Easier said than done. It’s time to say no more.
Stopping smoking is easy, right?
One day you are smoking a pack of 20 and halfway on your second last cigarette you tear it apart and that’s it. You’re done… I wish it was that easy. More like stop and go for a few months, weeks or even years until the next big problem or emergency in life makes you resort to a few puffs to relieve the pressure. You always wanted to stop or maybe you never wanted to stop as you just enjoy smoking so much while drinking your cold beer, but smoking is bad for you and tobacco contains over 4,000 harmful chemicals in it including tar and nicotine. While you are young that might not be such an issue, but with the progression of time, your bad habit will start ringing some alarms in regards to your health.
Smoking has so many negative aspects in terms of health, socio and economic aspects, that it is just shocking how do people even pick up this terrible habit. Although once you pick it up and the addiction kicks in, it’s very hard to let go as the few puffs of happiness every day keep you going through the rainy days and turbulence of life. On the infographic below, we can see the enormous impact that smoking has on such a large portion of the population on the planet.
There are so many negative aspects of smoking that I will not have enough space to describe them here, but here are some of the worst ones:
- One of the worst effects of smoking is the increased risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer. Stopping smoking is the single most important step a smoker can take to protect the health of their heart.
- Smoking increases the risk of erectile dysfunction and infertility in men and early menopause and complications with pregnancy and new-borns for women.
- Once you stop smoking your appearance will improve your skin, eyes, teeth, and hair get healthier. In addition, your senses are going to refresh as your taste and sense of smell come back to a normal level.
- An interesting aspect is the amount of time you are going to save when you stop smoking. As smoking can take about 10 minutes to smoke a cigarette, so a ten-a-day smoker can save nearly two hours a day when they quit. Over the course of a year, that’s 20 days of lost time!
- If you are young and don’t care about the health repercussions of smoking, surely you will consider the economic costs of keeping up with this habit. Looking at the table below, if you smoke a pack a day at $5 you will be looking at $1,825.00 saved each year. Imagine all the things you could do and get with that cash – a holiday, a new laptop, pay off your debt, etc.
We have seen the negative sides of smoking and the improvements that can come in our lives once we stop smoking, although how do you do it exactly? There are many different ways to help you stop smoking. No matter what way do you try to stop smoking, it will require a lot of determination and willpower as nicotine is highly addictive and you really need to put in the work.
- Cutting gradually would be one of the most sensitive and easy ways to quit while you slowly build up your determination and clearly define all the reasons why are you doing it. You might consider the transition to smoking E-cigarettes or vaping until you stop. In general, the e-cigarettes have a far less adverse effect on your health, but this does not deem them safe and risks of scarring your lungs called popcorn lungs may occur.
- You can always resort to medication and your health system to help you quit the habit of smoking. There are a number of different ways to help you in this challenge. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) provides you with a low level of nicotine without the tar, carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals which reduces unpleasant withdrawal effects, bad moods and cravings. This therapy is available in the form of skin patches, chewing gums, inhalators, tablets, oral strips and sprays. Although there are some negative side effects that may occur from these therapies such as skin irritation, upset stomach, headaches and dizziness.
- Varenicline (Champix) – this is a prescription only tablet that reduces the cravings for nicotine and blocks the rewarding and reinforcing effects of smoking, but has similar side effects to the NRT.
- Bupropion (Zyban) – another prescription drug usually used to treat depression with unclear ways of working on the brain has shown that it can help you stop smoking. Although there are negative side effects such as headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, among others.
Considering all the side effects, costs and the fact that the medication is not 100% guaranteed to help you, going cold turkey and stopping immediately through the use of your willpower might be the best way to do it. Remember it’s never too late to quit as smoking can seriously harm you and others around you. If you are worried that once you stop smoking you will gain weight, remember that this is not such a big risk as continuing smoking.
You have to show to yourself who is in control and by taking small steps or one giant leap you could change your life.