Stop Smoking Barriers

What are the barriers that make us unable to stop smoking? There are many theories about this and many different opinions. The problem is that we are all individuals so the specific answers are not going to be the same. However there are common principals. The first principle I would suggest is that the largest barrier is a closed mind. Addiction to smoking is mostly cognitive. Our thoughts about smoking have more effect than the actual drug, so it stands to reason that the more adaptable a person is to thinking differently the more chance they have overcoming the thoughts that create the anxiety attacks whenever a smoker tries to stop smoking.

Cognitive Barriers

Because smoking is a more cognitive addiction than a clinical drug based addiction then the barriers are really the thoughts that keep us smoking. Any thoughts that tell us it is a good idea to smoke are the problems that create the anxiety and panic attacks when we try to stop. For example, the thought that smoking helps you relax means that if we no longer smoke we will not be able to relax or that we will not be able to relax as well as if we smoked. The barrier to stopping smoking therefore is the thought that we will spend the rest of our lives missing out on a quality of relaxation we simply can not have without cigarettes.

Breaking Through the Barriers

To break through the barriers that trip us up when we try to stop smoking we need an open mind. An open mind will allow us to examine our thoughts critically so that we can identify illusions. For example, when a person inhales the many toxic chemicals that are found in tobacco smoke their bodies have a small adrenaline reaction. Adrenaline is triggered when we are under attack, and certainly inhaling toxic fumes is an attack on our body. Adrenaline stimulates muscles, including the heart, which in turn raises our blood pressure and body temperature. In actual fact, the last thing in the world that is happening is relaxation.


Once we are aware of the reality and accept that the relaxation we believed we got from smoking was simply a learned response and that it is just 'mind over actual reality' sort of false relaxation, then we no longer have to believe that we won ' t be able to actually relax properly when we no longer smoke. Once we have changed our minds about the lie that smoking helps us relax we are able to go forward without thinking we are missing out. An open mind has helped us understand the reality. Therefore the largest barrier to stopping smoking is a closed mind.