According to Above The Influence, “smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States,” and it is “addictive.” Many adults have tried smoking at one time. The lucky ones were able to say “no,” or able to smoke once or twice and never again. Unfortunately, millions who start are not able to quit so easily. Writing based on personal experiences, here are some tips on why one should stop smoking and how to do it.
Reasons to Stop Smoking Now
Everyone sees the warning label on cigarettes, and everyone knows they are bad. However, people still do it. Some smoke to take breaks, to relieve stress, or to be social. Most people who smoke believe it just affects them, and not those around them. The sad truth is, smoking not only affects the smoker, but it also has an effect on everyone around them.
Cigarettes contain poisons that are not only inhaled but released into the air. Anyone around the smoke can easily inhale unwanted poisons and suffer serious side effects if exposed to cigarette smoke for long periods of time. Remember, the smoker is not the only one inhaling the harmful poisons, nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide. On top of that, if a smoker has children, even if they smoke outside or downwind of the children, the smell still lingers. Children will still pick up the smell of smoke, and be able to inhale some of the poisons. This can cause medical problems for children and adults alike, and the expenses of preventable diseases far outweigh the use of such a product.
The expense is a huge reason to stop smoking. If a disease, such as lung cancer, heart disease, bronchitis, mouth, throat, bladder, and pancreas cancer are not enough to stop one from smoking, maybe the medical and cigarette costs will be. Think of how much money goes into smoking. Most people who smoke buy packs in bulk, and later in life will pay medical bills causing serious financial burdens on their family. Overall, the expense is not worth the risk, and the fact that those with children take the chance of willfully hurting their child’s health is by far not worth the risk.
Everyone who smokes needs to take a minute and think, “Who does this affect?” When a smoker smokes in a restaurant, even if the area is enclosed, is it just the smoker being affected? When smoking outside, even if it is the right distance from those around the smoker, will it not have an effect on someone walking by? Also, think about smoking and driving. With all the other distractions people face on the roadways, is it safe to light a cigarette and drive? The biggest question is, is it really safe to smoke? Everyone knows the answer to that question is a resounding “no.”
One great reason to stop smoking includes being free of addiction. Putting an end to any addiction gives one a great sense of freedom and a realization that they can change their life for the better, and not let an object control them. Other reasons to stop include better breath, longer life, better skin, less coughing, no more smoke smell, clearer thinking and no more contributing to tobacco companies. After one stops smoking, their blood pressure will go down, and carbon monoxide and nicotine levels in their body will decrease. After a few weeks, heart attack risks decrease, breathing improves, and after a year the risk of “coronary heart disease” drops to “less than half” of a person who smokes. Even though these improvements do take time, they will happen, and the body will begin to heal, and the risks of disease will improve tremendously.
There are hundreds of reasons to quit, and none to keep smoking. Please start the process today, and start living a better life.
Steps to Stop Smoking
The first step to stop any addiction is to admit to having a problem. If there is no awareness of having an addiction or problem, then the chances of quitting may be slim. Take a stand. Admit that this horrible piece of paper with its poisonous materials and the companies that sell it have caused an addiction, and stop contributing to the problem now. Once a problem has been noticed and admitted to, one can begin the process of quitting.
Once a decision to quit has been made, go forward with ways to quit. The best way, not the most sought out, is to go “cold turkey.” Take every box of cigarettes and trash them. That is all they are; they belong in the trash. Soak them in water (to prevent any fire) and throw them out. This is a great way to break an addiction; it shows that the one addicted is taking a stand and refuses to continue this downward spiral any longer.
If quitting “cold turkey” is too much, go to the doctor. Tell the doctor the problem, and ask for information as to how to quit effectively. If going to the doctor is not an option, call a help line. Many states have programs in place to help people of all ages, all backgrounds, and all stages end their smoking habit, and they work. Seek out support from all sources available, and stay focused on the positives of knocking this bad habit.
Replace Smoking With Good Habits
Stopping any bad habit is not easy, and it is important to replace the bad habit with good habits. One of the best reasons to stop smoking is better breathing. What better habit to replace smoking with than exercise? Exercise is a great stress reliever and a great social activity. If there is a point in the day when you feel like starting smoking again, go outside and start walking or running. These are two exercises that require nothing more than some good tennis shoes and comfortable clothing, and people will be amazed how far they can walk and run once they stop smoking.
Some other things to replace smoking with are reading, writing, music, art, home projects, work projects, family time, shopping, outdoor trips, and even coffee. Just be sure whatever good habit is chosen will not break the bank or hurt your health further. Once again, if one is having trouble finding a good habit, seek out a support group and have them give suggestions on how to fight the cravings.
Talk About It
Talking to friends and family is a great way to stay motivated when making major life changes, and for many, this is a major change. Friends and family can be a great support group. They will want to be encouraging, and they want to be apart of this time. Including them is important, and in many cases, they may have gone through the same thing. In a way, this is good, because they will be able to give advice on how to stay focused and what to do to reduce the desire to go back. Once again, if friends and family are not an option for support, find a great group. Talking to those going through the same struggle and having the same emotions can be extremely helpful. Not only will they be a motivation to the one who is quitting, the person who is quitting can be a motivation to them.
Stop Smoking Now and Have a Better Life
The ultimate goal for quitting is to improve the quality of life. Smoking, after a while, becomes an unnecessary stress and in the end, makes life worse. Life is too precious to be wasted on such a horrible expensive habit such as cigarettes. As someone who was once a chain smoker, stopped “cold turkey” (due to finding out she was five months pregnant), and struggled with the same habit for years, life is so much better when it does not include time for the next fix of nicotine or toxic poisons. Breathing is better, being able to taste food without covering it in salt is great, and knowing that scheduling cigarette breaks are not an option is fantastic.
Overall, there is hope, and one can be successful. Make a commitment to end the habit today, and improve your quality of life.