The Mentality of Smoking

What is it that makes quitting cigarettes such a difficult proposition? Despite overwhelming medical evidence purporting the deadly risks smoking presents, many just can't seem to "kick the habit." To answer this we must first assert that smoking is not just a simple "habit." Making your bed each morning or walking the dog at 10AM sharp are activities that may be categorized in that manner, but not smoking. Excessive smoking represents a very powerful and dangerous nicotine addiction, which left untreated, will render costly if not fatal consequences.

Smokers who find it difficult to quit are not necessarily will power deficient, and they are not flawed of character. It's seldom easy to relinquish something you love, despite the consequences, and just the desire to quit smoking, despite the enjoyment that cigarettes provide, demonstrates a very strong and unselfish personality. The simple truth is that smoking causes addiction and any addiction is difficult to overcome.

Consider the systems of your body-both physical and mental-as a room full of energetic toddlers. When you provide them with all the things they want or need-food, juice, toys– they are usually pleasant and agreeable. If they are denied these things for quite some time, however, they are going to become restless and cranky. Are they not? So too does your body systems become restless and cranky when they are denied what they have become accustomed to. When you quit smoking after years or even months of consistent use, your mind and body need some time to adjust. The cravings, restlessness and irritability you feel are normal signals your brain sends out to inform you that something is missing from your normal routine.

Nicotine is a drug-one that has affected millions of people-and once the routine of smoking, coupled with the calming effects that nicotine supplies, has been established, the routine is difficult to interrupt. Whether it is the effects of the nicotine, the feel of the cigarette in the hand, the sensation of heat, or all of the above, smoking cigarettes creates a pattern that, if repeated for long periods of time, becomes a nightmare to break.

The mentality of a smoker is no different than the thought processes of a non-smoker except that smoking has become a dangerous part of their routine. And quitting? While most find cigarettes near impossible to give up, it's important understanding that each individual responds to the rapid cessation of smoking in a different way. One may have stopped and started over 100 times, still struggling to make the change permanent, while another may have stopped for good on the first attempt. There is no measurable rhyme or reason to the effects of addiction.

For your sake, and the sake of those you love, don't be swayed by failed attempts or broken promises. Keep climbing that mountain no matter how many backward steps you take.

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