Woman breaking cigarette

Nobody knows who first said, “To succeed, you first have to fail.” But it’s a phrase many smokers can probably relate to.

About half of all smokers try to quit each year, according to federal data. But only about 7% are successful.

Multiple social and psychological factors

“We’ve heard about people who say, ‘That’s it!’ and they stop for good. But that’s pretty rare,” said tobacco researcher John Dani. “The average person makes multiple attempts before they quit.”

It is the nicotine in cigarettes that keeps people physically addicted. But there are multiple social and psychological factors that also play a role in determining why some smokers who decide to quit are successful while others aren’t.

For women, weight gain is a common reason for relapse, said Dani, chair of the department of neuroscience at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

He advises women and men to substitute exercise for food when battling the cravings and nervous energy that often accompany nicotine withdrawal.

“Healthy habits like running or walking or doing yoga are great alternatives,” Dani said. “I know people who started walking the steps of their building at work instead of walking out to the parking lot to smoke a cigarette.”

Thomas Payne, director of ACT Center for Tobacco Treatment, Education and Research at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, said moments of extreme tension and strain often play a powerful role in why people return to smoking.

Read more: https://www.health24.com/Medical/Stop-smoking/News/how-to-stop-smoking-for-good-20181221

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