Wanting to Quit Smoking?
When many smokers contemplate stopping smoking they will think about what it is they are trying to stop. Part of that thinking, (depending on how hard or easy they find it to quit) may be whether smoking is an addiction or a habit.
Addictions are harder to quit
If you were to ask anyone the question “What is more difficult to end – a habit or an addiction?”, you would probably get a majority of respondees saying that an addiction is far harder to stop than a habit. In the light of this response, labelling something that we get an urge to do, as an addiction, can rob us of our power. It is almost like saying ‘I can’t stop because I am addicted’ or ‘I can’t stop because I am not in control’. An addiction has many people perceiving that they have little or no control. This is part of the issue with stopping smoking. If you view it as a total addiction and have accepted the above perception of an addiction then you have now made quitting smoking much harder in your mind.
Of course an addiction is quite a general term. There can be different types of addiction such as a physical or a psychological addiction. A physical addiction is when the body craves for something and a psychological addiction is when the mind believes it wants or needs something.
Now, coming back to stopping smoking, is it a physical or psychological addiction, both or something else? This area has many differing opinions. After all with over 4,500 chemicals entering the body with any single puff it would seem logical to assume that there must be some physical addiction.
Is Smoking, an addiction, or something else?
Yet when sleeping for 6, 7 or 8 hours and then waking up in the morning, the vast majority of smokers will NOT smoke immediately upon waking. They may have breakfast, or wash, or have a cup of coffee first before lighting up. If smoking really was a 100% physical addiction then surely the body having been without those 4,500 chemicals during sleep would be craving for a cigarette so much that the smoker would have to light up immediately. However in many cases this does not happen.
Most of major airlines have a non-smoking policy. Some of the long haul fights might last for 12-14 hours. This policy would be impossible to keep if smoking tobacco was a 100% physical addiction would it not? The vast majority of smokers find coping with a long haul flight no problem at all. Indeed the only time a smoker starts to get a bit needy is when he or she hears the captain announce “we are on our final approach”. To the smoker, this translates into “I can soon have a cigarette” and in thinking that way, the desire to smoke grows.
In the light of the examples above, can smoking really be a physical addiction?
Answering that question might just be enough to help you quit smoking for good.
Steven Harold BA(Hons) DCH DHP
Clinical Hypnotherapist – London and Essex