Quitting Smoking

Free stock photo of cigar, cigarette, smoke, macroSmoking and Bee Control is a very dangerous habit, yet people can’t give it up easily. Find out why smoking is so addictive, what are the issues that result from smoking, what are the treatment methods for this, what the benefits of quitting are and much more about smoking.

Why is Smoking So Addictive?

Smoking rushes nicotine to the brain and this is the fastest method of delivery; smoking also gives smokers precise control over their nicotine intake. Therefore, both ‘control and speed’ greatly enhance the addictive effect of nicotine on the brain. Smoking actually introduces nicotine to the pulmonary beds of the lungs from where nicotine is directly transported to the brain in seconds.

Nicotine mimics the neurotransmitter acetylcholine; it binds to and activates the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Once nicotine reaches the brain, it quickly spreads to the activated brain areas such as reward, memory and learning facilities. These firing receptors trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that’s associated with pleasure and addiction. So, in order to maintain these dopamine levels, a person needs to smoke frequently. Smoking may actually maintain dopamine levels by reducing enzymes that break it down or by increasing the amount of molecules that inhibit dopamine clean up.

Simultaneously, nicotine also influences other regions of the brain that control mood, energy levels and memory in addition to cause long-lasting neurological changes. Because of this, the brain becomes used to a constant dose of nicotine and therefore when you quit smoking, you experience withdrawal symptoms. This also makes it a difficult habit to kick.

What’s Passive Smoking and What Are the Risks?

Passive smoking can be described as involuntary inhalation of secondhand tobacco smoke. This secondhand tobacco smoke is a mixture of smoke exhaled by active smokers in addition to smoke discharged from smoldering tobacco, diluted with ambient air. Passive smoking normally occurs in closed environments, but open surroundings are equally prone. Passive smokers are also exposed to carcinogens and toxic elements within secondhand tobacco smoke.

Passive smoking can have serious effects on an individual’s health. The health effects of passive smoking are as serious and debilitating as smoking itself. The risks outlined below are linked with passive smoking.

Cancer – Around 3,000 cancer-related non smoker deaths are directly attributed to passive smoking each year.

Heart Diseases – Approximately 50,000 non smoker deaths suffer from heart related problems and can be linked to passive smoking.

Additionally it is a contributory factor for upper respiratory irritation and infections as well as decreased lung function.

Ear Infections – Passive smoking is accountable for an increased number of ear infections.

Low Birth Weight – Second hand smoke is responsible for 10,000 low birth weight births a year and is a major element for many infant deaths.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – Passive smoking is connected to almost 2,000 cases of SIDS each year.

Still births – Passive smoking is also accountable for an increased chance of still births and spontaneous abortions.

What Problems Can Occur From Smoking?

Smoking is dangerous and the risks of smoking are serious. Tobacco smoke contains 43 cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds besides 400 other toxins that include nicotine and tar. Nicotine is the addictive substance in tobacco and tar congests the lungs, inhibiting normal breathing. Furthermore, smoking causes lung and throat cancer, cardiovascular disease, emphysema, in addition to bronchial and lung disorders.

A pregnant woman who smokes increases the odds of her baby dying from SIDS, being underweight and with behavioral issues. The world’s top cause of death and disability, smoking-related illnesses cause 30 million deaths per year.

What Should one do If He Wants to Give up Smoking?

Giving up smoking is the toughest thing. Therefore, to give up smoking, you:

Must have the desire to give up smoking and create a strong will to avoid a smoking relapse
Must learn about the effects of smoking, understand its consequences and confront the fact that you Want to stop smoking and follow, finish and preserve a stop smoking plan
Once you’ve made up your mind to quit smoking, half the battle is won; since most smokers don’t think about quitting. Smokers often attempt to quit more than once before they really succeed. But continuing to try also requires grit and perseverance; it also shows how dedicated you are to the cause.

As soon as you’ve learned about the hazards of smoking, you will surely feel more committed to stop. Learning about the health implications is sufficient to shock most people into quitting quickly.

You must prepare to quit smoking. You have to distance yourself from friends, places or situations that compel one to smoke. Be surrounded by people who can assist you with your own initiative.

If you can not quit cold turkey, don’t be afraid to use stop smoking aids like drugs and NRTs. Most people have the ability to quit and stay quit with external assistance.

If you want to stop smoking and remain a quitter, you have to stay away from temptation and persistent smoking cravings. ‘Slipping up’ will only result in a relapse so keep yourself motivated to remain smoke free.

What Treatment Options are Available to Help Stop Smoking?

Some people have a strong determination to quit smoking through the cold turkey method; this is achieved by sheer will power alone. But most smoker’s find it difficult to stop in this way and therefore require treatment to help them quit smoking. Some women and men may become non-smokers through counselling alone but their numbers could be counted on the palms. Counseling helps strengthen an individual’s motivation to quit and keeps him/her motivated until he/she can quit successfully.

Many smokers make the most of nicotine replacement therapy (NRTs) to help them quit smoking. This treatment works to relieve someone from nicotine withdrawal symptoms by supplying nicotine externally. At exactly the same time these individuals are well protected from other harmful toxins found in cigarette smoke. However, since NRTs provide nicotine, there’s always a possibility that person could become re-addicted to nicotine.

Currently, nicotine-free medication for smoking cessation such as Zyban (bupropion) and Chantix Varenicline (called Champix in Europe) are the most innovative and the most preferred ways of quitting smoking. These treatment medications are approved by the FDA as effective smoking cessation drugs. But, Chantix is favored over Zyban because it not only provides relief from nicotine withdrawal symptoms but also lowers the pleasure derived from smoking.

Success rates are much greater with Chantix smoking cessation medication as compared to that of Zyban smoking cessation pill; but, both the drugs have their share of side effects. While Chantix causes nausea, constipation, flatulence, insomnia, change in taste, increase in appetite, fatigue, dry mouth and bloated feeling, Zyban causes dry mouth, insomnia, changes in appetite, agitation, headaches, jitters, skin rash and seizures.

What are The Benefits of Quitting?

You will begin to notice remarkable changes in the body. Your sense of smell and taste improve, you breathe easier and your smoker’s hack starts to disappear; the long range after-effects of quitting really signal the beginning of a healthier life. Most importantly, you improve your odds for a longer life because now you have a reduced risk from heart disease, stroke, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and many kinds of cancers. You can quit smoking and avail benefits such as:

Living longer and enjoying a better quality of life
Regaining the love and esteem of your loved ones
Saving time spent on smoking for other effective uses
Living fitter through prevention of smoking related diseases
Smelling better, having sterile unstained teeth
Relishing the flavor of food
Having a healthy skin
Appreciating a better sexual life; smoking cessation is known to improve fertility and reduce your risk of developing erectile dysfunction
Giving birth to healthy children
Being financially better off


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