Kicking the Smoking Habit

Data gathered in 2017 indicates that roughly 34 million Americans still smoke. And according to the latest CDC data, an estimated 480,000 Americans die each year due to cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke exposure, .

Historic Trends

Fifty years ago, it seemed impossible to imagine a world where less than 15 percent of adults smoked. At the time, roughly 42 percent of American adults lit up, and smoking was a normal part of everyday life.

You could smoke at work, in restaurants and bars, and on planes. You could buy cigarettes from vending machines.

Tobacco was glamorously portrayed in the movies and on TV and advertised on billboards lining the highways.

Surgeon General

That started to change in 1964 when the Surgeon General released the first report on smoking and health. The landmark report concluded that smoking causes lung and throat cancer.

Additionally, it went on to identify smoking as a major cause of health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, and circulation problems.

This was the catalyst for creation of policies that would change the tobacco landscape.

Breaking the smoking habit for better health now became a National priority.

But the decline in smoking rates didn’t happen overnight. It took time for anti-smoking campaigns and policies to unfold, Furthermore, quitting the highly addictive products required tools and resources that did not yet exist.

The Problem

Cigarette smoking remains the single most important avoidable cause of death in the developed world.

Many smokers are unable – or at least unwilling – to achieve cessation through complete nicotine and tobacco abstinence. They continue smoking despite the very real and obvious adverse health consequences.

Nicotine fulfills all the criteria of an addictive agent, including psychoactive effects, drug-reinforced behavior, compulsive use, physical dependence, and increased tolerance.

Nicotine stimulates specialized receptors in the brain which produce both euphoric and sedative effects. It has been known for many years that nicotine shares many features of drug dependence with other dangerous drugs such as opioids, alcohol and cocaine. They also share disappointing patterns of relapse.

And cutting down is not as beneficial as it may seem. Half measures don’t work with nicotine addiction.

For men, smoking just one cigarette a day raised a person’s risk of heart disease by 48% on average over a non-smoker, while smoking 20 cigarettes a day doubled the risk.

It was even worse for women: Having one daily cigarette increased their heart disease risk by 57%, while smoking 20 cigarettes a day raised the risk by 2.8 times.

The Solution

There is clear evidence that smokers of any age can reap substantial health benefits by quitting. In fact, it has been suggested that no other single public health effort is likely to achieve a benefit comparable to large-scale smoking cessation.

So the question then becomes one of how to stop entirely.

Many have turned to vaping, however, at Stop for Life, we do not advocate this course of action as a long term solution. I go into this subject in further detail in several other articles published here, so for now, suffice it to say that it is best avoided.

Neither do we recommend any prescriptions, pills. patches, or potions because most contain nicotine in one form or another.

Using nicotine to break a nicotine addiction is the action of desperate Smokers. Furthermore, it puts the Smoker into a constant state of low-grade drug withdrawal, strengthens and intensifies that withdrawal, and makes it harder to stop.

What You Must Do Now

Choices among drug-free cessation methods are not as limited as they may appear. Drug-Free methods including Behavior Modification, Hypnosis, Acupuncture, or Abstinence Psychotherapy are all far better choices.

If we want to live a longer, happier, healthier life, then we have to take action or all is for naught.

It’s time to make a commitment to ourselves to step up and take action.

Our Families, Children, and Grandchildren will be grateful that we did and we will be grateful to be around for a few more years to enjoy them.

Let’s meet in the Winner’s Circle.

Available Here








10 Replies to “Kicking the Smoking Habit”

  1. It is hard to believe that about 4 million Americans smoke, especially when they know how bad it is for you and what it does to your lungs. Even worse I believe is second hand smoke. 

    I have a good friend who has lung cancer and never smoked in her life, but her husband did each and every night right next to her. Seeing her suffering is enough to put me off smoking for life.

    I have never been a smoker, but I see that it is an incredibly difficult habit to give up. I admire anybody who has given up smoking and never gone back to it. And those that do it without any other aids like vaping or patches, are really strong people.

    Thank you for an eye opening and really interesting read.

    1. Hi Michel,

      I would love to see the number drop to 4 million, but there are actually about 38 million Smokers in America alone. They represent about 14% of the population, but it is down from a high of about 45% fifty years ago.

