People smoke to achieve psychological comfort. Almost half a million Americans die of smoking each year, as it drastically increases the risk of heart diseases, strokes, high blood pressure, dementia, lung diseases, cancer, and other health disorders. The following are the ill-effects of smoking:
- It is one of the primary causes of impotence and infertility.
- Smokers, especially women, are at higher risk of osteoporosis and incontinence.
- People who smoke look older than their non-smoking counterparts, as their skin tends to get wrinkled faster.
- Smokers are vulnerable to periodontal and oral diseases.
Following are some of the ill-effects faced by passive smokers.
- Women who smoke during pregnancy increase the risk of their unborn baby for various mental disorders such as chronic depression, conduct disorder, substance abuse, low intellectual level, and attention-deficit disorders, etc.
- Smoking, both passive and active, has been found to be responsible for birth defects, miscarriage, still birth, and sudden infant death syndrome, etc.
- More than four million children and adults fall sick due to inhalation of cigarette smoke.
Make up your mind: There are various drugs and medications available to assist people who wish to quit this habit; however, they are of no use if not backed with a strong will and commitment. So, one of the first things you have to do is take a firm and final decision to get rid of this habit. As strong will-power will make all the difference in your life, without which the following tips will be of no use.
Begin Slowly: One of the main reasons why many quitters fail is that, they stop smoking suddenly, which results in quick and sudden relapse. To avoid this, start with reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke daily. Take a week or two for yourself, to come to one cigarette a day. By now, your dependence on smoking would have decreased and you will be more confident about leaving that one cigarette too. Then decide a date when you will give up this habit completely, and do so successfully.
Flush Out the Nicotine: Once you have quit this habit completely, get rid of all the nicotine content from your body. To flush the nicotine, drink plenty of water, or fruit and vegetable juices, for a couple of days. A whole day of a liquid diet can help you immensely. After that, start following a healthy diet which includes fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. Avoid eating junk food and foods high on sugars.
Get High Without Smoking: Nicotine in cigarette makes the smoker feel relaxed by increasing the dopamine activity in the brain. This results in increased pleasure of the smoker. There are various activities that can help you relax, and distract from the urge to smoke:
- Exercise regularly
- Go for a short walk or jog
- Go for a long drive or bike ride
- Listen to music
- Talk to friends, family members, and loved ones when you feel depressed
- Meditate to keep stress at bay
- Engage in your hobbies
- Treat and reward yourself with a movie, dinner, or a new book every time you succeed suppressing the urge to smoke
Try to Stay Away From Smoking: You must anticipate the situations and feelings that generally make you feel the urge to smoke, and try to avoid them. For example:
Avoid joining your friends who smoke, and who are most likely to force you to do so.
Substitute your smoke break with ‘water breaks’ or ‘juice breaks’.
Keep yourself busy in work or some or the other task, such as talking to friends, and walking, etc.
Give some exercise to your brain, by playing crosswords, puzzles, and riddles, etc.
Try to keep your hands busy, doing household chores, such as washing the car and gardening, or writing and painting, etc.
Keep hard candy or chewing gum handy, and chew on them when you feel the urge to smoke.
When it comes to going out, make sure to choose places where smoking is not allowed.
Try to socialize more with people who don’t smoke.
You may also join a support group where you can share your feeling and problems.
Think Positive: It is one of the most important things in the process of quitting smoking. Always think positively about your new resolution. Even if you fail once it does not mean that you’re a failure. So, do not be hard on yourself, just be confident and committed. You must stand by your decision, and you will succeed. If possible, also try to involve someone in your quitting plan so that he or she can motivate and inspire you to keep up with your commitment.
If you follow the aforementioned tips and steps, you probably might not need any medicated tools or therapies to quit smoking.