If you have decided that 2017 is the year that you quit smoking for good, you might be wondering what is the best method.

Will nicotine replacement be the most successful, using patches or gums? Maybe you are thinking of trying Champix? Perhaps you are considering hypnotherapy?

To find out how to quit smoking in a way that is right for you, you need to consider, ‘Why am I still smoking?’ On the face of it a simple, question with a simple answer – ‘It’s a nicotine addiction… OBVIOUSLY!’ However, this statement isn’t very accurate for most people.

Are you smoking because of addiction or habit?

You are probably wondering what the difference is. In simple terms, an addiction would be your attachment to cigarettes on a physical level, to the nicotine. Whereas, a habit is a behavioural dependence that you have built up over time.

Many people can cope without a cigarette for extended periods of time, sometimes even going weeks without one if they are trying to quit, before they end up smoking again. This is a clear example of someone who isn’t physically addicted to nicotine, but instead has a behavioural habit to break instead.

  • Have you ever gone on a long plane journey and not smoked?
  • Ever tried quitting only to cave in after a week?
  • Avoided smoking on a long drive or family trip?

If so, then nicotine replacement therapies won’t necessarily be the best option when you are looking at how to quit smoking. Patches in particular offer a constant low dose of nicotine. If you are not smoking constantly, and you are able to cope with longer breaks, a constant dose of nicotine isn’t what you need.

So, have a think, why do you smoke? Think of the reasons you end up lighting up, and you can begin to build a picture of what your smoking habit is really about.

How to quit smoking when it isn’t an addiction

Have you written your list? What kind of ‘whys’ did you put on there? You may fit into one of three categories:

Every one of these types of smokers aren’t smoking just because of the nicotine hit, but because of other factors. These activities, feelings and reminders all add up to a habit that has been established over time. As a smoker you associate having a cigarette with various emotional, behavioural and social ‘triggers’, so each time you are confronted with these your mind pings ‘CIGARETTE NEEDED!’

You probably notice traits in yourself that match up with the different types of smokers, you probably don’t fit into one neat box, and that is very common! Everyone’s habit is unique to them.

To tackle these associations targeting nicotine may not work for you. However, focusing on the association will. There are various techniques you can try which aim to tackle the habit head on – by undoing the positive associations! Self-hypnosis and hypnotherapy can help you to ‘re-wire’ your mind so that the next you are feeling stressed, upset, sociable, or chilled out, your first thought isn’t to light up. Pretty cool, huh?

Have you been quitting smoking wrong?

Think back to your previous attempts to stop smoking – were you treating the nicotine rather than the habit? If so, changing the way you view your relationship with cigarettes is the first step to beating the habit. Good luck!

What kind of smoker are you? Are you going to quit smoking the right way now that you know the secret?

Make sure to share  this with the other smokers you know who may be struggling with quitting, and just aren’t sure why!