Quit While You’re Ahead!

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Why quit?

Quitting smoking lowers many health risks, which include: lung cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, infertility for men and women, thyroid disease, gum disease, bad breath in addition to many many others. Also, clinical studies have proven that adult smokers reduce their life span by an average of 13 to 14 years.

You would not only be quitting for yourself and your health. By quitting you are also considering the health of all non-smokers around you in the restaurant, bar, house, car or any enclosed area. Many people suffer from the dangers of smoking without being smokers themselves. So think of quitting as a chance to improve your health and the health of others.

Personally, when I think about smoking and health, I don’t worry about the potential diseases that might kill me. Death doesn’t scare me! Rather, I think of the poor quality of life I will have as an older adult. I don’t want to get stuck with chronic diseases that will accompany me for long years disabling me from having a healthy normal life.

Whatever your reason(s) is/are they are worth it. Don’t be afraid of the challenge; if you’ve already failed once try to quit again. After all, you will wont loose as long as you don’t quit trying.

How to quit?

There are a variety of ways, strategies, tips and aids (medications) that can help you kick the habit. I will offer a few that I find useful. You can use one or several of those provided as follow, and feel free to research other ways if none of those works for you.

  • Prepare yourself for it.

You can start by informing yourself about the health risks of nicotine and the other chemicals found in cigarettes. During this time you will learn the facts about nicotine addiction before you smoke your last cigarettes. Consider this stage as an awareness stage for yourself.

On the other hand you will need to prepare your mind and body for the process. Throughout this time you should find out your personal reasons why you want to quit, which will help you understand what you need to do to stop smoking as well as help you fight the temptations that may come later.

  • Ways of quitting:
  1. Cut down the number you smoke: smoke only half of each cigarette, postpone lighting your first cigarette for 1 hour, decide beforehand how many you will smoke during the day or change your eating habits to help you cut down (for example drink milk which is not compatible with smoking, or end your meals with food that wont lead to a cigarette, for example, coffee).
  2. Make smoking inconvenient and unpleasant: wait until one pack is empty before you buy a new one, stop carrying cigarettes with you at home and work, collect all your cigarette butts in one large glass as a visual reminder of the filth smoking represents. If you like to smoke with others smoke alone.
  3. Using aid: if you’ve tried to quit using other strategies and weren’t successful, you can use the help of numerous quitting products available in the market. These products include electronic cigarettes or FDA approved drugs.
  4. Do it with someone: for support and strength, ask a friend, a family member or a spouse to quit with you. Tell your friends and family that you’re quitting and when you’ll be doing so, so they can be an important source of support. If you can’t find anyone to quit with you, we are here. , Lynn and I are quitting this week and we can be your support system. You have no excuse.
  • After you quit (to maintain):

It might get tempting to relapse and go back to smoke, especially in the first 3 months. So try to be more cautious yet patient with yourself at the beginning. When you crave a cigarette try to distract yourself. You can take a shower if possible, keep oral substitutes – like carrots, sunflower seeds, apples, salary, gum-, keep your hands busy doing something else or exercise. Most importantly, never allow yourself to think that “one won’t hurt” because it will.

Remember whatever the reason you are quitting, it is worth it. Enjoy going up the stairs without shortness of breath. Best of Luck.

SuQun el Leil

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