Why is smoking so addictive…? Quick hint, it’s not really the nicotine.

There are a million good logical reasons to quit and no doubt you know them:

They centre around health, wealth, and freedom.

Your health suffers dramatically as a smoker and quitting smoking is the single most important thing that you can do to make a difference to your health.

Your finances suffer from smoking – the average Australian smoker can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on their habit over the years

There may be lots of things you love about being a smoker- while at the same time knowing that this habit is one that enslaves you.

You’ve probably been told by people before to ‘just quit’ – and if you are like many smokers you’ve tried to quit, likely several times, but you’ve also failed several times.

So why is it that quitting seems so hard? Why is it that despite all logic and reason for wanting to quit – that smoking has such power over you?

Because smoking is a complex trap that turns your brain against you.

Now let’s delve a little deeper into this trap. The graphic coming up on your screen will give you an idea of what you are truly fighting.

Here is an image of you – with your logical self knowing that there are a million good reasons to quit smoking.

Unfortunately smoking doesn’t fight fair, and it doesn’t fight a game of logic – it prefers a 4 on 1 tug of war – starting with a nice dose of nicotine addiction, then adding the temptation of instant rewards, followed by the creation of automatic habits, and then topping it off with the development of powerful emotional attachments. 

Trying to fight smoking through blind willpower alone is equivalent to trying to win this 4 against 1 tug of war – it’s a struggle that few win.

So lets go through these 4 layers very briefly:

Nicotine Addiction + withdrawals…

  • This is the obvious one that gets all the attention – the nicotine withdrawal cravings
  • Yes – Nicotine Addiction is where it all starts for a smoker, and yet in the end it becomes the smallest part of how you stay addicted to smoking.
  • Why do we say that it gets TOO MUCH attention – because Smokers are in full nicotine chemical withdrawal when waking up in the morning. Of all the cravings that a smoker gets, this is usually the weakest.
  • In fact it only takes the average smoker 3 days without smoking for the body and brain to be free of nicotine. And it usually takes 3 weeks without nicotine for the brain’s reward centre to actually reset back to its original setting, and for the nicotine addiction to be GONE
  • Dealing with the nicotine withdrawals can be easily addressed and neutralised with various tools, and that includes the usual Nicotine Replacement therapy

Instant Rewards…

The act of smoking provides a powerful 5-minute reward that is in itself highly addictive.

  • You will recognise the urge for just the one! – because that one 5-minute smoke makes everything better.
  • You may have had a hard day at work, and you have learnt over the years to reward yourself with a smoke
  • Out of the allure of this instant reward emerges the urge to continually procrastinate – Why quit today – because it always feels like tomorrow would be a better day to quit.


  • Do the same thing for long enough and your brain writes a Habit program for that behaviour and activity. It’s just the way our brains are built
  • A smoker has a life full of smoking habits – where nearly everything you do acts as a Trigger for the cravings to light up another smoke
  • Everyone will recognise how they get cravings from some of the classic smoking triggers – it might be associated with having a coffee, leaving the office or public buildings, having a drink, meeting up with some friends, etc
  • The end result is that all day long, everything in your life acts as a trigger for craving a smoke

Emotional Attachments

Now this is a big one that doesn’t get enough airtime: The beliefs & emotional attachments to smoking – And to being a smoker.

Live the life of a smoker for long enough and it becomes a big part of your life – And of who you are – And of how others see you.

There are 4 parts to this:

  • You end up seeing yourself as ‘A Smoker’ so that it becomes a key part of your identity
  • Every ciggie comforts you, so you end up feeling that smoking is your reliable friend and buddy
  • Fear of Loss, where even thinking of leaving smoking behind FOREVER ends up becoming a scary thing. Because being a smoker is still your familiar comfort zone, and it’s been ‘home’ for years.
  • Fear of failure, where you may say to yourself – “Why would I put myself through another quit attempt…only to feel worse when I fail yet again”?

These emotional beliefs and attachments produce an internal you-versus-you battle and struggle whenever you try to quit

These elements or layers of smoking addiction create a complex trap – but the good news is that they can be systematically dismantled to the point where they have no power over you anymore.

Free Guide: The Top 5 Reasons Why Smokers Fail to Quit

You may be comforted to know that there are more ex-smokers alive today than there are smokers.

The bad news is that on average it took them 8 quit attempts to successfully break free, mostly because they were making common mistakes that could of been avoided.

Enter your email below to get our guide for ‘The Top 5 Reasons Why Smokers Fail to Quit’ – so you don’t have to make the same mistakes yourself.