We know firsthand that it’s possible to kick your nicotine habit for good. In our office, we’ve had amazing success helping people stop smoking and using other tobacco products. In fact, we have a success rate of 87% — way higher than average compared to nicotine replacement therapy.

But as time went on, we noticed a pattern. Some of the clients who expressed interest in using acupuncture to stop smoking never followed up with us, or only came to one or two appointments. With acupuncture’s well-known reputation as a quitting tool and success rates like ours, we couldn’t help but wonder why this pattern persisted.

Then the answer hit us like a ton of bricks: Not everybody is emotionally ready to quit smoking.

There are two kinds of addiction: physical and mental. Physical addiction means your body has gotten used to a substance, and will behave differently once the substance is no longer present. Mental addiction, on the other hand, can be a lot harder to beat. Symptoms like anxiety, restlessness, and obsession can happen when a person is without his chosen substance.

The good news?

Acupuncture takes a holistic approach to addiction, helping patients fight off cravings on both the physical and psychological levels. That’s why it’s vital

for patients who feel ready to quit to talk to their acupuncturist about their emotional attachment to tobacco. Nobody can truly make you quit but you — but your practitioner can work with your mind, body, and spirit to make the transition to a smoke-free life easier, and even permanent.

Are you really ready to quit?

Spend some time assessing how your life will be different without the presence of tobacco, and consult with your acupuncturist to see how you can work through the emotions before you begin work on your physical addiction. With openness, persistence, and honesty, you’ll dramatically improve your chances of living a healthier, tobacco-free life.