We all have our own addictions. Some of us calm our nerves with a hot steaming cup of coffee, some binge watch through hours on Netflix and some of us smoke packs of cigarettes. Are you one of the latter? Then we know you must be thinking of quitting. Every smoker struggles with the thought of quitting. But wait you are not a chain smoker. You just indulge in the dose of nicotine once or twice a day. Not too much right? Wrong. There is absolutely no amount of nicotine consumption which is not harmful. Yes, it might not show any effect on your body right now but years later you are going to regret not quitting at the right time. If you are also wondering how to quit this toxic habit like the others out there, then this article is just for you.
Does not matter the amount of intake, tobacco is hazardous for your body nonetheless. Some of the major health effects of smoking on the body are found to be:
Early menopause: When they tell you smoking is especially bad for females, they are right. Smoking can lead to early menopause which as we already know can be frustrating. It has also been known to increase hot flashes. Ever worse, smoking has actually been proven to contribute to causing infertility in women.
Lung Cancer: Smoking is a major cause of lung cancer in today’s world. You can eat right, sleep right, drink right and still fall victim to this deadly disease because of your nicotine addiction. See why every movie, show and advertisements are telling you to stop?
Vision Problems: Tobacco consumption can also be a reason for eyesight problems in future. Smoking can apparently trigger various vision impairments like cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration which can lead to complete blindness.
Bronchitis: Both active and passive smoking can lead to bronchitis along with respiratory problems like tuberculosis. So if you are not an active smoker but hang out with smokers on a regular basis, then you are exposed to many adverse effects as well.
Heart Diseases: It is no news that smoking exposes you to many heart conditions. Heart attack rates are especially high amongst smokers.
Cervical Cancer: Another cancer that smoking has been known to cause. Many female smokers have fallen prey to this deadly disease.
Diabetes: While smoking does not cause diabetes, it can certainly contribute to worsening it. Tobacco inhalation can lead to resistance in insulin production which is extremely hazardous in Type 2 diabetes.
Erectile Dysfunction: Smoking can actually cause constriction of blood vessels which can restrict adequate blood flow needed for erection.
While this is just a small list, there are many more health issues caused by nicotine addiction like high cholesterol, unhealthy teeth, Smoker’s Cough and a lot more which can be extremely harmful in the long run.
Your Quitting Plan:
- Set A Date: Give yourself a time of two to three weeks and set a date for the day you will stop smoking. This gives you time to prepare your body and mind for quitting. Don’t try to quit cold turkey or before the day you have decided. This will only increase your craving. Give your body time to adjust to the change. Set yourself a limit for every day. Keep lowering the number as you approach the quitting date.
- Prepare Yourself: Every addiction has its lows. Quitting smoking is going to have its effects as well. Withdrawal symptoms are going to be troublesome. Prepare yourself for it. Unlike many drugs, this discomfort will only be slight. Your will power is going to help you go through it. You think you need it more than your body actually does. Strengthen your mind for the craving and pangs. Every time you want to light a cigarette, think of how it’s not good for you and your loved ones who are constantly exposed to the smoke making them prone to its harmful effects.
- Give Up Substitutes: There are many nicotine substitutes available in the market that claim to help you quit smoking. Nasal sprays, inhalers, nicotine patches and e-cigarettes are some of the items you can buy over the counter. These are not going to help you get off the addiction. Instead they will keep feeding your body the nicotine you are trying to get rid of. Remember it’s all in your brain. Be strong and give up smoking slowly and gradually.
- Replace It: Manage a journal of craving time and your triggers. This way you will know how you can replace your cigarettes with something else that will distract you. As soon as you start craving, eat a fruit, chew sugar free gum, have herbal tea or munch on healthy snacks. This will help you get your mind off the need for a smoke while the snacks will give your body nourishment.
- Keep Yourself Hydrated: Hunger pangs are one of the most common symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Smoking suppresses your appetite so once you start quitting, you will experience a sudden rise in your appetite. To keep yourself off excessive eating and falling prey to eating disorders, drink more water. Water will not only keep you hydrated but fill you up killing some of the hunger you may be feeling. Drinking more water will mean the need to urinate more often. This is a good sign as urinating will help flush more and more toxins out of your body.
- Change Company: Many smokers are not chain smokers. They are usually social smokers. These type of smokers smoke in the company of other smokers. Are you one of those? Then change your company. Hang out more with people who do not harbor any such kind of addiction. If you have to be around smokers then change the pattern. Try not to be around them when they smoke. Instead meet up with them in non-smoking zones. If they offer to go out and smoke, politely decline. Even better, try to convince them to join you in your quitting plan. Surround yourself with supportive people who will help you curb the habit instead of entertaining it.
- Get Rid of Your Stash: Once you have decided to quit, give up all your hidden cigarettes. Every smoker keeps a pack here and there for ‘emergencies’. Don’t keep any cigarettes on you anywhere else. Remember you are not giving up something valuable, you are getting rid of a dangerous habit. Keeping stash means you are doubting your decision. This will only make it difficult to quit. “Just one cigarette” is how many are never able to quit it.
- The Last Cigarette: Have your last cigarette and bid goodbye to the habit of smoking. Remind yourself you are doing this for good. This is for you and your loved ones. Make a promise to yourself to not do it again. No matter how tempted you are or how deeply convincing your friend may sound when he offers you to take “just one puff”, lay off and walk away from it.
Quitting can prove to be really difficult because of your mental weakness instead of your physical need. Remember by quitting you are going one step closer to a healthier and better life. No matter how small amount of nicotine you take, it will have an effect on your quality of life later on. It’s better to stop now once and for all. Once you stop, you will notice the change in you. You will feel healthier inside out. So start now and enjoy your freedom from being a nicotine slave!