Jump to content


What fears are actually irrational regarding smoking?

  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 giveintowin


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,691 posts

Posted 19 April 2017 - 01:34 AM

Alan Carr has said that the main thing that stops people quitting smoking is fear. I have to admit to years of irrational fear related smoking.


I feared how I would feel if I didn't smoke. I feared running out of cigarettes. I feared being put in situations where I couldn't smoke.


These were fears I became used to. They dictated my behaviour, my IRRATIONAL behaviour of smoking and I never questioned them. 


B F Skinner was a behaviourist psychologist and his theories around conditioning have become mainstream knowledge. He speaks of reward as a positive, powerful reinforcer. Often reward is considered part of addiction in the sense that people continue to use a substance for it's effect. Cigarettes, however operate mainly in an opposite sense to a positive reward. They do not have much of an effect on us when we smoke, it is only we don't smoke that we notice anything. They operate through a way of negative reinforcement. Negative reinforcement involves doing something not to receive a reward but to avoid an unpleasant outcome. An example of this is a seatbelt alarm in a vehicle. The noise of the alarm is so annoying that you cannot continue to live with it, so you put on your seatbelt to stop the loud chiming.


Cigarettes work in a similar way. The noise of the alarm within our body when we are deprived of cigarettes emerges in the form of irritability, anxiety, emptiness etc and can be incredibly intense to the point we will do anything (even IRRATIONAL) to shut it up.


No wonder we feared not having cigarettes and we feared giving them up. This is often why people think they enjoy smoking cigarettes. It is not the action of sucking in smoke that is enjoyable, it is the action of relieving the withdrawal.


At the end of my smoking my fear took on a different tack. With increasing health problems I began to fear continuing to smoke and harm myself. It is very sad and unfortunate that I had been fooled so long (30 years) by fear. It is almost like I had to have something real to fear (as in illness) to highlight the false fear of being without cigarettes and how it felt to not have them.


Right now I am finding myself thinking more than ever about this as I go through withdrawal and recovery from smoking. When I am having urges to smoke I am finding it helps to explore what is really going on for me and think about the consequences of smoking. The more I can stay in my rational brain while I'm feeling intense unpleasant anxiety and low flat feelings the easier it is for me to accept where I am at and why.


I guess as humans we have so many irrational fears at times in our lives such as the monster under the bed, ghosts, spiders, wars etc but the most irrational must be the fear of quitting smoking. I believe this must be the only fear we have that leads us to actually do something very harmful and continue to do it. Unlike our other irrational fears we tend to work to keep ourselves safe but with smoking the fear actually puts us in danger.


I am writing this to remind me of what I'm dealing with right now. I am hoping it may remind others who already know this and teach those who don't.


Best to you all.

  • Catlover, GraceLove, donvesta and 14 others like this

Quit date Thursday 24th October. 2017, 10.10am AEDT.


It is a relief to not be killing myself slowly. Every day I don't smoke I am getting stronger.

#2 green meenie

green meenie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,024 posts
  • quitdate:
  • LocationMommy's Basement

Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:30 AM

I think you have a pretty good handle on this addiction.


Now is the hardest part; your early quit! But, just remember - every hour and every day you manage to stay quit, it will get better and it will get easier to stay quit. You can now also start reflecting on how far you have come and how hard it has been to get here. That will also be motivation for the days to come.


There will be more battles against this addiction but you will become stronger with each one you win and before you know it, those battles will be fewer and further between.


Stay committed to your quit, you can do this!!

  • Pearlie, giveintowin and Lone Goose like this

The process of quitting smoking doesn’t end with the last cigarette. It’s not quitting itself, the real key is staying quit!




#3 Pearlie


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 9,220 posts
  • quitdate:
  • LocationMidwest

Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:50 AM

Good for you, Give!  It helps tremendously to know your enemy.  Understanding nicotine addiction has been key to my quit.  Keep on learning as much as you can.  It will help you to stay quit!!!

  • giveintowin and Lone Goose like this
NOPE stands for Not One Puff EVER.  It does not stand for Not One Puff EXCEPT.  ~breath


#4 d2e8b8


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,661 posts
  • quitdate:
  • LocationOntario, Canada

Posted 19 April 2017 - 04:04 AM

Well written, give.  I can relate to all of those fears.


For some of us, cigarettes masked some mental health issues.  For me, it's a tendency to depression that I've had to find new ways to cope with.  All I'm saying is that not all fears may be irrational.  Some may be real and have to be dealt with.

