Smoking is a bad habit which besides bad breath, yellow teeth and smelly fingers can cause you many serious health problems.
If nothing else has convinced you to quit smoking until now, then maybe these facts will. Out of 1.1 billion smokers in the world, 50% are killed by the tobacco. According to CDC reports 90% of lung cancer deaths in men and women are caused by smoking.
By smoking cigarettes you inhale over 7,000 harmful ingredients. Carbon monoxide (which displaces oxygen on hemoglobin in the red blood cells, thus causing lack of oxygen in the blood), arsenic, butane and little glass particles (which increase the delivery of nicotine).
What’s Happening to Your Body If You Are A Smoker?
It doesn’t matter whether you are an active or a passive smoker, lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are among the most dangerous things which could happen to your body.
Heart diseases, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, bronchitis, high blood pressure, asthma, heart attacks are many more scary diseases which you should have in mind if you are hesitating whether you should quit smoking.
The higher the amount of nicotine level in your blood the higher the level of cortisol (known as the stress hormone) which in long term compromises your immune system. Smoking also leads to:
- hormone imbalance
- problems with the blood sugar
- gastrointestinal problems
- sleeping disorders or insomnia
What Happens When You Stop Smoking?
Nicotine is very addictive because when it enters our blood system, produces feelings of happiness by releasing dopamine (the reward and pleasure hormone). After a few minutes of the withdrawal period you’ll feel a strong urge to light up a cigarette. As far as you go into the withdrawal period the more irritable and nervous you’ll be.
There are some claims which have shown that heroin and cocaine addictions are not as strong as nicotine addiction. No matter the reason why you’ve taken up this nasty habit, there are many psychological reasons why quitting is so hard.
Of course, the most ideal situation would be if you could stop smoking just by the snap of the fingers. However that’s not as easy as it sounds. But don’t lose hope, it can happen.
There are many ways to give up smoking for good. And as mentioned above, quitting is a process and will certainly take a lot of time for many people but at the end it will be worth it.
Here are 8 useful methods which will help you during the process of withdrawal.
Hypnotherapy is a state of subconscious change in a person. A person who is under hypnosis will follow an outer source and connect smoking with some nasty stimuli like worsened health, dry mouth, bad breath etc, and make them believe that the urge for a cigarette will disappear. According to some studies, hypnotherapy will speed up the process of giving up smoking but it won’t contribute to a long term quitting.
There are many therapeutic effects of acupuncture which yet have to be researched, but acupuncture has been proven effective in giving up smoking. Since acupuncture is a method of using thin needles, placing the needles at points which affect the lungs, airways and mouth will diminish the wish for the tobacco taste thus reduce the craving for a cigarette. Weekly visits to your acupuncturist will show results after a month.
Magnesium is helpful in decreasing the nicotine addiction by opposing NMDA receptors which cause releasing of dopamine. After taking in magnesium a person’s satisfaction from smoking will be lowered. Magnesium will be most fast absorbed if it’s used as a powder. You can use it by NaturalCalm or in Epsom salt bath.
If you are out of a nicotine gum whenever you feel like smoking, slice a piece of lime, suck on it and then chew the skin. The results will be almost as good as chewing 2 or 4 mg of nicotine gum. Limes are also packed with vitamin C and antioxidants.
Regular exercise will help you fight the desire for a cigarette. Even five minutes of intensive exercise will be enough in the process of withdrawal.
- Olfactory training
In an experiment, conducted on smokers who were exposed to the smell of smoke of cigarettes and the smell of rotting fish or eggs while they were in the non-REM stage of sleeping for a period of one week, was shown that many smokers smoked less during the week.
- Nicotine patch
The nicotine patch is another long lasting solution for those who want to give up smoking. For even better results combine the nicotine patch with bupropion and varenicline or other drugs which target nicotine addiction.
According to a study smokers who used a patch with 44-mg per patch had more short term positive effects but in a period of 4 weeks they had more negative effects than those who used a 22-mg dose patch over the same period. Anyway it is best to determine the dose of the patch depending on the individual, how much and how often does the person smoke.
The self- will has been proven as the most effective method in giving up smoking. You must believe that you are stronger than any craving and be victorious at the end of the withdrawal period.
1.Action on Smoking & Health. Tobacco Statistics & Facts. http://ash.org/resources/
2. American Cancer Society (ACS). 2015. Why people start smoking and why it’s hard to stop. https://www.cancer.org/
3. Arzi, A., Holtzman, Y., Samnon, P., Eshel, N., Harel, E., & Sobel. N (2014). Olfactory Aversive conditioning during sleep reduces cigarette-smoking behavior. Journal of Neuroscience. 34(46):15382-15393. http://www.jneurosci.org/
4. Bier, I.D., Wilson, J., Studt, P., & Shakleton, M. (2002). Auricular acupuncture, education, and smoking cessation: A randomized, sham-controlled trial. American Journal of Public Health. 92(10):1642-1647. https://www.researchgate.net/
5. Brewer, J.A., et al. (2011). Mindfulness training for smoking cessation: results from a randomized controlled trial. Drug Alcohol Dependency. 119(1-2):72-80. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/