Grief and Loss

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Jun 12, 2009
When you stop smoking, it is possible to feel a huge void and experience a sense of grief. For some people, the loss feels so intense that they equate the feeling as the same emptiness one feels when a loved one dies.

Grieving the loss of cigarettes can take time. Some things you can do to help you through this difficult time include:

Keeping a journal to write down your feelings
Share your thoughts with someone who is supporting your efforts to quit
Reframe the thoughts and try to focus on the benefits of being smoke-free
Think about other losses in your life and utilize the same coping skills that you used to get through those periods of grief

Go to BecomeAnEX.org and fill out the workbook exercise in the re-learn support section. Most importantly, hang in there. The feelings of grief will diminish over time. Reward yourself for your continued commitment to live a healthy lifestyle!

Dr. Richard D. Hurt is an internationally recognized expert on tobacco dependence. A native of Murray, Kentucky, he joined Mayo Clinic in 1976 and is now a Professor of Medicine at its College of Medicine. In 1988, he founded the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and since then its staff has treated over 33,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org