How Hard Is It To Quit Smoking? What Every Smoker Must Know In 2022

Aleksandra Osadcha March 8, 2022
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Quitting smoking is hard, and let’s be honest, not painless. It’s not just the nicotine, it’s the habit.

It all boils down to two things: how long you have been an active smoker, and how many cigarettes or packs you smoke per day. If you combine these two factors, you can get a rough idea of how difficult it will be to stop smoking.

Why Is It Difficult To Quit Smoking?

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re ready to quit smoking. You’ve been thinking it’s time to get serious about your health and those around you, and no surprise, you’ve probably tried to quit in the past. Maybe you’ve even been trying for a long time, but it just seems like crossing an alligator infested river via a wobbly bridge.

You’re not alone! It’s hard to quit smoking because nicotine is highly addictive. Your brain actually starts to rely on nicotine, and if it doesn’t get that fix, it sends sharp messages to your body saying “I need nicotine!” which leads to withdrawal symptoms like cravings, headaches, fatigue, and irritability.

Plus, there are a lot of ingrained habits around smoking that make it seem like a mundane part of everyday life. For example: if you’ve always smoked after eating or drinking coffee or before getting in your car, your brain gets in the habit of associating these activities with smoking—so even if you stop smoking, you may still feel “off” when doing those things until the associations start to fade away.

It can be tough to quit smoking because of the way nicotine affects your body and the way that habits can be hard to break. But just remember—YOU CAN DO IT!

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Smokers are often held back from quitting by the belief that quitting is impossible. When you believe in your ability to quit, you will succeed. There are tons of resources available to help you quit smoking, including programs like Quittercheck that can encourage and hold you accountable along the way. You’re not in this alone!

Where To Start

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Mark Twain

It all begins with admitting to yourself that you need to quit smoking. As hard a pill it is to swallow, admitting that you have a problem with regard to smoking cigarettes is the first step to living a nicotine-free life full of health and reduced cancer risks. 

Once you have admitted this to yourself, you then should find a program that is capable of helping you quit smoking successfully. Quitting smoking is so difficult on your own, which is the route many follow as they seek to quit smoking for good. You will have a much better chance of success if you sign up for an effective cessation program. These programs have helped many people to quit smoking for good, and taking part in one of them will give you the best chance possible of quitting smoking.

Then finally be consistent with it. The first few weeks are the hardest. You must resist the inevitable urge to smoke. You will have to break the patterns you learned as a smoker as well. There’s a lot going on here, so you’ll have the best shot of success if you’re in a cessation program like Quittercheck that holds you accountable.

What Happens When You Stop?

When you first start smoking, your brain rewards itself for consuming nicotine by releasing dopamine (the chemical responsible for pleasure) into your system. 

Over time, your brain adapts to the presence of nicotine, meaning you have to smoke increased amounts in order to get the same effect as before or let’s face it, normal. Plus, as you continue to smoke, your body becomes used to having nicotine in its system at all times—so when you suddenly stop getting that dose of nicotine (like when you quit smoking), your body and mind get a bit tangled up.

 Some of the withdrawal symptoms you can expect are:

  • Fatigue — Nicotine is a stimulant, and so when you remove that “high” from your system, it’s normal to feel tired. 
  • Weight gain — As well as being a stimulant, nicotine also increases metabolism. So as your metabolism slows down again, your body might start temporarily storing more fat than usual.  
  • Headaches — Many people report headaches as one of the most common withdrawal symptoms when they stop smoking. 
  • Smoker’s flu — Some people also experience mild fever, sinusitis, and body aches when they quit. 

The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can be intense, these are those times your best self will take a back seat. And even if you commit to quitting for good, the withdrawal symptoms and cravings can be enough to get you back on the habit wagon. 

Despite these challenging symptoms, your body will reap wonderful health benefits in the long run. Some of these wonderful benefits are:

  • Improved skin elasticity promoting a youthful appearance
  • Better smelling breath 
  • Reduced yellow tinge on your teeth and lips
  • Improved healthier appetite 
  • Improved breathing and lung capacity
  • Improved cardiovascular health and cardiac health
  • Reduced risk of developing cancer

When you quit smoking, there are so many positive changes that happen—but you’ll need to be patient while your body recovers. So stay focused on the end goal: not only will your health improve, but so will your finances and overall well-being. You’ll deserve a giant sized pat on the back!

If you’ve made the fabulous choice to quit smoking, we are truly proud of you. It’s a hard decision to make, and it’s up to you to stick with it. That’s why we’re here. We want to give you the best chance at success in your journey to a smoke-free life.

We offer 12-week, 20-week, and 28-week plans so you can stop smoking for good and take advantage of the financial benefits of your new habit.

Quittercheck has helped countless people quit smoking for good—and we want to do the same for you! We’ll be with you every step of the way as you say goodbye to cigarettes, and hello to a healthier, happier version of you.

Strategies That Work

It’s a sure sign you’re on the right track when you ask questions like “how hard is it to quit smoking?”

But the road to quitting successfully is a rough gravel road.

