Quitting Smoking

Smoking, as the ads say, is dangerous to one’s health. And it is. Continued smoking may cause health complications left and right, not only to yourself, but also to the people around you.

According to statistics, smoking is responsible for approximately one in five deaths in the United States. This vice kills approximately 259,494 men and 178,404 women yearly. Smoking long-term may cause lung cancer, emphysema, cardiovascular diseases, pregnancy abnormalities, childhood asthma, and sudden infant death syndrome. Isn’t it high time people thought of quitting?

History of smoking
The earliest recorded history of smoking dates back to 5000BC from the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Andes. Smoking has also been present in many cultures around the world. Early smoking has been related to religious ceremonies – as offering to people’s respective deities, as cleansing rituals of shamans or priests for divination and spiritual enlightenment. After the European exploration and conquests, tobacco smoking was introduced to the rest of the civilized world. Since then it has evolved from religious ritual protocol to a social activity.

Why is it difficult to quit smoking?
With the sudden rise of awareness campaigns about the ill effects of smoking to one’s health, a lot of people have tried quitting smoking. Herein lies the obstacle – How does one stop smoking. According to a recent study done in 2004 and 2005, fifty-five percent of smokers said that it would be difficult to go through an entire day without smoking. Why is it difficult to stop smoking?

Loose tobacco stuffed inside cigarettes contains nicotine which is highly addictive. Just like with any other addictive drugs, the body and mind may quickly become used to the nicotine in cigarettes that a person may keep looking for it. This has been the biggest ordeal quitters are trying to overcome, the nicotine fits.

How can I quit smoking?
The best way to stop smoking is to stay away from cigarettes. It’s easier said than done. Here are a few steps to cut down on cigarette smoking to make quitting easier.
Switch to a brand that has lower nicotine content. The key is gradually lessening the nicotine intake to avoid having withdrawal symptoms.
Lessen the number of cigarette sticks you smoke each day.
Smoke only half the cigarette stick.
Postpone your usual first “stick of the day” by one hour.
Decide how many sticks you’ll be smoking during the day and stick with it. Pay a penalty for every excess still you smoke.

If the above mentioned tips don’t help you lessen your nicotine intake in a day, there are a lot of products created to help smokers quit their habits. Among the more famous “stop-smoking” products are:
Nicotine patches. This is a small, self-adhesive patch designed to slowly release nicotine into the bloodstream through the outer layer of skin. These are often worn on the upper arm.
Nicotine gum. The nicotine is released into the body from the gum. Not only does it satisfy nicotine fits without the use of cigarettes.

Smoking, however cool it makes a person look like, is still going to take its toll on the body after a while. The next time you light a cigarette, think of all its adverse effects and ask yourself, “is it worth the complications it’ll bring you in the future?”