It’s time to stop smoking, for good!
You’ve seen the reports numerous times: smoking is bad for your health, and there is a large body of scientific evidence to support this, evidence that grows every day. Statistics from the World Health Organisation are grim. The organisation reports that tobacco kills up to half of its users and kills more than 7 million people each year. Non-smokers are also affected as a result of the habit. WHO reports “More than 6 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use, while around 890 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.”
Cigarette smoking is the primary risk factor for lung cancer. It has also been linked to other types of cancers, stroke, coronary heart disease and decreased immune function.
The only way to reduce the risks is to stop smoking. How often are you told how to stop? You’ve probably tried countless times and failed. It is hard, we know. According to the American Heart Association, the biggest culprit that’s impeding your good intentions to quit is nicotine, a highly addictive substance that occurs naturally in tobacco. It causes a temporary feeling of relaxation and stress relief. Beating that is no mean feat. A study that investigated why smokers struggle to quit found that even seeing someone smoke can cause a relapse. Like we said, it is hard. Brace yourself, and try these tips to successfully quit.
Know Your Triggers
Do you smoke to relieve stress? Do you smoke more when you’re with smoking friends? Do you smoke to pass time, or use it as the perfect pairing to an alcoholic drink or coffee? Know your triggers and eliminate them. If you smoke to relieve boredom, find ways to keep yourself busy, meet up with a (non-smoking) friend—you might need to change your friends if they are a trigger—and find other relaxation rituals. If you smoke to relieve stress, there are other healthy and effective ways to do it. Did you know, for example, green tea can burst stress?
If you hate working out, consider the benefits. It can help undo the negative effects that smoking has caused in your body and more. If you smoke to relieve stress, exercise offers the same instant stress-relief and mood-boost but with positive, long-term effects (remember, cigarettes only offer temporary relief but with many negative consequences). A simple walk around nature can help relieve stress. Also, exercise protects you against nicotine dependence, with moderate intensity exercise markedly reducing the severity of nicotine withdrawal symptoms, according to scientists from St George’s University of London.
Find A Support Group
A study by the University of Iowa found that online social networks designed to help smokers kick the tobacco habit are effective, especially if you’re active. In the study, 21 percent of active users in an online smoking cessation community reported that they quit smoking three months later. Their study also found that those who were less active were less likely to quit. So, find a tribe that understands the struggle, one that is focused on winning over the struggle.