Why You Should Stop Smoking - Time To Ditch The Habit
May 31st is World No Tobacco Day. With that in mind, we have put together a guide explaining not only why you should stop smoking, but also how you can help ditch the habit. Why not let this World No Tobacco Day be the first day in your journey to quitting smoking?
You have probably heard the standard reasons for giving up smoking. It can cause diseases such as lung cancer and heart disease. But did you know smoking is also linked to the following:
Diabetes - smokers are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes as smoking can affect insulin levels.
Emphysema - smoke damages the lungs, which over time can lead to loss of lung function.
Tuberculosis - smoking can cause a higher risk of contracting TB, it can also cause treatment to not work as well.
Liver cancer - your chances of developing liver cancer are heightened by smoking and drinking alcohol.
Blood cancer - cigarette chemicals can enter the bloodstream causing blood cancer.
Lupus (autoimmune disease) - smoking can make lupus treatment ineffective, it can also cause the disease to accelerate.
Alzheimer's disease -Smoking can also cause mental decline to speed up.
Second Hand Smoke
Smoking not only compromises your own health, but the health of those around you. Second hand smoke is extremely dangerous, especially to children and pregnant women.
Second hand smoke is ingested by non smokers in different ways:
Via sidestream smoke (Direct smoke)- the smoke that is emitted from the burning end of the cigarette.
Via mainstream smoke - (inhaled smoke) - this is smoke that the smoker themselves has inhaled and exhaled.
Both streams contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals. These can cause lung cancer and heart disease in non smokers. Second hand smoke can also make life very uncomfortable for those with the diseases above, especially chronic bronchitis like Emphysema, and asthma.
A Healthier You
One of the main reasons to quit is you will start to see the benefits almost immediately. Smokefree.gov state that within:
The first 20 minutes of quitting smoking your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
In just 12 hours the carbon monoxide in your blood will return to normal.
After a year your risk of heart disease is cut in half!
For a list of all the benefits to quitting smoking see here.
A Healthier Wallet!
A pack of 20 cigarettes will set you back anything from €9.00 to €13.00. That all adds up! The Irish Cancer Society have a ‘Savings Calculator’ on their website, which allows you to add up just how much you would save if you gave up smoking! See here and get calculating.
Quitting smoking is easier for some than others. Now that you know why you should quit smoking, it is time to look at how you can stop.
List your reasons - having incentive and motivation to quit is a great way to get going on the journey. Write down all the reasons you want to quit, and keep it with you. Take a look at it every time you feel the urge to smoke.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) - this is a medical way of replacing nicotine in your body without the other harmful chemicals that come from cigarettes such as tar. There are a few different types of NRT including patches, chewing gum, and inhalers. NRT is shown to have a 50-70% success rate in helping to quit smoking.
Get the support - Inform your family and friends that you are starting your journey to quitting, their support will be a great help in times when you may get a craving.
Don’t beat yourself up - we can all slip up. If you smoke a cigarette don’t beat yourself up about it. Get back on track straight away and remind yourself of why you are quitting (this is where your list will come in handy).