What are the reasons to quit smoking?
Australia’s leading cause and effect of preventable death is smoking.
Tobacco smoke can contain more than 7,000 chemicals, many of which can cause cancer. Tobacco smoking can damage almost every organ of your body, and every cigarette can do you harm.
You will notice the changes in your body as soon you stop smoking.
It can be difficult to quit smoking. However, the health benefits and ability to save money are not the only reasons to stop. There are also other benefits that will benefit the ex-smoker and their friends.
Your body will experience dramatic changes once you have put out 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 will start to rise and your body’s level of carbon monoxide will begin to drop
5 Days — Most of the nicotine has left your system
1 Week – Your sense of taste, smell and touch 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 heart disease is about half as low if you quit smoking
5-years – you have lowered your chance of getting a stroke, developing mouth cancer, throat carcinoma or cancer of oesophagus.
In 10 years, your risk for lung cancer has declined to approximately half of what it would have been if a smoker had continued to smoke. Your chances of developing bladder and kidney cancer, as well as pancreatic cancer, have also declined.
Quitting smoking can benefit your friends and loved ones by decreasing their exposure. This is especially important for children who live at home with you.
Stopping smoking can help you save a lot of money. Quitting smoking can save you thousands of dollars every year if you smoke 20 cigarettes per day.
Other social benefits include the fact that smoking is prohibited in public places. This means that you can’t smoke outside, which often means that you have to step outside for conversations, meetings, or other 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. 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.
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.
A plan to manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms
Here’s a list of smoking triggers that you should be aware of and some tips on how to deal with them
You can transform your car and your home into a “smoke-free zone”.
Your method to quitting smoking
Which methods can I use to quit smoking?
There are many methods to quit smoking.
It is possible to increase your chances of quitting by changing your smoking habits. This could be:
Recognize and avoid situations that could trigger your desire to smoke
You can distract yourself by engaging in new activities
Finding support among family members and friends, or in a support group
Remember the benefits of quitting tobacco 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.
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 cutting back means gradually decreasing the number cigarettes you smoke per day, until you are completely quit. This is a good place to start, even if you are not ready to stop smoking.
Gradually reduce your smoking habits by increasing the number of cigarettes or time between cigarettes until you have reached your goal quit date.
Nicotine replacement therapy
NRT is a small dose of nicotine that can be administered in small amounts to reduce withdrawal symptoms. It does not contain the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. This can be a great help in your quest to 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. One example is a patch which delivers a slow steady amount of nicotine. The patch can be combined with NRT gums or sprays that give you a quick dose of nicotine to ease cravings.
Consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice on which methods are best for you.
Recommendations for quitting smoking
Other medications that do not contain nicotine are available upon prescription from your doctor. 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 might not be appropriate for everyone. Consult your doctor or pharmacist to determine if they would work for you.
Support and counseling by professionals
You can also get professional support and counseling to help you quit smoking. There are many options, so talk to your trusted healthcare professional for the best one.
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.
Alternatives to quitting smoking are electronic cigarettes and vaping
Alternative methods of quitting smoking include hypnotherapy, acupuncture, and acupuncture. Although there isn’t any evidence that these methods work well, some people find them useful in their quest to quit smoking.
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. It isn’t clear, however, if they can help long-term. They are not as effective as alternative methods like nicotine replacement therapy (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 withdrawal symptoms include dizziness, dryness of the throat, dry mouth, dry cough, nausea, irritability, depression, and a feeling that you are tense or irritable.
The first week is often the most difficult. You will feel better once your body has recovered from the addiction to smoking.
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.
What can I do to quit smoking?
Quitting smoking can be hard. It may take several attempts to stop. Keep in mind that you will improve your ability to quit smoking every time.
If you do relapse and re-inhale, that’s perfectly normal. People who smoke often attempt to quit multiple times before eventually succeeding. It takes practice and time to master any skill. It is important to persevere.
You can view slip-ups, relapses and failures as learning opportunities.
What caused you to make a mistake?
Are you in a similar position? What are your options for quitting?
What are your tips for managing withdrawal symptoms?
Do you follow the directions when taking prescription medication or NRT?
There will be times when you feel compelled to smoke. It is important that you identify your own smoking triggers. Make a list and then add them to your quit smoking plan. For more information on quitting, visit the Quit website.
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