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The best way to stop smoking is to just stop. No ifs, NO ands or NO buts


Thinking of Quitting Smoking? Here is how your body will thank you After ONE month Your first month without cigarettes might be the hardest, but your health will immediately start to improve. “For any smoker, the best thing they can do for their health is quit smoking”. Within one day of quitting, your body’s level of carbon monoxide will have dropped so you can breath more easily. After five days, the last traces of nicotine will have left your body. Then it’s a matter of breaking the smoking association with things like socializing with friends or stress at work. “it’s recognizing those triggers and saying, “when I feel the trigger, I’m going to do something differently’.” By the end of the first month, your immune system and senses of taste and smell will have improved.

After THREE months By the time you’ve been cigarette-free for three months, you’ll be coughing and wheezing less and blood will flow more easily to your toes and fingers. Cuts and bruises will also heal more easily. “Even people with advanced disease from smoking will have better treatment outcomes if they quit”, so never think it’s too late”.

After ONE year You can celebrate one year without cigarettes knowing your risk of coronary disease is halved, compared to continuing smokers, and that your blood pressure has returned to normal. Even if you’ve tried to quit and failed, it’s worth trying again. “ More than half of smokers have tried to quit more than once,” Every time you fail, you learn something from what you did. It’s the old adage – if at first you don’t succeed, try again… because you will quit. Getting to the 12 month milestone can be a daunting prospect, so take it one step at a time. People who smoke sometimes can’t think beyond a day without a cigarette. It’s amazing how empowered people can feel that they managed to beat that”.

After TEN years By the time you’ve been a none-smoker for a decade, your risk of lung cancer is half of a continuing smoker.

After FIFTEEN years Once you’ve clocked 15 years smoke-free, your risk of coronary disease and stroke is similar to that of a non-smoker. And, chances are, you’ll say quitting wasn’t as hard as you thought it would be. Smoking is the single largest cause of avoidable death and disease. About half of persistent smokers, with 80 percent of all lung cancers caused by smoking. As the most deadly cancer you’d think the well-known risk of lung cancer will be enough to make people think twice about lighting up. But cigarettes are as highly addictive as ever and sometimes the focus on lung cancer has diminished attention on some equally-frightening health consequences of continuing the terrible habit. Here are some more reasons to galvanize you to give up for good in 2014.


Cardiovascular Disease It includes coronary heart disease, heart disease and stroke. Resulting in premature death and a decreased quality of life. The single biggest risk factor for cardiovascular disease is smoking.

Unfair Battle of Genders Smoking is bad for everyone, but when you look at all the evidence, it affects women (through primary smoking and or secondary/ passive smoking) so much more dramatically and in so many other ways than men – with female smokers twice as likely as non-smoker to be infertile. While historically, more women died of breast cancer than lung cancer, that has now turned around and lung cancer is the most deadly cancer for women, who have poorer survival rates than men.

Bone Health Risks A key concern is that smoking, for both men and women is that it increases the risk of developing osteoporosis. But the habit has particular ramifications for women, who have a higher prevalence of osteoporosis than men. Female smokers have an increased risk of hip fracture than none smokers.

RISK

At the age of 60 the risk of hip fracture is 17 percent greater for a smoker than a non-smoker for both genders, that risk jumps to 71 percent greater by age 80.

YEARS


Muscular Degeneration Smoking is the most important modifiable risk factor for the development of Muscular Degeneration (MD) the most common cause of blindness. Smokers will, on average, develop MD 5 to 10 years earlier than non-smokers, and smokers are four times more likely to develop the late stage of MD (impacting vision) compared to non-smokers. Stopping smoking is definitely worthwhile. The risk of MD in people who give up smoking will progressively lessen over time. Twenty years after stopping smoking, the risk of MD is the same as someone who had never smoked. Smoking has many other effects on the eyes including increasing the risk of developing cataracts and lowering the age that cataracts develop, as well as exacerbating thyroid eye disease and inflammatory conditions in the eye.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) An estimated 90 percent of all deaths by COPD are caused by smoking. COPD is the co-occurance of chronic bronchitis and emphysema which cause the airways to become narrowed. This leads to a limitation of the flow of air to and from the lungs, causing shortness of breath. This limitation is poorly reversible and usually gets progressively worse over time with some patients requiring oxygen therapy or lung transplantation.

