Want to quit smoking, but finding it difficult? Many ex-smokers say quitting was the hardest thing they ever did. It’s okay to have mixed feelings about quitting, but don’t let that stop you. Find reasons to quit that are important to you.

Why Quitting Is so Hard

Your addiction to nicotine, a substance found in all tobacco products, is why it’s so hard to stop smoking and why it is a big part of your life. Nicotine makes you feel calm, satisfied, alert and focused.

However, the more nicotine you take in, the more you’ll need in order to keep getting the same effects, and soon you won’t even feel normal without it in your system.

What You’re Really Smoking

Your body gets more than just nicotine when you smoke. There are more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. Some of the same chemicals are also in wood varnish, insect poison, arsenic, nail polish remover and rat poison. The ashes, tar, gases and other poisons in cigarettes harm your body over time, damaging your heart and lungs. They also make it harder for you to fight infections and to taste and smell.

Reasons for Quitting

There are many benefits from giving up smoking; you will:

  • Feel healthier
  • Have more energy, improved focus, increased sense of smell and taste—not to mention whiter teeth, fresher breath, easier breathing and less coughing
  • Lower your risk for cancer, heart attacks, strokes, early death, cataracts and skin wrinkling.
  • Save money and have more of it to spend
  • Not have to worry about when you’ll be having your next cigarette, or what to do if you are going to a place where smoking is not allowed
  • Set a better example for your children
  • Make your partner, friends, family, kids, grandchildren, co-workers and yourself proud

Write down all the reasons why you want to quit. Keep your list where you’ll see it often, such as where
you keep your cigarettes, in your wallet or purse, in the kitchen or your car. When reaching for a cigarette, you will see your list and it can remind you why you want to stop.

It takes time to recover from nicotine addiction. It is not uncommon for people to make several attempts before they can quit for good. Think about when you smoke and why you smoke—keep track of when you light up. Identifying your triggers can help you prepare to quit.