No social activity in recent times has experienced a more profound reversal in social acceptability than smoking. While at one time smoking was seen as cool and sophisticated, it's now increasingly viewed as unattractive, anti-social and unhealthy. Few people, if any, dispute the overwhelming medical evidence available that shows smoking to be highly dangerous1. It's no wonder that so many smokers want to stop. Most, however, find stopping very difficult to achieve on their own.
The American author, Mark Twain, famously suggested that stopping smoking was easy as he had done it many times. This clever and amusing quote shows exactly how difficult it can be to give up smoking permanently.
Tobacco contains nicotine which is an addictive drug2, and, as with all addictive drugs, any desire to stop is usually overwhelmed by a deeper desire to continue. The good news is that help is available. Products such as Nicorette can help you stop smoking. There's even a Nicorette phone app available. All such products can be very effective when they're combined with a genuine determination to stop. With help, a smoker's desire to feed their addiction can be lessened and overcome to the point that it disappears completely and permanently.
With the benefit of scientific and medical knowledge that's freely available, it's now common knowledge that smoking poses serious health risks3. Smokers are well aware that they are far more likely to develop a life threatening medical condition. They don't need reminding; they need help and encouragement to stop.
If you give up smoking, you can look forward to a number of real improvements in your life, such as:
Increased life expectancy - No matter what age you are, if you've been lucky enough to avoid a major smoking-related illness so far, stopping smoking now can add years to your life expectancy, compared to not stopping.
Taste and smell - Smoking causes the gradual loss of these senses, but they soon return when you stop. That explains why smokers are unable to smell the odour of stale smoke clinging to their clothes and accompanying them wherever they go.
Sociability - You won't feel the need to stand outside in the cold and rain to have a smoke when in pubs, restaurants or any other public places.
If you're a smoker who wants to give up, keep in mind that it can be done. It's not easy, but anyone can do it, and there's plenty of help available. If you can think like a non-smoker, you'll become a non-smoker.
1Dr. Patricia McNair: Smoking health risks [online] Available at:
2National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2009. Available at:
3Dr. Patricia McNair: Smoking health risks [online] Available at: