Here are common myths about smoking, debunked for quitters in need of some extra motivation. Bernard Antoine, a smoking cessation and addiction specialist in Paris, France, helps smokers let go of common beliefs and misconceptions about smoking and quitting to help them kick the habit with success.

Quitting smoking requires willpower

Quitting smoking isn’t a question of willpower or good intentions. It’s a question of genuine reasons and motivation. You shouldn’t stop smoking to please someone else or to save money, but because of a real desire to free yourself from smoking dependency.

Quitting smoking means gaining weight

Weight gain isn’t inevitable. Certain people don’t put on any weight at all. On average, female quitters will gain 2.8kg and men will gain 3.2kg. Smokers tend to have a lower lipid profile since smoking increases metabolism and burns fat. Plus, nicotine acts as an appetite suppressant.

To avoid frustration and compensating with food, I advise quitters to adopt a strategy based on their desire to break free from the habit.

Quitting smoking will make me moody and irritable

After quitting smoking, mood-related problems such as irritability and depression can arise in the first three weeks, but this emotional state doesn’t last.

Will you get moody if you quit smoking?

Will you get moody if you quit smoking?

You should wait for the “right time”

The right time is whenever you decide it is, irrespective of the usual worries and troubles you face in day-to-day life. You need to learn to live without cigarettes in all the situations that usually push you to smoke.

E-cigarettes can help you stop smoking The problem with e-cigarettes is that smokers don’t break the Pavlovian conditioning reflexes linked to the habit. You just become a continuous vaper, as e-cigarettes never go out.

Nicotine causes addiction

Nicotine alone doesn’t make people addicted to smoking. It’s the combination of nicotine with certain by-products of burning that lead to withdrawal symptoms. Plus, chemistry alone doesn’t explain the phenomenon of dependency. It’s also behavioural and psychological.

Smoking calms you down and reduces stress

On the contrary, smoking is a mental stimulant. Nicotine is like a soft version of cocaine. It has no psychotropic effects but it keeps you alert and awake. Unlike alcohol, smoking causes vasoconstriction.

Smoking 20 cigarettes is twice as bad as smoking 10

The biggest risk factor isn’t the number of cigarettes you smoke per day, but the duration of your exposure.

Nicotine replacement products and medications are the key to quitting smoking

To quit smoking, you should above all seek support on psychological and behavioral levels from a trained professional. Hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT) get good results. – AFP Relaxnews