Re-learning Life Without Cigarettes: A Guide to Quit Smoking
Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in this world. Every 5.8 seconds a current or former smoker dies, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report. Thus annually approx. 5.4 million deaths are caused by tobacco. An estimated 1.3 billion people are smokers all over the world, out of that 250 million are women. If current smoking trends continue, tobacco use will kill one billion people in 21st century. Daily approx. 3000 children start smoking. And 33 to 50 percent of them die prematurely because of this harmful habit.
A report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says more than 20% adults in the U.S.smoke cigarettes, and more than 80% of them light up a cigarette every day.
Smoking is harmful not only for smokers but also for those they live with them. Second hand smoke results in several diseases in children, which include, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infection, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) etc. Spouses of smokers are also affected even if he or she is a non smoker. They have increased chances of lung cancer, heart disease and many more smoking related ailments.
Research has established that women smokers are at higher risk of developing heart disease, stroke and cancer. As per WHO report smoking is a cause of 25 women’s cancer including breast, cervix, colon and lung cancer. And those on contraceptive pills, their risk are increased ten fold.
You should be well aware that cigarette smoke is one of the biggest sources of harmful and poisonous chemicals, which are making smokers ill, prone to several dreadful diseases and premature death.
Chemicals present in tobacco smoke and their harmful effect on body:
Tobacco smoke from cigarette contains more than four thousand eight hundred harmful chemicals. Sixty nine of those chemicals are known carcinogens. Some of the major chemicals present in cigarette smoke are as follows.
Acetone: A toxic chemical used as industrial solvent. Also used for nail enamel removal.
Acetic acid: A corrosive chemical, attacks skin. In dilute form used for making vinegar.
Ammonia: It is a toilet cleaner and is also used in fertilizer industry.
Arsenic: It is a potent poison and harmful for body.
Benzene: Benzene is a known carcinogenic chemical. It causes bone marrow failure and resultant leukemia. It is used as an industrial solvent.
Butane: It is inflammable liquid and causes euphoria, drowsiness and temporary memory loss. It is used in lighters and for making LPG
Cadmium: A highly toxic heavy metal is a cause of flu like symptoms. It is used in batteries and electroplating.
Carbon monoxide: It is a highly toxic gas When it is mixed with hemoglobin in blood, makes it ineffective in delivering oxygen to body organs.
D.D.T.: It is an insecticide and its production is banned all over the world due to its acute toxic and harmful effects on body.
Ethanol: Chemical name of alcohol is ethanol. It has harmful effect on central nervous system.
Formaldehyde: A harmful, carcinogenic chemical and is highly toxic for human body. It used as disinfectant and for preservation of biological specimens.
Hexamine: This harmful chemical is used for making brake and clutch lining and for fire proof material. .
Hydrogen cyanide: Deadly poisonous chemical. A hydrogen cyanide concentration of 300 mg/m3 in air will kill a human within about 10 minutes
Methane: Sewer gas. It is harmful and has obnoxious odor. It is the cause of asphyxia. It is used as industrial fuel as LNG.
Methanol: It is highly toxic industrial solvent. It can cause permanent blindness. Also used as rocket fuel.
Naphthalene: Used as moth balls. It destroys red blood cells.
Nicotine: Highly poisonous, dangerous and addicted drug and leads to several diseases. It is used as insecticide.
Stearic acid: It is a form of wax, used for making soaps, cosmetics and detergents..
Toluene: An industrial solvent, used in rubber and paint industry. It is toxic chemical and is harmful for body causing memory loss, hearing and color vision loss etc.
Vinyl chloride: A highly toxic and carcinogenic chemical. Its polymer form is PVC, a raw material for many industrial products including pipe and bottles.
Nicotine is main constituent of tobacco and constitutes about 0.6 to 3.0 percent of weight of tobacco. It is an alkaloid and is highly toxic chemical to the extent its two to three drops i.e. approx. 60 mg is sufficient to kill a healthy person. Nicotine is more deadly than rattle snake venom (requires 100 mg), arsenic (requires 200 mg) and cyanide, which requires 500 mg for killing a healthy person. By smoking one cigarette your intake of nicotine is approx. one mg.
