There are many facets of nicotine addiction. Here are some of them:
- Behavioural dependence. If you are young, cigarettes may be used to make you look older. Tobacco is seen as something that makes life more enjoyable, like a “pat on the back” or reward after accomplishing something.
- Physical need for nicotine. For some people the hardest barrier to overcome when giving up smoking is the physical addiction. Your body responds to the nicotine it has taken and naturally feels something is missing after it is taken away. Smokers will naturally adjust their bodies without even thinking about it. They may smoke more than they normally would before boarding a long-haul flight. Like heroine, nicotine is physically addictive and, like heroine, there can be tremendous physical and mental hardships to endure when quitting.
- Part of your day to day life. Smoking quickly develops into a habit. It provides rituals and patterns in your day to day existence which are really hard to break.
These facets quickly form a vicious circle. The nicotine “hit” which you experience within 7 to 14 seconds of taking your first drag can have a huge “beneficial” effect of feeling high and reducing anxiety. However, these effects are soon diminished as more nicotine is required to experience the same levels of arousal.
And so it goes on, you require more nicotine, you smoke more, you get more addicted. This is why a 2 or 3 a day smoker rapidly becomes a pack a day smoker.
Along with the addiction comes the health issues we all know well enough. There is the immediate physical pain that is associated with smoking as well. And, don’t forget, there are tremendous mental challenges to overcome when dealing with a nicotine addiction – sometimes a lack of self-worth, a feeling of helplessness, isolation, dependency, etc., etc.
But all is not lost, there is something you can do about it
With all this negativity around smoking and all this evidence as to the seriousness of nicotine addiction, it’s a wonder anyone ever gives up!
But people do quit smoking. In fact, only about 20% of adults in the UK smoke nowadays. After the war, it was only 20% who didn’t smoke! Quite a turnaround!
So, gradually bit by bit, people did conquer smoking. It didn’t happen overnight in a flash and a bang. But, quietly and assuredly, men and women just like you in their millions turned their backs on nicotine and went on to enjoy their smoking-free lives.
The problem is there are many ways to quit cigarettes. There’s not one over-arching and definitive solution to this addiction. And, meanwhile, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. Huge billion dollar multi-national companies spend fortunes on advertising saying that chewing nicotine gum will help you whereas evidence suggests that most people quit cold turkey and they don’t make a huge song and dance about it.
I gave up easily. I woke up one morning and didn’t smoke a cigarette like I usually did. However, I had been meditating for a few weeks beforehand.
I can teach you what I did. I’ve had a lot of successes with other people so far.