While for the third consecutive year, the Ministry of Health and Public Health France launched the operation "Month Without Tobacco", there are still 12 million smokers in France. Of course, there are those who do not want to smash their cigarettes but there are also those who do not. Maxisciences explains why it's not so easy to stop smoking "It's just a question of will," some say. Oh if only it was true. To stop smoking is not so easy as one might think. The proof. According to the HAS (High Authority for Health): "it is more difficult to quit smoking than to stop using alcohol, cannabis or cocaine" and recall that nearly 2 in 3 smokers wish to stop to smoke and that 97% of them do not succeed without help. We explain the mechanisms of dependence that leads to smoking and make it so difficult to stop … but not impossible! A physical dependence A manager who holds in 3 syllables: nicotine. When we inhale the smoke, it attaches itself to the nicotine receptors and causes our brain to activate the reward circuit. In just 7 seconds, it reaches the brain and induces a stimulating, soothing and distracting effect. The desire to smoke is then calmed down. But nicotine is perverse because it has created a well-being that we want to find and that is how the addiction is maintained. Once the rate of nicotine is lowered, we feel a lack and therefore an irrepressible need to light another cigarette to overcome this deficit in this molecule. In addition, according to a study published in 2013, a genetic mutation could increase tobacco dependence. It would inactivate the reward circuit, forcing smokers to increase their smoking to feel the effects. According to scientific estimates, around 35% of Europeans and 90% of heavy smokers are affected by this genetic mutation. We are in a vicious circle and that is why adapted weaning is necessary. A behavioral and psychological addiction "As soon as I'm on the phone, I have to turn on one," says Nina when Pierre tells him that "it's at the moment of coffee that I can not help but smoke." "Me, it's when I had an annoyance. I grill one. That's all that seems to appease me, "admits Nicole. Would smoking be linked to a form of Pavlovian reflex? Indeed, this behavior comes under the acquis since a regular smoker performs up to 300 times a day the same gesture from hand to mouth. There are no others that run at the same frequency! Not to mention that this gesture is often associated with a moment of pleasure, relaxation or appeasement. One understands then the difficulty to break such a gesture or to get rid of this crutch, which seems to help us manage moments of stress. This is why therapists and addictologists offer methods to free themselves from these conditioned reflexes. But rest assured, if stopping smoking is a fight, it is not impossible and that's why we should not hesitate to get help.