We all see them, the supposedly cool guys with the self-confident attitude smoking away at cigars from the Caribbean regions, Cuba, Havana and the rest. The camera zooms into their faces where they exhale slowly and say something arrogant before pulling out a gun and shooting an apple off the top of someone’s head.
Super cool, isn’t it? Well, that is until you get cancer or your lungs decide it’s time you quit the hard way, by sending you to an early grave. There is simply no way around it. You either smoke your way to the grave or just quit before it’s too late to do anything about it.
What Are You Inhaling?
Most people start smoking without knowing exactly what they are inhaling. I’ll let you know what is contained in a cigarette. Of course I know you know its tobacco but I’ll tell you what is in the tobacco. And these are just the ones that are in abundance.
- Tar- consists of several chemicals that cause cancer. Approximately 70% of it remains in the lungs because it’s a sticky brown substance.
- Carbon-monoxide- it is an odorless gas, very poisonous and because the body has a hard time differentiating this from oxygen, it gets absorbed into the blood stream. It affects muscle and cardiac functions gradually until you just die.
- Nicotine- this is the part of tobacco that hooks you to smoking. It is the real reason why you smoke. Without it, you wouldn’t smoke. It’s fast-acting and gets to your brain real quick. It causes damage to the nervous system and retards growth.
- Toluene- it causes disorientation, confusion, memory loss, weakness in the muscle and joints and anorexia. Damages the brain slowly until you become a vegetable. There are also the perpetual drunken motions that come later.
Fun Fact– this fact may not be fun but it’s true. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 different compounds. Most of them are just poison and they cause cancer.
Before I forget, it’s not just tobacco that is smoked. We do have other substances that we smoke. Weed/ cannabis/ pot, hashish, opium, and heroin among a myriad of other smoked substances.
Most of the smokers prefer tobacco and weed. Tobacco is more dangerous than weed because it can just kill you slowly rotting you away on the inside. It’s really not worth it if you think of this rationally.
Fun Fact– if cigarette companies did not use nicotine in their products, the number of smokers would drastically drop. But then again, they can’t do that; they need money, at your expense of course.
A Scientifically Proven Way to Stop Smoking Once And For All
There are several ways to do that actually. I will give you the best ones that have been researched and proven to work effectively. In science, we discover the reasons that make you addicted to the cigarettes and then, we develop a way of substituting the substance you crave with something better.
From psychology to physical methods of helping you quit, we cover it all. Listed here are ways in which you can stop smoking. Each of them applies a scientific principle geared towards helping you get a clean slate and avoid cancer.
- Nicotine Replacement
This has by far been the most successful way of quitting smoking. It is also called nicotine therapy. Remember when I said that nicotine is the reason why people smoke, well, it I also how you stop smoking. Nicotine replacement basically involves the act of using other forms of nicotine to stimulate you the way cigarettes did.
These are reduced in amount slowly until you don’t need it anymore. That’s just the basic way in which it works and it is mostly successful. You may be worried that if you find the main ingredient that makes you smoke, you will get addicted to it.
You see, the thing is, the way nicotine therapy works is different and there is no danger at all of getting addicted to the therapy itself. It is not the safest way to quit smoking but it is the most successful one after the
It is not the safest way to quit smoking but it is the most successful one after the Cold Turkey method. You don’t have to cut back on the cigarettes gradually. You just stop at once and start the therapy. When you do that, there will be none of the adverse effects of cigarettes that include tar build up in your lungs.
When you do that, there will be none of the adverse effects of cigarettes that include tar build up in your lungs. This therapy will include, nicotine patch, using nicotine lozenges and other ways of getting nicotine into your body safely.
- Avoid Triggers/Temptation
If you ask any smoker, they will always tell you that there is that one thing that makes them want to smoke again. We call these, the triggers or if you prefer a simpler term, temptations.
In other cases, others have designated times when they smoke and it becomes so much ingrained into their biological clock that when the time to take a smoke break comes, they just walk out and smoke. It is a powerful craving.
The craving gets even worse when you are trying to quit smoking and when this happens, you have the option of avoiding the things that make you want to smoke.
If you can’t do that, you’ll find yourself in a back alley in a neighborhood you don’t know saying damn it over and over again while inhaling big puffs of smoke just because you saw that trigger. Here is how you avoid the temptations.
Distractions are the key to avoiding the usual habits that lead back to smoking. When the time for your usual daily smoke break comes, just take time to do something directing such as doodling things down or talking to someone, preferably a friend who understands that you are trying to quit.