Peripheral Vasular Diseases (PVD) This painful condition occurs due to lack of proper blood circulation to the legs, feet, arms, and hands, and can lead to amputation of the affected limb.

The Tooth Smoking is a factor in the developing of oral cancer and mouth conditions leukoplakia (small thickened white patches), erythoroplakia (small red velvety patches) and keratosis (thickening of the keratin in the tissues). Unfortunately the survival rate remains low because mouth cancer are often detected when they are quite advanced. Smoking can increase your risk of oral and lip cancer too. Beyond the “c� word, smoking contributes to greater levels of tooth loss, acute ulcerative gingivits; xerostomia (dry mouth) and in turn bad breath; abrasion and erosion; delayed wound healing; and yellow through black staining of the teeth.

Skin Ageing The effect of smoking on skin and appearance have been extensively studied. With more wrinkles, altered complexion color and appearance of fire red lines causing smokers to appear to be up to five years older than non smokers.


Helping a Smoker Quit: Do’s and Don’ts General hints for friends and family Do’s Do

respect that the quitter is in charge. This is their lifestyle change and their challenge, not yours.

Do ask the person whether they want you to ask regularly how they’re doing. Ask how they’re feeling – not just whether they are still not smoking.

Do let the person know that it’s OK to talk to you whenever they need to hear encouraging words. Do help the quitter get what they need, such as hard candy to suck on, straws to chew on, and fresh veggies cut up and kept in the refrigerator.

Do

spend time doing things with the quitter to keep their mind off smoking – go to the movies, take a walk to get past a craving (what many call a “nicotine fit”)

Do try to see it from the smoker’s point of view – a smoker’s habit may feel like an old friend that has always been there when times were tough. It’s hard to give that up.

Do make your home smoke free, meaning that no one can smoke in any part of the house. Remove lighters and ash trays from your home.

Do celebrate along the way. Quitting smoking is a BIG DEAL!

Don’ts

Don’t doubt the smoker’s ability to quit. Your faith in them reminds them they can do it. Don’t judge, nag, preach, tease, or scold. This may make the smoker feel worse about him or herself. You don’t want your loved one to turn to a cigarette to soothe hurt feelings.

Don’t take the quitter’s grumpiness personally during their nicotine withdrawal. Tell them that you understand the symptoms are real and remind them that they won’t last forever. The symptoms usually get better in about 2 weeks. Don’t offer advice. Just ask how you can help with the plan or program they are using.


If your Quitter Relapses Research shows that most people try to quit smoking several times before they succeed, (It’s called a relapse when smokers go back to smoking like they were before they tried to quit). If a relapse happens, think of it as practice for the time. Don’t give up your efforts to encourage and support your loved one. If the person you care about fails to quit or starts smoking again:

Do praise them for trying to quit, and for whatever length of time (days, weeks, or months) of not smoking.

Do

remind your loved one that they didn’t fail – they are learning how to quit – and you’re going to be there for them the next time.

Do encourage them to try again. Don’t say, “If you try again...”

Say, “When you try again...” Studies show that most people who don’t succeed in quitting are ready to try again in the near future.

Do encourage them to learn from the attempt. Things a person learns from a failed attempt to quit may help them quit for good next time. It takes time and skills to learn to be a non-smoker.

Do say, “It’s normal to not succeed the first few times you try to quit. Most people understand this, and know that they have to try to quit again. You didn’t smoke for (length of time) this time. Now you know you can do that much. You can get even further next time.”


