The Urge to Smoke – What’s it Really About?

Kris Kern

Let’s pretend for a moment that smoking is not an addiction, but instead a powerful habit. 

How can I say that? 

Well after helping several thousand people quit smoking and discussing this with each and every one, they’ve all come around to the idea that it is a powerful habit.   Most admit up front that they know it is and others just need a bit more evidence.

What is that evidence?  Firstly, who wants you to believe smoking is addictive?  Both the cigarette and pharmaceutical companies of course!  Secondly, I’d like you to compare the symptoms of your cravings with the symptoms someone addicted to alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin or synthetic marijuana might experience.  Why do these people need to go into rehab centres or be given powerful drugs to help them come off their drug of choice?  Because the symptoms they experience as they withdraw are far worse than withdrawing from cigarettes and they need all the help they can get.

Now please don’t think I don’t get what you’re going through -  I know it can seem really tough but bear with me here!

When you’re having a craving you probably feel agitated, anxious, irritable and you just can’t think clearly.  You might even get a slight headache, feel a bit dizzy, get shaky hands or feel hungry.  Well guess what?  They are all the very same symptoms of low blood sugar or mild hypoglycaemia. 

Why does this happen?  Because when you smoke your appetite is suppressed and you don’t eat as much or as regularly as other people.  You probably already know this and maybe you’ve even been smoking to keep your weight under control.

But here’s the thing!  When you don’t eat regularly or constantly eat the kinds of foods that cause your blood sugar level to spike and crash, you’re going to crave something to pick it up again every time it’s low.  And your moods and energy are going along on the same ride as your blood sugar.

The trouble is that what you probably think is a healthy diet is not!  So even if you are eating 3 times a day, chances are your blood sugar is on that rollercoaster ride all day, every day.

So why do you crave a ciggy and feel briefly better afterwards?  Because when your blood sugar level is low you will crave something to get it up again quickly.  That’s usually a stimulant like nicotine or caffeine or something sweet.  You know this to be true because when you tried to stop smoking in the past and didn’t change how you were eating at meal times you very likely replaced ciggies with chocolate, lollies, coffee or energy drinks.

When you have a cigarette, cup of coffee or energy drink it causes stress hormones to be released which indirectly gives your blood sugar level a boost!  And when your blood sugar level is low that also triggers your stress hormone levels to go up.  It’s a double whammy making you feel even more stressed and anxious! 

So how do you overcome those urges and cravings?  Simple!  When you attend your quit smoking session at Quit Smoking Perth you’ll learn how to keep your blood sugar level balanced, and better manage your stress with some simple tips so you can enjoy life after quitting without the stress, anxiety, cravings, weight gain or struggle. 

To find out more call Quit Smoking Specialist Kris Kern at Quit Smoking Perth on 1300 953 881 .

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