Quit Smoking | Why and How?

If you smoke, ask yourself: What does smoking do to me? How can I quit smoking?

As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • 22.7 million (68%) adult smokers in the (U.S.) wanted to quit smoking in 2015. 
  • 62.5% of youth in the U.S. were seriously thinking of quitting smoking tobacco in 2021.

These stats indicate that even you can stop smoking. However, it is not easy, because smoking is not a habit; it is nicotine addiction.

Why Quit Smoking?

First of all, you will see a significant improvement in your physical performance. For example, one cannot walk/hike/run/swim as farther or faster while smoking regularly. 

Secondly, someone who smokes sets a poor example to the youth and harms others with secondhand smoke. Aiming to stop smoking to replace a negative influence on others with a positive one, are one of the most effective reasons to stop smoking.

Thirdly, the risk of developing lung disorders, heart diseases, and other health conditions will decrease. As a result, quitting will aid in extending life expectancy. 

In a 1993 study (with about 7700 participants), they found that there was an association between successfully quitting with:

  • Having personal concerns regarding the health effects of smoking
  • Wanting to set a good example for children.

These two factors seem better at building self-discipline or acquiring a purpose-driven approach to quitting. In contrast, failure to stop smoking came more hand-in-hand with

  • Concerns about the cost of smoking
  • the health effect of smoking on others
  • Pressure from friends and family to quit

In a 1997 study (with 1,137 participants), the researchers found that “Higher baseline levels of intrinsic relative to extrinsic motivation were associated with more advanced stages of readiness to quit smoking and successful smoking cessation at a 12-month follow-up.”

Here is another important research article: Smokers with airway obstruction are more likely to quit smoking.

There are several reasons to stop smoking:

  • It can help you avoid diseases like asthma, COPD, emphysema, lung cancer, throat cancer, pneumonia, etc. 
  • Your appearance will improve, such as by reduced teeth staining.
  • The dental plaque would not build up.
  • It will help solve bad breath problems.
  • Wrinkly and dry skin due to tobacco inhalation will be back in its natural state. 
  • You may feel the lost sense of smell and taste can also recover.
  • Pregnant women and their fetuses will see beneficial health outcomes.
  • You will observe improvement in reproductive and sexual health.
  • People with coronary heart disease will have a reduced risk of severe events such as heart attacks and strokes.
  • Frequent cough, stuffy nose, and night cough conditions will improve.
  • Exposure to secondhand cough in children (that causes ear and respiratory infections) will diminish.
  • Your friends, family, and colleagues will remain safe from unwanted and hazardous smoke.
  • The stinking smell from the smoker’s body and clothes will vanish.
  • You will save considerable sums of money.

On the whole general health problems due to smoking will eventually go away. 

Read: Assessing motivation to quit smoking in people with mental illness.

How to Quit Smoking?

Above all, you need to make your mind. Aim to quit and stay consistent. Do not let yourself out of track. Instead, motivate yourself each day or every time you feel like giving up.  

Have a look: Estimating the number of quit attempts it takes to quit smoking successfully in a longitudinal cohort of smokers

Let us discuss ways to stop smoking:

  • Have a firm reason to quit this bad habit.
  • Create and aim for long-term and short-term goals.
  • While creating the plan, take note of the things that crave you to smoke. 
  • If you smoke:
    • after drinking alcohol, try transitioning towards non-alcoholic drinks. 
    • due to stress, visit a therapist to aid you accordingly. 
    • after food, then switch towards healthier options.
  • Go for nicotine replacement therapy as you may have some withdrawal symptoms. 
  • Throw all cigars and cigarettes in the bin.
  • Ask your doctor to provide you with the medications that make smoking less satisfying.
  • Tell your family and friends about the plan so they can encourage you throughout the journey.
  • Go for alternative therapies like yoga, hypnosis, magnet therapy, supplements, etc.
  • Do not be harsh on yourself. 
  • Indulge yourself with some work when you start craving.
  • Surround yourself with people or things you love the most.
  • Spend time traveling and exploring new things.
  • Celebrate by the end of the day as a victory.
  • Think about your loved ones who rely on you. 

Do not forget to read: Helping Surgical Patients Quit Smoking: Why, When, and How: Anesthesia & Analgesia.

Conclusion

To conclude, we must say that quitting smoking is easy. All you need to have is willpower. Once you take a stand for yourself, it will pay you for your whole life. Of course, withdrawal symptoms can hurt but that is temporary. 

Question

Learn some interesting stats:

REFERENCE

  1. 10 Tips to Help You Quit Smoking 
  2. Steps to Manage Quit Day
  3. Benefits of Quitting | Smoking & Tobacco Use | CDC
  4. What to expect when you quit smoking 
  5. More than 100 reasons to quit tobacco 
  6. How to Quit Smoking | Quit Smoking | Tips From Former Smokers | CDC
  7. 13 Best Quit-Smoking Tips Ever 

Book:  Carr, Allen. 2011. Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking. 1st edition. New York, NY: Clarity Marketing.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/javeria-usmani/

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