It is not easy to quit smoking; to suddenly throw something out of your life that has been an integral part for several years. This tiny roll of tobacco has comforted and accompanied you through good times and bad. It’s hard to lose such a companion. Unfortunately, this friend is toxic…always has been. You have to dump it for your own good.
Smoking is the leading cause of death globally. It is estimated that about one out of every five premature deaths in US are caused by smoking; of these 40 percent are due to cancer, 35 percent from heart disease and stroke, and 25 percent from lung disease.
Imagine a blast of blistering hot, poisonous air traveling down your esophagus, through your lungs, and eventually making its way through your delicate organs. Picture its path as it incinerates everything along the way.
Smoking damages nearly every vital organ, weakens the overall health of a person, and exposes you to nearly 4000 harmful chemicals. The destructive effects of smoking include:
• Cancer of nearly every kind: mouth, throat, esophagus, larynx, lungs, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, cervix, blood, and many others
• Heart disease
• Increased blood pressure
• Narrowing of arteries
• Lung disease
• Circulatory problems
• High LDL, or bad, cholesterol
• Peptic ulcer
• Bowel disease
• Tooth and gum decay
• Osteoporosis (weakening of bones)
• Sleeping problems
• Thyroid disease
• Eye problems
• In pregnant women: premature birth, low fetal weight, and an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
• Brings down blood pressure, pulse, and body temperature to normal level
• Amount of carbon-monoxide in your body decreases and oxygen increases
• Better circulation
• Reduced phlegm, coughing, and wheezing
• Improvement in lung function and breathing
• Nerve endings re-grow and the sense of taste and smell increases
• Reduced bad breath and yellowing of the teeth
Long Term Benefits of Quitting Smoking
• Reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke
• Quitting by age 30 reduces the risk of dying from a smoking related illness
• Chance of heart attack decreases
• Reduced risk of infection
• Improved short-term healing
• Avoid pregnancy related issues
• You have to want to quit, find the determination to stop smoking
• Set a target date to completely stop smoking and get help from your family, friends, and physician.
• Throw away all tobacco products and get rid of the products that remind you of smoking
• Write down the reasons why you want to quit, refer to this whenever the urge to smoke arises
• Try pinching or snapping a rubber-band around your wrist whenever you want to smoke, this is known as the aversion method
• Chew toothpicks, seeds, or gum
• Use nicotine gum or patches to gradually withdraw from the drug
Smoking is an addiction, and quitting comes with some unique hurdles especially for someone who smoked for several years. People who quit smoking become more anxious, irritable, depressed, or frustrated. They may have problems sleeping or concentrating. They may even develop cold-like symptoms including a dry throat, coughing, dizziness, and a headache.
Some smokers find that they put on weight while trying to quit. Smoking cigarettes actually burns a lot of calories, so when you quit your body will store unused calories as fat. Also, some people feel unusually hungry and eat more than usual while trying to quit.
Not everyone who quits gains weight. However, if you notice that you are putting on a few extra pounds here are some tips to slow your expanding waistline.
• Be physically active – you may need to start out slow, be sure to speak with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine
• Avoid escalators, instead take a deep breath with your renewed lung capacity and bound up the stairs
• Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables
• Do not drink too much alcohol, it is loaded with calories
The best way to quit smoking is to just stop – no ifs, ands, or butts. This is your first step to a healthier life. You’ll find that being smoke free will give you more – more energy, more money in your wallet, and, more importantly, the chance of a long and healthy life.