Quit Smoking: Every cigarette contains its quota of harmful toxins. Every puff that we inhale poisons our system. Despite numerous campaigns informing people of the evils of smoking we still find educated and intelligent women reaching out for a cigarette. Research has proved that nicotine interacts with the receptors in the brain, which govern the moods, emotions, and alertness of the person. It does this by mimicking a chemical messenger. It acts as a mild anti-depressant. This may explain why depressed and insecure adolescents find smoking a way out to withstand peer pressure.
Side Effects of Smoking Cigarettes
Cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals, including pesticides, arsenic, acetone, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde. These substances can cause cancer, lung disease, heart attack, cardiovascular disease, stroke, blindness, and bad breath. Cigarette smoking kills more than 438,000 Americans every year. Statistics indicate that an estimated 12.5% (30.8 million) of U.S. adults are smokers.
Cigarette smoking increases the risk of pancreatic, kidney, and bladder cancer. It also causes 87 per cent of lung cancer deaths. It is estimated that one in two cigarette smokers will eventually be killed by their habit. If you suffer from high blood pressure, cigarettes worsen your condition. Studies have shown that smoking causes six times more deaths than road traffic accidents, suicide, homicide, and HIV infection. In women, tobacco has a carcinogenic effect on the cervix apart from its ill effects on the mouth and the larynx.
Let’s get sensible – Let’s quit smoking habit
Giving up smoking is not easy. Nicotine craving is stronger than that of drugs or alcohol. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms can turn a person into a tearful aggressive neurotic.
To get rid of the habit, the concerned individual needs not only the support of drugs but also immense moral help from family members. Once you know how it takes a lot of determination.
Smokers who have kicked the habit reap the benefits of improved health. Their ability to taste and smell enhances remarkably. There is less strain on the heart and the confidence level improves. One thing is certain; ex-smokers can look forward to a healthier old age than those who continue to smoke.
Also Read: Hazards of passive smoking
It would just help to keep in mind that
Anti-depressant drugs, taken over a period of time, may help to get rid of this evil habit.
Nicotine patches provide only short-term solutions but lose their power in the long run.
Zyban, a new drug available in the UK, has been hailed as a breakthrough. It’s said to have motivated people to stop smoking. It’s the first non-nicotine treatment to work as a pill.
Smoking Cessation Methods
If you have ever tried to stop smoking, you know how difficult it can be. Most people make five to seven attempts before they are finally able to quit. There is no “right” way to quit smoking. Counselling, medications and other methods can provide support and help reduce the withdrawal symptoms.
Write down your reasons for quitting. Choose a date within the next two weeks to stop smoking. Ask your family and friends for support. Going “cold turkey” works well for some people. However, you may also want to try other smoking cessation methods in order to boost your chances of quitting this bad habit. Researchers have found that people who join support groups are more likely to quit for good. You should also consider herbal supplements, nicotine replacement therapy, or individual counselling.
Also Read: Exercise Helps Fight Depression
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
Nicotine replacement therapy involves the use of products that contain about one-half the amount of nicotine found in most cigarettes. This form of therapy reduces the craving to smoke. The most popular products used in nicotine replacement therapy include nicotine patches, nicotine gum nicotine inhalers, and nicotine sublingual tablets.
Electronic cigarettes contain nicotine in varying levels. They look and taste like real cigarettes, but without the tar, ash, and smell of a cigarette. All brands of electronic cigarettes consist of a nicotine cartridge, a battery, and an atomizer. Some manufacturers offer cartridges with no nicotine. These cigarettes deliver the experience of smoking without the side effects associated with tobacco smoke.
Increasingly more people are using acupuncture to quit smoking. This form of therapy reduces the jitters, cravings, and irritability associated with smoking cessation. Typical treatments last from five to 30 minutes. Acupuncture tends to transform the taste of tobacco into a bad experience. This therapy helps reduce the cravings of nicotine withdrawal and eases anxiety.
Quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things you will ever do. Physical activity can reduce the intensity of cravings and help you overcome stress. You can also try group behavioral therapy, one of the most effective intervention strategies for smoking cessation. Giving up this bad habit is probably the best thing you can do to improve your health and life expectancy.