Josh Chandler | July 25, 2017

Smoking Addiction: Where it Starts and How to Break It

If you have a drug addiction, you often have a smoking addiction, too. Why is that? And more importantly, how do you break it? Here’s what you need to know.

According to Forbes, the percentage of smokers amongst drug addicts is around 84%. It’s a shocking number when compared to the percentage of smokers in the general public which is only 34%.

As a whole, smoking addiction appears to be going down, especially in the younger generation.

So why is it that amongst addicts those numbers are so much higher?

Smoking Addiction: Where it Starts

There are two main reasons why smoking addiction affects addicts of other drugs more severely than those without addictions.

The first is that the vulnerability towards addiction can be found in your genes. Some people are more susceptible and inclined to be affected by that craving more than other people.

It’s also more likely that one addiction can lead to another, starting a kind of vicious cycle that those with this particular gene can find incredibly hard to break. Certain people have a stronger response to nicotine, and therefore, learn to crave it more strongly.

Nicotine can be alluring to many different people. Its effects can act as both a stimulant, helping users to feel more alert or active, and a relaxant, which can help a person feel calmer or more at ease. This makes it especially alluring to those who suffer from mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression.

The second reason is that a new or renewed smoking addiction can occur during drug rehabilitation.

Smoking can be an “easy” substitute for those trying to quit harder drugs.

Often a person can quit smoking altogether while in a smoking-free jail or prison, but when going through rehab, they will find themselves surrounded by smokers and will fall into smoking once more.

As you can see, there are several factors working against drug addicts who want to quit smoking cigarettes. Addictions will try their very best to keep you in their terrible clutches.

It can be a struggle, but there are ways to break through addiction’s grasp.

Smoking Addiction: How to Break It

Going through the treatment process of breaking an addiction is never easy. There are several things you can do to help in your fight against it.

Rehabilitation Centers

Rehab. It’s a scary word to most and even more for those who actually need it. Rehabilitation centers are the strongest tool you could put into your addiction-fighting tool belt.

These facilities are full of doctors and specialists who know exactly how to help you with any addiction, whether it be for a smoking addiction or any other kind of drug. They’ll be able to evaluate your situation and be there to observe and aid you when the withdrawal symptoms hit. They can answer any questions or concerns you may have.

No two treatments are exactly the same, and with the help of these rehab centers, you’ll be able to find the process that works best for you.

Group Counseling

Being amongst people who know the struggles you face can be a liberating sensation. Group counseling is all about using that kind of camaraderie to its fullest potential. It lets you learn and communicate with other addicts in an open environment. This can help build healthy relationships with both your peers and yourself.

Instead of having to face the struggles of fighting an addiction alone, group counseling allows you to do it as one soldier among many.


Sometimes we prefer to be the lone wolf, and sometimes it’s not possible to find others to help you in the fight against addiction. That’s okay. There are methods you can do all on your own that will help strengthen you against the cravings of your smoking addiction.

Exercise is one of these methods. Not only is it good for your body and helps you stay healthy, you can use exercise to fight addiction.

There are many benefits to exercise. Overall, it is a great distraction when those addicting urges hit in full force, and it helps keep stress levels down. Stress is often one of the contributing factors that lead to relapses, so anything that can keep stress as low as possible is good for your fight.

Next time you start to crave a cigarette, try going out for a jog instead. It could make a world of difference.


Vaping is a new trend that has started booming in recent years. Despite it being a flashy new trend, it can have a good effect for those who wish to quit their smoking addiction.

Vaping uses a flavored liquid that gets heated to create thick steam that you then inhale and blow out, just like a normal cigarette. However, these liquids don’t have the terrible carcinogenic properties that make regular cigarettes so harmful.

The flavored liquid can come with nicotine, but you can also find it without. A great way to begin weaning yourself off of a nicotine dependency would be to start vaping with nicotine-infused liquid, and then slowly bring that level of nicotine down until, eventually, you won’t need the nicotine at all.

Some people find the simple act of breathing in the steam to be the most relaxing part of all, and can completely skip having any nicotine in the liquid from the very beginning of the switch.

Green Tea

It may sound a little unconventional, but a nice cup of green tea could help your fight against addiction. The idea is that instead of giving in to that craving for a cigarette, you make a cup of green tea.

There is a unique amino acid found in green tea called L-Theanine. This amino acid relaxes you and brings down stress levels, and can be the perfect way to take the edge off.

Give it a try the next time you feel like having a smoke.


Fighting against any addiction is a long and tough road. It will have many ups and downs, and you might get lost once or twice along the way. But keep going, keep fighting. You’ll get past all the twists and turns eventually as long as you don’t give up.

We are here to help you find the correct tools to fight your addiction.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have, and we’ll work together to get you the help you need.

Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

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