Health Tips

Quit Smoking: Benefits and Way Out

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Smoking is injurious to health!

We’ve all heard this phrase. But most of us don’t understand the harsh truth behind it. 

The effects of tobacco can ruin a smoker’s life but its addiction will make him/her keep coming back for more. And every time a smoker wishes to quit, the next period of low nicotine activity pulls the smoker to succumb to the next smoke. This makes Smoking a vicious cycle that is difficult to break especially for heavy smokers. 

Quitting smoking is never an easy task without some form of support and/or assistance. As the nicotine intake reduces, smokers have a tough time dealing with the withdrawal effects. To fight these effects, it is important to identify the symptoms and manage them effectively. Thereafter the withdrawal process becomes smoother and the craving eases out.

Look out for any of the following listed behaviors, as you start your ‘Quit Smoking’ journey:

Smoking Withdrawal Symptoms:

● Insatiable urge: With the last smoke over, the body naturally wants a nicotine refill. Without another smoke, the body feels desperate, and an intense craving to smoke again develops.

● Increased irritability and mood swings: As the nicotine levels start to reduce and the fresh supply is restricted, the smoker may become angry or moody. He/she may experience high degrees of stress, anxiety, and restlessness.

● Lack of focus: It is common to notice a shorter than usual attention span in a smoker who is trying to quit. As the body craves a nicotine hit, he/she may find himself/herself unable to concentrate on the task at hand.

● Inability to relax or sleep: As the body has correlated the nicotine with a ‘feel-good factor, cutting it off may make the smoker feel drained. He/she might find difficulty in relaxing and/or sleeping.

● Dietary changes: As your body gets used to the low or no nicotine content, a smoker might find himself/herself overcompensating with calories. It is observed that people who are trying to quit smoking end up binging on junk food and end up gaining weight.

Ways to handle the cravings and smoking withdrawal symptoms:

While the process to quit smoking seems difficult, even impossible at times, there is good news. The withdrawal effects usually peak around 48 hours and decrease over a month or so.

If you want to quit smoking or help someone overcome this injurious habit, then following these practices can be a good starting point:

● Each episode of craving lasts for not more than 15–20 minutes. Use these short bursts to distract yourself with something productive. Keeping a healthy snack or chewing gum helps as well.

● Physical activities such as gymming, swimming, brisk walking, etc. are known to release endorphins, a hormone that lifts the mood. This will help reduce the irritability in mood and lessen the tobacco side effects.

● Seek out a support group or friends who can talk to you and keep you motivated in the journey.

● Practise meditation or deep breathing techniques that will help you stay calm and relaxed.

● You can consider using nicotine patches, gums, or lozenges that replace small portions of the nicotine as you quit.

• Using short-term nicotine substitution methods and reusable smoking filters can lessen the high tar and carcinogenic levels, while the smoker progresses along the quitting journey.

Don’t forget, No Tobacco Day can be Every Day!

This World No Tobacco Day, let’s take a pledge to give ourselves and our loved ones smoke-free lungs and smoke-free life. It is a tough journey but also a fulfilling one.  

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