Conquering The Smoking Habit

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Conquering The Smoking Habit


Most smokers sincerely want to quit. They know cigarettes threaten
their health, set a bad example for their children, annoy their acquaintances
and cost an inordinate amount of money.

Nobody can force a smoker to quit. It's something each person has to decide
for himself, and will require a personal commitment by the smoker. What kind
of smoker are you? What do you get out of smoking? What does it do for you?
It is important to identify what you use smoking for and what kind of
satisfaction you feel that you are getting from smoking.

Many smokers use the cigarette as a kind of crutch in moments of stress
or discomfort, and on occasion it may work; the cigarette is sometimes used
as a tranquilliser. But the heavy smoker, the person who tries to handle severe
personal problems by smoking heavily all day long, is apt to discover that
cigarettes do not help him deal with his problems effectively.

When it comes to quitting, this kind of smoker may find it easy to stop
when everything is going well, but may be tempted to start again in a time of
crisis. Physical exertion, eating, drinking, or social activity in moderation
may serve as useful substitutes for cigarettes, even in times of tension. The
choice of a substitute depends on what will achieve the same effects without
having any appreciable risk.

Once a smoker understands his own smoking behaviour, he will be able to
cope more successfully and select the best quitting approaches for himself
and the type of life-style he leads.

Because smoking is a form of addiction, 80 percent of smoker who quit
usually experience some withdrawal symptoms. These may include headache,
light-headed ness, nausea, diarrhoea, and chest pains. Psychological
symptoms, such as anxiety, short-term depression, and inability to concentrate,
may also appear.

The main psychological symptom is increased irritability. People become
so irritable, in fact, that they say they feel "like killing
somebody." Yet there is no evidence that quitting smoking leads to
physical violence.

Some people seem to lose all their energy and drive, wanting only to
sleep. Others react in exactly the opposite way, becoming so over energised
they can't find enough activity to burn off their excess energy. For
instance, one woman said she cleaned out all her closets completely and was
ready to go next door to start on her neighbor's.

Both these extremes, however, eventually level off. The symptoms may be
intense for two or three days, but within 10 to 14 days after quitting, most
subside. The truth is that after people quit smoking, they have more energy,
they generally will need less sleep, and feel better about themselves.

Quitting smoking not only extends the ex-smoker's life, but adds new
happiness and meaning to one's current life. Most smokers state that immediately
after they quit smoking, they start noticing dramatic differences in their
overall health and vitality.

Quitting is beneficial at any age, no matter how long a person has been
smoking. The mortality ratio of ex-smoker decreases after quitting. If the
patient quits before a serious disease has developed, his body may eventually
be able to restore itself almost completely.

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