Do you wonder why you've tried to stop smoking so many times and now you're back to where you started? The answer is simple: Nicotine is the main responsible for the dependence properties of tobacco.
Nicotine is an addictive drug that is found in tobacco. Over time, the body depends on it and produces unpleasant symptoms when trying to quit on its use.
Smoking causes an unpleasant breath, stains your teeth and hands, and alters your senses of smell and taste. However, the worst consequence of smoking is the overall damage it produces in your body. According to studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States (CDC), smoking reduces a person's life expectancy in about 13 to 14 years, due to the higher risk of heartdisease and cancer. Recover these years by eliminating, once and for all, this dangerous habit.
First of all, you must understand how quitting smoking will benefit your health. In just three weeks, your blood circulation will start to improve, and in the next nine months, you'll recover the normal function of your lungs. A year after quitting this harmful habit, you'll decrease your risk of heart disease by half. Ten years later, you will have significantly decreased your risk of developing cancer.
Thinking about quitting smoking probably makes you feel anxious; however, strategic planning will help you make this process easier. The CDC provides the following recommendations for people who want to quit smoking:
Join a support group: This will help you cope with the changes you'll be making in your life over the coming days. You'll understand the reasons why you smoke, while learning to manage stress.
Stay busy: Look for activities where smoking is not allowed. For example, watch a movie in the cinema, read a book at the library, or go to the theatre to watch your favorite play.
Keep your hands and mouth busy: Sugarless chewing gum and healthy snacks, like celery stalks or pickles, are effective choices. Avoid sweets and candies, since they can affect your weight.
Stay away from temptations: After each meal, brush your teeth and go outside to take a walk. If you used to smoke in the car, get yourself some relaxing music to help you put your mind on something else.
Learn how to manage stress: Quitting smoking may cause anxiety, so you must find healthy ways to relax. If you're home and need to smoke, take a bath or light an aromatic or incense candle. If you're away from home, take a few minutes to breathe deeply, relax, and keep your mind positive. With each day you don't smoke, your body recovers its normal functions and you're moving away from the risk of suffering the consequences of this hazardous habit.
Know the symptoms: According to the recommendations of the CDC, it is important to recognize the symptoms you might present during the first days after quitting, such as anxiety and increased hunger. Be sure to look for healthy ways to cope with these symptoms.
Consult your doctor about the available treatment options, and remember to focus on improving your health. If you don't succeed this time, don't lose your motivation and try again.
Quit Smoking: Online Guide to Quitting (2008). Centers for Disease Control. Retrieved on January, 2009 from: www.smokefree.gov/; Guide to Quitting Smoking (2009). American Cancer Society. Retrieved on January, 2009 from: www.cancer.org
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