Almost 15% of UK adults are classified as smokers and in 2016; there were almost 78,000 cigarette-related deaths.
Right now is the perfect time to make a big health conscious change not only for yourself but also for all those who love you!
"Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times." -Mark Twain
^ We know it won't be easy, but it is possible!
Reviewing the Dangers
It's pretty common knowledge that smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. While not all the effects are immediately noticeable, they will catch up with you.
Nicotine from cigarettes is as addictive as heroin! It changes your brain, so when you try to stop, you go through nicotine withdrawal and will most likely experience anxiety, irritability, and strong cravings.
Look at all the things that happen to your head and face:
Ears: Increased chance of mild to moderate hearing loss as a result of restricted oxygen to the cochlea.
Eyes: Nicotine restricts important chemicals that allow you to see at night and increases your risks of cataracts and macular degeneration. Both of these can result in blindness.
Mouth: Aside from smokers’ breath, smokers have more oral health problems such as mouth sores, gum disease, cavities, and tooth loss. This is not to mention throat and mouth cancer.
Face: Smoking adds years to your face, allowing your complexion to dull and early wrinkles to appear.
Your heart is forced to work extra hard as smoking increases your blood pressure, makes your blood sticky, thick and riddled with fatty deposits. This all means that your heart is stressed and you a prone to heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
Your lungs are also forced to take on a great deal of abuse from your smoking habit. Smokers' lungs are inflamed and build up scar tissue over time. But things can get worse than just wheezing and smokers' cough with chronic respiratory infection. Emphysema is a real threat that can cause death.
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Since your body is always under high alert and stress, trying to fight against the inflammation caused by your smoking your white blood cell count in your blood is always high. This means that your blood is overworked, leading to longer healing time, a weakened immune system, and higher risks for heart attack, stroke, and cancer.
Every puff you take from a cigarette damages your DNA. When DNA gets damaged, your cells can begin going out of control and create a cancer tumour. One-third of all cancer deaths are caused by tobacco.
This isn't even all of the health concerns you should have as a smoker...
Add a little Acupressure into your Quit Plan to increase your mental clarity.
Apply firm but gentle pressure to the below point for 1-3 minutes:
Located one-half inch below the base of the skull on the muscles one-half inch outward from the spine.
Helps relieve burn-out and muddled thinking. This point gives your neck relief from pressure, therefore increasing blood circulation to your brain. Increases your ability to focus on your work..of the task at hand, quitting cigarettes!
Let's Make it a Plan!
Even though you have the knowledge of how dangerous smoking is, we realize that this doesn't just make it easy to stop. There is also no one right way to quit. However, you can find the right method for you to do so, it exists and you do have the power and self-control to get there!
Make the Decision! : You are the only one who can truly decide to stop smoking. You are the one who must make the commitment. Start by writing down all the reasons you want to stop and look at the list every time you get a craving.
Set a Date: This is a key step. Pick a date in the next month to stop smoking. This gives you some time to mentally prepare for the change but it's also not far away enough for you to change your mind. Make a personal commitment to this day.
Make a Plan: There is no one definite way to quit and using multiple methods might work the best for you. The best thing to do is look at all your options. There are nicotine replacement therapies and prescriptions. You can also try more holistic approaches such as hypnosis, mindfulness, and meditation practices. Also, consider speaking with your doctor for their advice.
Increase your Chances of Quitting:
Pick your quit day and mark it on the calendar
Tell your family and friends that you are quitting. Hold yourself accountable!
Get rid of all your cigarettes and ashtrays
Have oral substitutes on hand like toothpicks, gum, hard candy, etc.
Practice saying "No thank you, I don't smoke"
Ask family and friends who smoke to respectfully not smoke around you
Try your best to keep your mind off smoking with keeping busy!
Expect the Cravings
Quitting will be a challenge! A challenge that you can handle and overcome!
You will experience urges however, you need to know that these urges will pass whether you smoke or not. Help fight the urges with these steps;
Delay: for 10 minutes. Repeat if necessary
Deep Breaths: close your eyes and breathe in deeply from your nose and out through your mouth.
Drink Water: slowly sip by sip
Do Something Else: avoid activities that trigger cravings, get up, walk around and do something else to occupy your mind.
How to Help a Loved One Quit
If you're reading this and are not a smoker yourself but want to help someone you care about quit, share this newsletter as a gentle reminder.
The most important thing you can do is offer your support. Remain positive for your loved one and only offer them positivity and encouragement.
Ask what you can do to help and how they would like you to check in on their progress.
If they slip up, let them know that it's okay, it usually takes a few times and their next try will be better.
Your encouragement will help more than you know!
This is your year to quit! Although you will face both mental and physical withdrawal symptoms while quitting, you can overcome.
The first two weeks will be the most challenging and you will have to mentally prepare yourself to overcome the temptations. Make a plan and stick to your plan.
If you slip up, try again. You have the strength to overcome and the importance to overcome this addiction is staring you in the face.
Take a deep breath and try.
“Smoking Kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life.” –Brooke Shields
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