Family, friends, co-workers, and others can be important sources of support for people who are trying to stop smoking. The person must want to quit and must make the decision in terms of the best way to stop smoking, but others can contribute to that important decision.
Resist the temptation to lecture, nag, plead, or threaten them. Rather tell them why it’s important to you that they quit smoking. Focus on the positive benefits of quitting smoking. Be brief and if they are not receptive, leave them and try again another time.
If someone you care about says that he or she is ready to quit smoking, is quitting smoking, or has recently quit, let them know how proud you are of them and offer your support. Remember that quitting is tough.
Nicotine withdrawal can cause some unpleasant symptoms. The person may be tense, irritable, or even depressed for a while. Remain sympathetic and remind them that the smoking withdrawal symptoms will eventually go away and that they are already becoming healthier. Offer to go for walk with them or do other activities that will help keep them distracted. Encourage them to eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water and juices, and get enough rest. If the nicotine withdrawal symptoms become unbearable remember that smoking cessation medicines can help reduce these symptoms.
Help the new non-smoker avoid places where other people are smoking or places or activities they connect with smoking. If they relapse, encourage them to get back on track and move on.
The majority of people do get smoking withdrawal symptoms which include mood changes, irritability or depression, poor concentration, sleep disturbances and restlessness. Try and remain positive by reminding yourself of the effects of smoking and that these symptoms are temporary and are a result of nicotine withdrawal. Some of the symptoms associated with smoking cessation, such as a wet chesty cough, are a sign that your body is healing itself by getting rid of the tar in your lungs. All nicotine withdrawal symptoms are a sign that your body is recovering from the effects of smoking tobacco.
When a person quits smoking, they often experience one or more of the following symptoms:
These symptoms are usually temporary, and vary from person to person. Most of them peak at around 1 to 3 weeks after quitting.
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person and usually peak at around 1 to 3 weeks after stopping smoking. Research shows that there are a number of ways to help you cope with withdrawal symptoms until they lessen or go away. These coping techniques and quit smoking tips are especially important in the first week, when symptoms are strongest and the chance of relapse is greatest.
After you stop:
If your nicotine withdrawal symptoms are severe, you may want to consider one of the stop smoking products or a fully supported stop smoking programme like GoSmokeFree which consists of support, behaviour change techniques & medication.
No, the dangers of smoking are great and the facts about smoking show that smokers suffer from many diseases and about one half of all smokers die as a result of smoking. The risks to your health of being a little overweight are small compared to the risk and the effects of smoking. Once you have cracked the smoking you will have more energy to tackle any weight gain.
Weight gain is a particular concern for some people. Although it’s not uncommon to gain some weight when you quit smoking, studies show that the average weight gain is only 2 - 3 kilograms, and many people lose at least part of this weight after a period of time.
The best way to stop smoking is what is best for you. However, Clinical Research shows that support, stop smoking products and behaviour change techniques can offer you your best chance of quitting smoking successfully and of staying stopped.
Some stop smoking tips include:
There are no safe levels of exposure to nicotine and cigarette smoke and by having that one cigarette you are administering a drug that will reach your brain within seven seconds and is as addictive as heroin. Just one always leads to another and another. Research shows that abrupt cessation has the greatest rate of successful stop smoking attempts.
It can help but it's not the only answer for every person. Clinical Research demonstrates that it can double your chances of success but it is not a magic wand and you do need to be properly motivated.
If you have cigarettes at hand you are only ever two seconds away from relapsing. One week after you stop smoking you will probably experience three or four cigarette cravings a day and each craving will only last about three minutes. If you have to go out to buy them it will give you a chance to let the craving pass and think about what you are doing.
Have you tried before? Most people want to stop smoking and need more than one attempt to successfully quit. Each time you attempt to quit but relapse you can learn something to help you the next time and to make your resolve stronger. Anyone can quit smoking if they really want to and if they have the support they need.
Most smokers feel addicted to nicotine including those who have given up. Take the Fagerström Nicotine Dependence Test to rank your dependence or try quitting smoking for an entire day and record how you feel. Then write down the pros & cons of stopping smoking. Discuss your findings with a GoSmokeFree advisor for some professional guidance around ways to deal with your nicotine dependence.
It sounds as if you are not getting enough support. Some smokers see stopping as a loss, you need to think how you can replace that loss with something positive. Tell family and friends that you need extra help at the moment to help you quit smoking and tell them how you are feeling or get support from a smoking cessation health professional.
Both methods appear to work for some people but the research results are not clear, so overall, their effectiveness remains unproven.
