Knowing Your Barriers is Key to Quitting Smoking

Smoking, like other unhealthy habits, can be tough to quit if you feel like there are a lot of barriers standing in your way. Barriers to quitting vary from person to person, so that’s why it’s important to identify your own unique challenges in order to come up with your own unique plan to conquer them. Barriers to quitting smoking often take the form of triggers, or situations, environments, or feelings you associate with smoking.   It can be hard to escape these everyday occurrences, which may include:

  • Working under pressure
  • Feeling blue
  • Playing cards
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Watching TV
  • Driving your car
  • Drinking coffee
  • Feeling bored
  • Going out with friends
  • Seeing someone else smoke

Taking a minute to think about your triggers is a great first step to overcoming them. If you know what your barriers to quitting are, you can avoid, work around, or at the very least, be prepared for them.

Besides identifying triggers, another way to overcome barriers is to give yourself a visual reminder of them. You can make a list of everything you think is a barrier to your success, or you can think about your barriers in a different way by making lists of pros and cons. Focus on the pros and cons of smoking, by thinking about what you like and don’t like about it. Then, think about the pros and cons of quitting – what do you think you will like about it, and what do you think you will dislike about it? You’ll know you’re ready to quit if your list of “Cons” of smoking is much longer than your list of “Pros,” and your list of “Pros” to quitting is much longer than your list of “Cons.”

Quitting smoking is not an easy or quick process, but being aware of your barriers will make you much more prepared for all that the process entails.


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