Relapse is strikingly rapid among those reporting high levels of craving following cessation. More than 32% of those with high craving scores relapsed within I week of cessation. Experimental And Clinical Psychopharmacology 1997.
Among younger smokers, the lighter smokers ( less than 25 cigarettes/day) were the most likely to stop, whereas among older smokers, the heavier smokers (equal or greater than 25 cigarettes/day) were less likely to stop. American Journal Of Epidemiology 1992.
Examined cessation among 630 smokers who quit abruptly on their own. Continuous, complete abstinence rates were 33% at 2 days, 24% at 7 days, 22% at 14 days, 19% at 1 mo, 11% at 3 mo, 8% at 6 mo post cessation, and 3% at 6 mo. Health Psychology 1992.
There are many reasons, but we can lump most of these reasons into 2 separate categories:
1- the tobacco companies spend an obscene amount of money to make smoking seem appealing
2- nicotine is very addictive. It is a powerful drug.
This then makes smoking a “perception problem” and an extremely serious physical addiction. Breaking through the perception is scary and frightening to some, but it is also very possible
Your habit can be long lasting to a point when it is hard to remember a time when you didn’t smoke…but there was a time. And it is this point which is so important, you weren’t born that way. Scarily you also had to work to create the addiction and now to break that addiction you need to work.
One of the assorted reasons that smoking is hard to break is that is has become commonplace, it has become a habit. It is something that you do when you are bored, nothing to do, because you have always done it- it becomes second nature- all of a sudden you are lighting up and you didn’t realize that you just did it.
You also tend to tell friends and family that you can give it up when you want and you “only smoke 2 a day”.
Because smoking can be so automatic, there are some smokers that don’t realize how many cigarettes they have had, or when they light up or how they do it. If you don’t understand the reasoning behind what you do or the amount that you smoke, then you might not realize how hard it might be to give up. This is a major cause of relapses-
It’s too hard because smokers do not realize what they have to give up in the first place. They think “I can give up tomorrow” so they stop tomorrow and then start back up in a couple of weeks time because they didn’t realize the enormity of their habit to begin with.
Also I believe that you want to quit. Saying that you want to quit and going to quit are 2 completely different things. Most people want to quit because of pressure from other people, but quitting needs to be done for yourself. You need to have a goal, whether that be seeing a grandchild at a certain age, playing with your own kids, not having to face problematic illnesses later on in life are all valid reasons, but they have to be your own because if you do it because of someone else getting on at you, you will smoke when they are not there.
You might have concerns about quitting or even the process of quitting. You may have heard stories or even read the web and found many people who relapse.
But that is natural. It can be hard to quit smoking if you haven’t got a defined plan or even outlined what causes you to smoke in the first place.
Here are the most common concerns that smokers come up against each and every time they want to quit: