Quitting smoking is easier said than done. While exposure to tobacco exposes one to a plethora of health complications, most smokers feel helpless as putting a stop to lighting up is a challenge. Over 480,000 deaths have been associated with tobacco use and even passive exposure. What makes quitting smoking challenging is the withdrawal symptoms that mostly come with it. It is not something that can happen in a single day, but rather it is gradual.
Health complications that are linked to smoking
Cigarette smoking could lead to pretty serious health conditions. They include:
1. Heart disease
The chemicals in tobacco lead to the damage and narrowing of the arteries. This leads to the obstruction of blood flowing in your system. The long term force of blood against your arteries, a condition known as high blood pressure, may lead to heart disease. Medication such as PreCardix will help you control your blood pressure and prevent the risk of getting a stroke or heart attack.
Asthma makes it hard for an individual to breath. Chemicals found in tobacco irritate the air passages increasing the risk of getting asthma attacks. Smoking is particularly unsafe for people living with this condition.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the severe health conditions that are linked to smoking. How does this happen? The use of tobacco eventually leads to insulin resistance and increased blood sugar levels. If you are a smoker, the chances of developing type 2 diabetes increases by about 40 percent. The disease is deadly as it increases the risk of developing other serious complications such as nerve damage, heart disease, and even the amputation of the legs.
4. Blindness and macular degeneration
Smoking can damage the eyes and lead to the loss of vision. Note that the cause of blindness for adults aged over 65 is macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration is caused by smoking.
With the right techniques, your attempt at doing away with tobacco smoking will not take a toll on you. Here are some tips that will help you successfully stop smoking.
1. Identify your triggers and device ways to combat them
Some things motivate you to smoke. It could be your friend, boredom, celebrating, or even driving. The first step towards a successful cessation is to identify what actually triggers you to smoke. From there, you can come up with a strategy to beat the triggers. It could be reducing meetups with your friend or having someone help you drive and so on. Whichever the case, you need to find ways to manage the triggers as they are one of the biggest challenges when it comes to quitting.
2. Do not go cold turkey
Some people have used this strategy and succeeded. However, the success rate is only 6 percent. Nicotine dependence is not as easy to get rid of, especially if you have been smoking for a long time. The best way to go about it is quitting with the help of medication, NRTs, and therapy.
Why this is emphasized is because you will have a more pleasant journey quitting as opposed to if you do it abruptly. NRTs will help you deal with withdrawal symptoms, which, just like the triggers, can make you slip easily. Some of the approved NRTs include skin patches, lozenges, and chewing gum. They help reduce the craving by supplying you with moderated dosages of nicotine.
3. Let your loved ones know that you are quitting
You do not have to embark on this journey alone. Letting people know that you plan to stop will help you get the support you need. It is always more comfortable if you have people who can distract you from falling for the triggers, and also people who can listen to you and motivate you during the journey.
4. Recognize your accomplishment
You can set milestones and celebrate them if you accomplish them. It does not matter how small the achievement may seem. If you could not stay without a day without lighting up and you manage to go 24 hours without smoking, it is still a huge accomplishment. Celebrating will keep you motivated and give you the zeal to do even better.
The journey may not be easy, but with the tips above, you should be able to stay away from the harmful tobacco. You also need to be patient as you make every step. Eventually, your dependence on nicotine will stop.
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