The smoking addiction
When you quit it can help to understand your smoking addiction. This can put you in a stronger position to beat it. Smoking is an addiction with three parts:
- Addiction to nicotine
1. Addiction to nicotine
Nicotine is one of thousands of chemicals in cigarettes. It's addictive and causes most of the withdrawal symptoms you feel when you first stop. This is the physical part of the smoking addiction.
The first thing you should do is consider using nicotine patches, gum and lozenges. These will take the edge off cravings so you can focus on the other two parts of the smoking addiction.
You can get an 8 week supply of one of patches, gum or lozenges online for around $3. To do this you first need to register. You can also get nicotine patches, gum and lozenges when you call the Quitline.
The second part of the addiction is habit – all the routines, times and activities you have come to associate with smoking. For example, with a coffee, after a meal, when talking on the phone or driving.
Habits also create needs or cravings. You have trained yourself so well that you think you can't do some things without a cigarette. It becomes so automatic you don't even notice it.
The third part is emotional - we smoke in response to feeling a certain way. For example, you might smoke for pleasure when happy, and for comfort when sad; for a break when tired or for something to do when excited. Being relaxed or bored or any other feeling can have you reaching for a cigarette almost before you notice it.
Often cigarettes are used to cover up an uncomfortable feeling too, such as when you're angry or when you're nervous.
Along with trying patches, gum or lozenges to help with the physical addiction, once you know the habits and emotions that trigger you to smoke, you can start coming up with a plan to deal with those.
Check out these examples:
WHEN YOU SMOKE
WHAT YOU CAN DO INSTEAD
|First thing in the morning|
|Alcohol and socialising|
|Talking on the phone|
|After eating or a meal|
|In the car|
Remember, you don't have to quit smoking alone. We're here to support you with a range of free services. Don't give up, Quit.