Why quitting smoking is hard
Nicotine is one of the main reasons why people smoke. While small amounts of nicotine are not harmful to otherwise healthy adults, nicotine is an addictive chemical that makes you addicted to smoking cigarettes, which are incredibly harmful.
Your body gets used to nicotine over time, so the more you smoke, the more nicotine you need to feel normal. When your body doesn’t get enough nicotine, you might feel agitated and want to smoke, and this is called a craving, which is a symptom of nicotine withdrawal.
Getting over withdrawal takes time and quite a bit of effort. Most of the physical symptoms go away in a few days to a week, but the urge to smoke may last longer.
When you smoke, you associate certain things, feelings, and people with your smoking. These things may subconciously make you want to smoke, and are called ‘triggers’.
You can anticipate these triggers and figure out ways to deal with them:
- Seek out places where you can’t smoke. In Australia these aren’t hard to find, but focus on avoiding areas where smoking is permitted, such as beer gardens.
- Spend more time with people who don’t smoke. If your close friends and family are smokers, ask them not to smoke around you, and don’t join them when they go to smoke.
- Keep your hands and mouth busy. Play a board game, throw the footy, eat a healthy snack, or chew gum.
- Take a deep breath and think. Think about why you want to give up smoking, think about your upcoming savings, and most importantly, think about the people in your life who will be happier and healthier because you quit.
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