Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tips for Quitting Smoking

Most people are already aware of the dangers of smoking, including smokers. If you have decided to quit smoking and failed in your attempts, then here are some tips that can help you out:

1. Discover your motivation

Firstly, you need to have a good motivation for quitting smoking. Ask yourself why you want to quit the habit, apart from the very obvious reason that it is a bad habit. You need to have a more powerful and personal reason to get motivated enough to quit. It may be because you want to avoid your children and family from getting too much exposure to secondhand smoke. The thought of suffering from cancer and other serious diseases and conditions may also be a good source of motivation. Cigarette smoking for several years is known to make people feel older and cause wrinkles and age lines on the face, so stopping that and keeping your face ‘young’ may be another compelling reason to quit.

2. Do not stop smoking immediately

A lot of smokers quit smoking cold turkey, so it may be tempting to try it out. However, it should be noted that 95 percent of people who attempt to quit smoking without any help relapse within a few days, weeks, or months. The reason for this is that nicotine, which is an addictive chemical in cigarettes, makes it difficult. The brain begins to crave for it, and the withdrawal symptoms may not be good, especially for long-time chain smokers.

3. Nicotine replacement therapy

As mentioned above, the absence of nicotine when quitting smoking can be difficult to overcome. The withdrawal can make people feel irritable, restless, and depressed. The need to smoke ‘one last cigarette’ often overwhelms people and triggers a relapse. This is where nicotine replacement therapy comes into the picture. Nicotine patches, lozenges, and gum can increase your chances of successfully quitting smoking, but they should not be used while you are still smoking because it can fuel the addiction further.

4. Seek help from your doctor

If you are a long-time chain smoker, you make need to seek your doctor’s help to quit the habit. Ask your doctor about medicines that can reduce cravings by directly affecting the chemicals in the brain. Some medicines make smoking less appealing, which eventually makes the smoker quit all on his/her own. If your withdrawal symptoms are really bad, your doctor may also recommend medicines that reduce symptoms, such as concentration problems and depression.

5. Talk to your friends and family

Quitting smoking is often a very difficult experience, so it helps to have friends and family by your side through the ordeal. Share your feelings and thoughts with them, as their encouragement can help you a lot. If required, you could seek help from a professional counselor or join support groups. Behavioral therapy is another way of getting through the whole experience, and it helps you identify the best quitting strategies. In fact, both nicotine replacement and behavioral therapy can help most smokers effectively quit their habit once and for all.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Tobacco Smoking and the Youth

A few decades ago, it was reported that tobacco smoking can cause a wide range of cancers. The findings hold true even today. Tobacco causes more ailments than any other drug. The smoke emitted from tobacco comprises of a deadly cocktail of carcinogens. The nicotine found is cigarettes is addictive that makes it difficult for smokers to get rid of the habit. In fact, tobacco smoking is regarded as the major cause of preventable illness in the world. The biggest consumers of tobacco are youngsters, particularly those below eighteen years of age.

How does it begin?

It is often observed that tobacco smoking begins during adolescence. Considered as a status symbol or a way to relax, teenagers often get addicted to this habit by the time they enter their 20’s. Nicotine, which is a major component of tobacco is an addictive drug and is the reason for thousands of deaths every year. Studies reveal that use of cigarettes by 13-15 year old children often gets cultivated into an addiction later on in their life when is very difficult to quit. Tobacco smoking is not only harmful for the smoker but also has an adverse impact on others who inhale the smoke.

Chemicals in tobacco

Tobacco is a lethal cocktail of more than 7000 different chemicals. Some of the major chemicals are listed below:

  • Carbon Monoxide: Present in vehicular exhaust fumes.  
  • Tar: Bi-product released during carbonization of coal.
  • Ammonia: Usually found is cleaning agents. 
  • Arsenic: Main ingredient of rat poison.

The aforementioned chemicals will help in giving a clear idea as to what a person consumes while puffing.

Is there a safe method of smoking?

Those who are under an impression that there are techniques of safe smoking are wrong. Tobacco is harmful and addictive. Even if a person decides to quit smoking, there are chances that the drug will make him crave for more. Some people try smoking fewer cigarettes as a method to curb the addiction. However, research has proven that smoking even one cigarette in a day can cause a great deal of damage to the body and lead to respiratory ailments and even cancer in some cases.

Menthol cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, smokeless cigarettes and natural cigarettes contain tobacco along with several other chemicals. These chemicals also referred to as carcinogens (cancer causing agents) damage the voice glands, esophagus, mouth and the throat of an individual. In addition, a drug called nicotine present in tobacco is addictive just like cocaine and heroin which makes smokers want more of it.

Smokers want to quit but cannot

Research shows that most smokers have tried quitting but unfortunately failed to do so, thanks to the nicotine addiction that makes them crave for more. Tobacco consumers are aware of the health issues caused by tobacco smoking but are so addicted to the drug that they cannot get rid.

Prevention is always better than cure

The best thing one can do is stay away from tobacco smoking and advice the same to their peers. Remember, passive smoking is as harmful as active smoking. It is also important to avoid all forms of tobacco consumption irrespective of how appealing they seem.