The smoking problem has become quite prevalent in our society. Several governments have had problems dealing with a huge health care burden due to diseases and conditions brought about by smoking. At the same time, individuals suffer several addictive and health issues due to smoking. While this information may be apparent to most of the smokers, studies have found that quitting a smoking habit is quite a challenge. The reason behind such challenge is attributed to Nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive substance naturally occurring in Tobacco. Nicotine, just like any other addictive substance creates a new feeling to the user. It creates feeling associated with drug such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Therefore, an attempt to stop quit is usually a difficult undertaking due to the emotional, mental and physical attachment to the nicotine. This paper will provide a step by step process that would assist a smoker to quit.
The first step in quitting smoking is by making a vital decision that there is need to quit the practice. It is upon the smoker to make individual effort and get to the point of conceding to the position that smoking is both repugnant and unhealthy. Smoking is one of the greatest health risk known to humanity. There are several health conditions and diseases that can directly or indirectly be associated with smoking.One of the greatest health concerns for smoking is cancer. It is common knowledge, almost known to everyone, that smoking is a leading cause for lung cancer. Other cancers that have attributed to smoking include cancer of the throat (pharynx), mouth, blabber, nose, kidney, pancreas, stomach, colon and acute myeloid leukemia.Health conditions relating to smoking do not end there.
Long time smoking has been associated with heart attacks, blood vessel diseases and stroke. It may also lead to blindness, tooth loss, bad breath, gum diseases and poor personal hygiene. Moreover, smoking has serious repercussion on women and babies. Older women who smoke and use birth control pills tremendously increase their susceptibility to cancer and blood clots in the blood vessels (American Lung Association, 2011). Finally, quitting smoking will increase the life of an individual and this perhaps one of the most important reasons to quit smoking. Therefore, the first step in quitting smoking is making the decision to quit.
Once the decision to quit smoking has been arrived at, the next important step is to set a date that the quitting starts. It is advisable to pick a quitting date that is within the month. This is due to the fact that taking too long to start the quit process will provide enough time to rationalize smoking and thus reverse the decision the quit. At the same time, one should take time to make a quit strategy in order to review all angles to evade failure. Thus, an individual could take about two to three weeks to properly plan the quit.This time should also be used to develop and identify physical and emotional activities that will replace the role of nicotine.
In most cases, smoking is a routine performed along with other activities such watching TV, drinking, breaks at work or drinking coffee. One should identify these activities in order to replace the smoking with something else. For instance, if free hours were spent drinking and watching TV while smoking, such free time should be used in other activities say going to the gym, swimming, cycling or taking extra working hours. The emphasis is physical and mental involvement taking the mind and body off smoking.
A successful quit is proved by a total avoidance of nicotine in all its variations. A quitting smoker who is around other smokers is very likely to revert to smoking. Either, going to locations where there smokers exposes the individual to secondary smoke which still contains nicotine and the psychological effects may be as smoking. Therefore, a quitting smoker should try as possible to keep off heavy smoking locations as well as friends.On the other hand, a quitting smoker should try and gain new behavior. If during smoking, the quitting individual was used to coffee and alcohol, it advisable to switch to other drinks such juice and water. There are other things used to occupy the mouth such sugarless gum, carrot sticks or just hard candy.
Smoke quitters may not be able be cope with a complete quit due to a high physical dependence on nicotine. While this may be case, studies have found medication that assist quitters cope with lack of nicotine. There are several nicotine replacement therapies that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some of the most common replacement therapies include patch, lozenges, gum, inhalers and nasal sprays. These replacement therapies contain a predetermined dosage of nicotine. The idea is to provide the body with a diminishing amount of nicotine so that the physical shock to the body is mitigated. However, any replacement therapy should not be administered by the patient. A quitting smoker needs to consult a physician in order to establish the extent and type of therapy to use. Either, the dosage used should be such that weaning off should be steady in order to record results. Therefore, it is important to have a personal physician who will provide guidance throughout the quitting process.
Smoking is a habit, usually easy to pick up but extremely difficult to let go. Several youths in their prime find smoking a “cool” indulgence and in most cases do not draw any direct pleasure from it. With time though, they become addicted to the nicotine and in the process grow as older smoking. With it come the health risks such as cancer, lung disease, stroke, heart attack, gum disease among others. Other undesirable outcomes have long been associated with smoking. In retrospect, it is of vital importance that individuals should quit smoking.
It begins by the individual admitting that the practice is dangerous, health-wise and therefore must quit. The next step is draw a plan on when and how to stop smoking. The individual should develop activities that would replace time spent during smoking. Either, a change of character will be paramount for the individual to do away with things that remind them of the smoky past. Finally, quitters who need additional pharmaceutical therapy may seek such therapy with the assistance of qualified physicians.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2008 ). _Annual smoking-attributable mortality, years of potential life lost, and economic costs – United States, 2000-2004 MMWR._ . Retrieved November 21, 2012 , from www.cdc.gov: www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5745a3.htm
American Cancer Society. (2012 , October 18 ). _Guide to Quitting Smoking._ Retrieved November 21, 2012 , from www.cancer.org. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002971-pdf.pdf
American Lung Association. (2011). _Trends in Tobacco Use._Retrieved November 21, 2012 , from www.lungusa.org: www.lungusa.org/finding-cures/our-research/trend-reports/Tobacco-Trend-Report.pdf