Simple way to quit smoking

Simple way to quit smoking

It's time to finally kick the habit!

Smoking, the leading cause of preventable deaths around the world. With direct causes of lung cancer and other cancers, coronary heart disease, and stroke it's not much of a surprise that smoking leads to upwards of 6 million deaths per year.

Second-hand smoking can affect your loved ones as well. For children, second-hand smoking can increase the chances of health issues, ranging from asthma and nasal irritation to lung cancer and sudden infant death syndrome.

Research also shows that non-smokers married to smokers have a 20% increased risk of lung cancer and heart disease. And when you dive into the ingredients of cigarettes, you can see why this dual-colored stick is so dangerous. When lit, over 7000 different chemicals are released, 69000 of which are linked directly to cancer and many  others considered poisonous such chemicals include acetone, commonly found in nail polish remover, arsenic generally used in rat poison, and other dangerous compounds such as carbon monoxide, lead and of course the addictive stimulant we're all familliar with, nicotine.

At a blazingly quick 10 seconds, nicotine reaches the brain and releases adrenaline, creating an addictive buzz of pleasure and energy. However, this buzz rather short lived worse yet, your body builds quite a quick tolerance to nicotine, inevitably requiring you to smoke more and more to reach the same buzz effects. And if you decide to suddenly stop, nicotine associated withdrawal symptoms kick in, such as irritability, anger, anxiety, restlessness and weight gain. With such a slew of health risks, it's very clear that if you're smoking regularly now, quitting the cigs is one of the healthiest things you can do!

So, how can you quit?


The first step is: to strike up a conversation with yourself, familly, friends or a healthcare provider. Ask yourself, why is it difficult for you to quit smoking? And why have you failed if you've tried before?
Many challenges to quitting are related to nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Identifying these symptoms will halp you better manage them. Understand that a bout of withdrawal last roughly 15 to 20 minutes, and will fade over time with the first week beig the worst. But of course, fighting the withdrawal symptoms is a battle itself.

One method is to keep your hands and mouth busy, doing something as simple as chewing gum while fiddling with a coin, or holding a straw and breathing through it, can serve as replacement strategies mimicking that of smoking cigarette.

You can also use other methods to relieve stress instead of smoking. Try deep breathing meditation practices or even some quick exercices such as jogging around the block or push-ups. Besides, smoking does not truly relieve any stress, instead, it just blocks stress for a short amount of time. Some people even found success in creating a list of tasks, such as a chores or running errands to keep them busy whenever the cravings hits and serving as a cognitive distraction. Managing smoking triggers, thing you tend to do in tandem with smoking is crucial as well.

If you smoke after watching TV, then try avoid reaching for the remote.

Pair a cigarette with alcohol or coffee? Either drink less alcohol or coffee, or try a different beverage, such as water or tea.

And before setting a quit date, try avoid smoking in places you go to often, such as you home and car. Less smoking here means less of that cigarette smell, and ultimately less desire for lighting a smoke. And don't ever forget the positive benefits of quiting, for you and your loved ones.

Remind yourself how bad you want to finally kick the bad habit by using words of commitment. Plus the constant rise of cigarette costs, imagine all the money you can save to treat yourself for your hard work and effort.

It's also okay if you're not successful the first time, or even maybe the second, or third. For many, it takes several attempts to finally quit. Be proud of how far you come and keep pushing to be that much closer to never picking up a cigarette again.

Also, be open to look for support from others. With only 3-6% of people being smoke-free for a year after going cold turkey with no help versus over 30% for people thet do seek help, it makes sense to talk to someone who can assist in smoking cessation. Ask your healthcare provider for strategies. Contact quit-lines and online chats for help  with creating a more personal plan, or to help when the withdrawals kick in.

You can even set up texts and apps that will encourage you to keep going and give you more tips to reach your goal.

If the withdrawals are still too much, nicotine replacement therapies, such as lozenges, nicotine gum, and patches can help you better manage these symptoms.

Although, some smokers worry that the addiction will remain while using nicotine replacements, studies show that this rarely occurs.

For those of you wondering, e-cigarettes, or vapes do eliminate many of the constituents of tobacco-attributed diseases of cigarettes, such as tar and carbon monoxide.
Although vaping is probably less harmful than smoking cigarettes, there are not enough studies to indicate that they are completely harmless.

And yes, there are medication treatments as well. Make sure to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider to see whether nicotine replacement therapies or other medication can work for you.

Now, let's not wait any longer and set that quit date. Put some more money back in your pockets. Take the lingering smell out of your clothes and your home. And most importantly, protect not only your own health, but also the health of the ones you love.

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