Why should I quit smoking altogether?
Australia’s leading cause for preventable death and illness is smoking.
Tobacco smoke is high in more than 7,000 chemicals that can cause cancer. Tobacco smoking can damage almost every organ of your body, and every cigarette can do you harm.
Your body will begin to heal itself as soon as you quit smoking. You’ll start to notice the benefits very quickly.
Although quitting smoking is difficult, it can also have many benefits, including the ability to save money and health benefits.
Your body will experience dramatic changes once you have put out a cigarette. You will notice a significant improvement in your lung function as soon you stop smoking.
20 minutes — Your resting heart rate begins to drop (this is an indicator of your overall fitness).
12 hours – your blood oxygen levels will start to rise and your body’s level of carbon monoxide will begin to drop
5 Days — Most of the nicotine has left your system
1 Week – Your sense of taste, smell and touch improves
2 to 12 Weeks — Your risk of heart attacks is lower, your circulation is better, exercise is easier to do, and your lung function is better.
1-9 months — You feel less short of air and your cough is less frequent
1 Year — Your risk of heart disease is about half as low if you quit smoking
You have a lower risk of developing stroke, mouth cancer, throat cancer, or cancer of the oesophagus if you wait 5 years.
In the past 10 years, your chance of developing lung cancer has fallen to half of what it was if you smoked. Your risk of developing bladder, kidney, and pancreatic cancers has also declined.
Quitting smoking can benefit your friends and loved ones by decreasing their exposure. This is particularly important if your children live with you.
Stopping smoking can help you save a lot of money. Quitting smoking can save you thousands of dollars every year if you smoke 20 cigarettes per day.
Other social benefits include the fact that smoking is prohibited in public places. This means that you can’t smoke outside, which often means that you have to step outside for conversations, meetings, or other activities. You don’t have the right to give up smoking.
How do I stop smoking?
Each person will experience a different path to quitting smoking. It may be easy for some people, while others find it difficult. There are many methods to quit smoking and plenty of resources available to help you.
You should have a personal quit plan that you can refer back to whenever you need it. Your quit plan can include:
a quit date
Why you should quit.
You can make a plan for dealing with withdrawal symptoms and cravings
Here’s a list of smoking triggers that you should be aware of and some tips on how to deal with them
A plan to make your car and home smoke-free
How to quit smoking
Which methods can I use to quit smoking?
There are many options for quitting smoking. These include going ‘cold’ (stopping abruptly), slowly cutting back on cigarettes, using nicotine substitute therapy (NRT), prescription medications, and professional support and counseling.
Your chances of quitting smoking are also increased if you change your smoking habits and behaviors. This could be:
Recognize and avoid situations that could trigger your desire to smoke
Distracting yourself with new activities
Find support from family and friends or join a support group
It is important to remind yourself of the health benefits of quitting smoking
Stop Smoking ‘Cold Turkey’
Going ‘cold turkey’ is a method of quitting smoking abruptly, without support.
This is a popular method of quitting, but it is not as effective and safe as using nicotine replacement therapy or any other quit medication.
Gradually reduce to quit
Gradually cutting back means gradually decreasing the number cigarettes you smoke per day, until you are completely quit. This is a good place to start, even if you are not ready to stop smoking.
To gradually reduce your smoking, you can increase the amount of cigarettes and the time between them until you achieve your quit date.
Nicotine replacement therapy, (NRT),
NRT is a small dose of nicotine that can be administered in small amounts to reduce withdrawal symptoms. It does not contain the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. This can assist you in quitting smoking.
NRT can be purchased at some supermarkets and pharmacies. You will find it in the form of patches, gums, nasal and oral sprays as well as in the form of lozenges, tablets and lozenges.
Mixing 2 forms of NRT together can be more effective in stopping you from smoking. A patch can give you a steady and slow amount of nicotine. An NRT gum or spray will quickly deliver a rapid dose to help with cravings.
Discuss your options with your doctor and pharmacist to learn more about the best methods for you.
Smoking cessation medications
There are many other medications available that don’t contain any nicotine and can be prescribed by your doctor. They work by blocking the nicotine receptors of your brain.
These medicines may not suit everyone. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if they are right.
Expert support and counselling
Support and counselling may be available to assist you in quitting smoking. There are many options available. Talk to your trusted healthcare professional about the best option for you.
Psychological interventions can include therapy such as mindfulness or cognitive behaviour therapy. Quitline offers free counselling and an internet chat service. It is available in all 50 states and territories.
Alternative methods to quit smoking include electronic cigarettes, vaping and vaping
Many people look into alternative ways to quit smoking such as hypnotherapy and acupuncture. While there is no evidence to support these methods, some people find them useful when they are trying to quit.
E-cigarettes (also known as vaping or e-cigarettes), can only be bought in Australia as nicotine-free items. Illegal to sell nicotine ecigarettes and liquid nicotine products without a doctor’s permission.
E-cigarettes may be effective for helping people quit smoking, but there is limited evidence. It’s unclear if they work long-term. It’s not known if they work as well as other nicotine replacement therapies (NRT). There have been many toxic substances found in heated vapour. Because these products are relatively new, long-term effects from exposure to e-cigarettes vapour are unknown.
What will it feel like to quit smoking?
When you stop smoking, nicotine withdrawal may occur. This can happen for as little as a few days to several weeks. Some withdrawal symptoms include dizziness, dryness of the throat, dry mouth, dry cough, nausea, irritability, depression, and a feeling that you are tense or irritable.
Sometimes the hardest week is the first. You will feel better as your body adjusts to the nicotine addiction.
Even though withdrawal can be uncomfortable, there are many benefits to quitting smoking. You may be able cough less, be more active, have less nausea, your senses of taste and smell will return, and you’ll be able save more money.
What can I do to quit smoking?
Quitting smoking can be hard. It may take several attempts to stop. Keep in mind that you will improve your ability to quit smoking every time.
If you have a relapse, don’t worry about it. It’s normal to start smoking again. Many people who smoke will try many times to stop before they finally succeed. It takes practice and time to master any skill. It is important to persevere.
Try to see slip-ups and relapses in a learning process.
What was it that caused you to fall for it?
Are you in a similar position? What are your options for quitting?
What can you do to manage your withdrawal symptoms
Do you follow the directions when taking prescription medication or NRT?
There will be triggers and cravings for smoking as part of your journey to quitting. It is important that you identify your own smoking triggers. Make a list and then add them to your quit smoking plan. You can find more helpful tips at the Quit website.
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