When smokers think about quitting smoking they may think about what it is they are trying to deal with or stop. A question I often get asked is (depending on how easy or hard people find it to stop smoking ) whether smoking is a habit or an addiction.
If you were to ask smoker or non smokers alike? “Is it more difficult to stop – a habit or an addiction?”, you would no doubt get a majority saying that an addiction is far harder to stop. In fact calling something that we get an urge to do, an addiction, can rob us of our power. It is like saying ‘I can’t stop because I am addicted to smoking’ or ‘I can’t stop because I am not in the smoking is control’. Any addiction will have people believing that they have little or no control. This is part of the issue with stopping smoking. If smoking is viewed as a total addiction, and have accepted the above perception of an addiction, then you have now made quitting smoking much harder in your mind.
What is Addiction?
Addiction is quite a general term. There can be different types of addiction such as a physical or a psychological addiction.
A physical addiction is when the body craves for something.
A psychological addiction is when the mind believes it wants or needs something.
Now, coming back to stopping smoking, is it a physical or psychological addiction, both or something else? This area has many differing opinions. After all with over 4,500 chemicals entering the body with any single puff it would seem logical to assume that there must be some physical addiction. Yet when sleeping for 6 to 8 hours everynight and then waking up in the morning the vast majority of smokers will NOT smoke in between and most now won’t smoke immediately upon waking.
First they may have breakfast, or wash, or have a cup of coffee first before lighting up, or light up as the kettle is boiling to have that first cigarette of the day. If smoking really was a 100% physical addiction then surely the body having been without those 4,500 chemicals during sleep would be craving for a cigarette so much that the smoker would have to light up immediately. However in almost all the case of the hundreds of people I see and have seen over the years this just this does not happen.
Every airline I know has a full non-smoking policy even most airports have an exclusion zone which is only going to get bigger with time. Not get news is you are going on holiday what a way to start it.. anyway some fights might last for 12-14 hours or more with waiting time. Most travellers are fine on a plane and this would be impossible is smoking cigarettes was a 100% physical addiction. What do you think? Does this make sense to you or do you think your experience is different to the above?
So is smoking a physical addiction a physiological or something else?
Let me know your thoughts.