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So you want to quit smoking? Difficult as it may seem, abstaining from tobacco is not the traumatic experience that so many smokers considered it to be just a generation ago. Millions of Americans now are living proof that it is possible to give up smoking, and in so doing they have proved once again that mind is more powerful than matter.

Wanting to quit smoking is the first and most important step. Without that first step, there is little chance that smokers will shake the habit. Behaviorists dealing with the habit point out that, when smoking assumes a personality trait, the individual often finds it difficult to quit because of the change in personality that quitting would impose.

Some smokers no doubt deceive themselves into believing they want to quit when they really don't. Others, who may feel threatened by the prospects of not smoking, say they can see no reason to quit, when in fact they know that smoking is a health hazard and down deep would like to quit.

Despite rationalizations for continuing smoking, there is evidence that a majority of smokers would like to quit, given strong enough motives for doing so. Overall, nine of 10 smokers say they have either tried to stop smoking or would probably do so if there was an easy way.