      People that stop smoking without the aid of vaping, patches, etc are the ones who are most likely to never return to active smoking. 

      Abstinence Psychotherapy is drug-free and highly effective over the long term.

      Here’s more info on 2nd Hand Smoke.

      Thanks for stopping by.


  2. Despite the efforts of stopping people smoking in public places and the amount of knowledge people are  exposed to I do wonder why people still do it! 

    I understand that it is not easy and 480,000 Americans die from it each year, that’s just in one country! 

    I also agree with you that Vaping is not the answer as there no real evidence to see what if that causes damage to the body.

    I know my 19 year old son vapes and has a smokers cough but has never smoked! 

    1. Hello Darren,

      Smokers will continue to smoke despite knowledge or warning labels. This is exactly what addiction is all about. It is taking action contrary to what we want because we have no choice… Until now.

      There are currently 2 articles on my site regarding Teen Smoking and Vaping. Maybe your son might be interested in seeing for himself….  Here is one, and here is the other.

      Let us know if this helped.


  3. Despite the many obvious health hazards and the statutory warning on cigarette packets, people continue to smoke. Nicotine craving is a real thing but I have seen people quitting cigarettes without too much of the so-called withdrawal symptoms. But vaping is also something I too would not recommend. Smoking has remained mankind’s number one addiction. I have come across nicotine-laced chewing gums as a substitute for cigarettes to counter the nicotine craving. But like you said, substituting a nicotine product to quit another nicotine product is outrageous. It’s a wonderful post and something most people will easily relate to.

    1. Hi Sukumar,

      Unfortunately, warning labels and grotesque pictures do not deter Smokers. If you Google ” Cigarette packaging in Australia”, you will wonder how anyone could still buy them…. Yet, they do.

      This is the terrible nature of addiction and all it’s consequences.

      Thanks for your input …


  4. I was intrigued to read your article as I like to become aware of information I may not have come across before & in this case it’s your book.

    I grew up in a society where like you say “smoking was a normal part of everyday life”.

    I’ve been a smoker for over 40 years, having tried various methods to give up over the last 20 years to no avail. I found the longer I was on that road of giving up the harder & more stressful it was to keep going. 

    I applaud all those that have succeeded.  We are all unique and everything doesn’t affect or work for everyone in the same way.  So having a variety of possible solutions at our disposal, like your book, for when we are ready for them is a great thing.  But for me right now & the last few years, for my sanity, I’ve given up trying to give up. Who knows one day I may give it another go!

    1. Hi Brigitte,

      As you said yourself, ” I found the longer I was on that road of giving up the harder & more stressful it was to keep going. “… 

      Procrastination is the ONLY thing that can defeat you.

      Here’s a little more help to get you going.

      Best wishes,


  5. Hello There, Thank you for your article 🙂 

    I have been smoking for about 4 years but I quit for life as well. It was difficult to stop but I was obliged to stop before it is too late. I actually was born with a heart trouble, Aortic valve Stenosis, I had problems breathing whenever I tried to run for a long distance. I never wanted to smoke and I knew it was dangerous, especially for me. But as you know already, the need to smoke doesn’t come intentionally, you’re generally influenced by your surroundings. Friends and family. 

    Me quitting cigarettes was not that easy, I tried for a while but I always failed but when the doctor said that I had to stop unless I wanted to have a heart attack, I thought for a second and trashed my deck of cigarettes in the first bin I met. 

    Pros of quitting: I am breathing properly, I also feel that my taste is better, I don’t cough anymore in the morning, I enjoy being a non smoker and I am less nervous and anxious. 

    I hope you’ll never start smoking and if you smoke I hope you’ll be able to quit as fast as possible. 

    Thank you for your article. 🙂 


    1. Hello Youba,

      Your story is very strong testimony of how powerful and addictive smoking is. In spite of the health risks that you were born with, you became addicted. 

      I am sure that becoming addicted was never your intent.. It never is… We cross that line without realizing that we have crossed it…. You give a powerful reason why we should never smoke even “Just a few” or “Only socially”….

      Congratulations on quitting smoking!


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