Cigarette Smoking: Why we don’t quit when they’re killing us…


As humans we are motivated to 1) get away from pain 2) move towards pleasure and 3) conserve energy.

That is why our brains reward us with the maximum feelings of pleasure when we eat or have sex; especially when it hasn’t taken a lot of energy to get these things.
This is because we need to eat and procreate to keep the species going.
Yet the same motivation operates all throughout the day. If we’re cold we’ll find the fastest and most energy conserving way to warm up. We’ll hit a switch and turn the heating on sooner than we’ll build a fire (more energy required) and sooner than we’ll jog on the spot for 10 minutes (more energy again). Flipping a switch is the fastest way to move towards the pleasure of heat and away from the pain of cold.
This is why we’ve to talk ourselves into doing something that can be achieved by easier means.
We smoke to get away from pain (stress, boredom, anger), move towards pleasure (relaxation, company, relief) and because it’s a practiced ‘skill‘ it takes very little energy to quickly get a nice feeling.
It’s faster and easier to light up and calm down than it is to do a few yoga moves or go for a walk.
It’s quicker to light up when stuck in traffic than it is to self-talk our way out of the frustration.
It’s easier to go on a cigarette break to vent our work anger than it is to manage the stress by other means.

It’s hard to quit because we don’t understand that we smoke to feel good in the moment. And in the moment the potential harmful long term health effects of smoking don’t pain us as much as the stress we feel.
Knowing this we can get skilled, practice and learn ways to manage stress and get good feelings fast – faster than smoking. Then quitting is easy.
Cut out the middle man (cigarettes) and gain the financial and health rewards along with the sense of empowerment, success and achievement freeing ourselves from a dependency gives us.
It’s easier than you think once you know how.
To find out more or to book an appointment visit or call 01 207 9615.

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