From above details you will find all these chemicals present in cigarette smoke are harmful for human body. Because of its constituents, tobacco is considered one of the strongest cancer causing agents. Smoking increases risk of throat, mouth, lungs, pancreas, kidneys, bladder and cervix cancer. Smoking also has adverse effect on various parts of body including eyes, nose, heart, skin, blood etc. It is one of the major causes of different diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, heart burn, headaches, bad breath, bronchitis and shortness of breath, back pain, gum diseases, tooth decay, diabetes, emphysema, strokes, depression, snoring, thyroid, infertility, osteoporosis, diseases of bones and joints and many more diseases. Physical fitness and performance of a smoker is greatly affected.
Some other harmful effects of smoking are,
– It reduces life span of a smoker by seven to fifteen years. One cigarette shortens life by eleven minutes.
– Resting heart rate is increased by two to three beats.
– Shortness of breathe is also increased by almost three times as compared to non-smokers.
– Alcohol and other drugs intake is reported to be increased by smokers.
– Smoking has an adverse effect on sex life of smokers. In males impotency rate is increased by more than fifty percent and in females smoking damages ovaries and decreases production of hormones thus causing menstrual abnormalities, vaginal dryness, early menopause and inability to reach orgasm.
As mentioned above, nicotine present in tobacco is a deadly poisonous drug. It is also highly addictive drug and it is difficult to get rid of this habit of smoking and requires lot of efforts and preparations. Most of the smokers want to quit smoking but find it difficult to do so due to addictive effects of nicotine. But now it is no more a difficult task to quit as several new techniques are available and anyone can quit easily.
Preparations for quitting:
Before proceeding ahead, let me ask you a question,
Do you find anything good for you in tobacco smoke?
Anyone knowing all those facts about cigarette smoke will obviously say ‘No’.
Now you also know about harmful effects of smoking. Your mind would start thinking about quitting for the sake of your and your family members health. You have already experienced its addiction and possibly would have felt that quitting smoking is a difficult task. It is also possible; you might have thought of quitting on earlier occasions but couldn’t succeed.
Do you know millions of smokers try to quit smoking everyday, but only handful of them actually succeed? Most of them are able to quit in two, three or sometimes more efforts.
For the sake of your good health and more wealth in your life, it is advisable you must decide to quit now. Once you have decided to quit smoking, it is necessary for you to prepare yourself for the same. Quitting smoking is a long term exercise. You must have faith in your capabilities and your strong will power. And you must be mentally and emotionally ready to quit.
So now you have determined to quit smoking.
Here are few tips for preparing yourself for quitting smoking.
- At the outset, you must study pros and cons of smoking. Make an exhaustive list of compelling reasons which are favoring you quitting. Write about negative effects of smoking and also positive effects of quitting smoking. Write as much as you can. Read them everyday. First work in morning must be to read this list immediately after getting up. During day, read once every time immediately after taking breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lastly, read just before retiring in the bed at night.
- Gather more information on this subject from different ex-smokers, if you know them. You may also seek help at face book, twitter and other social networking and other websites.
- Set a quitting date. Write it down on several papers. And display them at different prominent places in your house and place of work, so that you always keep in mind final date of quitting.
- You can also meet your physician and seek professional advice on quitting.
- Seek help from your family members, friends, colleagues and others close to you. Inform them about your decision and your date of quitting smoking. Also inform them, during initial days your behavior may also be irritable and strange. They must bear with you during this period.
- Contact other persons who are in similar conditions and are in the process of quitting. You may help one another in the process of quitting smoking.
- You may also draw some inspirational cards on the benefits of quitting and display at prominent places in your home and place of work. Read them regularly.
- You must engage yourself in some constructive activity to develop distraction from smoking. You can go for a walk and do some exercise or yoga, rhythmic breathing exercise and meditation, solve a puzzle, read or write something of your choice, play musical instrument, sing or draw a painting etc. Do what suits you the most.
