How to Quit the Habit of Smoking
Tobacco smoking is not just a heart breaker, it is also a body breaker. Nicotine consumption leads to nicotine addiction – people who are addicted are life-long customers and not ‘long-life’ customers. It’s never too late to give up smoking.
Quitting smoking makes a difference right away in smoker’s body. The taste buds start functioning well and a smoker can actually enjoy food better. One’s breath smells better and better breath gives one a refreshing start to the day and to life. Chest congestion subsides because mucous cells of the trachea start performing better.
Quitting smoking cuts the risk of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other respiratory illnesses. Apart from the health aspects discussed above, quitting smoking helps one save money. The smoker now is in control of himself—cigarettes no longer control him. Self image and self confidence of the smoker improves immediately. A non-smoker is a healthier role model for his children and sets a better example for the next generation.
- Get rid of all cigarettes.
- Get rid of ashtrays.
- Change your morning routine. Start your day with deep breathing exercises, keeping yourself busy with meditation, and basic aerobic exercises, so as to ignore the urge of smoking.
- Don’t worry if you are more sleepy or short-tempered than usual; these states of body and mind will pass.
- Do a lot of deep breathing exercises and meditation.
- Try indulging in some of your favorite hobbies or passions.
- Try to exercise--take walks or ride a bike.
- Think about the positive aspects of your life and all the people or things you care for, or you are passionate about. That would help you motivate yourself to move closer to the positive horizon, leaving behind negativity and dependance on smoke.
- Improve the daily routine of regular exercise. It makes you physically fit and reduces craving. Also, try deep breathing exercises.
- Try diverting your attention whenever you get the urge to smoke.
- Try chewing/munching on something whenever you have an urge to smoke. Keep candies, chewing gums, chocolates, or nuts with you always.
- Quitting smoking results in various withdrawal symptoms like irritability, difficulty in concentrating, increased appetite, and the nagging urge to smoke. However, you have to fight this phase and come out a winner.
The immediate effects of quitting cigarettes:
- Within 20 minutes of ceasing to smoke, one’s blood pressure decreases and pulse returns to normal.
- After 8 hours of ceasing to smoke, the level of carbon monoxide in the blood returns to normal the level of oxygen in the blood increases.
- After 24 hours of stopping smoking, the chance of a heart attack decreases, and the quality of skin and hair starts improving, as overall blood circulation starts improving.
- After 48 hours of ceasing to smoke, damaged nerve endings begin to recover; and the sense of taste and smell improves.
- After 72 hours of stopping smoking, the body is virtually free of nicotine; breathing pattern improves and breath becomes odour-free.
- After 2–12 weeks of ceasing to smoke, air holding capacity of lungs and circulation, both improve.
Longer-term effects of quitting include:
- After 1 year, the risk of coronary heart disease is cut down by half.
- After 5 years, the risk of stroke is as good as that of a non-smoker.
- After 10 years, the risk of lung cancer is cut down by half and the risk of other cancers decrease significantly.
- After 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease drops, usually to the level of a non-smoker.