If you’ve landed here, on this website, on this article, reading this line… then I believe there’s a part of you that wants to know how to quit smoking and then there’s another part of you that thinks stopping smoking is really hard.
If that’s you, you are not alone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 7 out of every 10 smokers, want to quit for good.
Most smokers want a healthier, longer, happier, richer and calmer life. A life, where they don’t even miss cigarettes.
So, what happens?
It turns out that from all these people, only 6% actually kick the habit.
Now from the remaining 94% of people, I’m betting there’s someone just like you….
…Someone who believed that resisting one cigarette after the other with all their strength would eventually make their cravings go away.
…Someone who believed that taking nicotine substitutes would kill their desire to have a smoke when they are stressed.
…Someone who put the work in and things just didn’t pan out.
The question is “WHY!?!”
And most importantly, how can you BEAT THE ODDS?
The Psychology Behind Why You Can’t Quit
Most people fall off the beaten path because they waste their energy, hopes, and money on methods that simply don’t give them what they want:
- fewer painful cravings
- less stress
- and 0 feelings of deprivation
When you feel irritated, stressed and deprived without a cigarette, you will naturally feel that you are losing something by quitting smoking.
And that feeling of “something missing” will demotivate the MOST DETERMINED person.
So that’s why most smokers haven’t quit, yet.
It’s frustrating, yes.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
So I have a question for you:
Have you ever felt that quitting smoking is a HARD and even an IMPOSSIBLE thing to do?
Are you worried that you will go through pain to quit only to go back to smoking when you’re stressed or to stop putting on weight?
Are you afraid that you will stop smoking but you will spend your life always missing the occasional cigarette?
Or worse, maybe these things have already happened to you… and you’ve just had enough?
If you said “Heck, YES!” you’re in luck.
Because in this post I’m going reveal the top 3 mistakes that cause even the most determined people to get back to smoking at the drop of a hat.
The good news is that when you avoid these mistakes, YOU CAN BEAT YOUR ADDICTION.
Let’s jump in.
Mistake #1: You Think You Need More Willpower
When I was a smoker, I was struggling to quit. I was trying so hard to resist a cigarette but I couldn’t.
I just couldn’t help myself!
There was always something happening that made my willpower evaporate: an argument, a drink with friends, stress, telling myself “one cigarette won’t hurt”…
In these and many more occasions I used to run to the store to buy cigarettes, borrow one from a friend or dig up the pack I’d saved in the depths of my closet.
For a long time, I thought I was weak since I didn’t have enough willpower to stop smoking.
And you might be thinking that too …
This ends here.
You don’t need any willpower to stop smoking. In fact, you SHOULDN’T use any willpower if you want to quit easily.
And I will explain why.
Why We Don’t Need our Willpower to Quit Smoking
When you light up you do it because you genuinely believe that smoking offers you some benefits: it helps you relax, socialize, cope with boredom, keep your hands busy or even control your weight.
These benefits are the reasons why we think we enjoy, desire and even need a cigarette.
For example, we really want a cigarette when we are on the phone because we believe it will help us relax, concentrate and enjoy our phone call.
Every time we want a smoke is because we believe it will offer us a benefit.
So why can’t we resist that cigarette with willpower?
- Because using our willpower does not remove the benefits we get from smoking.
- Because willpower does not magically remove our desire to smoke.
- And because it’s hard to control our desires with willpower.
Our emotions don’t work that way. Our emotions and feelings are UNLIMITED. And our willpower is limited.
Behavioral science researchers have proven that our willpower is like a muscle that gets tired during our day. The more we use it, the weaker it becomes.
So our willpower cannot overpower our desire to smoke.
Emotions > Willpower.
Let’s say you just came back from a stressful day at work. All you want to do is sit on your front porch or your couch and light up a cigarette to relax.
Now if at that point, you force yourself to resist that comforting cigarette… what happens?!
You will want it even more! (we all want what we can’t have, right?).
Like I explain in my TED talk, putting effort into NOT smoking creates more stress. Because it makes you think about smoking more intensely.
How to Quit Smoking and Overcome Your Cravings without Using Willpower
Well, The key here is to stop thinking about smoking.
Easier said than done, I know …
But you can do it. How? When you want to smoke, do something else instead.
But that something – and that’s the important part- has to keep your mind and hands busy until the craving is over.
Remember this: every craving that comes will go.
Knowing that the craving will fade away in no more than 3 minutes gives you some kind of power over it.
Ok so here are the 5 best things that can keep you busy during your next craving.
And here’s what some members of the CBQ have to say about this:
Mistake #2: You Only Deal With Your Physical Dependence on Nicotine.
Most of us have tried to quit smoking multiple times. When I ask someone if they’ve tried to quit before and how, they usually tell me:
“Okay, so I tried the gum, but it tastes terrible. And I want my smokes even if I chew.” or
“Umm… Yes I tried the patch, but sometimes I smoke while wearing it.” or
“I was vaping for a few months, but it doesn’t make me wanna quit. So I started smoking again, I prefer the real thing.”
or “I took the pills, but I was feeling too depressed. I’d rather smoke than be miserable.”
And you might have a very similar answer too…
You might be blaming yourself for failing to quit with the above methods.
The thing is, IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT!
These nicotine gums, patches and vaping are nothing but alternative delivery systems for nicotine; the very substance that makes cigarettes so addictive.
So by using these products you only satisfy your physical need to smoke a cigarette.