How do I get through the rough spots after I stop smoking? For the first few days after you quit smoking, spend as much free time as you can in public places where smoking is not allowed. (Places like libraries, malls, museums, theaters and restaurants). Take care of yourself. Drink water, eat well, and get enough rest. This could help you get the energy you may need to handle extra stress. Don’t drink coffee, or any other drinks you link with smoking for at least a couple of months. Try something else instead — maybe different types of water, sports drinks, or 100% fruit juices. Try to choose drinks that are low- or no-calorie. If you miss the feeling of having a cigarette in your hand, hold something else — a pencil, a paper clip, a coin, or a marble, for example. If you miss the feeling of having something in your mouth, try toothpicks, cinnamon sticks, sugarless gum, sugar-free lollipops, or celery. Some people chew on a straw or stir stick. Avoid temptation — stay away from people and places you link with smoking. Create new habits and a non-smoking environment around you. Get ready to face future situations or crises that might make you want to smoke again, and think of all the important reasons you have decided to quit. To remind yourself of these reasons, put a picture of the people who are the most important to you somewhere you see it every day, or keep one handy in your purse or wallet. Take deep breaths to relax. Picture your lungs filling with fresh, clean air.


How do I get through the rough spots after I stop smoking? Remember your goal and the fact that the urges to smoke will get weaker over time. Think about how awesome it is that you are quitting smoking and getting healthy. If you start to weaken, remember your goal. Remember that quitting is a learning process. Be patient with yourself. Brush your teeth and enjoy that fresh taste. Exercise in short bursts (try alternately tensing and relaxing muscles, push-ups, lunges, walking up the stairs, or touching your toes). Call a friend or family member, when you need extra help or support. Eat 4 to 6 small meals during the day instead of 1 or 2 large ones. This keeps your blood sugar levels steady, your energy balanced, and helps prevent the urge to smoke. Avoid sugary or spicy foods that may trigger a desire to smoke. Above all, reward yourself for doing your best. Give yourself rewards often if that’s what it takes to keep going. Plan to do something fun.


Harm to children from secondary smoke Secondhand smoke contains more than 250 chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic (cancer causing), including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are inhaling many of the same cancer-causing substances and poisons as smokers. Because their bodies are developing, infants and young children are especially vulnerable to the poisons in secondhand smoke. Both babies whose mothers smoke while pregnant and babies who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth are more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) than babies who are not exposed to cigarette smoke. Secondhand smoke exposure causes acute lower respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia in infants and young children. Secondhand smoke exposure causes children who already have asthma to experience more frequent and severe attacks. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for ear If you are a smoker, the single best way to protect your family from secondhand smoke is to quit smoking.


Cutting back gradually

Some prefer to cut back gradually because stopping completely, all at once, would be too hard. It may be that you take one cigarette out of your packet each day, or every few days, until you feel you can stop. It helps if you set a time limit, or a date to stop and try and stick to this.

Physical activity

Doing regular physical activity has been shown to reduce many of the side effects of nicotine withdrawal from quitting. Physical activity can help with cravings. Making you feel les tense, irritable and stressed. It can also improve your sleep and increase your self-esteem, making you feel like you are coping better.

Hypnosis

Hypnotherapy acts on underlying emotions and impulses to decrease the desire to want a cigarette, and strengthen their will to resist the urge to smoke.

Counseling

Research has shown that people who have one-on-one counseling, especially when combined with an individual strategy plan, have an increased chance of giving up smoking. Because smoking is so addictive. Many counseling services will aim to assist the person by concentrating on the psychology behind smoking and how to escape feelings of guilt.

Group Programs

Organized group programs may be led by professional facilitators, clinical psychologists, health educators, nurses, doctors or by former group members who have succeeded in quitting.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) gives smokers a specific doses of nicotine, via chewing gum, nasal sprays, inhalers, tablets under the tongue or skin patches. It has been shown to double the success of quit rates compared to other methods.


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