Many ex-smokers say that quitting smoking was the hardest and most difficult thing they have ever done. Smoking is a highly addictive habit, and it can be very hard to give up.
Part of the reason for this is that an addictive chemical, called nicotine, is found in all tobacco products, and it makes you feel more alert and focused, and also calm and satisfied all at the same time.
The more you smoke the more nicotine you need to feel its full effects. Within a short time smokers don’t feel “normal” without their regular hit of nicotine.
It takes time to break free from nicotine addiction, and to get your body used to functioning without its effects.
Quitting is also hard because smoking is a big part of your life. You enjoy holding cigarettes, you like puffing on them, and they make you feel “good” and “relaxed”. You may turn to cigarettes during times of stress, boredom, or anger.
After months or years of lighting up, smoking has become part of your daily routine, and you may light up automatically without even consciously thinking about it.
Smoking also goes with other activities. For example, you may light up when you feel a certain way or do certain things. For example:
- Drinking coffee, wine, or beer
Talking on the phone
Being with other smokers
Smokers may feel uncomfortable of they are not smoking at times or in places where they usually have a cigarette. Avoiding these “trigger” habits is the hardest part of quitting for some smokers.
Most people who attempt to quit, go back to smoking within three months. So, the first three months after you quit will be the most difficult.
You may be tempted to have “one last cigarette” when you are stressed or feeling down, but yielding to such a temptation is a sure-fire way to start smoking again.