5 Expectations when Quitting Smoking (and the Reality)

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

People have different expectations about quitting smoking. But sometimes, these expectations often prevent them from succeeding. Here are some of them:

Expectation #1 – Quitting is hard.

Yes, it may be. But it’s only going to be hard during the first week or two. Once the withdrawal symptoms have finally subsided, you will realize that smoking is not difficult at all.

Expectation #2 – The smoking cessation symptoms are very debilitating.

Smoking cessation often comes with extreme cravings, headaches, fatigue, and other withdrawal symptoms. Although these are somewhat debilitating, they are manageable. There are medications that can relieve the negative effects of quitting smoking.

Expectation #3 – I might fail.

You will if you think you will. But if you have a strong willpower, and you just focus on your goal, quitting becomes easy. And when it is, you will have a higher chance of quitting for good!

Expectation #3 – I can’t live without smoking.

For sure, you weren’t born smoking. If you managed not to smoke during your childhood and maybe your teenage years, you can absolutely give up smoking without feeling any remorse!

 Expectation #4 – I might slip.

It’s absolutely okay. Relapse is normal. Don’t expect to break a habit you’ve built for so long in just a snap. The most important thing is that you are trying hard to quit. If you stay focused, you’ll end up quitting for good!


 Expectation #5 – Ain’t it too late?

Whether you’re already 50, 60, or 70, you can still benefit from quitting. But it is more advisable to quit when you’re still young. Research shows that smokers who quit in their thirties add 10 more years to their life expectancy.


 Expectation #5 – No one’s supporting me.

When quitting, you want to seek support from your friends and family. The smoking cessation might be challenging physically and emotionally so it would really help if you are surrounded by highly positive people who are going to motivate you more. But if you can’t get support from them, you can always turn to the charities, community smoking cessation offices, and organizations that offer help. There are plenty of them. The government operates an online smoking cessation helpdesk that you can reach 24/7. There, you can get information, tips, advice and support from health professionals.


 How do you start?

Many people think that quitting a habit takes a lot of encouragement and motivation to do. But sometimes, you need not read a lot of self-help books, watch inspirational videos, and talk to many people to get the motivation to quit. Act like a samurai – just do what you gotta do! Studies show that people confronted with very difficult decisions often end up choosing the default – not doing anything at all. So before you trash the idea of quitting smoking today, do it now! Try it. Who knows, this is the day you have been waiting for.


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