Unfortunately, it is not just a habit. It is literally an addiction that both the mind and body crave. That addiction has to be broken.
Out of the millions of smokers who attempt to quit every year, many of them just do not make it. That doesn't mean that it is impossible, however, because millions succeed with the right plan and the proper support. There are several things to consider when trying to quit smoking.
Smoking is something the body and mind become dependent upon, addicting physically and mentally. Anyone who tries to quit by just focusing on one aspect or the other will more than likely fail. Smoking has to be dealt with on both fronts, using a dual approach that addresses each side of the addiction.
It is next to impossible to quit smoking alone. Friends and professionals are very helpful for anyone who wants to quit. The support of friends is essential to hold one accountable and for lifting up the smoker when the road becomes difficult. Of course, anyone trying to quit should be able to tell these friends when they are getting a little too pushy, should that come to pass.
Medical assistance is also very important, because smoking is a physical problem. In its way, it is as serious as a disease or a condition like obesity. Long-time smokers will have some definite harm caused by the habit. A good plan to quit will break down the addiction in stages, gradually reducing the cravings so the ill-effects of years of smoking can heal.
Anyone intent on pushing too hard to quit or on blaming themselves for their habit is only going to make it that much harder on themselves. Small steps and small victories are the way to proceed, and if it doesn't work, try again. The biggest components to quitting smoking are persistence and will.
Consider what causes smoking in the first place. Everyone has a different reason to smoke, whether it be stress at work, a need to fit in, or a stressful relationship. Once the commitment to quit has been made, any cigarettes have to be thrown out. Smoking should be replaced with some other, less harmful, activity. Spend time with non-smoking friends only. These are just some suggestions, but remember that everyone is different and not every tactic works for every person.
There are those that smoke for emotional reasons. There is nothing wrong with getting some help from a friend or even a psychologist. Using smoking to help with emotional issues only make things worse - there are much better ways to cope with such things.
Every smoker should keep in mind that smoking harms not only the smoker but those around the smoker as well. Each cigarette only creates the craving for more and where once cigarette was once enough, eventually only a pack will suffice. Before it gets to that point, quit!