Smoking is an excellent example of how knowledge does not equal action. Everybody knows that smoking is bad for you yet so many people still choose to do it. The reasons behind smoking behaviours are far more complex than craving nicotine. Telling a smoker to stop smoking has the same effect as telling a depressed person to cheer up. How do I know? I am an ex-smoker.
Ask any smoker, and they would give anything to have never smoked that first cigarette. I was never a heavy smoker. I started when I was about 16 at school and smoked between 5-10 a day. I have never been proud of my smoking and I shamefully hid it for so long. Even when I became a dental nurse and then during my time studying as a hygienist, I would still smoke from time to time. The truth? I was addicted to nicotine.
There are no physical withdrawal pains or symptoms when nicotine leaves your body. You simply feel an empty feeling and something similar to being hungry but there is a little voice in your head telling you that you want and need to smoke and the only way to relive that is by lighting up. But after 15+ years of being a smoker, I was fed up with being unhealthy and embarrassed by my habit. I knew I had to do something to beat the addiction once and for all.