How To Quit Smoking

How To Quit Smoking
by Jennifer Elliot | June 28, 2012

Quit Smoking - For A Healthier You!

Resolving to stop smoking cigarettes is the first big step to quitting completely. Countless people worldwide decide to quit smoking daily and opt for a healthier, better quality of life. Did you know that your body starts to recuperate only hours after you quit smoking? The nicotine and additives in cigarettes cause the blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate to increase, and lung capacity to decrease. When the inflow of these harmful chemical substances is halted, all these bodily processes start to return to healthier levels. There are numerous ways to quit smoking. Different methods work for different people so opt for the one that you think that you will be able to stick to!

Why Should You Quit Smoking?

Smoking has been a part of our society for over 100 years; there are approximately 1.2 billion smokers in the world today! Smoking a cigarette may satisfy your nicotine craving, but smokers choose to ignore the fact that there are serious health implications of smoking. A smoker does not only put himself at risk but also exposes others around him to second hand smoke. Research reveals that a regular smoker would live 14 years less as compared to a normal person. Which brings us to the question, is smoking really worth the trouble? The simple and honest answer is no. There are many different health problems that are associated with smoking.  Here are a few health implications of smoking… Just a few…

  • Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. 90 percent of the lung cancer patients in the world are smokers.  
  • The nicotine present in a cigarette is addictive in nature and increases the level of bad cholesterol in the body.
  • Smoking also causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which is a collective medical condition which blocks the airflow and makes it difficult for an individual to breathe. 
  • Smoking causes blood pressure levels to increase which can be harmful for the cardiac health and also results in hypertension.
  • Smoking is harmful for the dental health of an individual.
  • Smoking increases the chances of infertility.

 Another fact is, smoking is not only harmful for the health but it also destroys a person financially, a regular smoker spends approximately $3500 annually on cigarettes. It is understandable that getting rid of an addiction is very difficult considering the addiction and psychological unrest that not smoking causes, but it is not impossible! Fitness Republic has always promoted healthy living; hence, we have come up with a few ways which can  help you quit smoking.

Different Ways to Quit Smoking

Deep Breathing

One of the most effective ways of forgetting about smoking is taking deep breaths. Whenever you have the urge to smoke, just close your eyes and take 3 deep breathes and slowly exhale. While exhaling, lower your chin and sink it over the chest. This simple activity would help release tension from the body. This activity is a yoga technique which aims at relaxing an individual and can be very effective when you are hit by a strong urge to smoke.

Cold Turkey

If the idea of stopping gradually does not appeal to you, you may want to take a drastic step and quit smoking altogether, all at once. In this method there is no use of external help such as aids, medicines or therapy. Even though it is one of the most widely preferred ways to quit smoking, only 10% of smokers succeed in their attempts to quit completely on their first try.

Behavioral Therapy

Some smokers opt for behavioral therapy, a technique in which they seek the help of a therapist. The therapist helps the individual identify his/her triggers (things that lead to a desire to smoke), outlines how to deal with the intense cravings to smoke and is there for emotional support.

Quit Smoking Programs and Support Groups

Another way to quit smoking is joining a support group or a quit smoking campaign, the aim is getting rid of the mental addiction of smoking. The members of support group can be very helpful; a normal session would talk about how and why a person should quit smoking. Group member motivate each other and appreciate them when they make progress. This method is a long term approach for quitting cigarettes, once the mental addiction is gone, getting rid of the physical addiction becomes very easy. Various hospitals and work centers have quit smoking programs. While searching for a support group or a program there are certain things that should be looked in to. Look for a session which goes for about 30 minutes, has 4 sessions and goes on for at least 2 weeks.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Nicotine replacement therapies work by providing your body with only nicotine and no tobacco. Nicotine gums, patches, lozenges, inhalers and sprays are all nicotine replacement therapies. This method works best when coupled with behavioral therapy and adequate support from family and friends.

Staying Away From Sugar, Coffee and Alcohol

Try and avoid sugar, alcohol and coffee. This is because all of these things stimulate the desire to smoke. Hence, instead of drinking coffee, try having a herbal tea which is a much better and healthier option. Don’t forget that not consuming sugar, alcohol and coffee for a whole week may be difficult, but the long term benefits outweigh the short term satisfaction. Attempt to drink a lot of water throughout the day, this will help flush out the nicotine from the body.

Fear Factor

As humans, nothing works better on us than fear. First make a list of disadvantages of smoking, how it harms your life and lives of others around you. Whenever you feel like smoking, read this list and think about your family, friends and others close to you. This will instill into you the disadvantages of smoking and will reduce your desire to smoke.

Productive Activities – Most People Smoke Out Of Boredom!

This may sound silly – but ask any smoker! They will tell that boredom almost always prompt them to light a cigarette.  Hence… Immerse yourself into a hobby! Many chain smokers have managed to quit by getting themselves busy in productive activities. Maybe you could exercise and hang out with your friends. Whenever you feel the slightest hint of boredom, opt for something fun instead of smoking. Talk to your friends, families and coworker about your feelings rather bottling up your feelings and suppressing anger by smoking.

Conclusion

Before you choose any one method, consult your doctor for a second opinion. Your doctor might suggest combination therapy which involves incorporating two treatment methods for greater chances of success. Trying to quit smoking alone makes the task even harder, so try quitting with another smoking buddy so that you have an added motivation and drive to stick to your treatment. Regardless of whichever one of the ways to quit smoking is decided upon, be well aware that the first few days will be the toughest. You must force yourself to resist your cravings and avoid your triggers. With a strong resolve, the right treatment, and the support of your family and friends, you will be able to quit smoking and live a happier, healthier life!

We only get to live once, do you think wasting your life on smoking rather than enjoying the good things in life is a good option? Every smoker can quit smoking all you need is the will power and motivation to quit. Life is a gift, do not waste it, cherish every moment. If you think you do not want to give up smoking, think about your family and your friends, even they are at harm because of your smoking! These simple steps can lead you to an improved and much healthier life.

About the Author - Jennifer Elliot

Jennifer Elliot takes her Nutrition (and yours) very seriously! She believes that the strongest weapon we have against all diseases, ailments and conditions is Nutrition. She also widely promotes the importance of exercise to maintain optimal health. Keep an eye out for Jennifer’s articles to remain updated on how to lead a nutritious life!

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