If you ask most ex-smokers they would say that quitting was one of the hardest things they have ever done. And it is likely that most of these people would also tell you that they found smoking to be a daily pleasurable activity. That it helped them to wake up in morning, manage stress, provided boosts of energy, and helped them to relax. Smoking becomes a big part of a smoker’s life. The more you smoke, the more nicotine you need to feel good or “normal”. Smoking is one of those things that seems to run on autopilot. You don’t think about it, you don’t think about its affects, you just do it hour after hour, day after day. The thought of not having a cigarette can bring on fear and anxiety just because it is so ingrained into the smoker’s daily routine.
Consider this; if you took a tack and every morning stuck it in the bottom of your foot you would get a boost of energy and feel alert. Now maybe someone stresses you out at work so you do the same thing, it’s a miracle your not stressed anymore, in fact you can’t even remember what they did to piss you off. However, when you stick yourself in the foot with the tack it hurts, bleeds, and is sore for a bit. You don’t like to do it, you wish there was another way to deal with life. If someone gave you an option that was less hurtful you would jump at the chance and you would not miss it for an instant. I know this is a bit crazy but smoking is the tack causing you pain that truly provides no real benefit to you. There are tons of ways to manage stress, wake up in the morning, get boosts of energy. You don’t have to smoke, you don’t have to kill yourself day after day with the health effects of smoking. Yes, nicotine is an addictive drug but your body rids it from the system quickly, which is why you have to smoke so much during the day. The real battle when quitting smoking is the psychological effects smoking has had on the mind for so many years.
So yes, quitting smoking is hard but if you can change the way you think about it, it might just get easier for you to do. Keep trying and continue to learn from each attempt.
For some, studying for a test is hard to do. They wait and wait until the last minute then cram for hours hoping to touch on all the right stuff. Just like with quitting smoking people develop a mindset that doing something is going to be hard or un-pleasurable. We all want to avoid pain and we hate to do things that just aren’t fun. The difference between the straight “A” student and the “C” student is the “A” students like to study and has found ways to make it productive and fun. The “C” student finds it difficult to study because it is not fun or it is perceived as hard. That is the same when it comes to quitting smoking.
Smoking has become a daily habit and with it a physical and psychological routine has been ingrained into a smoker’s mind. Smokers smoke when they wake in the morning, after eating, with a cup of coffee, while driving, and socializing with friends. Smoking can help us feel more alert and focused. At times it feels uncomfortable not to smoke. Smoking has worked its way into most facets of a smoker’s life and without it they may not feel quite “normal”.
The point is that quitting smoking is going to take some effort and even a change on how smoking is perceived. If you believe you are giving up something that is pleasurable it is going to be harder to quit than if you believe you are giving up something that is going to kill you.
According to the National Institute of Health, coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease and is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for both women and men. Coronary heart disease is a condition in which plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries, arteries that supply your heart muscle with oxygen. As the plaque builds up it narrows the coronary arteries and reduces the blood flow to the heart. There is also an increased chance of blood clots forming that can partially or completely block the blood flow. Coronary heart disease results from atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries. Repeated damage will result in hardening of the arteries.
Smoking causes coronary heart disease by damaging the arteries which causes plaque buildup in the arteries (the bodies attempt to heal itself). The longer you smoke the more damage is done. You can reduce your chances of coronary heart disease by making healthy lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, healthy eating, regular exercise, and stress management.
According to the National Institute of Health about 1 out of every 3 Americans have high blood pressure. Blood pressure is referred to as the force by which blood is pushed against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps out blood. Over time if a person’s blood pressure is high it can damage the body. Unhealthy lifestyle habits are a leading contributor to high blood pressure and guess what, the health effects of smoking can lead to high blood pressure which leads to other serious and deadly conditions. There are steps you can take to maintain a normal healthy blood pressure.
Heart failure develops over time due to one or more causes such as high blood pressure, congestive heart disease, and diabetes. Smoking is directly related to many conditions that can lead to heart failure. Heart failure doesn’t mean your heart has stopped, however it is a serious condition that requires immediate attention. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can’t pump blood the way it should. In some cases, the heart can’t fill with enough blood. In other cases, the heart can’t send blood to the rest of the body with enough force. Some people have both problems.
