Many people start their new year with many wishes and resolutions which are very often related to quitting some unhealthy or bad habits. One of those habits is smoking; many people are unable giving it up even after multiple attempts to quit. The answer to the question how to quit smoking is unambiguous - you need to decide to do it and be a 100% sure of your actions.
Quitting smoking is a hot topic and both expert and lay public pay great attention to it. Campaigns, sometimes even highly suggestive, occur to inform us about risks related to smoking; there are sessions with children and adolescents at schools tackling this topic, and cigarette packs are adorned with scary and warning inscriptions about what smoking does to people. According to statistics from 2009, there are 2,071 cigarettes per inhabitant of the Czech Republic (i.e. including infants), which means that if everyone smoked, they would smoke almost 6 cigarettes a day!
Why Is Smoking Harmful?
At present, everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health. We do not have to go into great details describing what health consequences of this bad habit are. Almost everyone must have heard about link between smoking and lung cancer by now. Not only the respiratory system and its organs are in danger, but smoking is bad for the entire body, from heart and blood vessels to eyes, limbs, and teeth or correct functioning of the hormonal system (which may have deep influence on chances to conceive a baby in women). The infertility issue in strong and long-term smokers is a frequent topic of scientific research and expert discussions that yielded conclusions that smoking is a huge risk factor in male reproduction and it mainly concerns negative impact on sperm quality.
The main chemical substance found in all tobacco products is nicotine. That is the substances smokers get addicted to and that makes it difficult to quit smoking.
Nicotine gets into the brain through the bloodstream as the smoker inhales cigarette smoke; in the brain, nicotine stimulates nicotinic receptors. Effects on the body are stimulating at first, and later turn to sedative effects.
Some people get addicted faster than others. At the beginning, it is mostly the psychological habit which gradually gets accompanied by physical addiction, since regular smoking stimulates formation of nicotinic receptors that respond to the lack of this alkaloid by triggering the abstinence syndrome. It is stated that the strongest stage of this syndrome lasts approx. 3 weeks after quitting smoking. Addiction is easily recognizable; the addicted person manifests at least three of the following general symptoms:
- increasing number of cigarettes smoked
- problems with dose control
- abstinence symptoms during non-smoking periods
- buying cigarettes is part of the daily routine now
- the individual becomes nervous in non-smoking places
- the addict prefers smoking to other activities
Smoking During Pregnancy Is Twice as Harmful
Imagine that all the aforementioned information also concern the fetus developing in a smoker's body, it is clear that smoking during pregnancy is completely unacceptable. However, the addiction prevails over will and reason and so this problem is tackled in physicians' offices more often than we imagine.
All this despite the fact that smoking may have tragic consequences for the future mother and especially her baby. Pregnant smokers double their child's propensity to sever asthma. Nicotine and carbon monoxide entering the pregnant smoker's body gets directly to the fetus through placenta. The fetus then gets limited access to nutrients and oxygen from the placenta; two most important things the baby needs to develop properly. That is why smoking during pregnancy is considered conscious harm to the unborn child's health.
Quitting Smoking - First Steps
Smoking is physical and psychological addiction to nicotine, so it is not easy at all to kick this habit. If a person decides to do so, gets motivated and realises that their life without smoking is going to be improved, they have taken the first step. Many former smokers also state that it helped them to think about occasions they chose to smoke. Then they were beware of the risk situations and replace smoking with another, healthier activity.
Someone quits cold turkey; other people form a plan of daily reduction of cigarette doses. There is no universal set of instruction; quitting smoking is a very individual and personal process; it stems from the willpower and personality of the smoker. However, it always has to be based on firm conviction. If you find yourself lost, seek expert help and methods that support quitting smoking. Read on to learn more about these options.
