5 Top Hurdles of Quitting Smoking (and How to Deal with Them)

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

What’s stopping you from quitting smoking? There may be a lot of reasons but let’s take a look at the most common ones, try to break them down one by one and see what we can do to overcome these challenges to help you start stopping smoking today.

STRESS

Nicotine creates a feeling of pleasure in the brain that makes us feel better when we smoke, especially when we are stressed -as reported by smokers. But in reality, we think that smoking does us this benefit because we want to believe it does -but smoking and nicotine only do us harm. It may provide us with a quick fix, a temporary diversion to combat stress but it will put us in more danger in the long run.

How to beat stress when smoking is no longer an option for you? Exercise breathing techniques. It’s not smoking that relieves stress; it’s the breathing pattern you create when smoking that relieves stress. So start practicing your deep breaths, even without smoking and create your own breathing pattern when you are stressed out to relax your mind and your body.

NICOTINE ADDICTION

Addiction to any substance, be it nicotine or even more dangerous drugs is always hard to get rid of without determination. There are many nicotine replacement therapies –patches, gums and lozenges. These products are available over the counter. You can also see a doctor and ask if you can be prescribed a nicotine nasal spray or inhaler.

PEER PRESSURE


Most young smokers find it hard to quit smoking because of the pressure in their environment. They may be surrounded by peers who influence them to smoke –whether because they want to be accepted in a group, or they just want to try what’s in. Self control and choosing friends wisely is the key to avoiding this hurdle.

WEIGHT GAIN

When we quit smoking, the metabolic rate goes back to normal instantaneously which is a healthy change. It may cause weight gain, but if you start a healthy diet and lessening food intake, then weight gain should barely even be a problem to quitting smoking. Sometimes, the bigger hurdle is when we fight the urge to light a smoke, we divert our craving to food – which could be another weight gain cause. Always remember to be mindful of the amount of food you eat. If you turn to chewing whenever you crave for a cigarette, here are some things you can try to avoid gaining weight:

Sugar-free hard candies and gum


Sliced sweet potatoes

Carrot sticks


Celery

SOCIAL FACTORS

Studies show that those who are surrounded by people who smoke –be it family members, friends or colleagues –are most likely to take up smoking than those who are not. Take some time to think about the long term effects of smoking to motivate you to quit smoking today, no matter what your friends might say and for sure the people who love you no matter what will be proud of you when you finally stop smoking.

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