Health is wealth. This is one of the most common quotes but how many of us really consider it and take it seriously? Not many. We continue going on with unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking and ruining not just our own health but also that of others around us. Smoking is a compulsive habit which has innumerable negative affects and can also lead to cancer. It is a serious health hazard that contributes to millions of death yearly all over the world. Facts show that it increases the risk of angina, stroke, high blood pressure, emphysema, thrombosis, asthma and many more. Quitting smoking can help you get your life back and avoid various types of cancers including lung cancer, throat cancer and mouth cancer etc.
Why is it so hard to Quit Smoking?
It is a fact that tobacco smoke comprises of about 4000 different types of chemicals which can be divided into three main categories: carbon monoxide, tars or hydrocarbons and nicotine. It is nicotine in cigarettes that keeps smokers hooked. It leads the brain to release dopamine which is a feel good hormone. Even if a person tries to quit smoking, withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, depression and poor concentration etc hit and make it difficult to quit. Smoking again immediately extinguishes these signs and hence there is a common perception that smoking reduces anxiety whereas the truth is that it is nicotine withdrawal leading to the anxiety in the first place.
Best Ways to Quit Smoking:
According to Minami, Tran & McCarthy (2015) for most smokers in the world, there are various kinds of triggers which give them a craving for a smoke. These triggers can be a result of stress, situations of emotional overwhelming etc. Infact a lot of people are triggered if they see someone else smoking or doing a similar activity. At any given point when a person decides to stop smoking, the triggers increase and this results in an increased craving. Thus in order to be able to quit, one must work towards ensuring that these triggers never come up. For example, avoid going to areas where one is likely to find a lot of smokers and so on. This calls for setting up a detailed plan which will help to totally avoid the triggers. One should be given something to keep them occupied and thus avoid being pulled back into the dangerous habit.
The best way to quit smoking involves a combination of the following:
- Firstly, the right attitude or approach towards quitting. One has to believe that they can stop smoking and have the will power to do so.
- Secondly, a willingness to stop smoking. This may sound too simplistic but it is a fact that those who are not themselves willing to stop may not be able to easily. Thus a smoker must want to quit smoking himself rather than being forced into leaving it against his will.
- Yes, if a smoker has the support of others in helping him in quitting smoking, then the process can be made very easy. He must have the support and guidance of someone who motivates, scolds and rewards.
- Behavior modification. To be able to quit smoking, one must modify and change certain types of behavior settings in order to avoid the triggers. This also involves building a healthier lifestyle altogether.
- It is a fact that there are many over the counter and other types of medications available to help smokers quit. These products are aimed to assist with nicotine withdrawal.
- Stop having cigarettes within your reach. It is a fact that if you have cigarettes handy with you, you will be drawn into smoking. So make sure you keep cigarettes out of reach always.
- Someone who is trying to quit smoking must distract himself whenever he feels an urge to smoke. The distraction can be in the form of getting busy, taking a walk, having a glass of water, having something to eat and so on.
Smoking is injurious to health and causes cancer. If you are a smoker, then there is no perfect time to quit. The time is now.