It is now a fact that smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases and reducing the health of smokers in general. It is also a fact that quitting smoking has immediate as well as long–term benefits. Smoking cigarettes with lower machine-measured yields of tar and nicotine provides no clear benefit to health.
Cigarette smoking causes lung cancer. In fact, smoking tobacco is the major risk factor for lung cancer. People who smoke are 10 to 20 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke. The longer a person smokes and the more cigarettes smoked each day increases the risk for developing lung cancer.
People who quit smoking have a lower risk of lung cancer than if they had continued to smoke, but their risk is higher than people who never smoked.
You Can Quit Smoking! If you have tried to quit you know how hard it can be and the reason is that nicotine is a very addictive drug. Usually people make two or three tries before they successfully quit. Each time you try to quit and fail, you can learn what works for you and what situations are problematic. If you use proven cessation treatments it can double your chance of success.
Studies have shown that these five steps will help you quit and quit for good. You have the best chances of quitting if you use them together.
First set a quit date and get rid of all cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters. Don´t let people smoke around you. When you quit, don´t smoke at all! Not one single puff or cigarette.
Second – get support from telling your family and friends. Tell your co-workers that you are going to quit and want their support. Ask them not to smoke around you or offer you cigarettes. Talk to your health care provider and get individual, group, or telephone counseling. The more help you have, the better your chances are of quitting.
Third – learn new skills and behaviors so you distract yourself from urges to smoke. Talk to someone, go for a walk, or get busy with a task. When you first try to quit, change your routines. Use a different route to work and drink tea instead of coffee. Eat breakfast in a different place. Drink a lot of water and other fluids.
Fourth – Medications can help you stop smoking and lessen the urge to smoke. The FDA has approved six medications to help you quit smoking and a couple of them, like Nicotine gum, are available over-the-counter. Your health care provider can advice and you should also carefully read the information on the package. These medications will double your chances of quitting and quitting for good.
Fifth – You shall be prepared for relapse and difficult situations. Most relapses occur within the first three months after quitting. Don’t be discouraged if you start smoking again. Remember, most people try several times before they finally quit. The following are some difficult situations you may encounter:
Avoid drinking alcohol. Drinking lowers your chances of success. Being around smoking can make you want to smoke. Many smokers will gain some weight when they quit, usually less than 10 pounds. Eat a healthy diet and stay active.