What are the reasons to quit smoking?
Australia’s leading cause and effect of preventable death is smoking.
Tobacco smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals. Many of these chemicals can cause cancer. Every cigarette you smoke can cause damage to almost every organ in your body.
You will notice the changes in your body as soon you stop smoking.
While quitting smoking can be hard, there are many other reasons to quit. These include the financial savings and the health benefits.
The body experiences dramatic changes when you light up a cigarette. The moment you stop smoking your lung function will start to improve.
20 minutes — Your resting heart rate begins to drop (this is an indicator of your overall fitness).
12 hours — Your blood oxygen levels start improving and your body starts to produce less carbon monoxide.
5 Days — Most of the nicotine has left your system
1 week — Your sense of smell and taste improves
You can expect to be free from heart attack within 2-12 weeks. Your circulation will improve, your exercise is easier and more efficient.
1 to 9 Months — You have less difficulty breathing and a less severe cough.
1 year — Your risk of developing heart disease has fallen to half the level if you continued to smoke
5-years – you have lowered your chance of getting a stroke, developing mouth cancer, throat carcinoma or cancer of oesophagus.
Ten years later, your risk of lung cancer has dropped to less than half the rate if your smoked. However, your chances of developing bladder cancer and kidney cancer have also declined.
Quitting smoking can benefit your friends and loved ones by decreasing their exposure. This is especially true if you have children at home.
You can save a lot by quitting smoking. Quitting smoking can save you thousands of dollars every year if you smoke 20 cigarettes per day.
There are also social benefits. Smoking is banned in many public places. Going outside to smoke often means you’re able to engage in conversations, meetings, and other outdoor activities. It’s not necessary to stop smoking.
What are the best ways to quit smoking?
Every person has a different experience before quitting smoking. It may be easy for some people, while others find it difficult. The good news? There are many avenues to quitting smoking, as well as plenty of resources that can help you.
Be sure to create a quit plan so you are always ready for anything. Your quit plan can include:
a quit date
The reasons you want to give up
Plan to overcome cravings and withdrawal symptoms
A list of your smoking triggers and how to manage them
A plan to make your car and home smoke-free
Your method to quitting smoking
Are there any ways to stop smoking?
There are many methods to quit smoking.
Changes in your lifestyle and habits can increase your chances of quitting smoking. This could be:
Recognize and avoid situations that could trigger your desire to smoke
You can distract yourself by engaging in new activities
Find support from family and friends or join a support group
Remember the benefits of quitting tobacco smoking
Stop smoking ‘cold turkey’
Going ‘cold turkey’ is a method of quitting smoking abruptly, without support.
This is a popular method of quitting, but it is not as effective and safe as using nicotine replacement therapy or any other quit medication.
Gradually, reduce your efforts to quit
Gradually quitting means gradually reducing the amount of cigarettes you smoke each day until you quit smoking. This is a good place to start, even if you are not ready to stop smoking.
To gradually reduce your smoking, you can increase the amount of cigarettes and the time between them until you achieve your quit date.
Nicotine replacement therapy
NRT uses small, precise doses to provide nicotine relief without the side effects of cigarettes. This can assist you in quitting smoking.
NRT can be purchased at some supermarkets and pharmacies. You will find it in the form of patches, gums, nasal and oral sprays as well as in the form of lozenges, tablets and lozenges.
Combining two different types of NRT can often be more effective at helping you quit smoking. A patch can give you a steady and slow amount of nicotine. An NRT gum or spray will quickly deliver a rapid dose to help with cravings.
Discuss your options with your doctor and pharmacist to learn more about the best methods for you.
Recommendations for quitting smoking
You can get prescriptions for other medications that don’t contain nicotine. These medications work by blocking nicotine receptors in the brain. They can be used to help with withdrawal symptoms and make smoking less fun.
These medicines may not be suitable for everyone. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether they might be right for you.
Expert support and counselling
Support and counselling may be available to assist you in quitting smoking. There are many services that can be provided, so make sure to speak with your trusted healthcare professional.
Psychological interventions could include cognitive behaviour therapy and mindfulness. Quitline offers counselling and chat services online and is available in all US and Territories.
Alternatives to quitting smoking are electronic cigarettes and vaping
Many people look into alternative ways to quit smoking such as hypnotherapy and acupuncture. While there is no evidence to support these methods, some people find them useful when they are trying to quit.
E-cigarettes (also known as vaping or e-cigarettes), can only be bought in Australia as nicotine-free items. Illegal to sell nicotine ecigarettes and liquid nicotine products without a doctor’s permission.
Evidence is not conclusive that ecigarettes are effective at helping people quit smoking. But, it is not clear if they are effective in the long-term. It’s not known if they work as well as other nicotine replacement therapies (NRT). There have been many toxic substances found in heated vapour. Because these products are relatively new, long-term effects from exposure to e-cigarettes vapour are unknown.
How will I feel if I stop smoking?
Nicotine withdrawal can occur after you quit smoking. It can last for a few days or weeks. Some common withdrawal symptoms include feeling anxious, irritable and depressed, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gas and constipation, difficulty falling asleep, coughing, dry throat and mouth and dizziness.
Sometimes the hardest week is the first. However, your body will begin to heal from the addiction to smoking and you will feel better.
Even though withdrawal can be uncomfortable, there are many benefits to quitting smoking. You may be able cough less, be more active, have less nausea, your senses of taste and smell will return, and you’ll be able save more money.
How can I stop smoking?
Quitting smoking can be hard. It may take several attempts to stop. It is possible to quit smoking by trying again and again.
If you do relapse and re-inhale, that’s perfectly normal. Many people who smoke will try many times to stop before they finally succeed. As with any skill, it takes practice and patience to perfect. Keep trying.
Try to see slip-ups and relapses in a learning process.
What caused you slip-up?
What are some quit strategies you can use next time you’re in the same situation?
What can you do to manage your withdrawal symptoms
Are you using prescription drugs or NRT as prescribed?
There will be triggers and cravings for smoking as part of your journey to quitting. To be ready for your next smoking episode, it is crucial to identify your triggers. More tips and tricks to help you quit smoking can be found at the Quit website.
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