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You’d think that with everyone aware of how harmful smoking is, nobody would ever light up again. However, there are still 1.3 billion people struggling with addiction. There has been an increase in the number of smokers in the United States as well. The onset of the epidemic, people staying home more, and the stress brought on by lockdowns and anxiety were all blamed for this rise.

The opposite was true in the United Kingdom; more than a million Britons had given up smoking since the covid outbreak.

Still, it’s concerning that dabbling with smoking is a common practice among adolescents worldwide. While up to 3.2 percent of young adults in the United Kingdom and the United States are still regular smokers, many others are making the deliberate choice to switch to less harmful alternatives like vaping. This may be attributable to the abundance of e-liquid flavor options, which play a role in the effort to prevent young people from starting to smoke conventional cigarettes.

How come quitting smoking is so difficult, and why do individuals keep doing it despite the known risks?

Smoking’s Addictive Qualities

Tobacco smoke contains nicotine, which is a highly addicting chemical. Since it acts as a stimulant, it can help lift your mood and banish any negative feelings you may be experiencing. When your nicotine levels drop, your negative feelings rise, trapping you in a vicious cycle of dependence. You’ll find yourself in an endless loop of highs and lows.


Nicotine, however, leaves your body within 48 hours. If you can make it through the first two days after quitting smoking, the nicotine addiction should be gone and you’ll be able to avoid cigarettes with ease.

However, smoking is a habit, and research shows that the psychological dependence on cigarettes is far more powerful than the chemical dependence.

Habit and Routine’s Influence on Performance

The comfort of a regular schedule is appreciated by all. Our daily rituals serve as touchstones that anchor us, provide us with the strength to get through the day, and record important moments throughout the course of the day. One such indicator is the regular use of cigarettes. The lighting of the first cigarette of the day is as indicative of the beginning of a routine as the boiling of water for a cup of tea is. During the middle of the day, everyone takes a short break to smoke and drink coffee. After a satisfying lunch, this is the kind of cigarette you want to smoke. A glass of wine and a cigarette signal the beginning of a relaxing evening. Last cigarette of the night, enjoyed while walking the dog before turning in. You can’t imagine starting the day without these rituals, and without your daily smoke, you just don’t feel right. Something is obviously missing from this situation. Cognitive dissonance describes this emotional state.

Position yourself as a non-ex instead of an ex-ex.

The hardest part of quitting cigarettes is likely going to be overcoming the psychological dependence that they create. You, the smoker, are well aware that your habit is hazardous to your health, yet you may feel that your “addiction” provides you with the necessary rationalization for your repeated failures to quit. The first step is to stop thinking of yourself as someone who wants to “give up” because that frames you in a position of deprivation. You need to stop thinking of yourself as a former smoker and instead adopt the mindset of a non-smoker. To a nonsmoker, the thought of smoking is repulsive; cigarettes aren’t part of their culture, and they don’t make them feel nostalgic. They are completely absent from their daily existence. This is a highly effective method for putting you back on track to become a lifelong nonsmoker.

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