Conquer the Fear of Quitting Smoking

Once we finally make the decision to face and deal with our smoking problem, we are almost immediately faced with the fear of quitting smoking. Fear of quitting smoking, or more specifically the fear of the stop smoking cravings, can easily overwhelm our resolve.

It does not need to be a fear-based experience. In fact, programs exist that can teach you how to take a positive approach and become a very happy Ex-Smoker.

Ending the addiction to tobacco is a process that starts one day at a time. And each tobacco-free minute brings you closer to a healthier life.

The benefits of quitting begin almost immediately. Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette, your body starts the process of healing and recovery.

Dreading the weight gain, bad moods, or chance of failure? Think again… There is a solution.

Debunking the Fears

It’s time to lay your quit-smoking fears to rest once and for all. Here’s what experts want you to know and why none of these fears should stop you from quitting smoking.

Fear #1: I’ll gain too much weight if I stop smoking.

Many people do gain weight when they stop smoking, but not everyone who quits smoking gains weight. The people who gain weight are the ones who substitute food for the cravings.

There is absolutely no other way to gain weight…. None. .. Weight does not drop on you out of the sky.  It comes from the consumption of FOOD.

                                                                                                                                    

What about my Metabolism ?

A short detour is in order here…. Many people mistakenly believe that weight gain when stopping smoking occurs because of a change in metabolism. Yes, your metabolism will change. You will find that It will speed up, and here’s why:

Your metabolism changes because you are not smoking, therefore breathing better. You have more oxygen. You feel good and you want to exercise more when you don’t smoke. You are more active. You take up hobbies and activities that you did not have the energy for when you were smoking. Your circulation is better. You have more energy and the time to do something with that energy.

And that means that you should LOSE weight if you do not substitute food.

More information on this topic is available here.

Back to Debunking Fears

Fear #2: People around me have complained in the past that I am difficult to be around when I try to quit smoking.

Irritability is a common obstacle to stopping smoking. The dumping of that irritability when stopping has roots in psychology that is addressed in some publications and instruction manuals. This website addresses the topic more in depth in another post, but rest assured, techniques for removing irritability from the equation are not difficult to master.

Fear #3: My Social Life will suffer.

Let me challenge you to an experiment…. Go to any online dating site (even if you are not a member). Most will allow you to browse the profiles. Do you notice that about 6 out of 7 profiles are looking for Non-Smokers? In fact, they almost exclusively prefer Non-Smokers. How many do you see requesting to meet a Smoker ?

Hasn’t smoking caused others to treat you like a Pariah, an Outcast ?

When you are at work, do you need to stop for smoking breaks? Outside, Right?… Raining?… Cold?

When visiting at a friend’s home or trying to enjoy a nice meal in a restaurant or wherever we happen to be, don’t we put our enjoyments and activities on hold to go outside to smoke?

Aren’t Smokers actually continually taking a break from their everyday pleasures in life to go outside to smoke?

Doesn’t smoking actually interfere with the benefit and enjoyment of our social lives ?

 

Fear #4: I have difficulty concentrating when I try to stop smoking.

In the initial stages of stopping smoking, disorientation and difficulty concentrating are common side effects of the temporary withdrawal from nicotine. This is perfectly normal. It is also only temporary.

Compare this to the inconvenience of stopping whatever activity I am engaged in every 1-2 hours to go outside and smoke. And continue to do it every 1-2 hours every day for the rest of my smoking life.

That sounds like a lot more intrusive and interrupting to my concentration as a Daily Smoker than anything that I will experience as a Smoker trying to quit smoking.

 

Fear #5 Fear of Failure

This is the big one. This is the one that every human being struggles with in almost all areas of our lives. And don’t we find that most fears are just Bogey Men that aren’t really there when we open that closet door?

Isn’t it true that we haven’t failed until we give up trying? Let’s not confuse temporary setback with failure….

Procrastination is Failure’s best friend….  Immediate action is the only cure.

We recommend that you do not tell anyone that you are stopping smoking. Having others judge your actions or give you unqualified advice is not necessary.

NOW is the time to cast off the Ball and Chain of smoking. Tomorrow never comes.

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10 Replies to “Conquer the Fear of Quitting Smoking”

  1. I love this! Before I quit I was definitely scared about all the negative effects. The hardest one was irritability. Well…to be honest the irritability wasn’t my problem. It was my girlfriends. LOL. I was a pretty big jerk for a couple months.

    Yeah the weight gain thing. When I quit I NEEDED exercise. Intense cardio was the only thing I could find to shake that feeling off. There are a ton of excuses people make but in the long run your quality of life skyrockets.

    When it comes to cravings I feel like everything online was inaccurate. They said it only lasts a few minutes. When I quit I had constant cravings all day. It was hell for a little over a month before it got easier for me. Hope this post helps someone quit.

