Health A-Z

How to Quit Smoking


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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest threats to public health, and it kills more than 8 million people annually around the world. More than 7 million of these deaths are caused by direct tobacco consumption, while the rest is caused by second-hand smoke. There are strict smoking rules in the UAE that should be followed by everyone. All tobacco use is harmful, and there are no safe exposure levels. Cigarette smoking is the most popular way of consuming tobacco around the world. Smokeless tobacco is also unhealthy because it has many cancer-causing substances.

Dangers of Smoking

Smoking can have many negative impacts on your health, which can lead to life-threatening conditions. Smoking causes lung damage because you not only inhale nicotine but also other harmful substances. Smoking increases your risk of developing lung cancer. According to the CDC, smoking causes 9 out of 10 cases of lung cancer deaths. It also increases your risk of developing and dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.

Did you know that smoking can damage your blood cells, blood vessels, and heart? The tar and chemicals in cigarettes increase your risk of developing atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the blood vessels). This limits blood flow and can lead to blockages. Smoking has also been linked to heart attack, stroke, blood clots, etc.

Smoking can cause fertility problems for women making it difficult to conceive. Tar and other harmful chemicals in cigarettes affect reproductive hormones. In men, the longer they smoke, the higher the chances of developing erectile dysfunction. It can also affect sperm quality and fertility.

Ways to Quit Smoking


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Deciding to quit smoking is the first step towards improving your health. However, you need to focus on practical habits to win the battle. Here are useful tips to help you through your quitting journey.

Preparation is Key

When you decide to quit smoking, you should set a date that’s not so far in the future to prevent you from putting this off. Choose a date that gives you adequate time to prepare. You can decide to quit abruptly or gradually. It is advisable to choose the methods that suit you. To help prepare for your quit date;

·       Tell your friends and family about your decision

·       Sign up for a stop-smoking workshop if you wish

·       Throw away your ashtrays and cigarettes

·       Get oral substitutes like sugarless gum, candy, etc.

·       Decide whether you will use nicotine replacement therapy, other medication, or go ‘cold turkey’

·       Have a support system like your friends and family

·       On your quit day, don’t smoke at all, drink more water, and avoid people who smoke.

Use Nicotine Replacement Therapy

It is recommended to quit smoking by using nicotine replacement therapy because nicotine dependency can be too strong. It is necessary to consult the best general practitioners Dubai to help you create an effective treatment plan. Nicotine replacement therapy helps you to overcome cravings and reduces withdrawal symptoms.

They are created to stop your body from desiring cigarettes and supply you with a controlled dose of nicotine while keeping you safe from other chemicals that are found in cigarettes. Different types of nicotine replacement therapy include lozenges, chewing gums, skin patches, inhalers, and nasal sprays. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience side effects like skin swelling, mouth problems, irregular or fast heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, weakness, dizziness while using these products.

Behavioral Support

Sometimes, you need help to control your physical and emotional dependency on nicotine. Support services, self-help materials, and counseling are useful tools to help you get rid of your nicotine dependency.

Your physical symptoms start to improve first and then your emotional symptoms follow. Combining behavioral support, nicotine replacement therapy, and medication like bupropion increases your chances of smoke cessation. Behavioral support can be in the form of individual counseling in person, online, or by phone, group therapy, or written information and advice.

Non-Nicotine Medication

You should consult your healthcare provider if you want to try non-nicotine medication to help you quit smoking. Bupropion is a non-nicotine medication that affects the chemical in your brain that makes you crave nicotine by reducing the cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Varenicline is another approved non-nicotine medication that disrupts the nicotine receptors in your brain. This reduces the pleasure you get from nicotine and reduces the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

Consider Your Diet

Do you smoke after dinner? Some foods like meat make smoking more satisfying. Cheese, vegetables, and fruits make smoking taste terrible. If you want to quit smoking, especially after meals, switch meat for veggies and fruits. It also helps to change your routine after meals to avoid smoking. Did you know that alcohol, fizzy drinks, coffee, and tea make smoking taste better? It is advisable to drink juice and water.

What are Your Smoking Triggers?

It is necessary to identify things that lead you to smoke so you can avoid them, for instance;

·       Avoid designated smoking areas

·       Hang out with individuals who don’t smoke or people who want to quit

·       Stay busy, especially when you feel boredom tempting you to smoke

·       Drink water instead of alcohol or coffee

·       Adopt new routines not associated with smoking.

List Your Reasons for Quitting

Make a list of all the reasons you want to quit, for instance, for better health, to set a good example for your children, lowering your risk of developing life-threatening diseases, saving money, and not exposing your friends and family to second-hand smoke.

Celebrate Your Victories

Quitting is not only about the struggle; it’s about enjoying the little wins. Don’t focus on the struggles and forget the success and how far you have come and what you have overcome. You can use the money you have saved to take a trip or treat yourself to a treat. You don’t have to treat yourself financially.

 

Smoking is one of the leading causes of death around the world and it can be difficult to quit. The first step is to make the decision to quit. You can also ask for help or consider behavioral support. Although it’s not easy, it is worth it.

 

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