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Why Should I Quit Smoking?

Make a List of Reasons Why You Want to Quit Smoking

By

Updated June 30, 2014

Close-up of a man putting out a cigarette
Rubberball/Mike Kemp/Brand X Pictures

Most people who smoke wish they didn't. They live with a hatred for the habit they can't seem to do without. The fear of serious illness is usually there too, lurking in the background, and always that awful feeling of being powerless to quit.

Nicotine addiction does that to a person.

Smoker's Denial

As smokers, we live in denial about what cigarettes are doing to us. We have to, otherwise there would be no comfort in smoking, no relief...no pleasure.

Yes, we know that smoking causes cancer and emphysema - we know smoking kills and that we're playing roulette with our health. However, we also know that most smoking-related diseases take years to develop, so we tell ourselves we have time, that nothing will happen to us. Besides, the bad stuff always happens to other people anyway, right?

Right?

Wrong. With upwards of 5 million people dying on this planet every year from tobacco use, chances are more than good that we'll end up a tragic addition to those statistics if we continue smoking.

Every additional year we invest in smoking compromises our chances for survival all the more.

Ready to Stop Smoking

Eventually, there comes a time for most smokers when the "smokescreen" starts to wear thin. And when it does, smoking loses its luster; its ability to soothe. Instead, smoking becomes a fearful, anxiety-ridden activity that has little to do with pleasure or relaxation, and we find ourselves thinking about quitting with every cigarette we light. The fact that you're here reading this article is a good sign. You're probably sick of smoking, and unhappy enough to be seeking out some help. Good for you, because when it comes to overcoming the addiction to nicotine, education is key. The more you understand about how smoking affects you and what to expect as you wean yourself away from it, the better prepared you'll be for success.

Why do you want to quit smoking?

What are the reasons behind your desire to quit smoking? Sit down with paper and pen, and list them out. Include every single thing you can think of, from the largest, most obvious of reasons, to the smallest.

My own 26 year addiction turned me into a person I didn't much like.
  • I was fearful that a smoking-related disease would catch up with me before I found a way to quit smoking. I was worried sick, so to speak.
  • I hated the smell, the embarrassment, and the need. I especially resented the need. Nicotine dependency made me feel weak and helpless.
These were some of the first items I put on my own list of reasons, and it didn't take long to add a long line of other things I hated about smoking as well.

Think about the pros and cons of smoking as you compose your list, and when you're done, make a copy to carry with you. Add to it when more reasons come to mind, and read it when your resolve is at a low ebb. It will quickly help you get your priorites back in order and keep you on track with your quit program. Think of your list of reasons as a cornerstone in the foundation you're building for smoking cessation.

Patience!

Much of the process of release from nicotine addiction comes down to plain old practice. We taught ourselves to smoke one day at a time until it was interwoven into just about every activity in our lives. It only makes sense then, that we should allow ourselves the time it takes to retrain old habits into newer, healthier ones that don't involve smoking. Arm yourself with knowledge and support, and be patient. You'll grow stronger by the day.

Success always starts in our minds. Once we get our thoughts moving in the right direction, taking positive action comes more easily.

It's like a snowball rolling downhill. Channel your thoughts onto that sheet of paper, and you'll begin to gain momentum. Once you start the snowball rolling, you'll be amazed at what you can do to change your life for the better.

If you want to change your life, change your mind."

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How to Effectively Quit Smoking

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