Top 5 Reasons to Quit
1 - Your Health:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema are just some risks of smoking tobacco. Smoking causes over 90% of all cases of COPD. Smoking also increases the risk of blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Smoking makes it almost impossible to keep asthma under control. Each time a person lights up a cigarette, it can trigger an asthma attack. Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen delivered to the body due to the presence of carbon monoxide. As carbon monoxide increases, oxygen decreases. As a result, people who smoke become increasingly short of breath. Smoking can lead to disease of the blood vessels outside of the heart and brain. Poor circulation can lead to amputation of toes, fee and even parts of your leg. If you have diabetes and use any form of tobacco, it can be very difficult to control your blood sugar.
2 - The Health of Family and Friends:
There is no risk-free level of tobacco smoke, even brief exposure is unhealthy. Secondhand smoke comes in two forms: Sidestream is smoke that comes from the burning end of a cigarette. Mainstrean is smoke that is exhaled by a smoker.
3) The Money You Will Save:
All forms of tobacco are costly and can cause damage to furniture, upholstery and clothing. Tobacco costs vary from state to state, but can cost anywhere from $4-10.
4 - The Return of Your Taste-buds:
One thing that you might notice when smoking is that it decreases the senses of taste and smell. For many people, this results in them adding more salt and sugar to their foods. This ultimately causes them to eat more fatty foods to help improve the taste of food.
5 - You Will Look and Smell Better:
Tobacco, in any form, stains teeth and results in bad breath. It also leaves the odor of smoke in your clothing and hair.
8 Steps to Becoming Tobacco Free
1 - Commit to Quit
Commit yourself to being successful and making this the last time you quit. Quitting tobacco is a major lifestyle change and it can be tough, but you can do it.
2 - Seek Help
Contact your healthcare provider, ask your doctor about medications and/or join a tobacco program. Most programs offer one-on-one counseling or group support to help you break through your tobacco addiction. If you currently are under the care of a psychiatrist, a psychologist or other mental health care professional, please be sure to keep them involved throughout the process. When you are ready to quit, get help as soon as possible. There are many resources available to assist you through this difficult time.
3 - Obtain Medication
Check with your health care provider to find out if you can use medication to help you quit. Research has shown that people who use medications have an easier time quitting. The FDA has approved seven first-line medications for those trying to quit tobacco use. Five of those medications are considered nicotine replacement therapy (gum, inhaler, lozenge, nasal spray and patch). The other two medications do not contain nicotine (Bupropion SR and Varenicline).
4 - Set a Quit Date
When you know you want to quit smoking, get your calendar out and set a date. Be sure to mark it on your calendar so when you look at your calendar, you will not forget the date.
5 - Prepare for Quit Day
Keep track of your triggers and get ready to experience the freedom from tobacco use. If you are taking any medications to help you quit, set your date when advised by your healthcare provider. Before your quit date, make your home and car smoke-free. Remove anything that triggers your smoking habit (ashtrays, lighters, cigarettes and other tobacco products). When you set a date, stop buying cartons of cigarettes. Buy one pack at a time, that way you won’t have any extra packs.
6 - Prepare for Challenges
You have made a great choice in becoming tobacco free. Now, follow these tips to help you prepare for the challenges ahead. Spend your time in non-smoking places, don’t rationalize, change your daily habits to decrease your chances of using tobacco, avoid alcohol, practice relaxing, keep your hands busy, exercise, drink water to help flush out toxins, reduce your caffeine intake and maintain support.
7 - Avoid Relapse
Slips may occur in the natural progression to total termination of tobacco use. When one slip happens, do not feel bad. The problems with a slip is that one slip can lead to another. You don’t want to find yourself back in your old habits and patterns. If you have relapsed, do not beat yourself up or start thinking that you are a failure. Instead, go back through your mind, list the triggers that made you relapse and then start over.
8 - Congratulate Yourself
Congratulations, you have quit tobacco use. During the last few months, you have made it through withdrawal and ongoing triggers as well as improving your coping skills. Allow for celebration, you are now on your way to a tobacco free lifestyle.
Medications to Help You Quit
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT):
NRT helps those who quit smoking by reducing the craving sensations that you would usually have during withdrawal from nicotine. NRT provides a controlled amount of nicotine, reduces the use of NRT over time and allows you to gradually adjust to lower nicotine levels.
Nicotine Patch is placed on the skin and supplies a small steady amount of nicotine into the body. Nicotine patches contain varied amounts of nicotine and over time allows you to reduce the dose. Nicotine Gum is chewed to release nicotine that is absorbed through tissue inside the mouth. You chew the gum until it produces a tingling feeling and then place the gum between your cheek and gum tissue. Nicotine gums have varied concentrations of nicotine which allows you to reduce the amount of nicotine in your system. Nicotine Inhaler consists of a cartridge attached to a mouthpiece. Inhaling through the mouthpiece delivers a specific amount of nicotine. Nicotine Nasal Spray is a pump bottle containing nicotine that is inserted into the nostril and sprayed. The nasal spray can be used for fast cravings, especially for heavy smokers.
These medications contain no nicotine. They are only to help with withdrawal symptoms and lessen your urge to smoke. Warning: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is requiring manufacturers to put a boxed warning label on the prescribing information for the smoking cessation drugs Chantix and Zyban. The warning will highlight the risk of serious mental health events including changes in behavior, depressed mood, hostility and suicidal thoughts when taking these drugs. The warning will also extend to Wellbutrin SR and Bupropion SR.
Bupropion SR (Zyban, Wellbutrin SR) helps reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms and the urge to smoke. It can also be used safely with nicotine replacement products.
Varenicline (Chantix) is prescribed medication that eases nicotine withdrawal symptoms and blocks the effects of nicotine from cigarettes if you resume smoking.
Combinations of medications have been shown to be effective when trying to quit tobacco use. Talk with your healthcare provider about using any medication combinations.