Are You Ready To Quit Smoking?
To have the best chance of quitting successfully, you need to know what you’re up against, what your options are, and where to go for help. Quitting smoking is not even that difficult, if you seriously want to do it.
Before taking any action and reading ahead you need to ask yourself, "Am I going to quit smoking seriously? Is smoking good for me, my family and children? Am I just reading this article for fun or I am going to do this?" Now, if you seriously want to quit, you will make it for sure. Read on to find out how…..
Why Is It So Hard to Quit Smoking?
Quitting smoking is not that difficult for lots of people, but staying smoke free is the main problem. The answer is nicotine. Nicotine is the natural drug in tobacco; it is highly addictive and challenging to rid from our body. It is as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Over time, the body becomes both physically and psychologically dependent on nicotine and one could say that nicotine will make its users a slave. Studies have shown that smokers must overcome this addiction to be successful at quitting and staying quit.
When tobacco smoke is inhaled by a person, nicotine is carried into the lungs deeply where it is absorbed into the bloodstream and carried throughout the body. Then nicotine starts its role and begins affecting many parts of our body, including heart, blood vessels, hormonal systems, metabolism and the brain. A regular smoker will have nicotine or its by-products present in the body for about 3 to 4 days after quitting. Nicotine creates pleasant feelings that make the smokers want to smoke more and more, it also acts as a kind of depressant by interfering with the flow of information between nerve cells. As the nervous system adapts to nicotine, smokers tend to increase the number of cigarettes they smoke, and therefore the amount of nicotine in their blood. After a while, the smoker develops a tolerance to the drug, which leads to an increase in smoking over time. Also over time, the smoker reaches a certain nicotine level and then smokes to maintain this level of nicotine in their system. In fact, nicotine, when inhaled in cigarette smoke, reaches the brain faster than drugs that enter the body intravenously.
When people try to stop using nicotine, the absence of nicotine triggers frustration and withdrawal symptoms. It affects both the physical and mental states of the person.
These symptoms can lead the smoker to start smoking cigarettes again to boost blood levels of nicotine back to a level where there are no symptoms. With hypnotherapy we can deal with these symptoms on a subconscious level thereby making it much easier for you.
Health concerns usually top the list of reasons people give for quitting smoking. About half of all smokers who continue to smoke will end up dying from a smoking-related illness. Nearly everyone knows that smoking can cause lung cancer, but few people realize it is also a risk factor for many other kinds of cancer as well, including cancer of the mouth, voice box (larynx), throat (pharynx), oesophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix and stomach.
For the first time, the Surgeon General includes pneumonia in the list of diseases caused by smoking. Smoking increases the risk of lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. These progressive lung diseases – grouped under the term COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) – are usually diagnosed in current or former smokers in their 60s and 70s. COPD causes chronic illness and disability and is eventually fatal. Smokers are twice as likely to die from heart attacks as are non smokers. Smoking is a major risk factor for peripheral vascular disease, a narrowing of the blood vessels that carry blood to the leg and arm muscles, as well as cerebrovascular disease that can cause strokes. Smoking also causes premature wrinkling of the skin, bad breath, bad smelling clothes and hair, and yellow fingernails and hair, yellow fingernails and an increased risk of macular degeneration, one of the most common causes of blindness in the elderly.
People who stop smoking before age 50 cut their risk of dying in the next 15 years in half compared with those who continue to smoke. Ex-smokers also enjoy a higher quality of life with fewer illnesses from cold and flu viruses, better self-reported health, and reduced rates of bronchitis and pneumonia. Ex-smokers also enjoy a higher quality of life with fewer illnesses from cold and flu viruses, better self-reported health status, and reduced rates of bronchitis and pneumonia. For decades the Surgeon General has reported the health risks associated with smoking. Regardless of your age or smoking history, there are advantages to quitting smoking. Benefits apply whether you are healthy or you already have smoking-related diseases. In 1990, the Surgeon General concluded:
• Quitting smoking has major and immediate health benefits for men and women of all ages. • Former smokers live longer than continuing smokers. • Quitting smoking decreases the risk of lung cancer, other cancers, heart attack, stroke, and chronic lung disease. • Women who stop smoking before pregnancy or during the first 3 to 4 months of pregnancy reduce their risk of having a low birth weight baby to that of women who never smoked.
When Smokers Quit – What Are the Benefits Over Time?
20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drops.
12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non smoker
10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker's. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease.
15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non smoker’s.
Visible and Immediate Rewards of Quitting
Quitting helps stop the damaging effects of tobacco on your appearance including:
• Premature wrinkling of the skin • Bad breath • Stained teeth • Gum disease • Bad smelling clothes and hair • Yellow fingernails
Kicking the tobacco habit offers benefits that you'll notice immediately and some that will develop gradually over time. These rewards can improve your day-to-day life immensely.
• Food tastes better. • Your sense of smell returns to normal • Ordinary activities no longer leave you out of breath (for example, climbing stairs or light housework)
The prospect of better health is a major reason for quitting, but there are others as well.
