Discover the Top 5 Reasons Smokers Resist Quitting Smoking

When you stop smoking, your mind and body will initially resist your choice. For days, weeks, or even years after quitting smoking, many smokers come up with reasons to justify a relapse. Do not fear, it is the same with any other kind of behavior or addiction.

Quitting smoking is just like changing any other long-term habit. The conscious mind always comes up with reasons to maintain the status quo. It finds tricky ways to not change a behavior.
So, here are the most common rationalizations that smokers use to resist change. You might recognize them in yourself. Just know that these excuses are just tricks. They can be overcome and dealt with in a supportive environment.

Fear of Gaining Weight
Most smokers, in their attempts to quit smoking, tend to misplace their craving for nicotine and turn it into a craving for food. Usually, it is to fulfill their developed oral fixation. Eating might also seem attractive in order to satisfy the vague craving.

Instead of replacing the craving for cigarettes with a craving for junk food, you should snack on healthy foods. Keep a steady supply of carrots or your favorite vegetable. It is also a good idea to chew sugar-free gum.

Also, you should take advantage of your new health by going on walks or bicycle rides. Cardio becomes much easier when your lungs are healthy. Also, you will burn more calories because your body can more efficiently make use of the oxygen to burn fat while you exercise.

Fear of Losing Control
All too often smokers rationalize their smoking by claiming that it keeps them calm. However, nicotine is actually a stimulant. It speeds up the heart and increases our adrenaline levels. Smoking actually makes us prone to anxiety. It triggers the “fight or flight” response in our bodies. In that state, we have very little control.

What smoking does is hit our dopamine reward trigger. We trick ourselves into a feeling of accomplishment.
However, during this kind of addiction, we have lost our sense of control. Addicts are ruled by their addictions, and, ultimately, their world revolves around when and where they can get their next fix.

Fear of Failure
It is easy to fall into the “I can’t quit, what’s the use” mentality. But I always respond with “if you don’t keep trying, then how do you know?” Fear of failure is the most limiting belief that a person can maintain. And, think of all the energy it takes to maintain that kind of fear. It’s exhausting!

A person could apply that fear of failure to any project, but they would never get anything done. If you’re using smoking as a reason to not get anything done, then maybe you’ve used this excuse too….

Fear of Losing My Best Friend
Smokers often maintain a kind of interdependence in relation to their habit. They feel or sense a kind of bond with cigarettes because smoking becomes a way to cope with an uncomfortable situation or feeling. Many smokers perceive smoking cigarettes as a metaphor for a friend who is always there in time of need.

Dump the habit and get some new friends!

Fear of Uncontrolled Emotions
In the first few weeks of your quit, make sure to tell everyone that you are quitting, and set up a supportive environment for yourself.
If you find yourself becoming irritable or emotional, take some time, focus on yourself and your body, take some deep breaths, relax, and repeat this phrase…
“I deserve to be smoke free!”

Make a commitment to yourself to focus on the years of your life you’ll save if you quit now!

Remember… You’re worth it!


By: Nancy Philpott, RN, MS, CH