What will it take to quit smoking today?

Quit Smoking

In a time not so “bygone,” tobacco companies spent big money to get people addicted to their products. Movies and television were filled with people smoking. Advertising was rampant.

Cigarette manufacturers bent the truth to boost their cigarette sales goals, telling consumers that dentists and physicians preferred to smoke particular brands. Cigarette smoking was even suggested as a way to help lose weight or reduce irritation.

As unbelievable as that sounds today, don’t forget that cigarette machines were once in every hotel and restaurant lobby. That easy accessibility to cigarettes is now gone, along with most cigarette advertising.

But for millions, the addiction is still quite real and quitting feels overwhelming. Today marks the annual “Great American Smokeout,” a day when smokers are encouraged to kick the habit. So what makes it so hard and what will it take to quit?

Nicotine is an alkaloid that acts directly on neurotransmitters, and has been shown to be many times more potent than alcohol, barbiturates, cocaine or morphine. Some claim that it is more addictive than heroin.

Gums, patches and a variety of over-the-counter and prescription drugs are available. Yet, many smokers who quit, do it on their own.

Significant factors for success include:

  1. coming to see the addiction for what it is
  2. a compelling desire to quit, backed with a particular motivation (“I want to be here for my grandchildren”)
  3. changes in thought and behaviors (“I cut out one cigarette a day,” “I quit taking breaks with others who smoke”)

One of the major success factors is the belief that you can do it, and talking with people who have quit.

Two questions: Is it time to get your best life back? What do you want more than you want to keep smoking?

About the author

Scott Lennox, LCSW
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Scott is a Program Counselor and Behavioral Health Liaison with Baylor All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth and has spent 20 years as a clinical social worker. He is also a painter, poet, and musician.

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What will it take to quit smoking today?