No More Butts! Strategies for Quitting Smoking
Appreciation to you on your decision to quit smoking, as this might be your first step towards a healthy life. Every smoker knows that smoking is injurious to health and may lead to a risky life, but they are so addicted that they find it difficult to quit at once. It is not easy to suddenly throw something out of your life that has been such an integral part. This tiny roll of tobacco has comforted and accompanied you through stress, sadness and loneliness. Nobody wants to give up such a companion. But you need to, for your own good.
Smoking is the leading cause of death globally. It stands first as a causative factor for many fatal diseases. It is estimated that about 438, 000 premature deaths in US is caused by smoking, of these 40% are due to cancer, 35% from heart disease and stroke, and lung disease contributes 25%. Another supporting survey states that smoking causes death of every 1 out of 5 individuals.
Unhealthy effects of smoking
You can imagine the effects of sending a steam of hot toxic air into your lungs passing through your mouth, oesophagus all other delicate organs. It slowly burns the path it travels. Smoking nearly harms every vital organ and on the whole, weakens the health of a person and is the leading cause of premature death. While smoking you almost expose yourself to 4000 harmful chemicals. The list of harmful effects of smoking goes on, few are:
- One of the fatal side-effects of smoking is cancer. It causes cancer in mouth, throat, oesophagus, larynx, lungs, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, cervix, blood and many others.
- Heart disease
- Increases blood pressure
- Narrowing of arteries
- Break down of lung tissue
- Circulatory problems
- Accumulation of cholesterol
- Peptic ulcer
- Bowel disease
- Tooth and gum decay
- Osteoporosis (weakening of bones)
- Increased risk of hip fracture
- Sleeping problem
- Thyroid disease
- Eye problem
- In pregnant women smoking causes premature birth, low fetal weight or fetal death.
Immediate benefits of quitting smoke
Quitting smoking does a lot good to your body like
- Brings down the blood pressure, pulse and body temperature to normal level
- Amount of carbon-monoxide decreases and oxygen increases
- Better increased circulation
- Reduced phlegm, cough and wheeze
- Drastic change in lung function and reduces infection
- Nerve endings re-grow and the sense of taste and smell increases
- By-products of nicotine are reduced
- Breathing improves with increase in lung capacity
- Improved lung function with re-growth of cilia (hairy structure)
- Reduced bad breath and yellowing of the teeth
Long term benefits of quitting smoke
The long term benefits of smoking are
- Reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke
- Quitting by 30 years of age reduces the risk of dying with smoking related illness
- Chance of heart attack decreases
- Improved healing
- Avoid pregnancy related issues
Tips to quit smoking
The decision to quit smoking is welcomed but it will work only if you are determined. Few expert tips to quit are:
- Determination and strong feeling is very important than the other tips listed below.
- Set a target date and a plan, and get rid of all tobacco products. Get help from your family, friends and physician.
- Throw away all the products that remind you of smoking again.
- Write down the reason why you should quit and why you want to quit smoking. Refer this whenever the urge to smoking arises.
- Aversion method involves punishing yourself whenever you want to smoke, by pinching, biting or snapping a rubber-band around your wrist.
- Whenever you want to smoke just pacify yourself and substitute cigarettes with toothpicks, chew seeds, gum or an unlit cigar.
- Replace cigarettes by nicotine gums or patches and gradually withdraw the presence of drug.
- There are many other quit smoking gadgets like electronic smoker, inhaler, and detox bath.
- Use tapering down method. It involves gradually reducing the amount of nicotine.
Challenges associated with quitting smoking
Quitting smoking all of a sudden will for sure have some hurdles atleast to those people who have been smoking for a long time.
- People who quit smoking become more anxious, anger, irritable, depressed, frustrated and restless.
- Sleeping and concentrating problems
- Dry throat
- Constant hunger
- Feeling bored and lonely
- Gaining weight
- Being around other smokers
- Dizziness with head-ache
- Coughing, mouth sores
Concern about your looks:
There is lot more than you think you can do to be healthy. Importantly, quitting smoking is in itself a great step towards health. Your concern about your looks is fine, as it is a known fact that quitting smoking is welcomed by weight gain. But relax and march towards ‘No Smoking zone’ with full determination and later, focus on your health by following healthy habits.
Weight gain facts
Not everyone who quits smoking gains weight. Few among them who do, gain only about 10 pounds, only about 10% of people gain large weight of around 30 pounds.
Reasons to gain weight
After quitting smoking weight gain might be due to
- Hunger: Initially after quitting smoking, the person might feel hungry frequently and eat more than usual. This might fade away after few days.
- Alcohol: Person might shift towards alcohol to muddle through the non-smoking life ahead.
- Burn less calories: Smoking burns lots of calories but after quitting smoking your body might start burning less calories.
Tips to avoid weight gain
Gaining weight after quitting smoking is normal but you can always have control of your health by following few healthy tips like
- If you notice that you are gaining weight after quitting, feel proud that you are marching towards better health.
- Being physically active will help you avoid weigh gains. Initially start with mild activities than increase the duration of your activity.
- Never lead a sedentary life, walk whenever you are at leisure. Joining yoga or dance might be a great stress busting physical activity.
- Say NO to lifts and walk up the stairs.
- Limit yourself to fat-free diet, low sugar snacks and fresh fruits and juices. Do not consume too much of alcohol.
- Use nicotine medications or patches or pills, gums, nasal spray that substitutes your quench for nicotine.
- Consult your health care provider about quitting smoking and ways to avoid weigh gain.
Kick the Butt!
The best way to quit smoking is to just STOP, no ifs, ands or butts. This is your first step to a healthier life. Once you quit you may be surprised to see many wonderful things around you as enjoyable as smoking. Go just unwrap it! Relapsing occurs in smoking but only when your sight is away from your goal so it’s more important to be determined. Being smoke free will give you a whole lot of everything – more energy, better performance, good looks, more money in your wallet, and importantly long healthier life.
DECIDE TO QUIT TODAY AND BE HEALTHIER TOMORROW.