Smoking addiction is when a person is addicted to tobacco, and the addictive substance is nicotine. Nicotine changes the balance of two chemicals noradrenaline and dopamine in the brain. When the level of these two chemicals are altered by nicotine, the concentration and mood level of a person changes and smokers find this feeling to be pleasurable. When a person inhales nicotine the change in the level of noradrenaline and dopamine happens quickly and the drug immediately moves to the brain and such a reaction reduces anxiety and stress and increases the feeling of pleasure and this is why smokers become dependent on nicotine.
Why do people smoke:
Smoking is a strong addiction, and once a person starts, it is difficult to stop, in many cases individuals start smoking during their teenage years, and they find it tough to break the addiction once they reach adulthood. There are many reasons why people start smoking, and it is life stresses and peer pressure that trigger this habit.
Young individuals smoke to look mature, and they get influenced from friend circle or family, who give a wrong impression on smoking indicating that people smoke to look cool and mature.
Adults get into smoking for many reasons, and the main reasons are stress and anxiety from work and financial issues. People also smoke when they feel depressed, when they are in a broken relationship or when a family member or loved one is suffering from a life-threatening disease.
The environment is a major factor that influences smoking, people who grow in an environment where parents or family members smoke from depression are likely to get influenced and take on the habit head strong.
Low self-esteem also plays a big role in getting addicted to smoking, people who are socially anxious and who are conscious about being in a crowd, take in to smoking to just find something to do and relieve themselves from stress.
Some people indulge in smoking to maintain weight because nicotine increases energy expenditure and reduces appetite. This is the reason why smokers have a lower body weight than non smokers.
Harmful effects of smoking:
People who smoke are not only at a high risk of suffering from lung and throat cancer. An important point to remember is smoking affects the overall health of an individual. Whether you are a light smoker or chain smoker, tobacco is severely harmful to overall health.
A person who smokes suffers from various body complications such as poor vision, poor appetite, anxiety and irritability, persistent cough, cold and flu, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung, throat and various other cancers such as cancer of stomach, bowel, bladder, liver, ureter, ovary, cervix, kidney, bone marrow, pancreas, nasal sinus, larynx, esophagus, tongue and nose. The other diseases caused from smoking is bronchitis, high cholesterol, heart disease, wrinkled skin, yellow finger, diabetes, gum disease, pregnancy problem, health issues in new born, early menopause, erectile dysfunction, infertility, osteoporosis and ulcers of digestive system.
Remember there is no safe means of smoking, and you cannot replace cigarettes with hookah, pipe or cigar. According to American Lung Association, cigarettes have 600 ingredients, and when you burn a cigarette over 7,000 chemicals are generated, and at least 69 of these chemicals are carcinogenic. Cigar is not a safer substitute, based on information produced from National Cancer Institute, there is a greater amount of tar, toxins and carcinogens in cigars than cigarettes. When you inhale hookah you are inhaling more amount of smoke than that of a cigarette because it has more toxic compounds and thereby has more amount of carbon monoxide, which is extremely harmful to the body.
According to research conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smokers are at a higher risk of a shorter life by three times compared to individuals who have not smoked in their life. Smoking is one of the biggest killers in the preventable diseases category.
Smoking cessation tips:
Any amount of smoking is harmful in the long run, and this holds true for a person who is a light smoker or a chain smoker. It is important and beneficial to consider different means to quit. There is help available, there are doctors, counselors, and psychologists who offer best support. However, an individual has to have the willpower to quit smoking.
Initially there are going to be challenges while trying to give up smoking, the affected person will experience withdrawal symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, drowsiness, mood swings, frustration, extreme anxiety, headache, increased appetite, sleep problems dry mouth and severe cravings.
Just because a person experiences withdrawal symptoms, they should not lose hope about quitting and think it is impossible. Experience strength and positive thinking by working on great methods to fight withdrawal symptoms.
Powerful ways to fight withdrawal symptoms:
Binge on a healthy diet:
It is natural to experience cravings during the period of giving up smoking, and it increases a person’s appetite. When an individual encounters cravings, encourage him/her to binge on healthy foods that consists of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Remember that a healthy diet lowers the urge and severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Get into a regular exercise regime:
Nicotine is an addictive substance that elevates a person’s mood and he/she experiences pleasurable feeling that makes them get addicted to smoking. Once a person is off smoking he/she begins to suffer mild depression and a good way to fight this is regular exercise. Scientific studies have discovered exercise triggers release of endorphins in the body and this is a chemical known to enhance good mood. So exercise to keep yourself occupied and fight withdrawal.
Confide in close circle of friends and family:
Everybody knows smoking is harmful for health and it kills, it is visible on many mediums such as television, newspaper, advertisement banners and so on. A smoker also knows the addiction is harmful, but it is difficult to give it up easily. A good way is for smokers to confide in close friends and family and speak to them about the addiction and willpower to give it up. Friends and family of smokers should provide encouragement and empathize with smokers, and help them with the issue they are facing and also work together in fighting the addiction. Each time a person overcomes a withdrawal barrier throw out good words of achievement.
Celebrate, write down an achievement and mingle around good company:
Every time you feel you have achieved the quit smoking goal, celebrate and reward yourself, by taking a walk, reading a book, listening to music, visit a library, bowling center or binge on a nice healthy meal. Also maintain a diary and note down your achievements in overcoming the initial and final steps of smoking.
Get into a company of non-smokers and be around people who appreciate you for who you are. Do not mingle with people who let you down, otherwise you will start feeling depressed. One of the best ways to overcome withdrawal symptoms is to move around with people who make you feel good.
Decorate your home with color and positive vibes:
If you are into interior decoration, then decorate your house with items that smell good like a scented candle and flowers. You can even decorate your house with nice decorative items like paintings, accessories that represent different cultures and so on. You will only get good vibes when you enter your home, and there will be no room for withdrawal symptoms.
It is possible to give up smoking, feel good about yourself and enjoy life.