Stop smoking! This has become a mantra in the United States, for good reasons. It sounds easy to just stop, but it’s not, so why make the effort, and how do you do it?
Everyone has seen pictures of the blackened lungs of a smoker, alongside the vibrant pink of healthy lungs. All agree that smoking harms your heart and lungs, causes cancer and heart disease, and even damages skin and causes wrinkles, especially in women.
Any tobacco use has consequences. Dipping can cause lip, tongue, or throat cancer. Smoking, of any kind, causes elevated heart rates, hardening of arteries, and cancer in numerous forms, not just the lungs. Emphysema, sleep apnea, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, are just some of the diseases associated with smoking.
There is also the cost factor. If you live in a state like New York, and smoke a pack a day, you’ll spend about $3,600 a year. That should also be a consideration, since the cost will only go up in the future. Compute ten years of smoking, and look at what else you could do with $36,000. That’s a lot of money to go up in smoke!
So, if smoking is so bad, why doesn’t everyone stop? Actually, there are many reasons. Smoking does elevate the heart rate, giving you a temporary ‘boost’, which some people equate with ‘waking up’.
For many, tobacco use is an emotional crutch; it just makes them relax, or ‘feel better’. These are reasons that usually can be overcome the easiest, with determination, since they are not a physical part of the addiction.
Still others fear they will gain weight if they quit, and most smokers do have a real addiction to nicotine. All of these reasons may have some validity, but none of them override the negative aspects of continued use. Your health is at stake, and that should be the priority.
Since the negatives are so well known, how do you quit when it’s so hard? Honestly, the main factor is the desire to quit. You must decide that you want to quit, and not just say it. All of the help in the world won’t matter if you don’t have the desire.
If you do want to rid yourself on an expensive, harmful, and dirty habit, there are many avenues of help to aid you in your quest. Support groups, hypnosis, nicotine aids, and medication are some of them.
To find a support group, which helps a lot of people, go online and search for “smoking support”. You’ll find many websites dedicated to offers of mutual support. Find one you like, join in, and see if it works for you. This will be the least expensive and possibly, for you, the most effective.
Chewing gum, lozenges and skin patches
You may want to combine support with a nicotine aid to help fight the desire to smoke. These aids come as chewing gum, lozenges, and skin patches, and can be purchased over the counter, without a prescription. What they do is provide decreasing levels of nicotine to your system while you break the habit. Many need this extra step, and it works for them. Always follow the directions.
Hypnosis, also, has helped millions of people give up this and other addictions. If you choose this route, find a behavioral hypnotist near you, check their credentials and reputation, and set up an appointment to get started.
Although many advertise that you will quit with only one session, this may not always be the case. Everyone has different levels of tolerance and addiction, so be prepared for more than one visit if needed.
A while ago, there was a therapy touted as “aversion therapy’. In this disgusting treatment, people were put into a tiny room, with no ventilation, and told to smoke, smoke, smoke. The walls and ceiling dripped with gunky nicotine that resembled oil sludge, and the smell was nauseating. This therapy was supposed to make you so sick of the sight and smell that you lost the desire to smoke.
There aren’t any recent mentions of aversion therapy being used to treat smoking addiction, and the effectiveness of this treatment is not documented, but the disgusting aspect of it probably led to it’s early demise.
Choose your time, make up your mind, pick the aids best suited for you, and quit! Best of luck in your quest, it can be done.