Why is it so hard to quit smoking?

why is it so hard to quit smoking

Cold Turkey

Most people who try to quit smoking “Cold Turkey” fail. Only about 4 to 7% succeed. I’ve had clients come to me for help quitting and tell me their biggest obstacle is that they enjoy it!

Obviously we all now know the health hazards that smoking can cause. Cancer, heart disease, and a long list of other maladies. Yet most smokers still smoke. Part of the reason is they enjoy it.


The nicotine in cigarettes triggers a release of dopamine causing a pleasurable calm. Dopamine is a hormone and neurotransmitter.

So why do I get irritable and have urges when I quit?

Think of a toilet tank. The tank is full and no more water is coming into the tank. When you need it, a simple flush will send the water through the system as intended. But, what if you try flushing it in rapid sucession? Because the tank is no longer full you must wait for the tank to fill back up again.

When we smoke we flush the dopamine into our system and the reserve takes time to build back up. This refractory period is when we are anxiously awaiting another dose.

So what drives the habit?

All that said, it is not the biggest driver of our habit. Quitting smoking takes more than just willpower. You need to understand “why you smoke” and what activities are tied to it. Certain feelings and activities trigger your desires to smoke.

Using NRPs (nicotine replacement therapies) or e-cigarettes do not disassociate the triggers, although they may mask them for awhile. To quit smoking you must first and foremost “want to quit.” You must actively modify triggering behaviors and disconnect (or release) the connections between your emotional triggers and your feelings.

Can hypnosis make me quit?

Hypnosis doesn’t “make” you do anything. But, hypnosis is a very powerful tool that has helped many people quit smoking without any side effects. It often allows you to quit without the cravings and urges that going cold turkey can bring.

Here’s the way it works.

First we discuss what your triggers and motivations for quitting are. You then sit in a very comfortable recliner in my office. The lights are dimmed and some nondescript music plays softly in the background. It is a very relaxing atmosphere.

Using some relaxation techniques I simply talk with you and guide your thoughts to different areas of focus. It is very enjoyable and relaxing, but you are never asleep or out of personal control at any time. You are encouraged to release those behaviors and triggers which cause you to continue smoking. The whole process takes about 90 minutes. It is safe, holistic, and a majority of my clients leave the office after just one session… smoke free and craving free.

If you would like more information on how hypnosis may be the best solution for you to quit smoking, call me at 936-537-5666 or book your session on-line at conroelifechanges.com