Smoking - An Addiction
One billion people in the world are smokers. Although smoking is getting unpopular in some parts, overall number of smokers is on the rise. We all realise it is important to quit the habit, but it is difficult to let it go. It is one of the most addictive and dangerous things to consume.
How Smoking Affects You
It isn’t just about emphysema and other chronic lung diseases, smoking affects you in more ways than you think.
It can cause cancer in any of the following organs in your body:
- Trachea, Bronchus, Lungs
Other than that it can act as a catalyst to diabetes, blood pressure, hip fractures, erectile dysfunction, Rheumatoid Arthritis, degradation of the immune system.
Enough scary talk. Now, let’s have a look at the ways you can quit the killer stick.
How to Quit Smoking
There are various ways in which you can try to nip the bud. If you’ve ever tried to quit smoking, you will know that it’s not easy. As we have established, Nicotine is a powerful addiction. For some people, it is as addictive as Heroin or Cocaine. Here are some ways you can quit the habit.
- Cold Turkey
- Cut down regularly to quit
- Quit one day at a time
- Nicotine replacement Therapies
- Prescription Medicines
- Bupropion hydrochloride
Behavioral Counselling and other medications also help.
4 Keys for Quitting
- Set a quit date
- Clear your environment – get rid of all Cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car or anywhere else. Don’t let people smoke around you. Stay away from smokers as you might want to smoke as well.
- Review your past attempts to quit. Evaluate what worked and what didn’t.
- Once you quit, do not smoke. Not even a drag.
- Tell your family, friends and relatives that you have quit. Ask for their support and encouragement. It really helps.
- Talk to your Health care provider. Get guidance as to how to deal with nicotine cravings.
- Going for Counselling also helps. It can motivate you and give you a direction to quit.
Learn New Skills and Behaviors
- Try to distract yourself from cravings. Learn a new instrument, indulge in a hobby. Take a walk or a drive.
- Reduce stress by reading a good book or watching a good movie.
- Get Medication and use it correctly. (Ask your health care provider)
- Plan something enjoyable to do everyday
- Relapses usually occur within 3 months of quitting. Don’t get disheartened if you start smoking again. Remember that most people try several times before they finally quit.
- Avoid Alcohol. It can reduce stress but will also reduce your chances of success.
- Don’t hang around other smokers. It might make you want to smoke again.
- We do know that without one most essential element, you cannot quit smoking, and that is a strong will. First and foremost, you have to really want to quit the habit that has made you so dependent on it, that you can’t go to the toilet without lighting one.
- Nicotine products in the market help, but make sure you quit them as well after they help you get rid of the oral fixation of holding a cigarette in your hand. Nicotine withdrawal also comes with its fair share of side effects.
Withdrawl Symptoms of Nicotine
When you quit smoking you may experience some nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Your body may temporarily go through some physical and emotional changes. Think of them as signs that your body is recovering from smoking. Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal include:
- Constipation or Diarrhoea
- Fatigue, Drowsiness and Insomnia
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Depressed Mood
- Increased hunger and calorie intake
- Increased desire for the taste of sweets
- Tobacco Cravings
Quitting isn’t easy. But with enough determination and the right support, it is possible. So this World No Tobacco Day, Let’s take the fight to tobacco and finally be proud of saying, “I quit smoking.” All the best!
You may consult a Pulmonologist at HCL Healthcare to help you quit smoking with various procedures like smoking cessation, etc.