Smoking cessation: Dangers of smoking and 9 practical guidelines to help you quit smoking
“Smokers are liable to die young” mantra does not seem to deter smokers from developing an addiction despite the numerous negative effects of smoking on their health. A lot of smokers want to quit but do not know how to or find it difficult to do so successfully.
A look at some of the dangers of smoking may give smokers the needed motivation to quit.
Dangers of smoking
Smoking can lead to a myriad of health challenges or worsen existing ones. In fact, according to America’s Center for Disease Control (CDC), Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general. In effect, smoking increases the risk of death.
Here are some specific effects of smoking –
- Damage to the lungs
- Pregnancy complications
- Heart diseases
- Almost all types of cancer such as lung cancer, skin cancer, cervical cancer, etcetera
- Increased risk of death from cancer
- Low immune system
- Reduced fertility and other fertility challenges
- Reduced dental/oral health
- Increased risk of diabetes type 2
- Clouding of eye sight
- Skin, hair and nail conditions
Do you know that second-hand smoking also has adverse effects? Yes, when someone stays close to a person that is smoking, smoke is inhaled and this can lead to health challenges too. According to CDC, second-hand smoking, can result in diseases in adults such as –
- Lung cancer
- Coronary heart diseases
For children, they may experience –
- Infant death syndrome
- Acute respiratory infections,
- Middle ear disease,
- Severe asthma,
- Slowed lung growth
Despite knowing the numerous health implications of smoking, people still find it difficult to quit because it is highly addictive. We have therefore outlined some simple guidelines that will make it easier to quit smoking if you follow them religiously.
Smoking cessation guidelines
Be mentally prepared to quit. Smoking cessation is a thing of the mind. You have to really want it to be able to achieve it, just like most things in life.
The mere thought of quitting can be daunting and demoralizing, yet, it is not impossible. If others have done it and are still doing it, you can too. Prepare your mind, begin to see yourself as a non-smoker, tell yourself that you can and that you will quit smoking.
Then have a smoking cessation plan.
- Make a list of reasons to quit smoking. It could be for your health, for the safety of your unborn child, to save money, etcetera.
- Identify the things that trigger your smoking habit most. It could be drinking alcohol, hanging out with smokers. Create a plan to help you avoid those triggers.
- Identify your smoking pattern. Do you smoke when you want to poo, when you are watching television in the sitting room or when you are stressed out or working on something difficult?
- Fix a date or time frame to quit smoking. Some people just go ahead to choose a particular day to quit while others quit gradually. Whichever method you choose, be sure to follow through.
- Enlist the help of trusted family and friends. Your friends, family or neighbors can help you to follow through with your smoking cessation. Make them a part of your plan. For instance, when the smoking urge arises, they can hang out with you or take a walk with you. Most importantly, tell your smoking friends/relatives not to smoke around you.
- Seek the help of professional counselors. At Paxs Pharmacy, our pharmacists are on hand to walk you through the process and give you the necessary support and prescriptions.
- Join smoking cessation support groups if there are any around you. Otherwise, seek for them online. There is the Truth Initiative among other online support groups that you can join. Some smoke-free apps are also available for you to download. These will help you on your journey.
- Outline specific smoking cessation methods that you want to employ based on your smoking triggers and habits. When the urge to smoke hits, what do you do? You can exercise, chew carrots or chewing sticks, change location or route, chat with friends/colleagues, do whatever will take your mind off smoking for that moment.
Paxs Pharmacy is here to help you with your smoking cessation plans. Talk to any of our pharmacists today about your intention to quit smoking. They will counsel you and offer some smoking cessation tips and tricks, including nicotine replacement products like nicotine gums.