Why should I quit smoking altogether?
Australia’s leading cause and effect of preventable death is smoking.
Tobacco smoke is high in more than 7,000 chemicals that can cause cancer. The effects of smoking on the body are almost all-encompassing. Every cigarette that you smoke is a threat to your health.
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.
You will notice dramatic changes in your body once you quit smoking. Your lung function will improve as soon as you quit smoking.
20 minutes — Your resting pulse rate starts to fall (this indicates your overall fitness level).
12 hours — Your blood oxygen levels start improving and your body starts to produce less carbon monoxide.
5 days – Most of the nicotine has been eliminated from your body
1 week — Your sense of smell and taste improves
You will experience a decrease in your chance of heart attack, better circulation, easier exercise management, and better lung function.
You are less short of breath and have a lower cough for between 1 and 9 months
1 year — Your risk for heart disease has dropped to approximately half of what it would be if your continued smoking.
You have a lower risk of developing stroke, mouth cancer, throat cancer, or cancer of the oesophagus if you wait 5 years.
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.
You can help your family and friends quit smoking by reducing their exposure to passive smoking and second-hand smoke. This is especially true if you have children at home.
Quitting smoking could save you lots of money. Quitting smoking can save you thousands of dollars every year if you smoke 20 cigarettes per day.
There are many other social benefits. For example, smoking is illegal in many public places. Also, going outside to have a cigarette can mean that you get out of your house during meetings, conversations and activities. It’s not necessary to stop smoking.
What can I do to quit smoking?
Each person will experience a different path to quitting smoking. Some may find it simple, others might find it difficult. The good news? There are many avenues to quitting smoking, as well as plenty of resources that can help you.
It is important to have a personal “quit plan” that you can refer too whenever you need. Your quit plan can include:
a quit date
These are the reasons you want quit.
You can make a plan for dealing with withdrawal symptoms and cravings
Here’s a list of smoking triggers that you should be aware of and some tips on how to deal with them
A plan to make your car and home smoke-free
Your method to quitting smoking
How can I quit 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
Try new things to distract yourself
Find support from family and friends or join a support group
Remind yourself about the many benefits of quitting smoking
Stop smoking “cold turkey”
Stopping smoking suddenly and without outside support is called going ‘cold Turkey’. This requires mental strength and willpower to deal with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Although it is common, this method is not as effective as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and other quitting medications.
Gradually reduce to quit
Gradually cutting back means gradually decreasing the number cigarettes you smoke per day, until you are completely quit. If you aren’t ready to quit smoking, it is a great way to get started.
You can slowly reduce smoking by increasing your time between cigarettes or how many cigarettes you smoke per day until you reach your desired quit date.
Nicotine replacement therapy, (NRT),
NRT uses small, precise doses to provide nicotine relief without the side effects of cigarettes. This will help you quit smoking.
You can buy NRT at pharmacies and supermarkets. It comes in patches, gum, oral and nasal sprays, as well as lozenges, tablets, and inhalers.
Mixing 2 forms of NRT together can be more effective in stopping you from smoking. You can try a patch that delivers a steady, slow dose of nicotine. Or you could use an NRT spray or gum that provides a quick, rapid release of nicotine to satisfy sudden cravings.
Discuss your options with your doctor and pharmacist to learn more about the best methods for you.
Recommendations for quitting smoking
Other medications that do not contain nicotine are available upon prescription from your doctor. They act by activating the nicotine receptors within your brain. These medicines can help you manage withdrawal symptoms by making it less pleasurable.
These medicines may not be suitable for everyone. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether they might be right for you.
Support and counseling by professionals
Counselling and professional support can be helpful in helping you quit 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 free counselling and an internet chat service. It is available in all 50 states and territories.
Alternative ways to quit smoking are electronic cigarettes or vaping
People may try hypnotherapy or acupuncture to quit smoking. While there is no evidence to support these methods, some people find them useful when they are trying to quit.
Only Australians can purchase electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or vaping. It is illegal to sell nicotine e-cigarettes or liquid nicotine without a prescription from a doctor.
Some evidence suggests that e-cigarettes can be effective in helping people quit smoking for short-term. 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). The heated vapour contains many harmful substances. However, because they are new products, it is not known what long-term effects will be.
What will it feel like to quit smoking?
Nicotine withdrawal can occur after you quit smoking. It can last for a few days or weeks. You may feel irritable, depressed, tense, irritable, or irritable, and you might also experience nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, dry throat, and nasal drip.
The first week can be the most difficult. You will feel better once your body has recovered from the addiction to smoking.
Although withdrawal can be difficult, there are some benefits to quitting smoking. For example, you may not cough as much and find it easier to exercise.
What can I do to quit smoking?
It can be difficult to quit smoking. It is possible to quit smoking by trying again and again.
If you do relapse and re-inhale, that’s perfectly normal. People who smoke often attempt to quit multiple times before eventually succeeding. Like any other skill, it takes time and practice before you master it. Keep trying.
Consider slip-ups and relapses as learning experiences. Ask yourself these questions:
What caused you to make a mistake?
Are you in a similar position? What are your options for quitting?
What can you do to manage your withdrawal symptoms
Are you following the instructions when you take prescription or NRT medications?
You will have to overcome cravings and triggers as you work towards quitting smoking. To be ready for your next smoking episode, it is crucial to identify your triggers. You can find more helpful tips at the Quit website.
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