If you smoke around your kids, you are putting them at risk of all the effects of smoking. Many parents who smoke don't fully understand how harmful second-hand smoke is for their kids, and they think they are protecting them when they are really not. For instance, you may think it's acceptable if you open windows, turn on a fan, or leave the room. But buying into the myths about second-hand smoke won't protect your kids.
The fact is, short of quitting, smoking outside is the only way to protect kids from second-hand smoke. That's because there is no risk-free level of second-hand smoke exposure. Second-hand smoke can increase the risk of premature death and disease in children and non-smoking adults, and kids are particularly vulnerable to its effects. Smoke can aggravate asthma in children who have the disease, and greatly increase the risk for bronchitis, pneumonia and middle ear infections among young children. The chances of kids having more colds, coughs, and lung infections also increases when exposed to cigarette smoke. And, if you smoke, it increases the chances that your kids will smoke.
The short answer is YES!
As a smokers you inhale 4000 different chemicals including many carcinogens and poisons which enter your bloodstream, your baby’s only source of oxygen and nutrients. The most serious complications of smoking whilst pregnant include stillbirth, premature delivery and low birth weight and these are primarily caused by nicotine and carbon monoxide. These two poisons work together to reduce your baby’s oxygen supply. The nicotine causes blood vessels throughout the body to contract and narrow essentially reducing blood flow through the placenta. To aggravate the situation, carbon monoxide binds to red blood cells in the blood stream blocking them from carrying life-giving oxygen. This means that less blood flows through the placenta carrying less oxygen! Your baby is effectively starved of oxygen and a shortage of oxygen can have devastating effects on your baby's growth and development.
Smoking not only affects your baby’s weight and size, it also affects their heart, lungs, brain development and brain function. Stopping smoking during pregnancy is one of the most important decisions concerning your baby’s health and development you can make.
In addition to other harmful effects and health risks, tobacco can have a damaging effect on athletic performance. Tobacco diminishes fitness levels so athletes cannot achieve goals or be competitive. A smoker's heart beats three times faster than a non-smokers’, and young smokers produce phlegm twice as often as those who don't smoke. Tobacco affect the smokers lungs and diminishes lung growth and lung function, and users suffer from shortness of breath almost three times as often as a non-smoker. When it comes to injuries, tobacco use limits recovery.
If you use smokeless tobacco, it can harm athletic performance just like cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco is highly addictive, and it contains at least 28 known cancer-causing chemicals that lead to cancers of the mouth and throat. It also causes gum recession, tooth decay, bad breath, and stained teeth.
Tobacco cessation is not a one-time treatment. Tobacco addiction is a chronic, lifelong condition that requires lifelong maintenance. Most relapses occur within the first three months after quitting smoking, but strong desires to smoke can happen sometimes months or even years after you’ve quit. However, relapse almost never occurs in a vacuum. An event or circumstance acts as a trigger leading to craving, poor judgment, and ultimately tobacco use. Common relapse triggers are stress, depression, being around other smokers or drinking alcohol. The good news is that you can use the same methods you used to quit smoking and to help you through withdrawal, to stay quit. Think ahead to those times when you may be tempted to smoke, and plan on how you will cope with these situations. For instance, remind yourself why you quit in the first place, the benefits of quitting smoking and use your withdrawal methods to "redirect" your urge to smoke.
Also, if you feel you may relapse, it's a good time to call on support. Many former smokers say a support network of family and friends was very important during their quit smoking attempt. Other people who may offer support and encouragement are co-workers, your family doctor, and members of support groups for quitters.
Most importantly, if you do relapse, don't be discouraged. Remember, most people try several times before they finally stop smoking. Use your relapse as a learning experience that can help you later. Every attempt to quit moves you closer to success.
If you have been diagnosed with a chronic disease or condition, you are especially vulnerable to the negative health effects of using tobacco, and stopping smoking is even more urgent. Smokers with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, COPD or emphysema, and asthma can experience increased hospitalization time, complications, and increased risk of death if they continue to smoke. Smoking can dramatically increase some of the symptoms of your disease and may decrease the effectiveness of your medications.
It's never too late to quit smoking. Even if you have smoked all your life, there are compelling reasons for you to quit now. The rewards of stopping smoking will begin immediately, and the longer you stay smoke free, the more the benefits multiply. Quitting tobacco will improve your health, your finances, your self-esteem and your everyday life - immediately and over the long term – in ways you may never have imagined, and that's true whether you are 20, 40, or 80.