When you think about the fact that about half of those who quit smoking return to it at some point, and even those who haven’t smoked for years still get the odd craving – it’s not difficult to understand why staying off the weed can be harder than quitting smoking in the first place.
Nonetheless – if you’re really serious about looking good as you get older and want to make sure your skin stays supple and toned – stay off the weed you must!
Without a doubt, the first two weeks after you quit smoking are when you’re at your most vulnerable so don’t be shy about seeking help during this difficult time. But remember – just because you don’t succeed in quitting smoking the first time you try definitely does not mean you’re a failure as a human being.
Nicotine is a strong drug and it may take several attempts before you successfully quit smoking.
Feeling a failure can be one of the reasons a temporary lapse becomes a more or less permanent return to being a smoker. “Well you’ve gone and done it now” – you say to yourself – “you may as well have another one”. No doubt about it – if you’re a smoker trying to quit you are up against a whole army of obstacles that could so easily trip you up.
Withdrawal from the nicotine hit is one of the major reasons for failure to quit smoking but sheer force of habit plays a major role. Even years after quitting, ex-smokers can find themselves in a situation where they would once have smoked and without even giving a thought to what they’re doing, they reach out, take a cigarette from a friend’s pack and light up.
Of course, if there are no regular smokers in your immediate social circle, quitting will be much easier. Research shows that failure to quit smoking is also more likely if:
• you’re a woman (nicotine dependency is stronger for female smokers)
• you were a heavy smoker
• you’ve been smoking for a long time
• when you smoke you inhale deeply
• you experience severe withdrawal symptoms
Tests have also shown that those of us who cheat during the first six months after quitting smoking – even if it’s just a few puffs on a cigarette – are highly likely to be smoking again by the end of those six months.
In contrast, those who don’t cheat – who are honest about their lapses – are most likely to still be cigarette free after six months.
So – if you really want to quit smoking then be totally honest with yourself. If you have a lapse, admit it and resume your quit smoking program immediately. Start your count of smoke-free days from when you resume.
But don’t beat yourself up either just because you gave in to the craving. You’re human after all and it doesn’t represent the end of your efforts to quit smoking – it’s simply part of your journey to get there.
Remind yourself of all the reasons you want and need to give up. Think of the way you’ll look if you carry on smoking. Think of the damage smoking is doing to your looks and the aging effects of smoking on your skin. Talk to someone about your temporary lapse – that way you’re not fooling anyone – least of all yourself.
Remember successful quitters are honest about their progress – with themselves and with the people helping them to quit. Successful quitters don’t use a temporary lapse as a reason to start smoking again.
So do yourself a favor – stay honest, resolve to quit and you will.