Cigarette smoking was used to be perceived as a cool habit. But with rising cases of lung cancer and other diseases associated with cigarette smoking, many people are now realizing that it isn’t a cool habit at all. Published by Hypnosis in London on 11 July 2016, written by Malminder Gill.
In Great Britain, about 19% of the adult population smokes. That’s about 9.6 million of adults in the region. About two-thirds of these smokers started smoking before they reach the legal age of 18. And about half of these smokers eventually die because of this habit.
The Dangers of Cigarette Smoking
There’s no such thing as “safe smoking.” With over 600 ingredients and 7,000 chemicals, there’s no way a person can smoke and still stay healthy. Some of the chemicals found in cigarette include acetone, arsenic, formaldehyde, lead, and tar. Many of these chemicals are found in products that are used externally.
Several studies have shown how smoking can be detrimental to your health. In a report published by Chest Journal, it revealed that smoking has systemic effects. Smokers are seen to be more at risk at developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and atherosclerosis.
Smoking contributes to the development of COPD as it damages the lungs. There is stiffening and deterioration of the air sacs which affects the exchange of gasses between these structures. Smoking also leads to COPD as it increases mucus production which further blocks the airways.
Cigarette smoking is one of the major risk factors for heart disease as chemicals found in cigarettes can affect the blood cells. It causes buildup of waxy substance in the blood vessels, affecting blood flow, and eventually, causing heart attack.
Cancer is another health effect of smoking. Observational studies between 1961 and 2003 show that smoking increases the risk of different types of cancer including lung, laryngeal, pharyngeal, upper digestive tract, and oral cancer.
Quitting Cigarette Smoking
Quitting cigarette smoking can be challenging as it’s highly addictive. It’s the nicotine content of the cigarette that makes this habit hard to break.
People who have attempted to quit smoking experience withdrawal symptoms because the nicotine has an effect on the reward pathways of the brain. Many get used to smoking as a way of relieving stress, anxiety, or boredom.
Breaking the smoking habit may be tricky but it’s doable. If you’re a smoker and struggling in quitting this addiction, then here are some ways to help you:
1. Create a personal plan for quitting smoking
While there are people who have successfully quit the habit by going cold turkey, this strategy doesn’t work for some. So figure out what works for you. Create a personal plan for quitting smoking which includes ways to address both the short and long-term challenges.
2. Start a craving journal
Most smokers especially those who have smoked for a long-time have “triggers.” This can be boredom, stress, or whatever it is that compels a smoker to light another cigarette.
Quitting smoking can be hard especially on the first few weeks. But by knowing what triggers your smoking, it would be easy for you to come up with strategies to overcome them. This is why it’s beneficial to keep a craving journal for the first few days to a week of quitting this habit. This is where you’ll write the when, where, and how intense your craving is.
3. See a hypnotherapist
A guided hypnosis can help you stop your craving for nicotine and eventually help you to quit smoking. In my practice, I make use of techniques to help you manage your triggers so you can quit smoking for good.
Smoking affects your health and the quality of your life. Don’t wait for the worst things to happen before you act on it. If you’re struggling in quitting this habit, know that there are options available for you including hypnotherapy.