HEALTH

Smoking Crisis? How long after quitting you want a cigarette

When we finally decide to quit smoking, one of the first things on our mind is how to deal with smoking crises. There’s a good reason for that ‘nicotine is one of the most addictive substances in the world. Even more than cocaine and heroin! Beyond chemical addiction, there is psychological addiction. This is because we are in the habit of taking cigarettes as a (fake) reliever for our acquired stress.

Today, there are more products to quit smoking than ever before. Since smoking crises are your biggest obstacle to quitting, it’s natural for most of these products to focus on that. Unfortunately, many lose by design’ they sometimes make the situation worse. Two key ingredients in the smoking crisis are:

Nicotine Addiction and Chemical Addiction

The first problem we face when we quit is nicotine shortage. 15 minutes after our last cigarette, the nicotine level in our blood starts to drop and we go back to the crisis. After 40 minutes, the nicotine level in our brain is completely reset. It also explains why most of us last an hour without a cigarette.

When we quit, the crisis and symptoms gradually increase over the course of 3 days. It then remains stable for 2 weeks to 1 month.
Signs of nicotine absence include:

Intense craving for cigarettes (overt)
Anxiety
Discomfort and similar intense feelings
Headache and nausea
Difficulty sleeping and concentrating
Increased appetite (due to changes in blood sugar)

Psychological Addiction

A much more complex problem and the point at which many smoking cessation aids fail in their approach. This is why anyone who hasn’t smoked for more than 10 years would light one cigarette and smoke it in a row. The problem is emotional attachment to something to relieve stress. In our youth, many of us started smoking when we were under some kind of pressure. It was cool, it fit, it looked mature. As time went on and life went on, we ‘learned’ to deal with stress and our problems by lighting a cigarette. The sudden sense of relief when we take a puff from a cigarette tricked our brains into thinking it made us feel better about our problems that we couldn’t do anything about. Years of habit create very strong emotional and physical memories in our neurological network. We can never forget them, but they fade as time goes on.

Many of us find psychological addiction stronger than nicotine. We can cope with chemical addiction by limiting ourselves in some way. But it is much harder to forget to light a cigarette when we want to feel better ‘especially if we are suffering from severe depression and life stress. Therefore, in order to quit smoking successfully, it is necessary to take into account all the factors involved in smoking.

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