But … if smoking was just a physical addiction, they why do so we still crave a smoke when we’re stressed- even while using these nicotine substitutes?
The truth is simple: these methods only tackle your physical dependence on nicotine. Not your mental dependence.
But smoking is mostly a mental addiction.
Why Smoking Is a Mental Addiction
The mental dependence on smoking is made up of 2 things:
- The emotional benefits you get from smoking.
- The movement you do with your hands.
Think about it.
Most of the times, you probably smoke because:
- You feel anxious
- You need a mental break
- You want to keep your hands busy when you feel bored.
You probably smoke out of habit while watching TV, while driving, while drinking your coffee, while scrolling through Facebook or after a meal.
If you don’t, you feel that something is missing.
As you can see, the reasons why you smoke are all are mental, psychological, emotional. Not physical.
This is exactly why patches, smoking pills and vaping, rarely work. Because they only deal with the physical aspect of the habit. Not the mental/emotional/psychological one.
They’re simply giving you the momentary illusion, that you are satisfied without your cigarettes, but it won’t last long before you go back to your smokes.
Check what some of our members have to say about this:
According to the British Psychological Society, quitting smoking is effective only when you tackle both the physical and the mental dependence on the habit.
That’s why the CBQ quit smoking method, the cutting-edge method we use, removes your mental dependence on smoking before you actually quit.
If you want to learn how the CBQ method can help you overcome your mental dependence on smoking, click here to download the foundational video & PDF starter guide of the CBQ Method. It will show you how to quit smoking without missing cigarettes ever again.
Ok, let’s go to the NEXT big mistake.
Mistake #3: You Haven’t Made a REAL Decision to Quit.
Making a real decision to quit means making a commitment to yourself to stop smoking – no matter what challenges or difficulties you face along the way.
But we rarely commit to stopping smoking when we start a quit attempt.
We rarely say: “I don’t care what happens, there is no way I’m smoking another cigarette.”
Instead, we say: “I will try and see how it goes.”
“I wish I will make it.”
“I hope it works out.”
And we say these things because we don’t want to put much pressure on ourselves. Because if we commit fully and then fail… we will feel bad.
But if we don’t commit fully from the beginning, then we are in a better position: we can tell ourselves that our attempt wasn’t too serious anyway.
If you don’t make a firm decision to quit, your mind will always make up excuses, to smoke another cigarette– maybe during your break at work or while watching your favorite TV show.
Your mind will tell you that it’s ok to have the very last cigarette, after the last cigarette, you promised yourself to smoke.
It will tell you, that you NEED to smoke. Otherwise, you will be unpleasant, to those around you.
All these, are very common thoughts, among smokers who want to quit. They are torturing. They fill you up with doubts. And they sabotage your quit attempt.
But these thoughts stop when you decide to quit.
So now the question is…
“How can YOU make an iron-clad decision to quit smoking?”
The SECRET behind making a real decision is as simple as being VERY specific with the reason you want to quit.
When you think about the exact ways quitting will change your life – physically, emotionally, financially – then your motivation increases and your decision to quit becomes stronger.
It might seem a bit silly, but look at it like this: What is more motivating and memorable?
Saying: “I have to quit because it costs me a fortune”?
OR saying: “I have to quit because I can use the money to treat my family to a vacation in Fiji. And enjoy this vacation without having the anxiety of running out of cigarettes.”
The second one is much more motivating, right?
(I mean who wouldn’t like a family vacation to Fiji ⛱ ⛱⛱ with the extra money saved from quitting smoking.)
How to Strengthen Your Decision to Quit Smoking EVEN MORE
You will strengthen your decision to stop smoking and increase your motivation to stick with that decision if you make a list of 10 (not 8 or 9) reasons why you want to quit smoking.
I call this list, the “Golden List.”
You might think, “well, isn’t that obvious?”
And the answer is, “Yes,” but if you don’t make a list, your reasons for quitting won’t stay on top of your mind when you have a craving.
Imagine you’ve just woken up in the morning. You are drinking your coffee and you crave a smoke. But you refrain from having it because you have decided to stop smoking.
A few moments later your spouse comes with their coffee, sits next to you and starts smoking.
As soon as this happens, your craving increases. You even feel you’re missing out. The more you smell the cigarette, the more you entertain the thought of asking for a puff.
At that moment, your decision and motivation to quit start getting weaker and weaker.
All you think about is having a smoke with your coffee.
And it is at that particular moment when you need to have your Golden List quit next to you.
Think about it.
What’s the easiest way to avoid smoking?
If you try to resist the cigarette?
Or if you take your list with all the reasons why you want to quit and start reading it?
You know the answer!
Reading your list will remind you why you’re better off not smoking the cigarette you’re craving.
So write your golden list. And then put it somewhere you can see at all times. (Your bedroom wall, your work desk, or just stick it on your fridge.)
And if you’re worried that this won’t work, just take a look at what some of our members said:
How to Quit Smoking Starting Today
Now that I walked you through the big 3 mistakes that prevent you from quitting successfully, you’ve got ONE goal:
To start your quitting journey… RIGHT
So how do you get started?
There are 4 stages you need to follow if you want to quit easily and for good.
These 4 stages show you not only how to prepare for your next quit but also how to smoke your last cigarette feeling excited.
If you want to learn how the CBQ Method can help you quit smoking easily, you can start by getting the foundational video and PDF starter guide of the CBQ Method.
The foundational video will give you an overview of your quit smoking journey from start to finish and the guide will help you map out your quit, take notes, and remember important tips.