Procrastination and Smoking

Procrastination is a common denominator among smokers; they just never seem to find the right moment to stop smoking.

The overwhelming majority of Smokers who say they want to quit will actually take several years to make their first move towards really stopping smoking.

Decision without action leads to stagnation….

Stagnation leads to failure.

In the case of a Smoker, it also leads to lots of needless suffering.

Causes of Procrastination

This chronic procrastination will usually come from one of two sources.

First is a lack of awareness of the problem…

This may sound obvious, but if you do not accept that Smoking is an addiction that harms your health and that you need to stop smoking right away, then you will join the 97% of Smokers that will keep on smoking until it is too late.

Second is simply an attitude…

If you say you can do something, then you can…. And if you say you can’t do it, of course, you can’t.

So, in order to make the decision to quit smoking, you need the right “Yes, I can” attitude.

We have all experienced procrastination — some more than others. And there also are the chronic procrastinators who avoid any difficult task and deliberately look for a “reason” to put off taking action.

The Good News is that it is possible to overcome procrastination, with determined effort and self-control.

The Power of the Subconscious Mind

Our subconscious mind is like a 5-year-old child and thinks in pictures… It is all about feelings. We can literally change those feelings by visualizing the desired long-term effect and impact by acting now.

Our subconscious mind represses memories and any unresolved negative emotions. We need to understand what the underlying reason is as to why we are procrastinating.

According to Dr Friedemann Schaub, contrary to popular belief, procrastinating isn’t necessarily a sign of laziness or lack of motivation. The most common reasons why people procrastinate are overwhelm, lack of confidence and fear of potential failure, judgement or any other kind of discomfort. In this regard procrastination is a survival pattern, which is created by the subconscious mind to use evasion, denial, and ignorance to keep us safe.

Knowing this about the subconscious mind, it’s fair to say that a lack of self-confidence plays a big part in why we procrastinate.

We may doubt our ability to successfully stop smoking, often by replaying in our minds those failed attempts to stop smoking that we may have experienced in the past.

That, fueled with feelings, creates behaviors that are not conducive to our desired outcome. The subconscious mind is motivationally very powerful, having a direct line to that portion of the brain where our basic emotions arise.

Wisdom vs Knowledge

A Smoker intellectually knows he/she shouldn’t smoke, but that knowledge hasn’t yet penetrated to become Wisdom—to become, in essence, action.


Action never arises from knowledge alone. It arises from knowledge that is believed.

What, then, is the difference between those three Smokers who heed their doctor’s warnings and for the first time truly understand that it’s time for them to quit and the other 97 who agree they should quit, who may even want to quit, but repeatedly fail in their attempts?

The answer lies not just in what we believe but also in the degree to which we believe it. Deeply held belief introduces a critical ingredient necessary for change.

That critical ingredient is motivation.

On average only 3 out of every 100 smokers told by their doctors to quit will succeed in establishing long-term abstinence.

Despite our preconceived expectations, most Smokers won’t listen. Clearly, we have no way of predicting which 3 out of every 100 will in fact listen and act on it.

Some people can digest intellectual knowledge and translate it into deep and motivating belief, They must embrace and nurture the belief that they must change their behavior despite all the obstacles—and some simply can’t.


I believe that there are two possible approaches to the practice of smoking cessation. The first involves diligently providing appropriate advice about smoking cessation. I have endevoured to do that throughout this site.

The second approach, however, involves encouraging Smokers to challenge their deeply held beliefs that, in my view, obstruct their ability to change maladaptive behaviors.

Smokers know that they need to quit, but feeling that quitting is such a difficult hurdle that it is nearly impossible is what, for them, really makes it impossible….

And that is part of the problem with the addiction: It distorts reality up to the point where you truly feel that there is no way you can beat it.

Nothing holds you back more than your own insecurities.

Take responsibility for your own success and happiness.


Successfully quitting smoking involves becoming interested in the beliefs Smokers hold that keep them trapped in harmful behavior patterns.

It involves embracing a view of the human mind that recognizes all behavior arises out of belief .

If we could only help Smokers find their way to wisdom, their lives might then become governed by actions that lead to happiness and joy rather than pain and suffering.

Embrace your fears, they no longer serve you any purpose.

Dedication is key here. Keep at it and see the Magic that you can create.

The Winner’s Circle is waiting.

Available Here






6 Replies to “Procrastination and Smoking”

  1. I loved this article. One of my family member is also a smoke addict. This article has looked into this subject in a different perspective not just using pills or something else it has made me think of it in a Psychological way. It talks about the procrastination, Self-confidence , Wisdom knowledge , power of the subconscious mind, health and happiness. This was really useful, and I hope i can use this towards my family member and hope to fix it.

    1. Hi Sujandar,

      You are absolutely correct when you say that a psychological approach is needed. I use Abstinence Psychotherapy to accomplish exactly that.

      You cannot “Fix” your family member, no matter how much you love them and want them to try… In fact, such an approach will most likely backfire, despite your good intentions.

      I would suggest that you share this article with your family member, or perhaps this one that I wrote about motivation…. Do not lecture… The best approach is to tell them that you read something and thought that they might also find it interesting…. Then, let the matter drop.

      They will follow through if motivated to do so… If not, there is nothing you can do to help.


  2. Your article has come at the right time. I have a few good friends around me who took up smoking from their late teenage years, then found solace in it as the stress from work became overwhelming. Now some are with families and others are just starting their own family, they are motivated to quit smoking, but at times they fall off the wagon. I will be showing them your website, it is so much helpful information. 

    The part in your post that really speaks to me is ‘wisdom vs knowledge’. Yes, everyone knows how bad smoking is for their health, but to put this knowledge into action, and hence wisdom, that is what every person struggles with. Not just with smoking, with diet, exercise, and so many aspects of our lives, this snippet of wisdom that you’ve written there is so true and relevant.

    Thanks for everything here, it’s made a great start to my day.

    1. Hello Joo,

      As you noted, all Smokers know it is detrimental to their health, but continue to smoke anyway. Denial helps them adopt an attitude of “It won’t happen to me.”

      Sadly, the people that it does happen to probably once said that ,too.

      Smokers procrastinate until they get honest and recognizes that it can and it will happen to them too.

      Despite this, only a very small percentage (about 3%) will act before it is too late.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Very interesting article. My mom has been smoker for most of her adult life (she is 64 now). She has tried to quit a few times, and all of those times she was able to go for awhile, but eventually would start smoking in secret again (but honestly that’s a hard thing to hide so we all knew, she just wouldn’t admit it for awhile). I really hope she will be able to totally quit before it’s too late. I notice a huge difference in her breathing and coughs when she has taken even a few weeks off from smoking. 

    1. Hi Holly,

      The main reason your Mom keeps relapsing is probably due to the method that she used. Without having any other tools, Smokers usually resort to Repression, which rarely works.

      Abstinence Psychotherapy treats the causes, which are in the Smoker’s thinking. This approach enables Smokers to stay off for the long term because it gives them the power of choice.

      Best wishes to both you and your Mom.


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