Considering it's an activity that can badly bruise the ego, failing to quit smoking remains a remarkably popular past-time. So for those smokers yet to try them out, here are three of the most popular methods...
1) Identify nicotine as the problem... After all, nicotine is the addictive ingredient found in cigarettes, right? So once you've weaned yourself off that, then you'll never want to smoke again! I mean, why dwell on complicated factors such as the power of habitual behaviour or the relevance of drug delivery mechanisms, when you can simply chew some gum or stick a patch onto your arm instead?
There are solid reasons why independent surveys have shown nicotine replacement therapies to succeed in as few as 3.7% of cases, and why even the manufacturers involved claim success rates significantly below 30% for their products.
The nicotine in a cigarette works by opening the brain's dopamine receptors and exposing the smoker to stimulation within milliseconds, and there's just no way this intense experience can ever be replicated by slowly ingesting the same drug over many minutes or even hours. You might as well drink a cup of (equally addictive) coffee instead!
2) If only I can last (2/3/4 weeks)... Solidly based on the nicotine addiction theory, this equally popular delusion presumes that cigarette cravings get weaker every day you abstain, until you reach a magic number of days when they vanish completely.
If you like failing then you're absolutely going to love this method, as it's a guaranteed road to nowhere! Because cravings are overwhelmingly psychological, so there's no way they're ever going to mysteriously vanish. To the contrary, unless you've taken positive steps to motivate yourself so you really want to quit, then those cravings are going to steadily recur, regardless of how long you manage to abstain. And that's why this method is so popular with those smokers who lack any real intention of quitting, enjoy martyrdom and maybe like to revel in the sympathetic attention of gullible friends and relatives as well!
3) This time, I'm going to try really hard to quit... Whilst weekend golfers try to reach the green, pros decide exactly where on the green they're going to allow the ball to drop! If you're really serious about anything in life, you don't try to do it - you decide exactly how you're going to go about it so you'll succeed. And if this golden rule has some exceptions, then quitting smoking certainly isn't one of them!