People smoke for many reasons, but they usually start at a young age. According to the American Cancer Society, 90% of smokers start before the age of 18. Being around people who smoke can make smoking feel normal. This is why people who grow up around smokers are more likely to start smoking. Because smokers often start when they’re young, they begin out of curiosity or as an impulse. Some young people think smoking is “cool.” Other’s give in to peer pressure or want to follow the crowd. For a few others, they’re looking for something new to try.
Ads for tobacco target young people. Businesses spend billions on advertising for tobacco and nicotine products, trying to draw people, especially young people, in. Recently, marketing for vaping tries to show it as harmless. These products are sold in bright colors and fruity flavors to make them seem safe and fun. Unfortunately, these products have nicotine, which is addictive and harmful. Whatever reason people have for starting smoking, stopping is typically the same for every smoker — extremely difficult.
Nicotine and other chemicals in tobacco are quickly taken into the body through the lungs. Like many other drugs, nicotine makes a person feel calmer and happier. After nicotine wears off, it leaves the smoker feeling uncomfortable. This feeling leaves the person wanting to smoke again. The more a person smokes, the more they develop a tolerance for nicotine. They’ll constantly need a certain amount to keep them from feeling edgy.
People Smoke because Quitting is a Challenge
People keep smoking because withdrawal is so hard. When the smoker’s body doesn’t have the amount, it needs to feel comfortable, the smoker begins to feel the symptoms of withdrawal. These withdrawal symptoms can be intense. They can make the smoker irritable, nervous, and restless. They might even experience physical symptoms like headaches and sleep changes.
Most people who smoke know that smoking is bad for them. After all, smoking causes about 90% of all lung cancers. Nicotine and other chemicals damage arteries and strains the heart. These chemicals also increase blood pressure. Over time, nicotine can prematurely age and destroy the body. Despite knowing how terrible smoking can be, people still find it hard to quit smoking.
Smokers become physically addicted to nicotine. However, they also become emotionally addicted to it. Whenever they experience extreme emotions, like stress or enjoyment, they crave smoking to keep them calm. They can also become used to the activity of smoking. For example, if they’re waiting alone for someone or finish a meal, they may get into the habit of smoking. It’s not that they don’t want to. It’s because their body and mind won’t let them. About two-thirds of people who smoke want to stop. About half of people who smoke try to stop smoking every year.
How to Stop Smoking
Sometimes people try a variety of methods until they find one that works for them. For many people, it can take many attempts and combining methods to finally stop smoking. Some people quit “cold turkey,” by stopping all smoking at once. Others choose to do it bit by bit, with some help. A healthcare provider can order medications to help curb cravings and stop smoking. Support groups are available to help encourage each member to stop smoking. Counseling or hypnotherapy can also help to quit smoking for good.
Hypnotherapy can also help stop smoking by going to the source, the subconscious. Eli Bliliuos from the NYC Hypnosis explains that “The subconscious typically controls emotions and addictions”. Targeting it can help manage physical responses to emotions. A certified hypnotherapist can train the mind to want to smoke less. They can also program the mind to stay away from situations that trigger smoking. Hypnotherapists can also manage withdrawal symptoms by using suggestions. Research shows that hypnotherapy may work as well as counseling when it comes to quitting smoking.
Although quitting is hard, it’s important that people never give up trying. Just like there’s many reasons why people start smoking, there are many ways to stop. Quitting smoking is not one-size-fits-all. It often takes many tries and a number of methods to stop. What’s important is that people smoke less and stop smoking.