the process but not ultimately stop it. This can only lead to replacing one addiction with another.

However, some healthcare providers may advise smokers to use replacements for therapy rather than going cold turkey. This can depend on how attached and dependent one has become to the substance, and a gradual separation would benefit them rather than straightforwardly cutting the item off. These alternatives can include prescription nicotine, non-nicotine drugs, and other short-acting replacements.

When stuck between going cold turkey and turning to alternatives, smokers should consult with professionals for proper advice. What should matter most is that these alternatives don’t result in another addiction and dependency.

Avoid Triggers

Aside from the stimuli itself, urges and cravings typically intensify when past users are around the places they once smoked at. Whether it’s a random area outside the office or at a specific party or bar, smokers should avoid going back to these places to avoid being vulnerable to their urges. Often, the behavior can kick in due to familiarity and a motor pattern from their previous habits. Hence, to quit smoking permanently, it’s best that users map out their trigger places and avoid them.

But people can’t and shouldn’t be advised to avoid these forever.

When the right time comes, during which the user feels like they’re already capable enough, they can expose themselves to these areas and get through them without smoking. However, they must only attempt to do this once they’re confident they won’t relapse.

Practice Delay

When hunger kicks in, and those trying to lose weight wait for minutes to assess the authenticity of their hunger, smokers can also apply this. If they feel the need to smoke or if their minds are craving nicotine, they can wait for a couple of minutes. Instead of giving in to this desire, they must pause and distract themselves, removing their minds from the habit.

They can do another activity or go somewhere far from their trigger zones. Distancing themselves from the cravings and triggers can help them move past their desires. It’s in these simple avoidances that people can build better habits and routines outside smoking, helping them quit smoking permanently.