Quit Smoking

Smoking, primarily of tobacco, is an activity that is practiced by some 1.1 billion people, and up to 1/3 of the adult population of the world. Tobacco-related diseases like vascular stenosis, lung cancer, heart attacks and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are some of the biggest killers in the world today and are cited as one of the biggest causes of premature death in industrialized countries. In the United States only, some 500,000 deaths per year are attributed to smoking-related diseases and a recent study estimated that as much as 1/3 of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking. Male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life, respectively, apart from suffering many dangerous diseases. Not only this, at least half of all lifelong smokers die earlier as a result of smoking.

The risk of dying from lung cancer before age 85 is 22.1% for a male smoker and 11.9% for a female smoker, whereas the corresponding estimates for lifelong nonsmokers are a 1.1% probability of dying from lung cancer before age 85 for a man of European descent, and a 0.8% probability for a woman. Smoking one cigarette a day results in a risk of heart disease.

Many governments are trying to deter people from smoking with anti-smoking campaigns in mass media stressing the harmful long-term effects of smoking. Passive smoking, or secondhand smoking, which affects people in the immediate vicinity of smokers, is a major reason for the enforcement of smoking bans. This is a law enforced to stop individuals smoking in public places, such as bars, pubs and restaurants, railway stations, waiting halls, cinema halls and those places where people gather and stay for some time. Some areas like temples, mosques, church, other religious and meeting places are declared as Non-Smoking Zones. The idea behind this is to discourage smoking by making it more inconvenient, and to stop harmful smoke being present in enclosed public spaces. A common concern among legislators is to discourage smoking among minors and many states have passed laws against selling tobacco products to underage customers. Many developing countries have not adopted anti-smoking policies, leading some to call for anti-smoking campaigns and further education to explain the negative effects of ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke) in developing countries.

Despite the many bans, European countries still hold 18 of the top 20 spots, and according to the ERC, a market research company, the heaviest smokers are from Greece, averaging 3,000 cigarettes per person in 2007. Rates of smoking have leveled off or declined in the developed world but continue to rise in developing countries. Smoking rates in the United States have dropped by half from 1965 to 2006, falling from 42% to 20.8% in adults.

The effects of addiction on society vary considerably between different substances that can be smoked and the indirect social problems that they cause, in great part because of the differences in legislation and the enforcement of narcotics legislation around the world. As tobacco is also not an illegal drug, there is no black market with high risks and high prices for consumers.

Smoking is a hard habit to break because tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. Like heroin or other addictive drugs, the body and mind quickly become so used to the nicotine in cigarettes that a person needs to have it just to feel normal.

People start smoking for a variety of different reasons. Some think it looks cool. Others start because their family members or friends smoke. Statistics show that about 9 out of 10 tobacco users start before they’re 18 years old. Most adults who started smoking in their teens never expected to become addicted. That’s why people say it’s just so much easier to not start smoking at all. There are no physical reasons to start smoking. The body doesn’t need tobacco the way it needs food, water, sleep, and exercise. In fact, many of the chemicals in cigarettes, like nicotine and cyanide, are actually poisons that can kill in high enough doses.

God has gifted to us a smart body. It goes on the defense when it’s being poisoned. For this reason, many people find it takes several tries to get started smoking: First-time smokers often feel pain or burning in the throat and lungs, and some people feel sick or even throw up the first few times they try tobacco.

But smoking has bad effects on us. Smokers not only develop wrinkles and yellow teeth, they also lose bone density, which increases their risk of osteoporosis, a condition that causes older people to become bent over and their bones to break more easily. Smokers also tend to be less active than nonsmokers because smoking affects lung power. Smoking can also cause fertility problems and can impact sexual health in both men and women. Girls who are on the pill or other hormone-based methods of birth control (like the patch or the ring) increase their risk of serious health problems, such as heart attacks, if they do smoke also.

The consequences of smoking may seem very far off, but long-term health problems aren’t the only hazard of smoking. Nicotine and the other toxins in cigarettes, cigars, and pipes can affect a person’s body quickly, which means that teen smokers experience many of these problems:

· Bad skin

Because smoking restricts blood vessels, it can prevent oxygen and nutrients from getting to the skin — which is why smokers often appear pale and unhealthy. An Italian study also linked smoking to
an increased risk of getting a type of skin rash called psoriasis.