Smoking is expensive. It isn't hard to figure out how much you spend on smoking: multiply how much money you spend on tobacco every day by 365 (days per year). The amount may surprise you. Now multiply that by the number of years you have been using tobacco and that amount will probably astound you. Multiply the cost per year by 10 (for the upcoming 10 years) and ask yourself what you would rather do with that much money. And this doesn’t include other possible expenses, such as higher costs for health and life insurance, as well as the health care costs due to tobacco-related conditions.
Smoking is less socially acceptable now than it was in the past. Most workplaces have some type of smoking restrictions. Some employers even prefer to hire non smokers. Studies show smoking employees cost businesses more to employ because they are "out sick" more frequently. Employees who are ill more often than others can raise an employer’s need for expensive temporary replacement workers. They can increase insurance costs both for other employees and for the employer, who typically pays part of the workers’ insurance premiums. Smokers in a building also typically increase the maintenance costs of keeping odours at an acceptable level, since residue from cigarette smoke clings to carpets, drapes, and other fabrics. Landlords may choose not to rent to smokers since maintenance costs and insurance rates may rise when smokers occupy buildings. Friends may ask you not to smoke in their houses or cars. Public buildings, concerts, and even sporting events are largely smoke-free. More and more communities are restricting smoking in all public places, including restaurants and bars. Like it or not, finding a place to smoke can be a hassle. Smokers may find their opportunities for dating or romantic involvement, including marriage, are largely limited to other smokers, who make up only about 1/4 of the population.
Health of Others
Smoking not only harms your health but the health of those around you. Exposure to second hand smoke (also called environmental tobacco smoke [ETS] or passive smoking) includes exhaled smoke as well as smoke from burning cigarettes. Studies have shown that second hand smoke causes thousands of deaths each year from lung cancer and heart disease in healthy non smokers. Smoking by mothers is linked to a higher risk of their babies developing asthma in childhood, especially if the mother smokes while pregnant. It is also associated with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and low-birth weight infants. Babies and children raised in a household where there is smoking have more ear infections, colds, bronchitis, and other respiratory problems than children from non smoking families. Second hand smoke can also cause eye irritation, headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
Setting an Example
If you have children, you probably want to set a good example for them. When asked, nearly all smokers say they don't want their children to smoke, but children whose parents smoke are more likely to start smoking themselves. You can become a good role model for them by quitting now.
How to Quit
Smokers often say, "Don't tell me why to quit, tell me how." There is no one right way to quit, but there are some key elements in quitting smoking successfully. These 4 factors are crucial:
• Making the decision to quit • Setting a quit date and choosing a method • Dealing with withdrawal (working on your mindset) • Staying quit (maintenance)
Making the Decision to Quit
The decision to quit tobacco use is one that only you can make. Others may want you to quit, but the real commitment must come from you. Researchers have looked into how and why people stop tobacco use. They have some ideas, or models, of how this happens. These come into play when you:
• believe that you could get a tobacco-related disease and this worries you • believe that you can quit • believe that the benefits of quitting outweigh the benefits of continuing tobacco use • know of someone who has had health problems as a result of their tobacco use
Do any of these apply to you? If you are thinking about quitting, setting a date and deciding on a plan is the best place to start.
Setting a Quit Date and Deciding on a Plan
Once you've made a decision to quit, you're ready to pick a quit date. This is a very important step. Pick a specific day within the next month as your "Quit Day." Picking a date too far in the future allows you time to rationalise and change your mind. But do give yourself enough time to prepare and come up with a plan. You might choose a date that has a special meaning like a birthday or anniversary. Or you may want to simply pick a random date. Circle the date on your calendar. Make a strong, personal commitment to quit on that day. Most tobacco users prefer to quit "cold turkey" – that is, abruptly and totally. They use tobacco until their Quit Day and then stop all at once, or they may cut down on tobacco for a week or 2 before their Quit Day.
Another way involves cutting down on the number of times tobacco is used each day. With this method, you gradually reduce the amount of nicotine in your body. While it sounds logical to cut down in order to quit gradually, in practice this method is difficult. Quitting tobacco is a lot like losing weight; it takes a strong commitment over a long period of time. Users may wish there was a magic bullet – a pill or method that would make quitting painless and easy. But that is not the case. Nicotine substitutes can help reduce withdrawal symptoms, but they are most effective when used as part of a stop tobacco use plan that addresses both the physical and psychological components of quitting. Here are some steps to help you prepare for your Quit Day:
• Pick your Quit Day and mark it on your calendar • Tell friends and family about your Quit Day • Get rid of all the cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car and place of work. • Stock up on oral substitutes – sugarless gum etc. • Decide on a plan (book your hypnotherapy session). • Practice saying, "No thank you, I don't smoke."
Break the subconscious connections you had to smoking in the past. If you smoked in your car at a certain place on the way to work, use a different route to work. If you smoked with a cup of coffee, drink tea instead of coffee. Eat breakfast in a different place or eat different foods.
Your subconscious mind is there to help you. With Hypnotherapy I will take you on a journey that will delve into why you smoke, how you can leave it behind and how your life is going to look as a non smoker.
Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation is a very successful method. With all my clients that were truly ready to quit, I have not had one person tell me it did not work for them! Usually it only takes one session too!
When is your Quit Day going to be? What date are you marking on your calendar to come and see me? Call me on 0403 158 229 to find out how you can be Smoke Free For Life!