    1. JJ Jonathan,

      You mentioned both weight gain and irritability in your prior efforts to stop smoking. The book, Stop for Life , addresses both of these issues in great detail. Links to the site overviews for each topic are provided above.

      Your strong desire to exercise is normal, but I do suggest waiting about 10 days after the stop date.

      It is unfortunate that you were in withdrawal for over 30 days. While withdrawal from any drug is impossible to avoid entirely, your lengthy withdrawal was due to the method that you used to stop

      Repression doesn’t work , as you found out. With Stop for Life , it is minimized and lasts only 48-72 hours.  

      Thanks for the feedback. 

      John

      #stopfoflife

      #stopforlife.com

  2. Hi,
    I am an EX-smoker. I have quit when I got pregnant. This wasn´t easy for me, but I did it.
    One of my fears was what to do with hands or fingers. I needed to find occupation for them, especially while we were sitting and talking. It is very hard when all your friends smoke and you have decided that you are quitting.
    I think, that in my case, crucial was, that I am going to have a baby and that was a strong motivation for me.

    1. Congratulations on stopping smoking, Jana !

      This is a fear that I don’t hear verbalized very often, but it happens to be one of my own prior to quitting. Ironically, when I stopped smoking, it was a non-issue for me.

      I simply realized that I didn’t worry about what to do with my hands at times that I was not experiencing an urge to smoke, so why should I worry about it now that I am not smoking?. That simple realization, for me, made the fear melt away. It was actually very easy to do. 

      I understand your comment about being around Smokers… By now, you have probably noticed that when one Smoker in the group lights up, they all immediately and subconsciously follow suit and also light up…. 

      That CAN make you feel like an outsider…. Don’t feel that way…Be grateful that you found a way out….Take care not to flaunt it… Just be grateful.

      Wishing you a very happy and safe pregnancy.

      John

  3. Quitting smoking is definitely harder than it looks.  People that never were addicted to the “cancer sticks” will never understand.  I finally pulled it off on the second try a few years back.  I still like to look and see the health benefits and where I am on the process of recovery.  This article would have been nice to have had around back when I was trying to quit.  These factors you discuss are real, and smokers will find almost any excuse to keep smoking or to rationalize why it is better to do so.  Inspiring work.  Keep it up.  You are going to help people.

    1. Hi Brandon,

      Congratulations on quitting smoking …. And Thank You for your encouraging words.

      Yes, it is very inspiring and rewarding work. 

      You said you like to look over the health benefits… Here’s another article that I published on that topic that you may enjoy… Glad to see that you are enjoying the site… Come back again soon.

      John

  4. Very interesting post!

    To be honest, in my 50 years alive, I have never once picked up, nor puffed on a cigarette, this despite the fact that both of my parents smoked for as long as they were alive. 

    I found it interesting that the angle you covered was a ‘fear of quitting’ smoking. I had never thought of fear as a reason to NOT quit, but after reading your article, I get it, makes sense…

    Thank you for writing this and I am sure you will help some smokers get over their fear and quit!

    Best, 

    –Brad

    1. Hi Brad,

      Yes, the fear is a very real obstacle for most smokers. They are afraid that stopping smoking will be worse than smoking, so they procrastinate and  fail as a result. 

      Stopping smoking being worse than smoking is obviously not true, but it is a product of what the smoker has done to their own minds over the course of their smoking lives. The human mind undergoes chemical changes over the years that cause this faulty thinking… It’s addictive thinking.

      That addictive thinking is exactly what I teach with Abstinence Therapy.

      Thanks for your input and thanks for stopping by.

      John

  5. I loved reading your article. I was a smoker and I stopped like 2 years ago. I also had many fears running through my head. The number one fear I had was getting fat and eating more. Although this is true to some extent, when I quit smoking I started with working out and drinking a lot of water each day. These two combined helped my with maintaining my shape.

    The number 2 fear I had was losing my indentity, belive it or not. Not like going completely nuts, but since i was smoking from like 15 years of age this habit was really strong and first month after I quit somoking, my confidence was lower than usual.

    This of course passed me and I’ve been free from smoking 2 years now. To me, it was a thing of choice. Yes or now. After I didn’t light cigare for 24 hours I knew I could succeed. And that is how it went for me.

    Thank you for this informative review.

    Strahinja

    1. Hi Strahinja…

      Congratulations on stopping smoking!

      A lot of people do struggle with weight gain, but it really isn’t about weight gain when quitting smoking. The increased weight comes from increased food intake. The danger is that the substitution of food has the capacity to make the smoker relapse…. So glad to hear that you had a better experience.. That is unusual.

      Thanks for stopping by !

      John

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