As an ex-tobacco addict, I thought I’d take a few moments to explain my own views on addictions and why they can be unhealthy.
Although I’m writing this with my own smoking addiction in mind, many of the points can be shared with other types of addictions including alcohol, gambling and even sex.
As human beings, almost all of our actions are driven by a particular need. We eat because we are hungry, drink because we are thirsty, sleep because we are tired etc. These are all examples of healthy needs with a positive consequence – we eat and drink so that we don’t starve or dehydrate and we sleep because our body cannot function properly if we are too tired.
Addiction is the continued participation in a particular action even though we know that the consequences are negative. For example, smoking has many negative consequences such as compromising our health (and bank balance) but has absolutely zero positive consequences.
If you’re a smoker, you may be thinking to yourself that smoking does have some positive consequences, but believe me when I say that there are none. I kidded myself for years that tobacco made me more confident and relieved anxiety but nothing could be further from the truth. Smoking actually caused the lack of confidence and anxieties that I suffered with and then pretended to solve them.
Concentration is another common reason that smokers give for smoking and I also used to find after a quick ciggy, I could focus better on my daily tasks.
Sadly, it’s all a lie. Smoking does not help in these situations and very often causes them. If you’re anxious, then it’s probably because you’re not smoking and your body is telling you it NEEDS nicotine. Similarly, your lack of confidence is most probably caused the fact that you feel you cannot be confident without a cigarette in your mouth. And you can’t concentrate because you’re thinking about your next nicotine hit.
The fact is that non-smokers deal with these very same feelings without the requirement of tobacco and this is because tobacco does not make you feel more confident, more relaxed or more focused…
TOBACCO SIMPLY MAKES YOU FEEL NORMAL
After you’ve smoked a cigarette, you feel exactly the same way as a non-smoker feels all of the time. At least for a few minutes anyway. Then your body realizes it no longer has the supply of nicotine you’ve been feeding it and the stress, lack of confidence and poor concentration return.
That’s not to say that non-smokers don’t get stressed or suffer from poor self-confidence or poor concentration. They just don’t have the added stresses that smoking causes – and because of this, they’re invariably better equipped to handle these issues because smoking (or lack of smoking) is not an issue to them.
Not only does smoking make you feel normal (the same way a non-smoker feels all of the time) but you’re also paying an arm and a leg to get this feeling as well as damaging your health, staining your teeth and fingers, smelling like an ashtray and a plethora of other negative results.
So, the logical solution to the problem is to not smoke – but unfortunately it isn’t as easy to do as it sounds. And no-one but a smoker or an ex-smoker can understand exactly how difficult quitting smoking is.
As an ex-smoker myself, I understand that quitting smoking is one of the hardest things anyone can do in their lifetime. The first few days are the hardest but over time it gets easier and easier until you wonder why you ever smoked the damned things in the first place.
That’s why I created The Stop Smoking College – a free online program to help smokers become successful non-smokers. It has lots of features including a counter that keeps a constant track of how much money you’ve saved, a diary that you can use to record your thoughts, regular motivational messages and the support you need to help you through the quitting process.
If you’re serious about quitting smoking, enroll for free today and plan the first day of the rest of your life.