‘Smoking is injurious to health. Smoking kills. Tobacco leads to cancer, heart attack, and other deadly diseases. None of the actors in the movie promotes or supports smoking.’
Why do these words sound familiar? No matter where we go, we always come across these words. Perhaps, while reading the packet of cigarettes we buy, we do give the warning a bit of thought but eventually our cravings get the best of us.
Why is it so hard to quit smoking? Studies suggest that due to excessive release of stress hormones and cravings during abstinence, men are more prone to relapse than women. Moreover denicotinized cigarettes were no restitution for nicotine as it galvanized withdrawal symptoms and negative moods.
What happens when you smoke?
One cigarette smoke contains 7000 chemicals; nicotine is one of them. As soon as nicotine enters inside your body, it creates a ‘feel good’ effect on your brain. This effect compels you to buy more cigarettes to cope with stress, anxiety, depression, anger or frustration.
Once an individual is addicted to this habit, it leads to a strenuous process to stop smoking. For men especially, things turn a little more intricate. If you don’t quit smoking, you find yourself at a risk of erectile dysfunction. Moreover, smoking defiles the DNA of the sperm, escalating the chances of infertility.
Another tobacco smoking product that men are addicted to, is cigars. They contain tobacco which has an exorbitant amount of cancer-causing chemicals in relation to normal cigarettes. If you are addicted to smoking a cigar, you are putting yourself at the risk of serious cardiovascular diseases, respiratory conditions, aneurysms and various other severe health diseases.
Major reasons why men can’t quit smoking:
1. Emotional Control:
Due to the effects that nicotine have on the brain, men are often found craving for a cigarette when their emotions are haywire. According to a study, smoking has helped men to keep their emotions in control, for example, sadness or anger. Therefore, one of the prominent reasons that men can’t resist tobacco smoking is to find mental well-being, completely unaware about the decadence of their physical one.
2. Stress Control:
Due to the social and cultural milieu of our society, men are generally put under pressure to work, marry, rear children and so on and so forth. During such stressful situations, who would not want to burn their problems into smoke? Not quite literally, but atleast metaphorically, that’s what men do.
When you find yourself tangled in an extremely intricate stressful situation, your preliminary thought would be smoking. You would think, problems aren’t going way anytime soon, might as well just smoke one cigarette and deal with the problem later. What you fail to understand here, is that instead of solving one problem prudently, you’re piling more problems, even more serious, which will only manifest in the later stage of your life.
3. Peer Pressure:
How many times you had to succumb to your friends pressuring you to try ‘just one cigarette’. Or how many times you forced yourself to smoke a cigar in order to impress your crush? Well, we know what happened after that. Thanks to nicotine which proved to be as loyal as your enemy.
Tips to quit smoking:
Nicotine replacement therapy or NRT is one of the best professional options to quit smoking. NRT’s come in different forms such as gums, patches or lozenges which can be used individually or in a combination with each other depending upon the degree of tobacco addiction.
However, besides these professional therapies, you will also require to dedicate some of your efforts to get rid of tobacco. Here some tips that you can try individually to quit smoking successfully:
1. Distract yourself: Whenever you find yourself craving for a cigarette, always distract yourself by popping something else in the mouth. For instance a gum, a mint or a carrot might work out for you.
2. Occupy your mind with other things: Reading a book or listening to music are commonly considered the best ways to distract your mind and resist tobacco cravings.
3. Stay hydrated: Drink as much water as possible. When you stay hydrated for a significant period of time, you find a prominent reduction in your nicotine withdrawals.
4. Meditate: The only time you fail to resist tobacco is when your cravings get the best of you. It can be inferred that your passions and emotions get the best of you. You should be in control of them and not the other way around. And the only way to do it, is through meditation. Meditation can help you gain control over mind and your temptations.
5. Go to places where smoking is not permitted: If you visit places where you find people smoking, you will require not less than Herculean energy to resist from buying just one cigarette. Well, you’re not the only one tricking your own mind like that! Therefore, to avoid such relapses, avoid places where smoking is permitted, atleast in the initial phase.
Although these tips seem easy-peasy, as the saying goes, it is easier said than done. The symptoms of withdrawal make it insurmountable for you to abstain from cigarettes for a long period of time. These symptoms generally pop up after one hour after last cigarette and continue to last for weeks and months.
Common symptoms include: restlessness, irritability, frustration, anger, weight gain, nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, migraines, coughing, depression, fatigue, reduced heart rate.
Benefits of quitting smoking:
The thought of quitting smoking is in itself one of the first steps to achieve the benefits of smoking. One of the upticks of resisting tobacco is its instantaneous effects on the body and mind of the individuals. According to a study, your heart palpitations reduce down to normal levels after only twenty minutes. To add cherry on top of the cake, after 12 hours of quitting smoking, carbon monoxide levels which depletes the oxygen levels in blood, drop down to normal levels.
Before you set some high unrealistic expectations for yourself, understand that you are not a loser or a failure in life if you relapse. It all depends on how you perceive your slips. You can let it affect you and put your health at risk, or you can learn from your mistakes and move on.