Plans to Quit Smoking More Successful with Multiple Forms of Support

The reason why many fail when they try to quit smoking is that they rely on willpower alone to resist their cravings.

San Diego, CA

Every November the American Cancer Society encourages people to support the 36.5 million smokers in America to quit or make a plan to quit smoking during their Great American Smokeout event. The American Cancer Society acknowledges that while quitting is hard, people can double or triple their chances of success if they combine quitting with counseling, education, support from others, and medications. SelfHelpWorks recommends that any plans to quit smoking should make sure to address not just the physiological reasons, but also the psychological and behavioral triggers that cause the desire to smoke.

The reason why many fail when they try to quit smoking is that they rely on willpower alone to resist their cravings. Cravings are triggered by certain substances or situations and unfortunately for many, willpower is simply no match for their cravings over a long period of time. The more one attempts to put up with or suppress cravings, the more they intensify, until they become so overwhelming that they can no longer be denied. Unless the cause of the cravings is removed, they’ll keep coming back over time.

“Cravings are driven in part by emotional dependency;” According to cognitive behavior expert Lou Ryan, “Emotion-driven habits are perceived by the brain as a need, not a ‘nice to do’. Trying to quit an emotion-driven habit like smoking is interpreted as a threat so the brain puts out alarms in the form of uncomfortable cravings that tell the smoker that they need a cigarette… right now. So unless they are able turn off the brain’s ‘need to have’ belief, it’s very hard for a smoker to stop– even though they know it’s bad for their health.”

Since 1999, SelfHelpWorks has provided online video-based lifestyle and disease management programs for health plans, employers, and providers to reduce health risk within organizations. SelfHelpWorks targets the psychological drivers of unhealthy behaviors so individuals can make and maintain healthy lifestyle changes. The company offers programs on obesity and unhealthy eating, tobacco addiction, diabetic lifestyle adaptation, chronic stress, alcohol overuse and physical inactivity. For more information about SelfHelpWorks, Inc. please visit

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About the Author: Carrie Brunner

Carrie Brunner grew up in a small town in northern New Brunswick. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Carrie writes mostly on provincial stories.
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