Many smokers began the habit because their friends did it – they felt left out. For some, it was because they saw a TV show or movie with a character looking cool while smoking.
While any of these reasons might give any smoker a start, the product itself is the main reason it’s hard to quit.
Tobacco contains nicotine, an addictive chemical that reinforces feelings of satisfaction when ingested. Furthermore, the thousands of chemicals in cigarette smoke and tobacco preservatives increase your risk of diseases and cancer if you don’t quit soon.
Despite these facts, highly motivated smokers still find it difficult to drop the habit. In fact, cigarette packs that grotesquely depict the consequences of prolonged smoking aren’t enough anymore to dissuade smokers from their ingrained habits.
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In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what makes tobacco so attractive to smokers and why it’s so hard to stop smoking.
Easy to Access
Although the health consequences of smoking have been well known for decades, cigarettes are still incredibly easy to access for smokers. You can buy them in supermarkets, tobacconists, convenience stores, corner stores, petrol stations, and more.
Currently, the sale of cigarettes is not banned anywhere in the world. It is a consumable product available to anyone, giving them easy access to it whenever they want. The burden of quitting is placed on the motivated smoker, who has cigarettes shoved in their face at every turn.
The world has succeeded in reducing the presence of cigarettes in TV and movies. Even Facebook and other social networks have restricted the portrayal of alcohol and cigarettes in their content approval guidelines. But still, smoking sales have not ceased along with the number of smokers worldwide.
While smoking has been heavily reduced in mainstream media, even videos and photos of friends and family might make cigarettes attractive and feel personal. For instance, pictures from a previous night out by a friend portraying cigarettes and alcohol can trigger motivated smokers trying to quit.
It could help to stay away from social networks and inform friends and family about your decision to create a supportive environment to help you stop smoking.
Flavours and Variations
These are designed to entice smokers, and can make it even harder to quit. After smokers get tired of the plain tobacco flavour, they may feel motivated to try mint/menthol flavours, which are designed to mask the taste of cigarettes. Manufacturers now even produce sleek vogue-style cigarettes to make smoking seem more ‘fashionable’.
Furthermore, quirky and interesting ‘tactile features’ can also lure smokers who have already quit back to smoking, along with non-smokers who feel compelled to try the product. For instance, cigarettes may have clickable buttons inside them that insert a minty flavour on each stick.
Large Amounts of Nicotine
Nicotine is the number-one reason why smokers find it so hard to quit. This addictive substance causes immense withdrawals and cravings for people who are in their first month of quitting.
All cigarettes have nicotine, making them highly addictive and difficult to quit. While quitting cold turkey is possible, having the right tools, such as NRT products or pharmacy-sold NVPs, can cushion nicotine withdrawals and improve your chances of quitting.
Secondhand Smoke Triggers
Smoking is a socially acceptable activity in many circles, especially during nightlife activities. A person who wants to quit can easily get triggered by secondhand smoke, even after they’ve stopped foryears. The smell of smoke and the presence of alcohol can cause ex-smokers to salivate and slip up during a night out.
To prevent their triggers from overcoming them, smokers can use NRT products to satiate their nicotine cravings or use prescription NVPs. We’ll talk more about these two tools in the next section.
Can It Be Easier to Quit?
Quit smoking programmes have been around for decades and have helped many people successfully quit. A motivated smoker trying to quit has the best chance of quitting when they work with a GP, as they have the experience and know exactly what you need to succeed.
NRT products come in the form of lozenges, gums, inhalers, sprays and patches that provide you with a small dose of nicotine to keep your withdrawals at bay. While effective, they don’t always work for everyone.
A second option after your GP finds NRTs not enough for your needs are pharmacy-sold NVPs, which you can only buy through a GP’s prescription. These quality products imitate the hand-to-mouth gesture and hit of regular cigarettes, making them a capable tool for quitting.
Unlike illicit vapes, NVP products sold in pharmacies are made under stringent pharmaceutical standards on the manufacturing process and ingredients, are toxicologically assessed for inhalation, are locally insured, and are specifically designed to help you stop smoking.
Tobacco is hard to quit because of its ingredients. Its sale has also not been prohibited to the public despite its clear dangers. That’s why you should be proud of yourself if you’ve started on the journey to quitting – it is a huge achievement, so keep on trying to quit and hold your head up high.
You’re probably reading this because you want to understand why you keep wanting that cigarette despite knowing its dangers. We understand what you’re going through, and we’re here to help.
Smokefree Clinic gives you access to many medically reviewed and trustworthy resources that can inform and aid you in your path to wellness, so have a look around!
If you’re ready to get started, Smokefree can connect you to bulk-billing Australian healthcare professionals who excel in helping patients quit smoking for good, including using responsible vaping products where appropriate.
Click here to book your bulk-billed telehealth consultation with an Australian healthcare professional and quit smoking today.