If you still have a healthy heart you can help prevent heart failure by first preventing heart disease. The best way to do that is to quit smoking, eat healthy, exercise, manage stress, avoid illegal drugs, and maintain a healthy weight.
Smoking is one of the major causes of atherosclerosis which is a disease where plaque builds up inside a person’s arteries. The plaque is made up of several things such as; cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other substances in the blood. Over time the arteries become narrower because of the build up. This causes the flow of oxygen to be reduced throughout the body. Atherosclerosis can lead to coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and death.
Often times people don’t know there is a problem until after they have a heart attack or stroke. The best treatment for atherosclerosis is to quit smoking, healthy eating, and regular physical exercise.
The health effects of smoking have long been a concern and rightly so. Smoking costs the nation billions of dollars each year in medical costs, lost productivity, and lives (read more on how smoking effects society). The effects of smoking are almost immediate, once you take that first puff you are putting your health at risk and those around you. Smoking worsens your health, causes diseases, and harms nearly every organ in your body.
One of the main long term effects of smoking is the risk of developing cancer. Smoking causes cancer in various organs throughout the body such as mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, lungs, kidneys, bladder, stomach, pancreas, and cervix. Another major long term effect of smoking is myeloid leukemia, which is basically cancer of the blood. In lung cancer cases alone, smoking is responsible for 90 percent of lung cancer deaths among men and 80 percent among women.
The long term effects of smoking reach much further than developing cancer they also affect your heart and cardiovascular system. Heart disease and stroke are in the top 3 for leading causes of death in the U.S. Among heart disease and stroke smoking also causes high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and congestive heart failure. If you smoke you are 4 times more likely to die from heart disease.
Respiratory diseases such as COPD are also a long term health effect of smoking. Over 100,000 people die from COPD each year. Over time smoking causes swelling and scarring in the lungs which causes COPD and essentially death comes from the lack of air.
Even with all the damage smoking causes there is reason to quit smoking. Depending on how long and how much you smoke your body can repair much of the damage after quitting, of course the sooner the better. You may still suffer from some long term effects of smoking but one thing is for certain you will improve the quality of your life and those around you.
So you have smoked for years and years and you have finally decided to give it up. That is the best decision you could make for you, your health, and your family’s health. Smoking is a terrible habit that binds millions of people across the US. There are a couple things you need to prepare for when quitting smoking, without them you may not succeed at least for the long term.
DESIRE TO QUIT SMOKING – you need the desire to quit! How bad do you want to quit? Feed that desire to quit with information.
CONFIDENCE – once you quit or even try quitting you are going to be under attack from within. Your mind is going to try and trick you into thinking you need a smoke. Believe in yourself and know that you can quit smoking. Will it be uncomfortable? YES – But far from unbearable.
Believe in yourself, you have accomplished many things in your life because of your desires and confidence in yourself this is no different there is plenty of help availabe so feed that desire to quit.
Nearly 2,000 yound adults become regular smokers on a daily basis.
With the health effects of smoking it is amazing and quite mind boggling to consider why people start smoking. The answer is simple – Tobacco companies are targeting young adults with ads that show smoking to be a means of being cool or managing weight. Most often it is the teenagers that are starting to smoke, while the long-term smoker dies off young adults are filling in the gap. Nearly 2,000 teenagers each day become regular smokers!
Why Start Smoking?
If you have teenagers at home you probably already know they can be stubborn, rebellious, and feel indestructible. They know everything while mom and dad just don’t get it. Reasons people start smoking are:
As you head down the road of quitting smoking you may have concerns and even be a bit fearful. This is normal, quitting smoking can be nerve racking to say the least. A key to successfully quitting smoking is “PREPARATION”. Being prepared will help you through the hard times. The more you learn about what to expect when you quit smoking and develop ways to deal with situations and cravings that drive you to smoke the better off you will be when faced with temptation. You can quit for good, even if you tried before and failed. Remember that most smokers don’t quit on their first attempt but the ones that end up being successful learn something when they try so keep trying and use what you learn.