Why Is It So Hard to Quit Smoking? Top 10 Reasons

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

The 3 Week Diet

Every day, thousands of people attempt to quit. Unfortunately, only a very few succeed. Despite the numerous treatments available today, why is it so hard to quit smoking? Here are the top 10 reasons why:

Smoking is an Addiction

Many people light up without ever thinking or believing that they are going to get hooked into this habit. But cigarettes contain nicotine – an addictive substance that works by activating the dopamine circuitry in the brain, giving the smoker an instant feeling of joy or pleasure. Overtime, the body becomes dependent on cigarettes. And just like all other forms of addiction, smoking becomes a difficult battle.

People think it’s Hard to Quit

The mentality that quitting is hard makes many smokers fail in their attempt to quit. Some even don’t attempt to try because they think they can’t do it. But even though cigarettes are addictive, it is still possible to quit smoking now and kick off the habit for as long as possible.

Some Smokers Don’t Give their Best


It is much harder to break a habit than to create one. Quitting smoking takes effort, dedication and a strong commitment to stay cigarette-free for good. Mind-setting is a critical aspect of the entire process of smoking cessation. If you want to quit, you must be serious enough to back your decision with strong efforts.


Smoking Cessation Comes with Undesirable Symptoms

The withdrawal period makes quitting smoking more difficult. Some of the most common symptoms of quitting are: headache, irritability, nausea, anxiety, fatigue, and restlessness. But not all people who try to quit undergo a withdrawal period. Some can quit easily. But if you are one of those unlucky few to experience the withdrawal symptoms, don’t lose hope. Just as they say – if there’s a will, there’s a way! There are many ways to counter the effects of quitting smoking.

Quitting Can Be Painful


Other than the physical side effects of quitting smoking, the process can be a very painful experience – psychologically speaking. After the physical pain of withdrawal, smokers start to miss the social experience associated with their habit, such as the enjoyment of being with their smoking buddies. Then, they may feel deprived of something that ‘relaxes’ them. These are all ‘psychological’ in nature. But after a few weeks of not smoking, all these painful consequences will go away.

People Don’t Seek Professional Help

Many smokers think they can quit on their own. But professional support is necessary to increase the chance of quitting smoking for good. There are doctors who specialize in helping people quit smoking. Smokers may also seek help from qualified therapists or counselors.

People Don’t Seek Social Support

Smokers need social support as much as they need professional help. Studies show that smokers who are supported by their family and friends in quitting smoking are more likely to succeed than those who don’t get social support. Knowing that there are people behind you to guide you, cheer you up whenever you feel discouraged, and help you in every way can certainly boost your strength to stay cigarette-free for as long as possible.

Most Smokers Quit without a Plan

Going to a battle without any weapon greatly increases your risk of losing. Before throwing that cigarette away, you need to equip yourself with the knowledge and skills about smoking cessation. Create a plan, set a quit date, choose a smoking cessation method, and devise strategies to prevent a relapse.

They Don’t Quit Smoking Now

Many people have the habit of delaying their attempt to quit smoking. They will tell themselves, “Tomorrow is a great day to deal with smoking cessation than today”. And when ‘tomorrow’ comes, they’ll state the same words again until they have no longer tried to quit.

Many Smokers are Pessimist

Positive thinking is a critical aspect of quitting smoking. For you to get going and become more resilient to the painful effects of quitting, you need to believe that you can do it. Optimism is your friend in difficult times like this, and will never leave you, no matter what.

What have been your difficulties in quitting smoking so far? How do you deal with them?


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