We are aware that cigarette smoking is linked with many serious ailments which include cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, emphysema and impotency. There are many additional factors to take into consideration such as the overall cost of smoking, the actual amount of time spent on smoking, being unable to work without smoking, and all of these will have an impact on your well-being. Not only is smoking cigarettes hazardous to your health, it can also cause serious problems to the people around you. Not only is there the risk of starting a fire, the risks of passive smoking has been very well documented. Due to many of these factors, many governments around the world have actually banned smoking in public places.
If you wish to quit smoking cigarettes there are two important aspects to consider. These are how addicted you actually are to smoking and also the withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine is the drug that is found in tobacco and it is known to be highly addictive. In fact nicotine can be just as addictive as cocaine or heroin. Nicotine can induce pleasurable feelings which will often cause someone to smoke even more. If you are a regular smoker you will actually need to maintain the level of nicotine in your body and unfortunately over time your body may develop a tolerance towards nicotine. This will manifest itself in you increasing the number of cigarettes you smoke per day. Eventually all smokers will develop a psychological and physiological dependence on nicotine.
If you suddenly reduce your cigarette intake or completely quit, this will obviously break the steady supply of nicotine to your body. Your body is still craving to maintain existing levels of nicotine and therefore this may lead to certain withdrawal symptoms. These include anger, frustration, irritability, dizziness, depression, mood swings, sleep disorders, fatigue, appetite problems, restlessness and headaches. You will typically find that the symptoms will begin to appear within 3 to 4 hours of you smoking a cigarette and they are likely to dramatically worsen after a period of 2 to 3 days. This is the main reason why people who are trying to quit revert back to smoking.
In order to quit smoking cigarettes it is critical that you follow a three step process:
Firstly you need to recognize the harmful effects of smoking and the reasons that you should quit. People often kid themselves into believing that perhaps smoking is not as harmful as some may think, but this is merely a form of denial. You should initially write down your goals in a personal diary and regularly check these to make sure that you are following them through. You may also wish to enlist the help of someone else such as a spouse, friend, parent or child who can support you through the process and regularly remind you of your goals.
Recognizing the harmful effects of smoking is unfortunately not enough. You actually have to be convinced that you really wish to stop smoking. You should often remind yourself of just how dangerous and bad smoking is for you and try and visualize how finally quitting will make you feel better and can in fact improve your overall health. You should also aim to educate yourself further about quitting smoking cigarettes. This can be done by visiting dedicated anti-smoking websites which will provide a plethora of help and useful information. You may even wish to go one step further and can try to get some voluntary work helping cancer patients in hospitals. This may be just the wakeup call that you need.
Now you have dealt with the theoretical side, it is finally time to take the plunge and quit smoking cigarettes for good. You have two ways of quitting and these are either cold turkey or gradually reducing the amount of cigarettes that you smoke. Cold turkey will involve abruptly quitting cigarettes and the majority of experts agree that this is the best method. By quitting abruptly and immediately you should enjoy far greater health benefits in comparison to regular smokers or those who are merely try to cut down gradually. You will find that quitting by cold turkey will significantly reduce your chances of developing cancer and other smoking-related diseases. However, it is important to realize that you may have to deal with some extremely harsh withdrawal symptoms and this is especially true if you are a heavy smoker.
By cutting down the amount of cigarettes you smoke, you will not actually notice an increase in health benefits. However, gradually cutting down is often an easier way to quit smoking cigarettes. Typically if you can reduce the amount of cigarettes you smoke on a daily basis over a period of a week up to a few months, you may notice the withdrawal symptoms are nowhere near as bad. One of the best ways to gradually quit smoking cigarettes is to always try and postpone your first cigarette of the day. Whenever you feel like smoking, simply tell yourself that you have to wait another 10 to 15 minutes until you can have one. This should help you to gradually cut down the number of cigarettes you are smoking on a daily basis.
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