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
Nobody can force a smoker to quit. It's something each person
has to decide for herself or 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 tranquilizer. 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
Once a smoker understands his own smoking behavior, he will be able
to cope more successfully and select the best quitting approaches
for herself or himself and the type of life-style she/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-headedness, nausea, diarrhea, 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 energized 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.