Why Is Quitting Smoking So Hard?

SMART Recovery is tailored to any addictive behavior. This includes smoking and nicotine addiction. As an ex-smoker who smoked for 25 years, Jerry Zeigler lived with a smoker father. His mother smoked until he was nine. Most of his adult relatives smoked. It was the social thing to do back then. Jerry despised his father’s smoking. He was sick regularly from what could be now called second-hand smoke-induced bronchitis.
At 12, he began to indulge in smokeless tobacco amongst his peers. He was hooked! Five years later, he began smoking. He would use methods like switching from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco, going cold turkey, and slowing down whenever he was sick. There were times when he made it a week, a month, several months, and a couple of years. However, he always returned to the tobacco and its nicotine addictive properties.
In July of 2010, he had summer bronchitis. He got sick during the family vacation, the first one had had ever taken with his children. A week later, he went to his parents’ house with two of his three children with him. He coughed and blinked the whole way up there and back. On the way back, he decided to buy patches and gum for a smoke cessation program. He later went on to continue this for the first three months. In the meantime, a smoking ban ballot issue came up in his state. The ban passed, which helped to cement his success.
The difference this time was that he put it in his mind that tobacco was the worst thing he could ever put into his body. It smelled bad. It tasted bad. Ashtrays and cigarettes butts made him want to gag. The smoke smelled nasty. The point was to make his addiction negative-in-a-good-way so he wouldn’t have to have the urges to return to it. Today, he is getting close to eight years without using tobacco.
There are several of the SMART Recovery tools that can help you with this addiction, too. Use the Hierarchy of Values, the Urge Log, the Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA), the ABC’s, and
DISARM and DEADS formulas. Also, since smoking is getting harder to do these days with state laws banning it from public places, government buildings, and health care centers, perhaps it could get phased out of existence before to long. Several of us in SMART Recovery have used the tools to quit the addiction of tobacco. We think you can, too!

Why is quitting smoking so hard?