A recent research study indicates that ex-smokers have difficulty in abstaining from smoking due to a drive to reclaim a sense of “who they are.” The study is from the University of East Anglia.
Smoking relapse study
The study suggests that relapse often occurs from a desire to reclaim a lost social identity, and that many ex-smokers actually do associate quitting tobacco products as a “loss.”
Tobacco embodies physical and psychological addiction
This is not surprising. Tobacco is physically addicting, but also has a host of behavioral, social, as well as emotional triggers. These psychological elements are incredibly important to understand, as individuals attempt to quit such a physically addictive substance. The social identity wrapped up with smoking is a significant factor for many ex-smokers. They feel that they were part of a “social group,” something that has identified them since their teenage years.
This “social group” involves environmental factors as well as relationships with other smokers
This social group involves environmental factors as well as relationships with other smokers that strongly influence a sense of self. This creates an internal conflict for some ex-smokers, as they feel that they are trying to ‘cover-up’ something about themselves, and redefine their identity. For many, relapse brings with it a sense of relief at reclaiming this identity, but also a sense of guilt and shame.
Points of research correlate conception of identity and awareness of “self” is important in attempting cessation of smoking
These points of research indicate that a conception of identity, and awareness of “self” is important in attempts to quit using tobacco products. These things are also likely very important to acknowledge and develop with handling other addictions as well.
Image Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_sifotography’>sifotography / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
Razi Berry is the founder and publisher of the journal Naturopathic Doctor News & Review that has been in print since 2005 and the premier consumer-faced website of naturopathic medicine, NaturalPath. She is the host of The Natural Cancer Prevention Summit and The Heart Revolution-Heal, Empower and Follow Your Heart, and the popular 10 week Sugar Free Summer program. From a near death experience as a young girl that healed her failing heart, to later overcoming infertility and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia though naturopathic medicine, Razi has lived the mind/body healing paradigm. Her projects uniquely capture the tradition and philosophy of naturopathy: The healing power of nature, the vital life force in every living thing and the undeniable role that science and mind/body medicine have in creating health and overcoming dis-ease. Follow Razi on Facebook at Razi Berry and join us at Love is Medicine to explore the convergence of love and health.