#5 carly2at



  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

Posted 19 April 2017 - 04:06 AM

Fear.  My biggest Fear.  Your thread struck a cord with me - as I'm fearing too late.  As I fear more... I fear more..  Does that make sense?  Gosh - so ridiculous for me to think this way - I remember as a college student taking care of my grandma (my sweet grandma Gladys) that I would just say - stop already - c'mon!! - I can see her so clear - opening up the back door in freezing weather to smoke - at the same time saying to me --- "I can't breathe" - I remember thinking as a 23 year old smoker - geez - I'll never be like that - she died of lung cancer less than a year later at 66 years old.  I'm 54 now.  I have to let this go!  Sorry for the rant.... (Just mad at myself...) 

  • onthemark, SteveJames, Catrina and 2 others like this

#6 Dutchess66


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 104 posts
  • quitdate:
  • LocationOn an island in the Netherlands

Posted 19 April 2017 - 10:26 AM

Spot on! Only after 2.5 months of insecurity about my health (a lung issue, what else) I was ready to take the leap of faith and quit smoking.
Yes, with help of my doctor, yes, with help of Chantix, yes, with help of 3 apps on my telephone, yes, with help of my family and friends, yes, with the help of all the good people here on the board.

No, it's not an easy path, but I'm no longer afraid of quitting. In fact right now I fear more the idea to have to do the quitting all over again. The only way do avoid that is not to smoke ever again! :-)

Please stay close to this board when you're in heavy waters, or if you want to celebrate. The people here will lend you their ears.
You can do this!

Have a nice day,
  • giveintowin likes this


Yes! I quit smoking, but still I am fighting my addiction but hey:


#7 Lin-quitting


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,644 posts
  • quitdate:
  • Locationsmall-town Kansas USA

Posted 19 April 2017 - 12:16 PM

Very well said Gitw. You have a wonderfully positive mindset that I'm certain will not only get you over this addiction but help all the rest of us overcome ours too.


I am a proud member of the 2017 Smokebusters team and I ain't afraid of.....NO SMOKES.

  • giveintowin likes this




                  "I didn't come this far to only come this far."




I want my life back. I WANT MY LIFE BACK!

There is no try, there is only do. Failure is not an option.

Another proud member of the 2017 Smokebusters team.

#8 Edna_Clouds


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 346 posts
  • quitdate:
  • LocationEngland

Posted 19 April 2017 - 02:37 PM

It is precisely that positive way of thinking and that mindset that allows me to be where I am today!!


Well done and keep it up!


Think Positive!



  • giveintowin likes this


Just imagine the day when you can update your Facebook status and say ‘It has been one whole year since I quit smoking’. :D :D :D

#9 onthemark


    2015 Bad Ash

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,313 posts
  • quitdate:
  • LocationCalgary, Alberta

Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:15 PM

Hey Give,


I think you really hit the nail on the head. Thanks for the post.  I also had the anxiety, low mood and a 'heavy' feeling in my brain hanging over my early quit. I thought it might never go away but it did, it was more an exaggeration of problems I'm prone to anyway... living a life dominated by fear is one of them.


Just take it one step and a time, one day at a time. It's a long march but it won't kill you, unlike smoking and in the end I do feel so much better now not being on the addiction feeding cycle day by day hour by hour.  The main thing about quitting is what does a person do during the hard times, those moments... find a way to talk to yourself, distract and know that this is a path that gets easier with time rather than harder.

  • giveintowin and Dutchess66 like this
Proudly smoke-free since July 14, 2015

#10 donvesta


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,965 posts
  • quitdate:
  • LocationFt. Worth, Texas

Posted 19 April 2017 - 04:54 PM

This is a fantastic post.

My irrational fear of relapse kept me from my quit for many years. Why do it if I'm going to fail, right?

What a fool I was!

You are on your way to a rock solid quit with this calm, clear grip on what's happening to you.

Thanks for a great post!
  • giveintowin likes this

Acceptance is the key.


Be grateful for the pain. We can not heal without it.


I became a non smoker on March 26, 2014.



#11 giveintowin


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,691 posts

Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:23 PM


Quit date Thursday 24th October. 2017, 10.10am AEDT.


It is a relief to not be killing myself slowly. Every day I don't smoke I am getting stronger.

#12 c9jane29


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 154 posts
  • quitdate:

Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:39 PM

I was afraid too after hearing for years and years how hard it would be to quit...harder than herion! (So they said) and the Nicodemon!!Ahhh!

But, it's me. It's all me. My quit is what I want. It's what I make it.

And...I ain't afraid of no smokes!
  • giveintowin likes this
Nicotine free since 14-05-17
The only way to quit smoking is to stop putting cigarettes in your mouth.
NOPE'SNOT. worth it.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users