Yes, you CAN quit smoking cigarettes and stop smoking for good. You can quit smoking today, right now at this very minute. The reasons to quit smoking are well-known, and there are many methods to stop smoking which will help you lead a happier, healthier, smoke-free life, where you can proudly say “I quit smoking” once and for all. You can and need to decide to quit smoking right now, today.
Why is it so hard to quit smoking? Because of nicotine. Nicotine addiction, a drug found in tobacco, is just as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Mark Twain once said, “Quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it a thousand times.” Quitting smoking is not easy, but it can be done. Even if you have quit smoking before, but started smoking again, you are not a failure. You just need help, encouragement, advice and “quit smoking support” in order to kick the habit and stop smoking for good.
The US Surgeon General says, “Smoking cessation (stopping smoking) represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.”
The dangers of smoking and negative affects on your overall health and well-being as well as the health risks associated with secondhand smoke, has lead to nationwide smoking bans in public places including workplaces, restaurants and bars. Research studies show smoking bans help decrease the number of cigarettes people smoke and may help people quit smoking successfully once and for all.
Quitting smoking is hard because smokers must learn how to quit smoking and how to deal with nicotine withdrawal symptoms while trying to quit, such as:
- Sleep disturbances such as insomnia, bad dreams or nightmares
- Difficulty in concentration
- Increased appetite and concerns about possible weight gain when quitting smoking (yes you can quit smoking without gaining weight)
It’s very important for smokers to seriously consider the benefits of quitting smoking, and the positive affects quitting will have on your own health and body when you give up smoking, as well as the decreased risks involved with secondhand smoke on those around you.
Making the decision to stop smoking right now isn’t just for your own good. Kicking your smoking habit also creates a healthier environment for your children and loved ones, but also helps protect the general public from the damaging affects of cigarette smoke.
What Happens When You Quit Smoking
- In 20 minutes your blood pressure and pulse rate will decrease and drop back down to normal and the body temperature of your hands and feet increase.
- At 8 hours the carbon monoxide levels in your blood stream will drop by half, and blood oxygen levels will return to normal due to the decrease in carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.
- In 24 hours your risk of having a heart attack will have decreased.
- In 48 hours all nicotine will have left your body, nerve endings start to re-grow and your sense of taste and smell return to normal levels.
- In 72 hours your bronchial tubes will relax, and your energy levels will increase.
- Between 2 weeks and 3 months your circulation improves, walking and exercise becomes easier, coughing and wheezing is greatly reduced, phlegm production is reduced, and overall lung function continues to improve significantly.
- In three to nine months coughing, wheezing, sinus congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath and breathing problems dissipate as you see significant improvement in lung capacity and function.
- In 1 year your risk of coronary heart disease and risk of heart attack will have dropped by half that of a smoker.
- Between 5 to 10 years after quitting smoking your risk of having a stroke or developing lung cancer will have returned to that of a non-smoker.
- In 15 years your risk of having a heart attack will have returned to that of a non-smoker.
How to Quit Smoking
What is the best way to stop smoking? Some smokers quit smoking cold turkey and never crave or pick up a cigarette again for the rest of their lives. Others have stopped smoking with the help of the quit smoking book “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking” with very good success rates. Many smokers have achieved success in quitting smoking with the help of the Stop Smoking CD, with once-skeptical smokers discovering they were able to quit smoking once and for all, after being unable to quit with other methods.
Other smokers have been able to quit smoking with the help of stop smoking aids, often referred to as Nicotine Replacement Therapy. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRTs) include stop smoking products like nicotine gum, the nicotine inhaler/nasal spray, nicotine lozenges and nicotine patches. NRTs contain nicotine and can be addictive themselves, but if you follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully to wean yourself off the chosen NRT, this can be a safe and comfortable way to put an end to your smoking addiction.
Quit smoking medication like Chantix (developed by Pfizer, Inc. and approved by the FDA) reduces the smokers cravings for nicotine when he or she quits smoking. A person who smokes while using Chantix finds his smoking satisfaction and enjoyment is greatly reduced due to the drug’s ability to block nicotine from binding with the nicotinic receptors in the brain. Chantix is by prescription only.
Zyban, Wellbutrin SR, and Wellbutrin XL have also been shown to dramatically reduce withdrawal symptoms associated with nicotine, and is also by prescription only. When considering any stop smoking medications to help you quit smoking, carefully review any and all known side effects of each drug. Chantix, for example, has been reported as having unhealthy side effects such as sleep disturbances, nausea and suicidal thoughts.
Other alternative options to stop smoking include hypnosis and acupuncture, and while some have seen good results, others have not been successful in quitting with either option. The stop smoking shot (Smart, Welplex or Quit 1-2-3) costs around $400.00 or more, and is injected behind the ears. Ouch! Smart is a one shot injection while Welplex or Quit 1-2-3 are three dosed shots, followed by pills and nicotine patches, so be sure to have a conversation with your doctor before deciding on stop smoking shots given at clinics.
Quit Smoking Now! Your efforts to quit smoking once and for all will be greatly enhanced by joining and participating in support groups with other like-minded people trying to stop smoking for good, with the support group called CafeMom being one of many. Congratulations on your decision to quit smoking and kicking the habit once and for all!