Quitting Smoking Is Easy.  I’ve Done It A Dozen Times!

It has been said that “Quitting smoking is so easy.  I’ve done it a dozen times”.  Why is breaking this habit so difficult, especially knowing that smoking is the number one killer in Canada?  The research has been done for us.  Shouldn’t we just be able to wear a nicotine patch for a couple of weeks and be done with the habit?  But the truth is…smoking goes far beyond just a physical addiction to nicotine.

Smoking is a habit, unconscious for many.  Smokers light up and without even thinking about it – after a meal, on the phone, or in the car.  It’s what their hands are trained to do.  Hand to mouth, hand to mouth – often 250 times a day.  That’s 91,250 times a year.  The psychological addiction is why fewer than one in ten people are successful when they try to quit smoking using the nicotine patches or gum.   If you move your tooth brush to the other side of the sink at night, you will invariably reach for your toothbrush on the wrong side of the sink the next morning.  This is an ingrained habit just like the hand to mouth habit of smoking.  Perhaps, try to break smaller habits along the way to quitting smoking. This way you are aware that it is as much of a habit as it is an addiction.

It’s not too late if you are able to break the habit.  Experts have found that 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your blood pressure and heart rate normalize.  After one day, your likelihood of having a heart attack decrease.  After only one year, your risk of heart disease is less than half of what it was as a smoker.  Some studies suggest that after 15 years, you are no more at risk of heart disease than if you’ve never smoked.


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