Think of everyone you know and count how many of them are smokers. Quite a lot, isn’t it?
The World Health Organization reports that 1.1 billion people in the world are smokers. This means that 1 in 3 adults smoke, which is clearly alarming. A lot of people get into smoking for various reasons, mostly due to peer pressure, social integration and curiosity. Since nicotine has an addicting component, smoking becomes a habit. When asked, smokers would say it relieves them from stress, it curbs their appetite or they’re just really addicted to it.
Here’s a list of some of the negative effects of smoking:
- increased risk of stroke and brain damage
- eye cataracts and macular degeneration
- yellow teeth, tooth decay, and bad breath
- cancer of the nose, lip, tongue and mouth
- possible hearing loss
- shortness of breath
- chronic bronchitis
- triggering asthma
- heart disease
- blockages in blood supply that can lead to a heart attack
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- stomach and bladder cancers
- stomach ulcers
- decreased appetite
- grey appearance
- early wrinkles
- slower healing wounds
- damage to blood vessel walls
- increased likelihood of back pain
- increased susceptibility to infection
- lower fertility and increased risk of miscarriage
- irregular periods
- early menopause
- damaged sperm and reduced sperm
With these in mind, you’d think smokers would break the habit at once. Sadly, this isn’t the case. But if you would want to quit, it’s possible with a little help and a lot self control.
Make a list of why do and don’t like smoking
Be honest as possible. Ask people around you why they want you to stop smoking. Your reasons to quit will get you to truly commit to breaking the habit. A lot of people have attempted, but they seem to keep coming back. If your list of why you want to quit outweighs the reasons why smoking makes you happy, then it’s the first step towards clean living.
You know yourself better than anyone else. If lessening your cigarettes would work better for you, then choose that option. If you feel like cold turkey is the way to go then you better prepare yourself for it. Look for different kinds of alternatives when the cravings hit. Always have them within your reach and remove all traces that would tempt you to start smoking again.
Surround yourself with people who will support you
Having people, with the same goal or mindset as you, will help you break the habit. If none of your colleagues smoke, then most likely you’ll smoke less as well. When you start craving, call a friend to help you out.
Change your routine
Smokers have favorite cigarette break times. Create another routine so your muscle memory won’t kick in. Think of another short activity you can do for your break times to distract you from craving anything.
Have an “I’m smoke-free” money jar
Place the money you would use to buy cigarettes in a jar. Once you’ve reached a certain amount, use the money to reward yourself because you deserve it.
Quitting smoking will be one of the most challenging decisions of your life. But once you start breathing better and feeling healthier, then you’ll realize that it’s all worth it.