About 30% of the world’s population smoke, according to the World Health Organization. I a large portion of this population of smokers are actively trying to get rid of their nicotine addiction and stop smoking.
Now we are talking about an addiction, so just willpower isn’t always enough in most cases.
You have to be aware of yourself, understand the person’s relationship to tobacco, the origins of their addiction and their history of consumption, work on adaptation strategies and changes in habits … there are many possible causes that lead to a relapse into smoking.
Main causes of relapse when quitting smoking
The reality is that most smokers who try to quit with homemade “stuff” or just “willpower” eventually quit in tobacco sooner or later.
I mean they quit smoking for a few days or even a few weeks without much effort, but then “something happens” and they end up smoking again.
And what are these potential situations of relapse in tobacco? I tell you the most common in this article.
1. The motivations for quitting smoking are unclear
Many people are considering quitting smoking due to family pressure from their partner, due to the inconvenience of having to leave the premises to smoke in the cold …
Sometimes the problem is that the person is considering quitting due to environmental pressure, Without asking yourself why or what are your personal reasons for wanting to quit smoking. After a few hours or days without smoking, when the “monkey” (the awkward sensations of nicotine withdrawal syndrome) occurs, it is much easier to relapse if the person has not made up their own reasons for banning. The tobacco of his life. .
A lot of times, the first step to victory over tobacco is to identify with a reason powerful enough so as not to want more smoke in life. It is up to each person to find this motivation (and a specialized professional can help you).
2. Continue to associate smoking with positive experiences
After years of exposure to movies and series that glorify smoking, in addition to seeing family and friends smoke, smokers develop a number of positive associations for tobacco.
I want to associate moments of consumption with pleasant sensations, partying, relaxation, sexual attraction, etc. These are very subtle associations and often require a good process of self-knowledge in therapy to realize what is going on..
When a person is not aware of these associations, it is easier for him to get carried away by them “on automatic pilot” and to continue to be a victim of his habits.
3. Living surrounded by smokers and not having learned to manage
Another of the biggest challenges reported by people in therapy is knowing how to cope in social situations where other people smoke.
Breaks at the office, time between classes, having a drink with someone on a terrace, Let those cousins come home who always have a cigarette in their hand … Tobacco addiction usually has a strong social component, which is difficult to get rid of if you do not work properly.
If I quit smoking, will I stop attending social events where I know there are smokers? How will I reject cigarettes when other people suggest them? What should I do with the urge to smoke if I have been with several smokers and very accessible tobacco?
These are all questions to be raised in individual therapy or in support groups., And this will provide the person with the tools to avoid relapsing into nicotine addiction.
4. Not having changed your lifestyle
Solving such a complex psychological problem as an addiction requires studying a person’s lifestyle, habits and rhythms, because people are complex systems. Quitting smoking requires learn more about the interactions between the different elements of a person’s life.
For example, many smokers stop smoking. Interesting way, gradually returning to sport after quitting smoking usually helps for people to resist the urge to smoke, because smoking and playing sports are incompatible activities.
Likewise, each case is unique and each person a world. Some smokers may have smoking strongly associated with alcohol use or social situations, and others closely associated with stress at work and attempts to relax.
For that, just ‘quitting by will’ overnight usually doesn’t work completely, because the person will have to make other changes from day to day so that the tobacco has no more room.
5. Lack of strategies to calm cravings
Another very common mistake people make when trying to quit smoking is not wondering what they will do when they experience the “monkey” or the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal syndrome.
As with any other addictive substance, the body reacts to a number of unpleasant sensations when it lacks a certain substance. Just as a person addicted to alcohol or cocaine can experience very unpleasant symptoms when it takes several hours or days without taking their usual dose, many smokers suffer from nicotine withdrawal syndrome.
Study the case, a specialized professional can help you learn coping strategies not to start smoking again a few days or weeks after purchasing the last packet of tobacco.
Professional help to quit smoking
I am a psychologist specializing in addictionsWith a lot of experience working with people who want to overcome their nicotine addiction and quit smoking. If this is your case, you have my contact details on this page.