In order to kick the habit for once and all, it’s important to have a well-designed plan that incorporates a variety of different strategies. When combined, these methods can help you successfully stop smoking for good! Here are some of the most effective strategies for stopping smoking.

Avoiding Temptation

Temptation is part of the recovery process, and one of the main reasons why quitting smoking is so difficult. There will come a time when you will be tempted to smoke a cigarette, especially when you face difficult withdrawal symptoms. Look at these as opportunities to build your power to resist and it will get easier.

It is very important that you maintain your focus and determination on the goal you have set. This way you can beat that pesky urge to smoke a cigarette, and stay the course to be nicotine-free like you desire. 

There are numerous strategies you can employ to avoid temptation. These are:

  • If you know people who smoke, try to avoid them as much as possible.
  • Eliminating some triggers that lead to smoking, such as a boring day or being alone at home.
  • Replacing your smoking need with healthy substitutes like Quittercheck’s Venquil.
  • Engaging in physical activities such as sports and exercise, schedule some classes at the gym.
  • Surround yourself with a loving and encouraging support system.

These tips will go a long way in ensuring you are victorious in defeating the temptation to smoke, always remember there are options to actively avoid the temptations.

Rewarding Yourself

You are trying something daunting. We all know how hard it is to quit smoking, which is why you should reward yourself every time you make progress. It is a big step that you are taking and no matter the size of the victory, big or small, take some time to digest and celebrate it.

If you manage to stay nicotine-free for just one week, take the time to celebrate that milestone. If you went three days without smoking cigarettes, take some time to treat yourself to a wonderful meal or a nice watch.

Dealing with withdrawal symptoms is hard, and making it through a number of days, weeks, or even months is a big achievement that should be celebrated. 

Celebrating and acknowledging these victories will reinforce your will and motivation to quit smoking for good, which is what we’re after.

Coping With Stress

Stress plays an outsized role as a trigger to smoke. 

Cigarettes are known for their ability to relieve the stresses of the smoker; this is one of the reasons for their popularity. This is also one of the reasons why many smokers relapse and why it is so hard to quit smoking. There’s no way to avoid stress, as stress is a part of day to day life. However, there are different ways you can deal with it that do not involve smoking a cigarette. These are some we recommend;

  • Enrolling in therapy. While this may seem like an extreme measure, therapy can actually relieve stress. There are many forms of therapies you can try such as massages, hypnosis or aromatherapy. 
  • Taking part in hobbies. Hobbies will help you take away some of the stress that you are experiencing. Actively taking part in your hobbies will help you get in touch with yourself, and reduce your stress levels.
  • Talking to trusted people. These can be your family, friends or even a paid professional. People are a valuable resource, and they can help you deal with the stress you are going through. After all, a problem shared is a problem half solved.
  • Engaging in physical activity. Exercises are a great way to blow off some steam. You can do so by enrolling in a gym, trying out boxing or taking part in yoga. These physical activities stimulate the release of endorphins in your brain that will cause you to relax and relieve stress.

Finding Help

Trying to quit smoking can be a rocky process for many people. But it doesn’t have to be. While there’s no single silver bullet for quitting smoking, there are a lot of tools that can help make the process easier, from planning and counseling to a wide array of over-the-counter nicotine replacement products like the patch, gums, and lozenges.

If you’re going cold turkey, though, you’ll want to consider some kind of aversion therapy program. Quittercheck offers a variety of quitting plans that are sure to help you quit smoking for good. This therapy program focuses on a slightly negative reinforcement, which is the idea that we respond more strongly to loss than reward. In other words, we try harder to avoid negative consequences than seek out positive ones. This can be a very effective way to help you break bad habits like smoking cigarettes. You will also receive a small monetary reward each week for staying nicotine free. It’s not just for going cold turkey, you can combine Quittercheck with other products like nicotine replacement before you start the plan.

How hard is it to quit smoking? That’s a question that every smoker has asked him- or herself at some point. It’s not easy, that’s for sure. As soon as you try to stop, your body and mind will do everything in their power to get you back on the cigarette. It will take an enormous amount of willpower and support to make it through all of the cravings and withdrawal symptoms. 

All is not lost though as there are strategies and programs available to help you quit smoking for good. 

So no matter how hard it gets, it is best to remember that it is not impossible. 

With a set goal in mind, along with the reduced cancer risk, your improving health and wellbeing will take you further than you imagined.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is smoking the hardest thing to quit?

Cigarettes are one of the most addictive substances on the planet. They are also highly-carved, which makes them hard to resist when you’re in a stressful situation—like when you’re trying to quit smoking. However, they are not the hardest thing to quit. Lots of people successfully quit smoking every year!

How hard is it to quit cigarettes?

That depends on a number of factors, including your level of addiction, how much willpower you have, and what else is going on in your life (stress at work or school, for example). On average, however, people can expect to spend about 10-12 weeks in the process of quitting smoking before they see improvements in their health and a reduction in their cravings.

How long does it take the average person to quit smoking?

That depends on a number of factors, including your level of addiction, how much willpower you have, and what else is going on in your life (stress at work or school, for example). On average, however, people can expect to spend about 10-12 weeks in the process of quitting smoking before they see improvements in their health and a reduction in their cravings.