- You must plan to gradually reduce the number of cigarettes you are currently smoking. Write this plan and stick to it. Change brand every time you purchase cigarette. New brand must be lower in tar from the previous one.
- Try to make smoking a difficult exercise. For that, you may throw all your smoking aids including ash trays, lighters, cigarettes etc. And till the final date of quitting, purchase cigarettes either in small quantities or keep extra cigarettes with some of your family members who abhor your smoking habit. Borrow from him/her every time you wish to smoke.
- Repeat following affirmation several times a day. Start your day with repeating it in mind or spoken words immediately after getting up. Keep repeating the same during the day including after every meal. In the night, when you are in bed, your day should end by repeating the same in mind several times before you are gradually drifted to deep sleep. It is extremely necessary, while repeating affirmation feel those words emotionally and be one with them. Here is the affirmation.
“All hindrances are dissolved right now by direct action of God and I,——– (Your name) is quitting smoking now. I hereby take control of my habits and my inner guidance which leads me to take good care of my body and mind. I am thankful.”
Some useful tips on quitting smoking:
Once you have decided exact date of quitting and the day has arrived, quit on the same day at the predestined time.
Now that you have quit smoking, you must ensure to control your urge to smoke. You must firmly tell yourself, you will not smoke anymore for the rest of your life. Not even one cigarette.
Here are few tips for controlling your urge and sticking to your decision of quitting:
- Eat nutritious food. Take balanced diet. Increase fruits intake. Avoid being hungry.
- Take multi-vitamins for two to three months for replenishing depleted nutrients.
- Drink plenty of fruit juice and water. It helps excretion of nicotine from your body.
- Engage yourself in physical exercise or yoga. You can instead go on a long and brisk walk or for jogging. Else, you may go for swimming. Joining a gym is also a healthy option. Do whatever suits you.
- Do some pranayam i.e. rhythmic breathing exercise. Learn from experienced person. Otherwise, deep breathing also helps.
- Clean your teeth regularly. You can do it several times a day. Also increase frequency of bathing. Whenever there is a strong urge to smoke, go for a bath. Preferably take a long hot bath. You may also go for a massage before a bath.
- Keep yourself busy. Do some constructive activity, which suits you. It could be dancing, singing, painting, reading, or writing etc.
- Visualize you have quit smoking and you are enjoying your life to the fullest. Everyone meeting you is appreciating your efforts. You are getting healthier and happier after quitting.
- Repeat following affirmation several times a day in a similar way you were repeating other affirmation while quitting.
“By grace of God and under security of God’s love I have successfully quit smoking. I am smoke free and now live healthier, happier and wealthier life. I am thankful”
- Take adequate rest. Use relaxation techniques. Avoid stressful situations. Listen music.
- In restaurants and other such places, always go to non-smoking zone. Avoid company of other smokers. Stay away from alcohol, sugar and coffee and avoid fatty food.
- Drink green tea, mint tea or use peppermint candy. Chew gum or suck cinnamon sticks or use artificial or electronic cigarette in case of an urge for smoking.
- In case of strong urge, you can contact your doctor and take some remedial steps. He will recommend you stop smoking aids like nicotine nasal sprays, nicotine lozenges, nicotine inhaler, nicotine patches or nicotine gum.
This way you can help yourself refrain from smoking again. You must do it firmly and with determination keeping your will power strong.
After effects of quitting:
There is a famous quote, “Well began is half done.”
Now that you have successfully quit smoking and are learning to control your urge to smoke, so you are half way to success.
Firstly, you must resolve not to smoke again. Everyday immediately after waking up you should promise the self for not smoking today. And at night, before going to bed appreciate for fulfillment of your promise. Make your willpower strong to overcome smoking urges, if any. Apply all those tips given above. Refrain from smoking for whole day. In case of strong urge due to unfavorable situations, you must remind the self that smoking is not a solution to your problems. Continue repeating earlier mentioned affirmation several times a day.
This way you will be able to stay without smoking for a considerable time. In case, you are on some physical exercise for controlling urge, increase duration and level of your exercising regimen. Gradually your urge to smoke will diminish. Continuously take precautionary measures suggested earlier.
