A smoker's guide to reframing excuses for quitting smoking

Are you a smoker or know someone who is? Do you hear the same excuses time after time about why smoking is so easy and quitting is so hard?

There’s help at hand…here are 9 classic excuses regularly heard from smokers in my practice, and a few nice ways to reframe them!


  • “I really need a cigarette after a meal” — “Could you not have a more satisfying meal?”


  • “I get nervous amongst strangers and reach for the cigarettes” — “It gets so much easier once you build a good rapport with strangers to feel at ease and enjoy the conversation without distraction?”


  • “I need a cigarette after a long, boring meeting” — “Hospital is boring. I hope we never meet there”


  • “I’d like to be able to have 'just one' here and there” — “Have you met a smoker that is not a junkie? Junkies get agitated, grumpy, and even desperate when they haven't got enough supplies. Junkies go to dealers and buy what they think they need even though everyone else can see their bodies really don't need it. Junkies find it hard to admit they have a problem. They always think they can control it. Would it be reasonable for you, if you were an outsider looking at yourself, to see yourself as a nicotine junkie?”


  • “I think I will be tempted when other people are smoking” — “And they are tempted by your not-smoking. Lead by example and they will join you.”


  • “I use them to control my weight” — “There are other appetite suppressants. Have you considered getting active or eating foods high in fibre?”


  • “I might start again after a few days like last time” — “Everyone leaves therapy as a non-smoker. It would be silly to light up as soon as they leave here. And 10 minutes later would be silly too. And if they can go 10 minutes feeling free, why not try for 20 mins, 30 mins, an hour, a morning, a day, week, month, year, etc. If a temptation arises it is no different after 4 months than 4 days or 4 minutes. It's not about timing. Unless, of course, you intend to become complacent? 

  • “It's something to do with my hands” — "If gardening, dusting, washing up, ironing, etc won't work, try relaxing them. If they need to be busy in social settings, we can work on building confidence”

  • “I smoke when I have an argument with my partner” — "Does it resolve it?”

 Learn more about using hypnosis to quit smoking https://www.hypnotherapy.training/hypnosis-to-quit-smoking 

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