- Cold Turkey
While it may sound like an uphill journey, it is actually the most successful way that people have used to quit smoking. The quitting for this one starts in the mind. You set yourself up for success. And then when you are sure you can stop, you do.
While science and experts say that it is not wise to quit this way as the withdrawal symptoms may sometimes be severe, the American Cancer Society has proved that 80% of the people who quit smoking, did so by use of the cold turkey method.
Do not fool yourself into thinking that one day you will wake up and throw away all your cigarettes with no plan to get you through the next few months of cravings and regrets and self-doubt. Most admit that they had a lot of support from family and friends and that’s how they quit. You cannot expect this to be easy.
It is, after all, the undisputable hardest method of quitting. There are the constant reminders from friends about the benefits of holding on and keeping up the good fight, willpower that is boosted by confidence in you and assurance from others. If you try alone, you will most certainly fail in the majority of the cases. Unless you have incredibly unusual willpower, be realistic and get support.
- Cutting Back
While this may not work for everyone, it is the best method that a heavy smoker can use. You may have been smoking through several packets a day. You can start by depleting the amount of nicotine in your body. When you deplete the amount of nicotine, it will make the cravings easier to resist.
You can do this by cutting back on the cigarettes from several packs to half the amount and so on and so forth until you are down to one cigarette a day and then you can ditch that for something easier like nicotine therapy.
You can see that it is not that hard to ditch the habit when you do this slowly but surely. You have to remember though that quitting is a decision you make all by yourself and resolve to stop. This may be because you have received the inspiration of some sort or you have people helping you quit.
You may know friends or people who quit the hard way by cold turkey or cutting back but it may not work for you. That’s why you are advised to seek methods that do work for you because everyone has their own way of dealing with challenges.
There are medicines that are prescribed for withdrawal symptoms because even though you may not quit cold turkey, other methods are not free of withdrawal symptoms.
The cravings and the symptoms can be lessened by the use of medicines such as Bupropion (Zyban) and Varenicline (Chantix). Apart from being strong with willpower and resolve, you may want to use these medicines.
- Combination Treatments
Using a combination of quitting methods is a good idea but you may want to talk to your doctor to see if this is the best approach for you and then if he approves, you can go ahead and use two nicotine patches.
The idea is to quit nicotine in the end and you should not lose sight of the goals you and in the first place. Other combinations that you can use include behavioral and nicotine therapy, prescription medicines and nicotine therapy and nicotine patch with nicotine spray. This is the best way to make the transition into a smoke-free life easier.
- Support Groups
It goes without saying that people have been known to work very well in groups especially when they have a common enemy. Here you can keep track of your achievements and feel good about what you are doing. If you want, you can even turn it into a healthy competition.
You will be surprised at what a good group will do for your self-esteem and willpower. It is why groups are recommended when you are trying to quit smoking. There will also be tips and methods you can use to kick the habit at this get-together.
If you are too proud to think of it as a support group, you can imagine it’s a convention of people who get together to talk and help each other beat a monster. Anything that makes you comfortable in the group.
- Hypnosis, Acupuncture and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
These are also scientifically proven to work. Hypnosis involves being put under a trance where you will be convinced to quit and if you are suggestible enough, you will be successful. It all depends on how you view hypnosis. Acupuncture may look more like leisure than a way to kick the tobacco away but it actually works but then again, not for everybody. It all depends on what kind of person you are.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is when you are given a talking to about what you will face in the future. It is almost like hypnosis except nobody will put you in a trance.
You just have to be brave enough to admit that you need help and that the best way you can get it is if you accept it. Think of it as a good old brainwashing or reprogramming but gradual and you get to decide if you really want to stop.
- Fitness Programs
When you smoke, a lot of trash gets into your blood system. You wouldn’t want to quit and become weaker. It is why you are advised to get into a fitness program coupled with other things such as dieting.
When you have a fitness regimen, you expel the waste that has accumulated from when you used to smoke. You also expel nicotine which is the one that increases your cravings. When you have done this, it is safe to say that your power to fight the cravings will be better.
Eat healthy foods to make up for the harm you did to your body. Think of it as a way of thanking your body for not quitting on you. Foods that include healthy nutrients will do so much to help clean up your chemical ridden body and help with the cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
And when you have done all that, you’ll be good to go.
10 Ways That Smoking Makes Your Life Less Enjoyable
No one wants to hang out with a smoker except a fellow smoker and you will have a hard time making new friends who are non-smokers. They will shun you if anytime you come to them, you are reeking of tobacco. Here are the ways that smoking makes your life miserable.
