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It is well known that smoking is dangerous to health. Tobacco contains many hazardous substances such as acetone, tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide. When they are inhaled, they not only affect your lungs, but your entire body. Tobacco damages almost every organ in the body that causes many diseases and affects the health of smokers.
Harmful effects of smoking
- Smoking affects the respiratory system, causing emphysema, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer.
- There are effects on the heart and blood vessels such as increased blood pressure, blood vessel weakness, blood clots, increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
- It affects the digestive system with an increased risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx and esophagus.
- Smoking increases the risk of other diseases such as diabetes, pneumonia, tuberculosis, osteoporosis, cataracts.
- Smoking affects the reproductive system. It reduces sexual performance in men and makes it difficult for the woman to become pregnant. It also increases the chances of miscarriage and birth defects in the unborn baby.
- It increases the cholesterol and the unhealthy fats that circulate in the blood, which leads to their accumulation on the walls of the blood vessels.
- Smoking weakens the immune system, causes muscle degeneration, thinning of the bone tissue and loss of bone density.
It is always a good time to quit smoking. Cessation of smoking is a very important step in improving the quality of life and longevity of smokers. Although it is difficult to quit smoking, it is definitely possible.
Below we describe different ways to quit smoking.
1. Nicotine replacement therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy comes in the form of nicotine resin, patch and inhaler.
Nicotine Inhaler: The nicotine inhaler is in the form of a cigarette. Contains a nicotine cartridge. When inhaled, nicotine vapors are absorbed in your mouth and throat. Nicotine is not absorbed in the lungs, unlike the cigarette. As a result, you are not getting the same nicotine hit as with smoking. A nicotine inhaler may be of benefit to you if you have problems dropping out of smoking habits, such as pulling a cigarette out of the pack, lighting, putting in your mouth and inhaling.
Nicotine patch: The nicotine patch is in the form of an oversized adhesive bandage. The outer part sticks to your skin and the inner part is pressed and slowly releases nicotine into the skin. Many patches are sold in different sizes containing different strengths of nicotine. It is important to choose the correct strength and size of the patch to quit smoking. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to get help with choosing the right patch strength.
Nicotine resin: The gums contain nicotine and feel like chewing gum. When chewing gum, nicotine releases slowly into your mouth. Cigarette smoking passes nicotine immediately into the blood through the lining of the lungs and reaches the brain within a few seconds. Nicotine in the tire takes a few minutes to get to the brain. This leads to less rapid "shocks" with gums than a cigarette. The gum also supplies much less nicotine in the body than the cigarette.
2. Prescription drugs
Many medicines can help you quit smoking. Medicines are taken to reduce the desire for nicotine. Your doctor may help you choose which medicine or combination of medicines to help you best quit smoking.
Varenicline (Champix) is a medicine that decreases the desire to smoke nicotine and blocks the effect of nicotine if you smoke while you are taking it, which makes smoking less pleasant. Available with prescription. Another drug is Bupropion (Zyban), which also reduces the desire for nicotine. These drugs are easy to use and double the chances of quitting smoking.
3. External assistance
In Canada, the Smoking Website is a free, confidential, smoker service. They offer exercises, tips and tools to help you quit smoking and have an online support group to share your experiences.
In the United States, the SmokeFree site has access to free information and resources. You can also call the NCI quitline at 1-877-44U-QUIT for individual counseling.
4. Changing habits
I drink water: It is good to drink water with crushed ice to help quickly rinse the nicotine and other chemicals from your body. It also helps to satisfy the oral desire for a while. Try using straw of the same diameter as the cigarette.
Deep breathing: Deep breathing is another useful advice. Take a deep breathing instead of a broken cigarette. Try to delay the lighting of your first cigarette for an hour. After the first, if you want to smoke again, try to delay by 15 minutes or half an hour. In this way, you will control when not to say yourself.
Repeat: Every night, before you go to bed, give yourself five reasons to quit smoking.
Eating habbits: Try changing your eating habits to reduce smoking. Drinking milk is a good way because it is considered incompatible with smoking. Finish your meals or breakfast with something that will not let you have a cigarette.
Spend time in areas where smoking is prohibited: During the first few days of giving up, try spending as much time as possible in places where smoking is forbidden, such as libraries, museums, department stores, churches.
Written by Pratibha Duggal
- CDC – Information Sheet – Effects on the health of cigarette smoking – use of smoking and smoking. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm.
- 26 The effect of smoking on your body. https://www.healthline.com/health/smoking/effects-on-body#1.
- Smoking and health hits Advantages of giving up. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco/cessation-fact-sheet.
- Get help with quitting smoking – the Canadian Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.ca/en/support-and-services/support-services/quit-smoking/?region=on.
- Comparison of drugs to stop smoking. https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/abl0794.