5 Reasons Why People Find it Difficult to Stop Smoking

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Of all the wonderful, positive things mankind has achieved, I wonder who first thought of this somewhat strange behavior ?

Rolling up some dried leaves of the tobacco plant wrapping some thin paper around it and then putting a lighted match to one end of this little 'stick' and then sucking in the smoke which is produced by the burning leaves seems a strange thing to do.

The smoke - and the chemicals in the smoke - are then inhaled into the lungs and taken into the bloodstream. (By the way, it's estimated that around 4,000 chemicals are produced and inhaled in the smoke of a cigarette, many of these chemicals in other forms are deadly)

It's curious as to why people would do such a thing.

The World Health Organization estimates there are 600 million smokers around the world. That's a lot of smoke - and a lit of dried tobacco leaves.

It's also known - not suspected or even 'suggested' – KNOWN that cigarette smoking directly links to fatal diseases.

Cancers and cardiovascular disease are the main ones. Then there are the respiratory diseases.

I'm not going to explore the details here - they are well known and clinically proven.

But if people engage in this practice which is know to have such devastating side effects why do they do it and more importantly why do they have difficulty stopping ?

If you're a smoker, I'm sure you have at least some idea that it's hard to stop as most smokers at some stage, tried to quit.

So let's look at the main reasons why people find it difficult to stop - and stopping means no more smoking, ever, finish for good.

- Habit

Most of us develop habits - some are positive and helpful but others. The problem with habits is that the subconscious mind locks into this behavior as being a 'normal' conditioning, that is, it is part of the patterning behavior in the brain and we just keep doing it. At a conscious level we may know the habit doesn't serve our well-being and yet we keep doing it. People often use the 'habit' word as an excuse not to change a particular behavior - but we can change. We all had habits as children which we have now let go of as adults - if those habits or behaviors were not good for us. (How many adults do you see with a baby's pacifier in their mouth ?) I want you to know this, any smoker can become a non-smoker and let go of the habit permanently.

- Chemical addiction

There are over 4,000 different chemicals in the smoke of tobacco leaves and among those Nicotine is known to have addictive properties. Simply, the body develops a 'need' or dependence on nicotine moving through the bloodstream. The body has a dependence on many substances for survival, it has a dependence on 'good' substances 'water is one, food and nutrition is another. Nicotine is not one of those the body needs neither are the other chemicals in tobacco smoke. In breaking this addiction, the body will react in a way that isn't always comfortable - but it certainly is possible, as all non-smokers have proven successfully.

- Lack of willpower

"Oh, I've tried, but I just can't seem to stop. I stop for a day and then I've got to have another cigarette." Stopping smoking does require a commitment and requires some willpower. So this doesn't show that the person wants to make a positive change to their health. Again, this is an excuse because willpower can be improved positively and there will be a definite improvement in well-being and long-term health outcomes.

- No desire to stop

Some people simply do not want to stop. They enjoy smoking and seem to think that smoking won't have negative effect on their health and if it does, well, then so be it. "I enjoy doing this." "It's one of the small pleasures I have." This somewhat fatalistic approach is often hard to counter. I have personal experience with a long term smoker who refused to stop smoking - and died prematurely of smoking- elated cardiovascular disease.

- Peer pressure

Because we are 'social' animals, we like to associate with other humans. Often we are influenced by their behaviors and attitudes. Some people just want to do what their friends do - so, in this case, they stay smoking. It's a' thing' – a behavior - they can do as a group, so it's like a 'bonding' behavior. You can stop smoking - and still have your friends.

Let's face it, we know the dangers of smoking. In reading this you may recognize the one or even more - of the reasons I've set out above that you've identified makes it harder for you to quit.

But there are ways to become a non-smoker and it's a matter of you finding out the best approach for you to let go of smoking - for good.

About the Author:

Graham Moore is a Clinical Hypnotherapist with over 12 years clinical and teaching experience. He has worked with many hundreds of smokers - who are now non-smokers. To find out more about how you can stop smoking go to

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