· Bad breath

Cigarettes leave smokers with a condition called halitosis, or persistent bad breath.

· Bad-smelling clothes and hair

The smell of stale smoke tends to linger — not just on people’s clothing, but on their hair, furniture, and cars. And it’s often hard to get the smell of smoke out.

· Reduced athletic performance

People who smoke usually can’t compete with nonsmoking peers because the physical effects of smoking (like rapid heartbeat, decreased circulation, and shortness of breath) impair sports performance.

· Greater risk of injury and slower healing time

Smoking affects the body’s ability to produce collagen, so common sports injuries, such as damage to tendons and ligaments will heal more slowly in smokers than nonsmokers.

· Increased risk of illness

Studies show that smokers get more colds, flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia than nonsmokers. And people with certain health conditions, like asthma, become more sick if they smoke (and often if they’re just around people who smoke). Because teens who smoke as a way to manage weight often light up instead of eating, their bodies lack the nutrients they need to grow, develop, and fight off illness properly.

I hope that with the above submissions, you may decide to stop smoking. It doesn’t have to be hard! One of the keys for breaking the habit once and for all is to tap into the power of your mind. I may suggest to consider the following

1. Make quitting smoking your Priority

Rather than having a long list of different goals, make quitting smoking your number-one top priority. By focusing on quitting smoking as your most important goal, you increase your chances of success.

2. Keep the end result in mind

Focus on how much better your life will be as a non-smoker. Think about how you’ll be able to breathe better and your energy level will increase. Imagine all the things you can do with the money you’ll save each year by not purchasing cigarettes. And most importantly, focus on how you’ll add many; many healthy years to your life, so you can do all the things you’ve wanted to do, spending time with people you care about. Make a long list of all the positive benefits of being a non-smoker!

3. Make it easier on yourself

Think of ways that you can make quitting easier for yourself. Can you quit with a friend or family member? Could you ask a co-worker to go for a quick walk with you on breaks and avoid the smoking area? Could you take a smoking cessation class? Could you learn self-hypnosis? Could you stock up on fruit, veggies, or sugar free gum?

4. Make a commitment to yourself

Plan the date and time that you will smoke your last cigarette. Make this promise to yourself as if your life depends on it. Why? Because it does! Write down the “sneaky tricks” that could try to lure you in for “just one” smoke (you know, the things that have triggered you in the past). Write down your strategy for outsmarting these sneaky triggers.

5. Put your plan in writing

Write down everything you’ve thought of while reading these lines, plus any other ideas that you believe will help you to remain smoke free. More ideas: stay away from other smokers for a while; get rid of your cigarettes and ashtrays; ask a friend to call you every day for moral support.

6. Flip off negative thoughts like a switch

Instead of thinking, “This is hard” change it to “Its getting easier and easier”. You could even come up with your own mantra. My favorites: “I take care of health.”; “I can handle this.”; “I can do it!” Have a positive statement you can say to yourself throughout the day to keep you on track.

7. Give yourself rewards

Why not have a quit jar and put all the money that you would have spent on cigarettes in it? You could save up for a tropical vacation or a down payment on that new sports car. Think of a nice reward to give yourself for being smoke free for one day, one week, one month, and so on! Mark them on your calendar so you have something to look forward to.

8. Approach quitting with a “I can. I will. I must.” attitude

If your child or loved one was burning in a building and you were the only one there to get them out, would you just “give it a try?” Would you simply “give it a shot?” Or would you “give it everything you’ve got?” Of course you would do anything and everything, whatever it took. Well, aren’t you worth the same? So approach quitting smoking with the same attitude, because you’re truly saving your own life – you’re worth it!

9. Visualize your way to success

Every morning and evening, close your eyes for a few moments and rehearse in your mind how you will say “no” to any temptations to having a cigarette, and notice how good it feels to be in control of your triggers and urges. Also, picture and imagine yourself as a happy non-smoker for 3 to 5 minutes each day. See yourself as happy, healthy and active doing all the things you love to do.

10. Learn to Manage Stress

Stress is everywhere, and while we think that cigarettes help us to relax, in reality, nicotine is a stimulant to the body. During the first few days of quitting, you will likely have thoughts to have a cigarette when you feel stressed. Learning to take long, deep breaths throughout the day can be a good start. If you can learn to tackle stress, you can tackle kicking the habit much more easily.

Be Happy – Quit Smoking for Your own Health..