Friday, 20 February 2015
Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health and the health of those around you. Smoking is a risk factor for many health problems including heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Children who are exposed to cigarrete smoke in the home have more ear infections and are more prone to other health problems. When you quit smoking, it doesn’t take long for your body to start to heal and reduce your risk of health problems.
· Your risk of heart diseases goes down almost immediately and after 10 years is close to that of a non-smoker.
· Your lungs begin to heal and after 10-15 years, your risk of lung cancer is almost as low as that of a non-smoker.
· Decide how and when you will quit. About half of ex-smokers quit instantly, while the other half cut down gradually.
· Find out why you smoke. Do you smoke to pep yourself up? To relax? Do you like the ritual of smoking? Does smoking help you deal with anger or negative feelings? do you smoke out of habit, without realizing you are doing it?.
· Find a healthy alternative that accomplishes what smoking does for you. For example, if you like to have something to do with your hands, pick up something else. Things like coins, pen or pencil. If you like to have something in your mouth, substitute with sugarless chew gums or toothpicks.
· List your reasons for quitting. Is it for your own and your family’s health? to save money, to prevent wrinkles, or whatever. Keep reminding yourself of your goal.
· Plan a reward for yourself when you have stopped smoking. Take the money you saved from not buying cigarretes and spend them on yourself.
· Plan things to do when you have the urge to smoke. Urges don’t last long. Take a walk, brush your teeth or take a chew gum.
· Set a quit date and stick to it. Try to choose a time that will be busy but not stressful.
· Know what to expect. The worst will be over in just a few days, but physical withdrawal symptoms may last from one to three weeks. After that, it is more of a psychological thing.
· Remove all reminders of smoking from your environment. Do things that are incompatible with smoking like bicycling, or going to the movies.
· For the first few weeks, avoid situations and settings that you associate with smoking.
· Drink plenty of water to help flush the nicotine out of your system. Keep alcohol to the barest minimum or non at all.
· Keep low – calorie snacks handy for when the urge to munch comes.
· Get help and support. Ask an ex-smoker to help you.
· Think of yourself as an ex-smoker. Be positive.
· Be prepared for slip-ups. It often takes several tries to quit smoking permanently. If you fail, forgive yourself and learn from the experience. You will eventually make it as long as you keep trying.
It isn’t easy to stop smoking. No single method works for everyone. A healthy low-fat diet and regular exercise also helps. The health benefits of quitting smoking out-weights a few seeming inconveniences.