Cigarettes contain over 4,000 toxic chemicals, 50 of which are known to cause cancer and nicotine is the major one of them. Other than this cigarette smoke includes, formaldehyde (used to preserve dead bodies); ammonia (used in strong cleaning liquids) and cadmium (a highly poisonous metal used in batteries. World Health Organization (WHO) estimates passive smoking causes 600,000 deaths every year.
Why Do People Start Smoking?
Most people start smoking in their teens and are addicted by the time they reach adulthood. Some try to quit but return to cigarettes because smoking is such a strong addiction. It is a habit that is very difficult to control, but not impossible to leave. Common reasons for starting includes peer pressure, the desire to be ‘grown-up’, natural curiosity and a sense of rebellion or freedom.
Social influences also exist in the broader cultural sphere. Movies, advertisements, and other forms of media shape teen views of what is “cool,” trendy, and grown up. Therefore, some people start smoking to imitate their role models or to manifest what is chic. Indeed, it could be argued that smoking is sold as a lifestyle rather than a product and the illusion of style is that smoking is a ‘cool thing’ to do.
Why Do People Continue To Smoke?
The main factors that contribute to people continuing to smoke are the physical addiction to nicotine, which is highly addictive. It becomes a daily ritual and emotional and psychological dependence makes them crave cigarettes even if they try stop smoking.
Nicotine is a drug found naturally in tobacco and is highly addictive. With time, the body becomes both physically and psychologically dependent on nicotine
Nicotine works very fast. It reaches the brain within a few seconds of puffing the cigarette. It makes smokers more alert, and like some other addictive drugs including heroin, nicotine boosts levels of a ‘feel-good’ brain chemical called dopamine. It’s this effect that provoke smokers to come back for more, despite its risks.
Once someone is physically addicted to a drug, their system needs regular top ups to feel normal.
Psychological and Emotional Dependence
Smoking means different things to different people. For many, cigarettes are a friend, a relief from boredom, and are also seen as a form of stress relief. For those on a low income, smoking is often identified as their ‘one luxury’. It provides a momentary distraction like any other activity would.
Some people initiate tobacco use because they believe that it helps them cope with personal problems or relieve stress. They believe it’s a ‘crutch’ when things go wrong. And there is no doubt that nicotine withdrawal may be followed by unpleasant mood changes. Stress levels can worsen withdrawal, strongly linking tobacco use with poor emotional and mental health.
When the smoker lights a cigarette, he feels better. However, the real stress remains. The smoker is just in a better position to handle it since he does not have to deal with the additional stress created by nicotine withdrawal.
But people should realize that smoking is the prime reasons of stress.
Benefits Of Quitting
Every 1 out of 10 adults die due to the use of tobacco and it is the second cause of death globally. Half of all smokers die at an early age from a smoking related disease and one in four smokers die in middle age (35-64) because of their habit.
The following are the most common diseases caused by Smoking:
- Coronary Heart Disease, which may result in heart attack, or other vascular disease, perhaps leading to stroke
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which may include chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Infections such as pneumonia are more likely to be fatal
- Lung Cancer, as well as most other forms of cancer.
- In addition, Impotence, Peptic and Duodenal Ulcers and Fertility Problems may be associated with smoking.
- Even everyday complaints such as Coughing, Sneezing and Shortness Of Breath On Exertion can be attributed to smoking.
No matter what your age or how long you’ve smoked, quitting will help you live longer and healthier. People who stop smoking before the age of 50 cut their risk of dying in the next 15 years compared to those who continue to smoke. Ex-smokers also enjoy a higher quality of life with fewer illnesses.
Improved Health Benefits
Smokers are always being told about the harmful effects of their habit; however, people are far less aware of the dramatic health benefits of quitting and just how quickly they begin. The health benefits from stopping begin almost immediately and continue to increase for many years:
- 20 minutes – Blood pressure and pulse return to normal 8 hours – The oxygen level in your blood increases to normal level. Chances of a heart attack start to fall
- 24 hours – Carbon monoxide leaves the body. The lungs start to clear out mucus and debris
- 48 hours – Nicotine is no longer found in the body. Sense of taste and smell improve
- 72 hours – Breathing becomes easier. Energy levels increase
- 2-12 weeks – Circulation improves throughout the body
- 3-9 months – Coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing improve.
- 5 years – Risk of having a heart attack falls to about half to that of a smoker.
- 10 years – Risk of lung cancer falls to around half to that of a smoker.
Stopping smoking provides the best opportunity to improve the health of their family, and be around to see your children grow up. After quitting smoking, people often take more interest in their own health and wellbeing and may feel more motivated to exercise such as walking, jogging, cycling or aerobics. During exercise, chemicals called ‘endorphins’ are released in the brain, which have a tranquillizing effect and make people feel good.
Stopping smoking can bring other opportunities as well. Having the ability to quit smoking and take personal control over the habit will give their self-esteem a boost. Many ex-smokers have found that the effort they invested in stopping smoking has helped them to have more belief in themselves, their strength and their capabilities. As a result, people who have quit smoking have also gone on to make other positive life changes, such as taking advantage of new opportunities at work.
“ENABLING NICOTINE USERS TO UNDERSTAND THE LAWS OF ADDICTION”
- A practice based 3-day contact program to help participants break the addiction and come out of physical dependence on nicotine
- Social media and discussion forum support over 3 months to provide post cessation support.
- Group Therapy + Your determination + Our experience + Expert Cessation Techniques= Amazing Results.
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