- Slavery to Drugs
First of all, you will become a slave to your cravings and addictions. It’s not a life of fun and games. It’s a constant need for more and more and there will be nothing you can do about it once you hit rock-bottom.
You will be tied to your desires and you will most likely not see how life turns out after you are done with the packet in hand
We have seen how people with bad habits get kicked away from society by people. You will be shunned and no one will want to hang out with you except of course your buddies who smoke. And they too will be outcast just like you.
- Health Complications
Tobacco smoking is harmful to your health. We all know that. You could get cancer and end up making your life much more miserable than it was before. You will end up running around trying to find solutions to your problems.
Coughing up your lungs and watching your insides rot and blacken from all the abuse.
- Resources To Treat You
You will not be running around with bad lungs and cancer rode body without digging into your savings and resources to finance the search for life. This will, in the long run, make you question yourself and bankrupt you if you are not from a well-to-do family or without resources.
You’ll just impose problems on friends and family. No one wants that especially if they told you to quit and you ignored them
- Lose a Job
You are most likely to lose a job if you are nursing a bad habit. Smoking is considered even more unhealthy than drinking. Most if not all workplaces prohibit this habit and if you keep on giving in to your cravings of a smoke, you are bound to get caught and fired.
If you lose a job in today’s world, you will be barely getting by and for a smoke, you will trade in your comfortable life for a hard life.
- Break Your Marriage
This happens especially if you start smoking after you have married. Marriages require delicacy in handling and if you do not want them to end, don’t provoke your partner. Smoking is bad for children and if your partner does not approve of your behavior, you will be shown the door.
- Force You Into Bad Habits
One bad habit breeds another. One drug opens you up to another and soon after experimentation; you will need an all new high. That’s when you start smoking pot, heroin and soon some other substances that get a new name every day.
This goes on for long enough and you’re soon a washed up has been with no life and a badly abused physique. Health problems at your heels and probably a death wish will be in the mix too
- Irritability, Fatigue, and Restlessness
This happens especially if you are not getting the cigarettes. When you are irritable, it is easy t say scathing, sarcastic or bad things to people who mean well. Even close family and friends would not like to be around a sourpuss. And, no one would want to invite you to anything because of your snarky behavior.
- Constant Complaints From People Around You
These can be hurtful but you will have to keep in mind that they are self-inflicted. They just don’t want you and your breath hanging around. They will tell you as much and if they are especially insensitive, they might even insult you about what you do.
- The Quitting Process
This is a hard process you don’t want to go through. Especially the withdrawal symptoms can be very severe and will ultimately make you suffer before you can get clean. That’s why you should just not do it. Insomnia, coughing, depression, anxiety and a myriad of other problems will hound you on your journey to getting clean.
Is Your Addiction Stopping You From Connecting To Other People?
The man enters the house and meets his wife at the door. She looks at him and moves her face away to the side as he tries to kiss her. She complains that the smell of cigarettes on his breath is nauseating.
To make matters worse, she is pregnant and very touchy about what the fetus is exposed to. Even though he smoked outside before coming in, she can’t stand the sight of him. He heads to the shower where he smokes in private.
She tells her friends about how sweet her husband is except for the smoking and that’s why he can’t come to next Saturday’s picnic at the park. He ends up lonely and dejected. Depression sets in and things go south. This may not be the case with many of smokers but it is closer to home and you get my point.
What You Can Do About It.
Well, you could start by quitting which is as hard as it sounds. But it’s not impossible; here is how you avoid being a social pariah.
- Stop smoking
- Ask for their help, if they see you’re willing to stop, they will be more welcoming
- Don’t be rude or insolent.
- Don’t be selfish about what you want. They want a smoke-free environment. Give it to them.
- Keep your mind busy with other things. You can get a hobby or read a book
- Brush your teeth. It helps with the cravings.
- Start a fitness program and relax. Be active and good to people. They will be more willing to help you when you are quitting.
- Don’t slide back if you decide to quit. People will have more respect for you if you bag it the first time.
Smoking may look like fun but it is in fact not. From the health problems, social problems and the journey to quitting, it is not fun at all. Why not chose a clean healthy life and binge on something else apart from carcinogenic tobacco that will surely make you sick or kill you in the end. So, start your journey from addiction to a dependent life free from the yoke of cigarettes.
Fun fact- Sigmund Freud asked his doctor to assist him with his suicide because of oral cancer caused by smoking.