Why Most ‘Quit Smoking’ Methods Fail

The ability to quit smoking is more than merely removing the substance from your everyday lifestyle. Many of us will attempt to quit only to fall off the wagon in a burning poof of ash. Regardless of how hard we may try, nothing seems to work.


We could stand there chewing on nicotine gum with three patches stuck to each arm and an e-cigarette hanging off our lips as we walk up to the gas station to buy a pack of “real” cigarettes. What makes this habit so difficult to break for many of us?

1. Availability

Unlike hardcore drugs, cigarettes are readily available at so many locations around your home. It doesn’t take much to talk yourself into running to the convenience store and picking up a pack. There isn’t much stopping you from doing just that either. It’s not like you have to find a “hook-up” to get your nicotine fix. There are no back-alleys that you may never emerge from once you enter. It takes less than five minutes and your “dealer” will do it with a smile as he or she takes your money at the cash register.

2. Mental Habits

There are a lot of people that wind up sitting at their desks at home and chain-smoke as they peruse the Internet and play on Facebook. A lot of the time, these cigarettes simply burn out without the smoker inhaling maybe five or six drags. However, it becomes a mental habit to have the white cylindrical tube in your fingers as you type away at the keyboard. The same goes with driving or after meals. It becomes a mental state that you “need” to have a cigarette in order to complete these tasks.

3. Will Power

A lack of will power is how a lot of people gain weight and fail at quitting. The obsession may not be nearly as bad if the cigarettes weren’t so damnably easy to get a hold of. But since they are, your will power is at an all-time low as you can talk yourself into just about anything. A simple practice you could try is talking yourself out of something instead. However, the mind is a funny substance. You may do a great job at not smoking the entire morning only to realize you just bought a pack and are unwrapping it with your lunch. The part of your mind that is addicted to the cigarettes pretty much tied up and gagged with duct-tape the conscious part of your mind that wants to quit.

4. Imagery

We’ve all seen the commercials of what organs look like from a smoker and comparisons of how many people die of lung cancer every year. To the average smoker, we watch these commercials and think to ourselves, “that’s disgusting” while puffing on a cigarette. Shock value doesn’t work against many smokers as we’ll laugh and light up anyway. A different kind of positive mental imagery needs to be developed in order for something like that to work. Perhaps a commercial addressing the mental aspects of how to help someone to quit could suffice.

When it comes to breaking any habit, it all boils down to will power and the state of your mind. If you believe that something isn’t going to work for you, the chances are it won’t. You need to be ready inside your mind in order to succeed at quitting cigarettes. Without this frame of mind, you are doomed to make the same New Year’s Resolution every year until you die.

Jason Miner plays a vital role for www.blogcarnival.com.  He is an expert in writing topics of different categories.  He is helping the carnival team to grow & working on making this an even better place for bloggers.

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11 Responses to Why Most ‘Quit Smoking’ Methods Fail

  1. I agree with everything you said, except you are missing one very big reason why those “quit smoking” methods fail:

    They contain nicotine!

    How are you supposed to free yourself from an addiction if you are feeding your body the drug it’s addicted to? Doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

    Sure, you can ween and ween yourself down to nothing, but at the end of the day, you’re still going to have to go through physical withdrawal once you go off your chosen NRT. You can’t avoid the pain 100% no matter what route you choose.

    I know a lot of people who use e-cigs. They use them at work because you are not allowed to smoke during your shift while there are customers. Once in a while you can take a 5 minute break, but not often. So many people have their e-cig device plugged in. What happens is that they simply go vape whenever they want and not have to worry about when their next break is. So, they are actually ingesting nicotine their entire work shift, which means they are becoming more addicted on the e-cig than without it.

    The nicotine patch works, but only curbs the physical withdrawal. Once you take it off, the physical cravings begin. It does nothing for the mental. It won’t help you cope through a death, or a night out at the bars, or a wedding, or any major event. It will ease the physical symptoms yes, but not the psychological, which is the hardest part.

