Since I am writing this article from experience, I feel that it is necessary to ask the true question: Is there a reason not to quit smoking? At the age of 22 and with help of my soon to be girlfriend, I decided to take the leap and free myself of the addiction that has possibly taken years off of my life, not to mention countless dollars out of my wallet. Not is it only my goal to explain the benefits of quitting smoking, but I also would like to try and shed some light on possible strategies on how to quit in as few of tries as possible.
Benefits of Quitting Smoking
There are countless benefits to quitting smoking. For most people, health related issues come to mind. By quitting you dramatically decrease the likelihood of having any heart related diseases. As I am sure you know, smoking can create build up in your arteries thus increasing the possibility of having a heart attack or other heart issues. Emphysema is caused by smoking and will rot your lungs and cause you to get sick more often. When you do happen to get a cold or your chest is congested, it is amplified by the irritation smoking causes. So it will not just feel like a cough, but will feel as if you are coughing something large up! From experience, I can tell you that you do not want to have Emphysema, even in its mildest form. Typically if it is bad enough you will have to be on oxygen and you are very sensitive to other smells and fragrant items. Items such as laundry softeners and cologne/perfume can cause difficulty in breathing.
The estimated death toll for smokers is approximately 1 in 3 with many dying very early. By quitting smoking at the tender age of 35, on average the male life expectancy increased anywhere from 6.9 to 8.5 years. Women increased anywhere from 6.1 to 7.7 years. Even though would not be as huge an increase, quitting at an older age will still benefit you for the rest of your life. If your own health is not enough of an incentive, then maybe consider those around you. There have been many reports of people dying or developing cancer even though they never smoked. They received 2nd hand smoke from friends and loved ones.
How Do I Quit Smoking?
First and foremost you will have to want to quit smoking. No other reason is good enough and I say that with experience in hand. Not to mention that it is a mind game and a majority of it is in your head. Addiction to anything is hard and when the cravings kick in, you will have to want it bad enough to say “no.” Many aids are available to quit smoking and each has it’s own pros and cons. The patch is what I used to quit and worked well for me. In my opinion, the best part was “forgetting” I had it on which helped me through the physical dependency of nicotine. The longer you can go without thinking you need a cigarette the easier it becomes to quit. Most brands of the patch have 3 steps and are about 1-2 weeks per step. That will ultimately be up to you as you will need to decide when you move up in steps while moving down in milligrams of nicotine.
Other methods are available. Chewing gum is available in many flavors and is estimated that a person will chew about 15 sticks per day. There is also inhalers and nasal sprays. Even though it may seem a little extreme or strange to others, there has been tests on hypnotism and its benefits to those who want to quit smoking. Of all things make sure you have the support of your co-workers, friends, and family. They will genuinely want to help you achieve your goal.
Many experts say that it takes multiple times to successfully quit. It did for me. You want to learn from your mistakes and maybe even keep a journal. Try to keep track of what triggers your cravings, whether it is stress, work, or in my case, a cup of coffee. It took me several tries until I woke up one morning and realized that something so small was controlling a large portion of my life. I can guarantee that you will feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment when you quit smoking. Ultimately the best advice that can be given is to keep on trying no matter what, because if you want it bad enough you will eventually do it. That should be the real reason and answer to your question as to why you should quit smoking.