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms:
Nicotine withdrawal has its own effect on the body and its symptoms will stop, in about two to three weeks. Therefore during this period you will have to work hard to remain in positive frame of mind. Reject those negative thoughts which are inviting you to relapse. These days your body is learning to live without regular dose of nicotine.
After quitting, your first day will seem to be the worst day of your life. Your mind may refuse to be with you. At the time of craving those three to four minutes will seem to be hours to you. First day will more or less look like your one day of northern pole, which is almost 185 days. It may also feel as if someone has dropped a bomb on you.
Second day after quitting may slightly be better than the previous day but craving will haunt you. There will be gradual improvement in subsequent days. Most effects are felt during first seventy two hours. After these three days, when almost all nicotine present in the body is flushed out, your mind still has craving for smoking. It is mostly because of conditioning of your subconscious mind.
It takes almost two to three weeks for your body to come to normal state of physical, mental and emotional level.
Nicotine withdrawal syndrome includes headache, nausea, irritability, anxiety, restlessness, fatigue, tiredness, depression, lack of concentration, insomnia, cough, dry mouth, sore throat, constipation or diarrhea, sweating, gas, increased appetite and weight gain. And of course, there are nicotine cravings. Nearly everyone experiences the same. Number of cravings and their intensity varies in different persons. Some of them have almost negligible symptoms while others have experienced repeated various symptoms with greater intensity. You should not worry in case intensity of withdrawal symptoms is greater in you.
I have personally observed some persons enjoy the path of quitting smoking. They welcome craves and adversities associated with quitting. They have prepared their mind to adjust in those situations where there are various symptoms listed earlier.
In addition to physical withdrawal symptoms there are psychological withdrawal symptoms like depression, pressure of work or having a deadline to complete some work, financial crisis or confrontation with near and dear ones and many more. These are within your capability to control. You will have to be aware not being victim of negative thoughts.
Controlling nicotine withdrawal symptoms:
To control all those nicotine withdrawal symptoms, you must follow quitting tips. Beware of rationization thoughts and cigarette trigger situations. These may force you to smoke again. There are various situations like social gatherings where others are drinking or smoking. Other triggers are drinking coffee, siesta after meals or after having sexual intercourse. You must ensure to be aware of all such situations and keep your willpower strong. Do not allow feelings and urge to smoke to grow and overpower you.
Avoiding relapse of smoking habit:
You must ensure to continuously follow tips on quitting smoking rigorously after one or even two years from the date of quitting and leave no chance of relapse, which in some cases has been reported after two and more years.
Benefits of quitting smoking:
In return of quitting smoking you are getting several gifts in the form of odorless smile and fingers, ash-less surroundings, increased self confidence, more energy and pride, food having good taste, more money in your pockets, enhanced social acceptability and self respect and extra time for constructive work.
In addition to above benefits, your body systems start returning to normal. Within hours of quitting, your pulse rate slows down and blood pressure drops to normal. Level of carbon monoxide in your blood also drops enabling the blood to carry more oxygen. In addition, your skin temperature also starts increasing. Within forty eight hours, your nerve endings also begin to recover.
After three days, your lungs start to expand. In addition, breathing and sense of smell and taste starts improving.
After three months of quitting, your stamina and vigor will show signs of improvement. Immunity starts improving. Risk of heart attack attributed to smoking shall considerably decline after approx. one year. But it takes almost three years that chance of heart attack pertaining to smoking is virtually gone. You are now at par with non-smokers as far as risk of heart attack is concerned.
And it takes more than ten or even fifteen years after quitting smoking, the risk of developing lung cancer or other cancers will be almost the same as are for those they do not smoke.
But is extremely necessary for you to always remember not to smoke again either it is one cigarette or one puff. You have already said, “NO” to smoking.
You are a non-smoker now.
Congratulations and good wishes for your good health.
In case you have successfully quit smoking or you are already a non-smoker, ensure to help others quitting smoking by sharing this article and supporting.
Attitude of Gratitude: We are highly thankful to Admin, LetsBePositive for made available purposeful information which inspire us to re-produce the same again for all.