Battling the Urge to Smoke
One of the hardest things to do for smokers is to give the habit up. Smokers are aware that the cigarette habit is slowly killing them. There are few smokers who can say that they have managed to give up the habit in their first attempt. For most smokers giving up the habit is a long and tedious process that takes many years. There are many reasons why it is so difficult to give up once smokers form the habit.
When smokers decide to give up the habit, they find it a struggle to stick to their decision. They stop for a few hours and then light up to celebrate. Psychologically they justify the need for a cigarette after quitting for a few hours. Smokers experience withdrawal symptoms when they quit smoking. They start feeling moody and angry because their previous method of cheering up is by lighting a cigarette. Smokers start missing the smell of cigarette smoke once they start the process of giving up the habit to the point that they light up their cigarette again.
Smokers are tempted to smoke again when they see smoking in films. They feel it is fashionable to smoke and start again. Smokers often interact with friends who smoke. This interaction makes it difficult for them to quit.
Reasons for addiction
The reason why it is so hard for smokers to quit smoking is that it is an addiction. The brain starts craving for the nicotine effect and makes smokers want to smoke again. Like other addictive drugs like cannabis and opium, the brain has receptors called nicotinic receptors that pick up nicotine. They offer a direct path for nicotine to access the brain. These receptors are only available for smokers and drug addicts. Those addicted to the internet, sex or chocolate do not have receptors in the brain. These additions give pleasure in a different indirect method.
The Pregnant Women Example
The receptors that take nicotine to the brain cause smokers to crave cigarettes. They make it difficult for smokers to give up the habit. An example is that of pregnant women. 43% of pregnant women give up smoking through their pregnancy. They begin to smoke again as soon as they give birth. This is because these nicotinic receptors give them cigarette cravings. The body of these women begins to tolerate nicotine and when they don’t smoke, they feel uncomfortable.
One method for smokers to give up the habit is to stay away from activities that trigger the urge to smoke. Smokers who want to quit smoking should go to places where cigarettes are not allowed. They should identify non- smoker friends to spend time with. When people around them don’t smoke the urge to smoke and cigarette cravings will gradually go away. Experts believe that smokers should use their hands to do other activities other than holding a cigarette when they plan to give up the cigarette habit. Some activities include playing a game on the phone or squeezing a stress ball. When smokers who want to give up cigarettes feel the urge to light up, they should eat a healthy snack instead or take a deep breath and think of their friends and loved ones who would like them to give up and enjoy long-term good health.
Other methods include joining a program that helps smokers give up the habit. Smokers can also download apps on their mobile phone that offer support.
Giving up the habit is difficult for smokers but not impossible. The mantra is don’t quit when you want to quit smoking.