Learning to smoke cigarettes was the hardest and most miserable task you undertook when you were young! Smoking cigarettes was something that you had to learn to do. Learning to smoke took some persistence and putting up with the misery of coughing and hacking after every pull on a cigarette. What were you mastering? You were learning to suppress your body’s natural protective responses to hot, polluted smoke going into your clean, pure lungs. Lungs created for clean air only! You were controlling your body’s reaction with your mind!
When people think about trying to quit cigarettes, they realize it’s in the best interest of their health to quit. They understand the health and fitness hazards of smoking. They know how expensive it is to smoke. They have every smart valid reason to quit cigarettes. Yet, many can’t do it! What is the reason for this dilemma? Because smoking the cigarette is the end to a means. That ends to a means is to satisfy a physical craving, calm your nerves, keep you from eating, whatever reason you use to justify the smoking. It is really the mechanism, the suppression of the body’s defensives, that the smoker has spent so much time creating that allows for them and now causes the smoker to experience the urge to smoke. If you are able to quit cigarettes but don’t remove this body suppression trigger, the best you can hope for is to be an ex-smoker. What exactly is an ex-smoker? An ex-smoker is a person who has smoked in the past and has taken a break from smoking, but will probably resume smoking in the future.
The defense mechanism that you spent years building up remains functioning. It has become your ogre that you’ve forgotten how to be in charge of! You’ve erased from your memory why you created the ogre initially, because it was so long ago! You may overcome it and banish it for awhile, but it’s constantly pushing to break free. Eventually it will break free and you will resume smoking again. The cigarette is not the ogre. It is the mechanism you’ve created within your brain that compels you to smoke the cigarette that is the ogre.
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There are physical addictions but, in addition there are also the psychological triggers that make giving smoking up difficult. Cigarette smokers become so used to smoking that they maintain regimens where they will smoke cigarettes at certain times of the day and when they do certain activities.
When I smoked I always looked forward to the after eating smoke and the first smoke in the morning. So when you try to break your addition and you are in the situation where you would usually smoke a cigarette, you find yourself craving one just out of habit. The activity has conditioned your brain to associate smoking with the activity. So as well as breaking the physical addiction you also need to break the psychological habits that have been set up.