Quitting Smoking - Options
In today's time of extensive anti-smoking campaigns, quitting smoking is supported by a wide range of options to use. Some methods are more effective than others; there are fairly very alternative ways to quit smoking
- Bioresonance therapy
The bioresonance smoking unweaning method is built on the principles physics and biophysics. Everything is based on the notion that each substance, cell and particle in the body has a certain electromagnetic radiation frequency. If a toxin gets into the body, in this case nicotine, this radiation and mutual actions of cells get disrupted. The goal of bioresonance is to remove these aberrations and fix them into their "healthy" form; thus, the body will be able to negate the influence of foreign substances, e.g. nicotine. That means that the bioresonance method aims at elimination of undesirable signals from the cells - abstinence symptoms - to such an extent that the desire to have a cigarette gets suppressed entirely. During the procedure, waves of frequency opposite to the nicotine frequency are aimed at the body. Bioresonance uses a special device and an input electrode that is placed on the smoker's body. Naturally, the entire process is entirely painless.
- Electronic Cigarette
Another option is an electronic cigarette that has been sparkling many discussions, theories and speculations over the recent years. In any case, an electronic cigarette is a certain compromise. A sophisticated technology of the electronic cigarette allows you to smoke for a longer time, but in a less harmful form. The smoke comes out of it because liquid with nicotine gets evaporated; i.e. there is no tobacco burning it in, no tar and other harmful substances... that makes quite a difference. The shape and size of electronic cigarettes are identical (there is a red LED light on the top that acts as the light effect when actually smoking a cigarette); the insides conceal battery, atomiser and cartridge. You may choose cartridges with various flavours and various nicotine content; this allows you to keep adjusting the amount of nicotine until you get to zero. There are even variants with no nicotine available; they help in case you have successfully kicked your physical addiction, but not the psychological one. Electronic cigarette is the healthiest helper, but it is not a direct method of quitting smoking.
- Nicotine Patches, Chewing Gums, Inhalers
There are nicotine replacement therapies for sale in pharmacies and specialized stores. Whether it be pills or chewing gum, they contain therapeutically pure nicotine and thus they help mitigate abstinence symptoms when quitting smoking. Similarly to the electronic cigarette, this option is merely helping the smoker to cope with the desire to light a cigarette.
If you go see a doctor to tell you how to quit smoking, you take an addiction questionnaire; its results may point to the medical method that will most probably work for you. Certified substances to support quitting smoking contain active substance varenicline (champix) which prevents nicotine from stimulating its receptors in the brain. Varenicline stimulates these receptors to reduce the desire for cigarettes.
- Hypnosis, Acupuncture
Last on our list, there are methods of quitting smoking built on psyche as such. Hypnosis and acupuncture are alternative methods that many experts question. It is necessary to realise that either of the aforementioned options does not guarantee you will quit smoking 100%. However, if you are keen on non-traditional healing methods the principles of which stem from the perception of man as a whole, try this programme with a certified specialist. The results may take you by surprise. But never forget that without effort and determination, quitting smoking will never be possible.
How To Avoid Starting Smoking Again?
Even though initial success may come right away, it is important to stay determined you will not let smoking opportunities get to you.
Do not rely on "one cigarette with a cup of coffee" doesn't mean anything. After a time, you may find yourself in the same position you were in when you decided to stop smoking. Burn all bridges; get rid of all things related to smoking or that remind you of smoking. Even details help a lot. Did you used to sit in a blue chair on your terrace while smoking? Replace the chair with another colour. Remove all rituals, objects or situations you associate with the moments of lighting a cigarette. Write how much better you feel without cigarettes, what positive changes quitting smoking brought into your life and when you feel down, remind yourself of these things.
Quitting smoking is not easy; it is much better advice never to start smoking. However, do not lose hope; many people have successfully quit smoking before you, so why should you fail? Your determination is the strongest weapon, so do not forget it at the moments you need it the most. There are many possibilities to apply; choose the one that suits you best, or make a combination of several of them. Do not let failure be an option. Quitting smoking is a long run, but with each step you successfully take, you will feel better than with a cigarette in your hand.