Did you know that smoking kills about five million people each year, according to the World Health Organization?

Despite public awareness of the serious health effects of smoking, approximately 22% of adults in the United States smoke.

Studies show that although 80% of smokers want to quit smoking, less than five percent are able to quit on their own due to the highly addictive properties of nicotine.

Read more: Sources to help you quit smoking

Why it is difficult to quit smoking

But if smoking is so bad for you, why is it so hard to quit? It is difficult to quit smoking for several reasons:

Nicotine is very addictive

Nicotine stimulates pleasure centers in the brain and is highly addictive. When nicotine is stopped, the smoker will experience symptoms of physical smoking, which will lead to the desire to start smoking again to stop the symptoms of smoking. Everyone experiences a slightly different way of getting rid of nicotine addiction.

For Nicotine Replacement Therapy to Quit Smoking and Non-Smoking Medications for Medications to Control Physical Symptoms: Zyban and Chantix

Typical nicotine withdrawal symptoms include (but are not limited to):

  • Flu-like pains and discomfort
  • The desire to smoke
  • Irritation
  • Sleep problems
  • Tiredness


  • Difficulty concentrating
  • headache
  • Cough, chest tightness
  • Sore throat
  • Painful tongue, gums

Rewarding the Psychological Aspects of Smoking

Behavioral and social aspects of smoking are very useful for smokers. Smoking behavior is closely related to “signs” such as daily activities and after meals, socializing with friends, drinking alcohol, “taking a break”, being under stress (to relax), and relaxing (to rest even more). and so on.

Overcoming the psychosocial-behavioral aspects of smoking can be as difficult as physical dependence.

For more information: Psychological-behavioral approaches to quitting smoking

Genetic predisposition

As science has advanced, it has been found that the effects of genetics affect a number of health problems (eg, alcoholism, etc.) that are thought to be only behavioral.

Studies have made a significant genetic contribution to smoking behavior (see Ho et al. 2007 for analysis).

It has also been found that genetics affect many aspects of smoking, such as the desire to start smoking, to continue to be a “smoker” and so on. affects various aspects such as. This may explain why some people are not able to smoke at all, while others are able to smoke at times. on the occasion of “buy or quit” and others will be regular smokers.

These factors explain why the recurrence rate of smoking is quite high, even with behavioral approaches and the use of anti-smoking drugs.


Quit smoking for a long time

The first few weeks after quitting are usually the most difficult. It usually takes at least eight to twelve weeks for a person to start feeling more comfortable without smoking.

Corollary: It can be difficult to quit smoking in the long run (for example, being a real “non-smoker”), but it’s worth the effort.