5 Known Barriers to Quitting

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

The 3 Week Diet

Motivation and determination are central to quitting smoking for good. For some people however, quitting can be hard. That’s because for them, smoking has positive effects. Today, let’s talk about the greatest hindrances to quitting smoking.


Fear of Weight Gain


Many people, especially women, are afraid to quit because they believe doing so will make them gain much weight. Who’s to blame? You see models with ‘stick’ figures lighting up. Unfortunately, smoking is not going to keep you thin, nor quitting is going to make you fat. This misconception is created probably due to the fact that many people who try to quit divert their cigarette cravings to eating. If you feel like eating a lot to satisfy your cigarette craving during the smoking cessation period, experts recommend you carefully choose the foods to eat. Instead of munching on a huge bowl of chips, go for fresh fruits instead. Snack on yogurt and whole grains, and fill your stomach with vegetable salad!


Fear of Being Depressed

Sad and lonely people tend to lean on cigarettes because they believe smoking is going to make them feel better. There’s a pinch of truth in this belief. Cigarettes contain nicotine which stimulates the production of endorphins – the feel-good chemicals in the brain. What smokers don’t realize is that nicotine causes only an immediate or ‘passing’ surge in their endorphin levels. Studies show that imbalance of endorphins could lead to mental problems, including anxiety and depression. Another problem with nicotine is that it is addictive. Meaning, you need a continuous supply of nicotine in your body to experience its ‘feel good’ effect.

Fear of Withdrawal

Being an addictive drug, you can expect to experience some undesirable symptoms the moment you quit. But it’s normal. What you need to remember is this – the withdrawal period is only temporary. As the days pass, the symptoms will subside until you find yourself living a cigarette-free life without any undesirable symptoms. There are available medications that can ease the negative effects of quitting smoking.

 Fear of Feeling Stressed

Many people think that cigarettes are stress relievers. But scientific studies reveal otherwise. As mentioned, nicotine causes an imbalance in your endorphin levels, leading to a range of mental issues including anxiety, depression, irritability, etc. When you smoke, nicotine and the other harmful compounds in cigarettes enter your blood stream. Over time, they form solid particles that are clogged in your veins, hindering blood from being to the rest of your body. Poor blood circulation makes your body stressed. Add the toxins and other chemicals in cigarettes.

 Fear of Relapse

Never be afraid of relapse. Nicotine addiction can be hard to break. Some smokers take two, three or more times before finally quitting for good. Relapse is normal. You just have to keep trying. Maybe the quit smoking method you are using is not suitable for you. There are lots of treatments available today. When one fails, there’s always an alternative.

The positive effects of quitting far outweigh its negative effects. Don’t let these hindrances prevent you from reaching your goal – a healthy, cigarette-free life!

The 3 Week Diet

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