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Why is it so hard to quit smoking?

Why is it so hard to quit smoking?

STOPtober has started and that means that more than 50,000 people try not to smoke for at least 28 days in this month. Not everyone can keep that up. Why is it so hard to quit smoking?

Research by the AMC shows that 70 percent of STOPtober participants last. Nearly half have still stopped three months later. That is five times higher than with an 'ordinary' attempt to stop at any other time of the year.

Read also: 'Stop smoking:the tip to keep it going'


However, there is unfortunately a part that struggles to say goodbye to smoking. This can partly be explained in the brain, according to the Brain Foundation.

The brain plays a major role in addictions. Drugs (which also include alcohol and nicotine) have a direct effect on the brain. They affect the nerve cells of the brain and influence the signal substances in the brain.

Smoking gives a feeling of satisfaction and reward

All drugs affect the amount of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is part of the reward system of the brain and makes us feel satisfied and rewarded. Dopamine is produced by drugs and the feeling that is released is addictive, which makes you want to use a drug more often.