The End of a Romance

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Harvard Medical School

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The End of a Romance

Tobacco Cessation
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Changing Direction
The End of a Romance
The End of a Romance
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Many people have a hard time quitting because, for many people, smoking is a truly pleasurable experience.
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InteliHealth
2011-09-07
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InteliHealth Medical Content
2014-09-07

Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

The End of a Romance: A Love/Hate Relationship
 
Do you remember your very first cigarette? Many smokers have fond memories of that moment. Few seem to recall the gagging and nausea that actually occurred. And they forget that they had to smoke a couple of packs to "acquire a taste" for smoking.
 
In any case, a love of smoking developed. And your relationship with smoking is as intimate, seductive and rewarding as any that you've ever had.
 
Many people have a hard time quitting because smoking is a truly pleasurable experience. They love everything about smoking: the way it tastes, the way it smells, the way it makes them feel. Smoking allows them to stay calm during times of stress. Smoking peps them up when they're feeling lethargic. Smoking helps them focus when they can't concentrate. And smoking makes them feel sexy and cool.
 
What is it like for you?
 
Why People Love To Smoke
 
There are many reasons why people love to smoke. The roots of the romance are different for everyone. Your reasons for smoking are likely unique to you.
 
In many cases, an emotional dependence on tobacco takes hold before a physical dependence develops. Perhaps you enjoy the social camaraderie that smoking offers. Likewise, smoking is a good friend during moments of loneliness.
 
Although some smokers claim practical reasons for smoking (primarily to lose weight), the romance often goes much deeper. And, like all romances, the relationship is complicated.
 
An Internal Battle
 
Despite their affection for smoking, most smokers know tobacco is bad for their health, and they want to quit. A whopping 70% of smokers want to quit.
 
So what's so difficult about quitting? The nicotine in tobacco products acts directly on the brain, making you feel good. This feeds a physical addiction. The more tobacco you use, the more your brain and body want.
 
Yet intellectually you know that smoking is harming you. The decision to continue smoking or to quit smoking is an internal battle between the part of you that loves to smoke and the part of you that knows you must stop.
 
Only you will know when you are ready. Be prepared, though, because quitting is difficult. At some point, you may crave the love you gave up and reach for a cigarette.
 
It's always a challenge to say goodbye to an old flame.

 

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Last updated September 07, 2011


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