How recognising the reasons I smoked helped me to quit
Everyone knows that cigarettes are physically addictive, but what’s often overlooked is the other reasons someone might smoke. The struggle for people that want to quit extends beyond physical cravings and exists as a relationship between ourselves and cigarettes. Here’s how addressing the reasons I smoked helped me to quit.
The reason: smoking is a part of my personality
A myriad of sources have led us to wrongly believe that smoking is cool. Many smokers start with this premise in mind and begin to form their personality alongside their smoking habits. Ultimately, it’s much harder for someone to quit smoking when they believe that it is part of who they are.
The solution: separate cigarettes from nicotine
Whilst the idea of being ‘a smoker’ starts people’s habits, it’s most likely the addiction that solidifies a positive perception of smoking and makes them continue their habit. I often thought that smoking was a form of self-expression, when in fact, I was hiding behind my preconception of cigarettes being cool. One way I overcame this was to try a higher nicotine strength - once I realised that I could satisfy my nicotine cravings with vaping, cigarettes became less cool to me.
The reason: cigarettes are useful for my mental health
A bad day at work, an argument with a friend, a hectic list of to-dos; there are countless reasons where your stresses are going to become overwhelming and trigger cravings. There were times on my quitting journey when I had no cravings but a shift in my mood would set them off. I would then have a cigarette and feel instantly better. In other words, I thought that cigarettes helped to regulate my emotions.
The solution: be prepared for cravings
For me, having a device ready with a nic salt e-liquid helped in these situations and the efficient delivery of nicotine settled my cravings in the first few months. I also came to realise that my mood swings were far less frequent when I switched from smoking to vaping.
The Reason: smoking = time
Anyone that’s been a smoker will know that part of the reason was to enjoy those spare moments in the day. Taking a quick smoke break at work or having a cigarette while waiting for the bus was a way of reclaiming my time. Ultimately, smoking was a way to fill in the gaps and make the most of the quiet parts of my day.
The solution: enjoy your time with less risk
When you’re trying to quit cold turkey, you begin to miss those spare extra moments to yourself. Vaping helped me realise that there was no need for me to lose any of that important ‘me time’. Stopping smoking doesn’t have to mean quitting nicotine, which is not the harmful part of smoking. Switch to vaping and enjoy your own time.
Vaping has been an incredibly useful tool to help myself (and millions of others) to quit smoking. However, we also need to recognise that there are other factors behind people’s smoking habits that need to be addressed too.