The process of giving up smoking is one which is widely thought of as being hugely difficult. For many trying to give up smoking, it can be a hard and long process, and sometimes easier said than done. Around 20 per cent of the population of Great Britain are smokers. Whilst this is less than half of what it was just under forty years ago (the figure was 45 per cent in 1974) today’s 20 per cent statistic means that one in five UK residents are still smokers.
As is well-known and well-reported, smoking regularly can have a hugely damaging effect on a person’s health. According to the NHS, smoking causes around 90 per cent of lung cancers, causes damage to a person’s heart and blood circulation, and increases the risk of a number of other forms of cancer.
These are just some of the many potential serious health risks. However, despite the dangers, people are still avoiding giving up. Here, we take a look at some of the reasons why:
People know it is going to be hard, which puts them off straight away
Many people will know someone else who has gone through the process of trying to give up smoking – be it successfully, or unsuccessfully. Some people may have even been through it themselves, and so can speak firsthand about the trials and tribulations that come with it.
The fact is, however, that it is never likely to be easy. Because it can be a difficult thing to achieve, just knowing this can put many smokers off trying straight away, even before they have begun.
Weight gain can sometimes be a side effect of quitting smoking
Not everyone is aware that giving up smoking can cause a person to put on weight, but it is a regular side-effect, and is one which certainly puts some people off. When a person smokes, the nicotine speeds up their metabolism, meaning that calories are burned at a faster rate.
Nicotine also suppresses a person’s appetite, affecting the part of the brain responsible for making someone feel hungry. Some people substitute cigarettes for the high that comfort food can offer. However, the health risks of smoking are much, much greater than those associated with temporary weight gain.
People are scared about trying to deal with the side effects of giving up
The withdrawal symptoms and cravings that a person experiences when they are trying to give up smoking are well-known. After a person has developed an addiction to nicotine, and then stops having it, the lack of nicotine can produce a variety of withdrawal symptoms, including; headaches, nausea, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, a fall in blood pressure or heart rate, anxiety, depression, cravings and increased appetite. However, these side effects are temporary, and a lot less harmful than the serious health conditions associated with regular smoking.
People are not aware of the support and help that is on offer to them if they want to use it
In today’s society, there is a wide range of support on offer for someone looking to quit smoking, be it from the different products available on the market, or professional support and advice.
People should not be afraid to ask for help when they need it, as that could prove to be the difference between successfully giving up and continuing to risk major health issues by continuing to smoke.