Smoking is an intentional process that involves inhaling smoke from burning substances, such as tobacco and other substances. When a person inhales the smoke, the chemicals in the tobacco are absorbed into their bloodstream, affecting their body and brain.
Smoking is known to be highly addictive (inability to stop use) due to the presence of nicotine in some of these substances, which can cause both physical and psychological dependence. It is also linked to a range of serious health problems, including lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory diseases.
KNOWING THE DANGERS OF SMOKING, YOU WOULD WONDER WHY THEN PEOPLE SMOKE.
People smoke for various reasons, including:
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance found in tobacco, and smoking is a primary way to obtain it. People who smoke may feel a physical or psychological dependence on nicotine. So, most times, they find it difficult not to smoke.
2. Social Pressure
People may start smoking to fit in with a particular social group or to impress others.
3. Stress relief
Some people smoke to cope with stress, anxiety, or other negative emotions. The act of smoking can provide a temporary sense of relaxation and stress relief (in other words, they feel “good” when they smoke).
4. Weight control
Some people smoke to control their appetite and manage their weight.
People may develop a habit of smoking that becomes part of their daily routine, such as smoking after meals or while taking breaks at work.
In some parts of the world, people smoke to keep warm during extreme cold weather conditions.
Regardless of the reasons people start smoking, the negative health effects of smoking are numerous, and quitting smoking is the best way to reduce these risks.
WHAT TO DO WHEN ADDICTED TO SMOKING
Stopping addiction to smoking can be challenging, but it is possible with the right strategies and support. Here are some practical tips that can help:
1. Set a quit date: Choose a specific day to quit and mark it on your calendar. This can help you mentally prepare for the change.
2. Identify your triggers: Keep track of when you smoke and what triggers your cravings. This can help you identify situations that you need to avoid or plan for.
3. Create a support system: Tell your friends and family that you are quitting smoking and ask for their support. Consider joining a support group or working with a counselor to help you stay on track.
4. Use nicotine replacement therapy: Nicotine replacement therapy can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. This can include nicotine gum, or lozenges.
Practice stress-reducing activities: Smoking can be a way to cope with stress, so it’s important to find other ways to manage stress. Consider exercise, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine: Alcohol and caffeine can increase cravings for cigarettes. Avoiding these substances or limiting your intake can help you stay on track.
Remember, quitting smoking is a process, and it may take several attempts before you are successful. Be patient and don’t give up.
The benefits of quitting smoking are numerous (short-term and long-term health benefits), will include the following:
1. Improved lung function: Quitting smoking can lead to improved lung function and reduce the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema (presence of air in the respiratory sacs of the lungs), and other respiratory problems.
2. Reduced risk of cancer: Smoking is a leading cause of lung cancer, as well as many other types of cancer. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of developing these cancers.
3. Better heart health: Smoking increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, but quitting can reduce this risk and lead to better heart health.
4. Improved circulation: Smoking can damage blood vessels and lead to poor circulation. Quitting can improve circulation and reduce the risk of blood vessels disease and other circulation-related problems.
5. Enhanced sense of smell and taste: Smoking can dull the senses of smell and taste, but quitting can restore them.
6. Whiter teeth and fresher breath: Smoking can cause yellowing of teeth and bad breath, but quitting can help improve oral health and hygiene.
7. Improved mood and mental health: Quitting smoking can lead to improved mood and mental health, including reduced anxiety and depression symptoms.
8. Better overall health: Quitting smoking can lead to an overall improvement in health and well-being, including increased energy, better sleep, and reduced risk of many health problems.
In addition to these physical health benefits, quitting smoking can also have financial benefits (helps you save money) and improve your relationships with family and friends who may have been negatively affected by your smoking habit.