Why do you smoke? No, I’m not asking why you started, but why do you continue to do it?
The answer is in the cigarette. Nicotine. Nicotine definitely qualifies as a physiological addiction. Your body suffers physically when you haven’t smoked in a while and craves the nicotine. The addiction becomes so important that whenever a smoker travels, you will see them bringing cartons of cigarettes in their luggage. Nobody wants to go with their smokes on holiday! And the flight, it can be like torture. Go to any airport in the world and you will see disembarking passengers lighting up as soon as they are allowed.
The craving for nicotine forces you to make smoking cigarettes a habit. You may have started for some silly reason to fit in, to rebel or to be fashionable or you may really not have had a good reason other than you wanted to try to smoke. But it’s in the habit and the addiction for you, now.
Do you ever have strong cravings? If you could not have access to cigarettes when you needed one, and weren’t determined to quit, how would you act out?
After a while you build a resistance to the drug. You have to start smoking more and more to feel the same effects. You are committing your body to daily inhale more and more harmful smoke.
So why can you not quit this deadly practice? Why can’t you just quit without thinking about it?
The answer is the habit has an environmental trigger. You begin to relate activities with smoking, such as drinking coffee, drinking alcohol, after sex having a cigarette rather than eating dessert. Smokers think that smoking gives them pleasure because they have conditioned themselves to think this way. It becomes too important a part of life.
The most important thing to realize is that you keep smoking because you’ve made it a habit. Nicotine supplies the need to form the habit once you first feel its effects for the first time, but it’s the habit that keeps you going.
You are addicted to smoking because of:
- Addiction to nicotine: Nicotine is a substance found in cigarettes that is highly addictive. Once you have started smoking you have taught your body that it will receive regular doses of nicotine. With time your body starts to require more and more nicotine thus you start to increase the number of cigarettes you smoke per day. Nicotine itself is not that harmful, but the rest of the ingredients found in cigarettes (such as tar) are.
- Mental addiction: Smoking is connected with your life and your habits. In fact there is a large number of cigarettes you have smoked not because you needed more nicotine but because you have used to the ritual. For example it is believed that a cigarette goes well with coffee (although it is a fact that it just kills the coffee taste) so you light up one with yours regardless if you want it or need it. If you manage to make a “dissection” of your life you will quickly see where cigarette smoke sneaks in it and just shut the doors.