QUIT SMOKING, ENJOY LIFE

With smoking being the root cause of several deadly diseases, it's time you decide to quit the habit and lead a healthier life. Take a look at the ways, benefits of quitting smoking and much more

Tobacco smoke is extremely harmful to your health, it contains a  mood-altering drug called nicotine. It’s a central nervous system stimulant, which makes a person feel more energized and gives a feeling of pleasure. As that effect subsides, the person feels tired and craves more and thus develops a habit. There’s no safe way to smoke and the safest cigarette is one that is never lit. Replacing the cigarette with a cigar, pipe or hookah won’t help you avoid the health risks associated with the use of tobacco. Smoking harms almost every organ of the body including lungs, heart, GI tract, brain, kidneys and the reproductive system.

Smoking is the main cause of dreaded life-threatening lung diseases like Lung cancer and COPD. Smoking also makes the body more susceptible to infections like TB, Aspergillosis, and chronic diseases like BP, heart attack and stroke. Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals out of which 70 cause cancer. More than two-thirds of smokers say they want to quit, but few actually succeed. Recent studies have shown that if we have strong determination and will, many can quit smoking easily.

BENEFITS OF QUITTING SMOKING

The health benefits of leaving smoking are plenty:

  • You start feeling healthy, energetic and refreshed

    • Improvement in your family, work and social life 

    • Heart rate and BP begin to come to normal gradually

    • Within a few weeks, there is improved circulation and decreased production of sputum 

  • Significantly reduced chances of Heart Attack, Stroke, Asthma, COPD, Lung cancer

    • Reduced risk of infertility in women of childbearing age. 

  • Women in pregnancy also reduce their risk of having a low birth weight baby.

  • Life becomes more enjoyable with less disease and medications

HOW TO QUIT SMOKING?

  • Tobacco dependence is a chronic disease that often requires repeated intervention and multiple attempts for quitting. When you want to quit the first step is to write down why you want to quit. 

I want to leave smoking because ….

  • Be around for your loved ones?

  • Have better health?

  • Set a good example for your children?

  • Protect your family from passive smoking?

Following are easy steps to help you quit smoking:

  • Select a date to quit the habit and make all efforts to leave this bad habit by that date.

  • There are three ways to quit smoking. Choose the methods you think will work best for you.

    • Method 1: Just stop smoking all at once on your quit day. This method doesn't cause any side effects and is usually the most effective. But it requires tremendous will power

    • Method 2: Reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke each day by 50 % until you stop smoking completely. 

    • Method 3: Smoke only a part of each cigarette. It helps to count how many puffs you take from each cigarette and gradually try to decrease the number of puffs each day.

CONSULT YOUR LUNG SPECIALIST FOR A PERSONALISED PLAN OF QUITTING AND CARE TACKLING WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS: 

  • Nicotine replacement therapies: There is nicotine (gums, sprays, patch, etc) and non-nicotine replacement medicines that can help curb your withdrawal symptoms. Medicines are the most helpful when they're used properly and combined with a behaviour-modification programme in the supervision of a Lungs Specialist. 

  • Drink plenty of fluids

  • Eat vegetables, fresh fruits and salads at frequent intervals

  • Exercise regularly and perform deep breathing exercises

  • Keep yourself occupied and join hobby classes

  • Keep yourself motivated by involving friends and family members in your efforts

  • Follow the advice of your physician strictly

 

Dr Puneet Khanna

Head- Department of Respiratory Medicine

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