    Another severe side effect are vivid nightmares which occur if you happen to leave it on overnight. If you do forget to take it off, you’re basically smoking while you sleep. If you do use the patch, I’d strongly advise taking it off before you go to sleep.

    The gum is the same. It feeds you nicotine. Once you stop the gum, you crave nicotine. Again, it doesn’t really help with the mental withdrawal.

    That’s why NRT’s fail for the most part. They deal with the physical, but not the mental. However, the physical is so short in duration compared to how long the mental withdrawal lasts. The physical can last about 3 weeks. The mental can last months and months, if not a year.

    If I were a company trying to create a “quit smoking” product, I’d create one that dealt with the mental withdrawal first and foremost, because that’s the toughest part.

    Anyone who truly wants to quit can overcome a little physical pain. But it’s the “missing your best friend” aspect of quitting that can be so challenging. That’s why NRT’s fail. They do not deal with that.

    Cold turkey is still the best method, in my opinion. It’s the fastest approach to becoming a non-smoker. Yes, you have to deal with the physical pain for 3 weeks, but the vast majority of it comes in the first 3 days, and if you have the correct frame of mind, you can get past 3 days.

    After a week, you should be feeling much better about yourself, and your direction in life. 50% of quitting is mindset. Get in the right frame of mind, set a goal, know what you can and cannot do in those precious first 3 weeks, and just do it. Lay low and avoid major events.

    Three weeks is nothing in the long run. It may seem like eternity at the beginning, but once you get past Week 1, the days start piling on faster and faster. It does get easier.

    No need to feed your body nicotine. No need to drag it out. Just face it head-on and get it over with. It’s the fastest way.

    • Rob says:

      Absolutely, Matt, I agree with you 110%. I agree that cold turkey is the best method. It worked for me. The key is to enjoy it. Concentrate and meditate on the positives of not smoking and don’t think about the negatives.

      You’re so right about the mindset. You’ve got to get the mindset right for a successful quit.

      We agree on so much and it’s so good to meet someone who shares my opinion on this important subject.

      Thank you, thank you, thank you.


  2. Dale says:

    I have to agree with Matt and Rob, the best way is to quit cold turkey. I know a lot of smokers and most of the successful quitters went the cold turkey route.

  3. While I do agree quitting cold turkey is the most effective way, it is not the only way. Other ways can work if the person sticks to it.

  4. Gina Conti says:

    Cold turkey is definitely the best way to quit in my opinion. It’s how me and my husband quit smoking. It also helps to have someone who supports you through it.

  5. Sarah says:

    Rob i most definitely agree with your post and i personally feel the third point 3.WILL POWER is the most important of them all.

  6. Lourdes says:

    How do you deal with cravings to smoke ? I’ve been a week without smoking but I feel like I’m going to give in?? Help!!!!

    • Rob says:

      Hey Lourdes,

      I quit smoking by the self-hypnosis method that I detail in the penultimate chapter of the e-book, “Give up smoking my way” which has also been detailed in the emails you’ve subsequently received. Have you tried to give this method a go?

      Let me know how you get on.

  7. Rachel says:

    Hiya, I had my last cig 2 hours ago, I’m using one of those elec ones, but trying not to use it too much lol. I’d tried so many times before to quit, really want to go cold turkey, but last time I did that if I’d have strangled my husband and my kids lol. So do you think using the e cig for a while , then weening myself off it would give me the best chance.
    My friend has been using the e cig and she’s still on it 9 months later, I know her health is a lot better but she’s finding it hard coming off the e cig now lol.
    Also my hubby works away for 3 weeks at a time and gets really cheap baccy, he has no intention of stopping, but does go outside, I just need the willpower not to Nick one of his when he gets home lol.

    Thanks Rachel

  8. Anubhav Jha says:

    I want to quit smoking but the problem is I live in Nepal and NRT is not available here and the only way to quit is going Cold turkey, Is Cold turkey really tough?

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