While it’s hard to stop smoking, doctors advise that you plan how to stop this deadly habit. If you do, chances of getting diseases like cancer and tuberculosis will be significantly minimized.
- Smokers double their risk of dying from coronary heart disease, and if they also suffer from high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, the risk increases eight-fold.
- 40% of heavy smokers die before retirement age compared with 15% of nonsmokers.
- Children whose parents smoke are more likely to develop glue ear, asthma and other breathing problems than children of nonsmoking parents.
- Smoking during pregnancy is of particular concern because it may damage the health of the fetus, as well as the mother.
The Benefits of Quitting
- Within 48 hours of quitting, nicotine is no longer detectable in the body.
- By 3-9 months breathing problems show improvement with lung function increased by 5% – 10%.
- In 5 years the risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.
- By 10 years risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker. Risk of heart attack becomes similar to that of someone who has never smoked.
To Help Yourself Quit
- Choose a day to stop and stop completely on that day – get rid of cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters.
- Tell everyone that you are stopping – they can offer encouragement and support if you are struggling.
- Take it a day at a time, each day aim for just one more day.
- Identify times that you usually smoke and ensure that you have something to occupy you. · Some people find that nicotine gum or patches help the initial withdrawal.
- Think positive say you are a nonsmoker – not a smoker who has given up.
- Save the cigarette money and buy yourself a reward.
- Stay stopped – remember how well you have done so far, and how much healthier you will be.
- Remember many people have to try several times before they succeed in stopping for good. It’s a strong addiction but don’t give up trying – ask your family doctor for help.
- Every day without a cigarette is a triumph.