Are You Addicted to Smoking?

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Copyright 2001

How do you deal with stress, despair, anger, boredom, sadness, or procrastination? Many people duck dealing with these things. Instead they choose others things to cover or comfort them so they don't have to deal with them at the time.

The trouble with this is that problems keep getting swept under the preverbal rug until there are mountains of unresolved problems continually tripping the person up. At this point it is difficult for the person to carry on a normal life.

The item that they have chosen for comfort to cover up life's problems usually becomes a problem too, because it is being used to an excess.


Anything done in excess, to the exclusion of

friends, family, God, and community,

is an addiction,

Whether it is:












There are three basic stages in any addictive process. First, there is a change in the thought process. Second, there is a change in how people deal with life's ups and downs and relationships with others. Third, their lives and their physical and mental well-being erodes to the point where there is no control. As a result suicide may become a viable way out of their problems.

Understanding The Addictive Cycle

First: The person feels the need for emotional and/or social comfort, and uses smoking to gain these needs.  Smoking becomes excessive as the smoker equates the act of smoking with comfort.

The person feels better for a time as smoking has filled the emotional need, but when the person gets in an uncomfortable situation, emotionally, socially, and/or physically, s/he automatically reaches for a cigarette to cope with the situation. 

Over time, the smoker becomes hooked.  S/He needs smoking to cope with  his/her emotions.  Even the very smell of smoke unconsciously reminds the smoker of comfort and becomes uncomfortable because they are not getting that comfort.

The smoker is hooked again because s/he has collected smokers as friends.  To fit in socially, s/he needs to smoke as it is what they do when they get together.  

Finally, smoking becomes a physical necessity as the body becomes addicted to the nicotine.  Over time the body gains a tolerance to the nicotine and need more and more to satisfy its cravings.  This is because the body becomes used to the smaller dosages and needs more nicotine to get the same relief from the cravings. 

The chain smoker feels emotional pain and guilt for smoking because s/he cannot control the continual need to smoke.  Plus, there is the physical pain that results from withdrawal symptoms, because of the lack of nicotine in the system.

Finally: The whole process begins again because the person seeks relief from the pain and guilt by smoking. 

First Stage of Addiction

Change in the Thought Process

Second Stage of Addiction

Change in Dealing with Life and Others

Third and Final Stage of Addiction

Physical and Mental Breakdown


1. Admit you need help from your God and ask for His help.

2. Do your part to succeed.

3. Realize changes takes time to made.

If you are willing

to work and ask for help,

the Lord will help you change,

and you will succeed!

 See: Ridding Yourself of an Addiction



Nakken, C. (1988). The Addictive Personality. Hazelden Foundation: U.S.

Nay, A (1996) A Wholistic Approach to the Control of Addiction.

Sheppard, K. (1989). Food Addiction. Heath Communication, Inc.: FL.

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Annette Nay Homepage

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