There was a time when people could smoke anywhere and everywhere – almost in all public places. You could see cigarette ads all around. But today we are aware about the harmful effects of smoking. Smoking is banned in public places and cigarette companies are not permitted to advertise.
Millions of people across the world die due to tobacco consumption especially cigarettes every year. Out of this, India accounts for one-fifth. Despite being aware of the dangerous effects of smoking, the number of deaths is increasing.
What is the reason that still urges people to light up?
The answer is ADDICTION
People find it difficult to control the urge for smoking.
Why is it difficult to stop Smoking?
Let’s have a look at the reasons why people find it hard to quit tobacco smoking.
Tobacco belongs to the family of Solanaceae. Its leaves are dried and then used in cigarettes and cigars. Tobacco contains nicotine, the most powerful drug. It has the same effect on our brains as cocaine. It releases adrenaline which gives pleasure. This feeling of pleasure makes the person addicted to it and the body becomes used to it.
Everyone has his or her own reasons to start smoking. For some it is just a matter of attitude and style, they find it COOL. Others start smoking because their friends and family members smoke. According to the statistics, 9 out of 10 people start smoking before the age of 18 and it becomes an addiction. That’s the reason it is easier not to start SMOKING!
Dangerous effects of Smoking
You don’t have any reason to start smoking. Your body does not need nicotine as it needs food and water. Infact cigarettes contain so many poisonous chemicals that it can lead to death.
- Each time you smoke, the toxins travel from the cigarette into your blood. These toxins increase the blood pressure and the heart rate. They cause narrowing of arteries and makes your heart weak.
- Smokers are at a higher risk of having stomach cancer or ulcer. Smoking also destroys your liver.
- One of the most dangerous effects of nicotine on the body is the types of cancers that it can cause such as throat cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer.
- The poisonous chemicals present in the cigarette prevent the adequate flow of oxygen to the skin. This causes premature aging and wrinkles and thus makes our skin look dull and lifeless.
- Smoking increases the risk of osteoporosis. Your bones become weak and fragile. You must have across older people who become bent over – the reason is smoking.
- Smoking also has a great impact on reproduction and fertility and can affect sexual health.
For men, it causes impotency as it distorts the blood supply to the penis. It also reduces the sperm count and causes testicular cancer.
For women, it reduces fertility. Smoking during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or premature birth. It also affects the health of the child.
Long-term health troubles are not the only dangers of smoking. Nicotine and the other poisonous chemicals present in the cigarettes can affect your body rapidly.
- Bad skin
- Bad breath
- Yellow teeth
- Reduced athletic performance
- Greater risk of injury and slow healing time
- Increased risk of illness such as cold, flu and bronchitis
Ways to resist Smoking
Tobacco cravings can at times take over you when you are battling to quit smoking. Here are 10 ways that can help you resist the urge to smoke when the craving strikes:
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1. Distract yourself – Whenever you feel the urge to smoke just tell yourself to wait for a while. Distract yourself by doing something else. Call up your friend or involve yourself in work. This simple trick will definitely work and derail your craving.
2. Chew healthy snacks – Take a break from your work and eat something healthy such as salads or sandwiches when you feel like smoking. This way your mouth will be occupied and you will beat the nicotine craving and the urge to light up a cigarette.
3. Physical activity – Half an hour of physical activity such as walking or jogging can reduce your cravings. If you are stuck up in the office, walk up and down the stairs.
4. Listen to music – enjoy listening to your favorite songs whenever you feel the urge for smoking. Your desire to smoke will be overlooked.
5. Remind yourself of the effects of smoking – Whenever you feel that you are losing out on your power of resistance, remind yourself of the harmful effects of smoking. Think about the positive effects of quitting smoking.
6. Do some exercise and meditation – According to a research people who are under stress or depression are at a greater risk of falling into the trap of smoking. So meditation, yoga and some deep-breathing exercises can help in quitting.
7. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) – Consult your doctor about nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). The nicotine nasal spray andnicotine inhaler are available if prescribed by the doctors.
8. Avoid triggers – You crave for tobacco the most in the situations where you smoke it most often, such as parties or office lunch time or when you are driving or talking over the phone. Recognize your trigger situations and make a plan to avoid them.
9. Go for online help – There are many online programmes to help you quit smoking. Join them and get rid of your habit.
10. Think positive – Think positive that you can get away with this habit.
Quitting it may be harder in the beginning but don’t give up. You may find a few relapses but keep going on.
Staying smoke-free will make you feel energetic and a good performer. It will give you better looks and in the long run add more years to your life!
Stop Smoking and live Healthy!