The Secrets to Quitting Smoking

March 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Smoking

Smokers are always told to stop smoking, but if you’ve been there and tried that, you know that quitting smoking simply isn’t that easy. Even those with great willpower find it difficult to simply stop smoking. The fact is that both psychology and physiology play a role in stop smoking help.

Naturally, pure dedication is also a stop smoking aid. But unfortunately, only 6% of smokers are ever successful at their first attempt to quit smoking. Being dedicated to the no smoking cause is essential in success in the long run.

The secret to quitting smoking is by understanding the mechanisms behind willpower and how it functions in a no smoking cause.

Choices are made in every area of life, but the big ones take deep thoughts and concentration before acting upon them. It is important to find your personal link between willpower and achievement of your goal, which is to stop smoking.

Stress is probably the main reason that people continue smoking; it serves as an aid to life as time goes by, apparently. When a major negative event happens that people cannot control, stress arises and smoking seems to restore the calm before the storm. Along this stressful journey called life, however, it is possible to interrupt it.

Begin by making a list of why smoking has become a habit for you. Do you start smoking the minute you wake up? If so, place cigarettes away from eyesight and focus all your strength into your willpower and avoid smoking when you open your eyes. Delay smoking until way after dinner by a few more hours and a few more and a few more. Each time you succeed in not smoking one cigarette, the overall amount of cigarettes you consume daily will lessen and your willpower will strengthen.

The more you do this, the more control you will have on your impulses, and the more self-confident you will become. This will show you the effectiveness of your willpower and the realization that you can direct your actions of smoking, rather than the other way around.

For your no smoking cause, simply choose a day where you will stop smoking. Check how many cigarettes you have left until that date and simply resist buying more cigarettes. Think about how much money you will save by not smoking, as well as the effects of smoking on your health.

Quitting smoking is the hardest during the first few weeks, as it will greatly test your willpower. The nicotine addiction will cause very strong cravings during this period of time and the sudden changes in your body will have difficulties adjusting to lower levels of dopamine and the sudden loss of smoking compounds.

Get stop smoking help by envisioning the long-term effects of smoking, such as diseased lungs and the difficulties in breathing you receive when walking long stretches. Try helping your willpower through this no smoking phase.

After that, the most difficult no smoking phase will start: sticking to no smoking for life. Willpower isn’t merely about deciding on an action, but pushing your life into the right direction.

Stop Stress, Stop Smoking

March 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Smoking

Cigarette smoking is often caused by one thing: stress. In fact, even the act of quitting smoking can increase stress. Because of this double-whammy, it makes it doubly difficult to quit smoking. Knowing what causes stress and finding healthier ways to deal with it may help you in struggling to stop smoking.

When taken at a low dose, nicotine acts as a stimulant that increases the blood pressure and the heart rate. Because of this, psychological changes start to take place, making smoking more desirable. When taken at a high dose, nicotine acts as a relaxant.

Both effects of smoking and nicotine just happen to calm stress down. Stimulation creates a positive feeling through dopamine generation in the brain, as well as other pleasure centers; while relaxation also directly and clearly influences the levels of stress.

Physiologically, however, stress, anxiety, and the exhilaration of challenges are pretty much the same. The only difference is in how we look at external events and react to them.

Not a lot of external events are actually inherently stressful; it all depends merely on how we evaluate their possible impact on our personal values and goals. However, the facts that may lead to this evaluation must be true events, such as the loss of someone dear, the loss of a job, and other everyday situations, like changing lanes on the highway. All these have the potential to be stressful and give a negative impact on what we want.

People tend to turn to smoking in order to deal with stress and substitute a cigarette for a complete change in attitude. It may be hard to try to start thinking positively once someone is trying to stop smoking. This is why only 6% of those who stop smoking actually succeed in doing so for good on their first try. Try building up a positive attitude before smoking at all times. This may help you quit smoking better than you think.

Also, take note of events that seem to be correlated to your smoking habits. Do you turn to smoking right after a meal? If so, keep putting smoking off by day or by week; soon enough you won’t even be craving the smoking habit any longer.

Always keep your eye open for opportunities to change your situations that cause stress. Quitting smoking will clearly not happen overnight, but having the attitude from the get-go sure can help. Start building confidence in your ability to stop smoking and reduce the frequency and the odds of ever feeling stressed out. This no smoking program will eventually reduce your need for a cigarette and you will be able to quit smoking for good.

Quit Smoking Now

March 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Smoking

Smoking may be a temporary pleasure for now. However, ‘for now’ is a phrase that currently may not have a definite end point. While the pleasure that comes with smoking cigarettes may be real, the effects of smoking are also real; and these are much more serious and last a long time.

The reasons for people smoking may vary, from peer pressure to stress, or even pure psychological reasons. Dealing with these factors through smoking cigarettes may seem like an easy way out, but the long-term repercussions are more serious than you may think.

Research has proven that 87% of lung cancer cases are due to continuous heavy smoking. The risk of coronary heart disease and stroke is also 2-4 times higher for those smoking cigarettes compared to those who do not. These statistics are even higher for chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) like chronic bronchitis, asthma, or emphysema: around 80-90% of these cases are attributed to heavy smoking.

Quite a number of studies have shown a correlation between bad health effects and cigarette smoking. And although the exact links and causes between smoking and cancer or stroke are still unknown to this day, the correlation is definitely there.

For example, the heightened build-up of fat in the arteries is due to smoking. The effects of smoking on the lungs due to tar in the alveoli are also apparent. Scientific studies really are not much need to serve as proof for this.

Cigarette smoking also comes with a ton of carcinogenic compounds that range from benzene and tar to nitrosamines. Since carbon monoxide is also present in smoking, it results in a deprivation of oxygen in the blood stream.

Quitting smoking is not an easy task that can happen overnight. In fact, only a measly 6% succeed in stopping smoking on their first attempt in doing so. It is however, not impossible to belong in that group and help others stop smoking in the process.

Quitting smoking requires real willpower. But getting stop smoking aids is also an available option. There are stop smoking aids in the form of patches, inhalers, and even nicotine gum to alleviate nicotine addiction. Non-nicotine alternatives are available, to, in the form of zyban, which is actually an anti-depressant.

When you first start out on the road to no smoking, you may gain weight. And the nicotine addiction will cause serious cravings. However, remind yourself of the long term benefits and this may help you really stop smoking.

Within a few years of quitting smoking, the risks of heart disease and stroke will diminish greatly, as your skin returns to its original state. Your overall energy level will also rise and your body and mind will both be much healthier.

Quit smoking now and gain these benefits today for a new you.

Psychotherapy Help to Stop Smoking

March 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Smoking

Psychotherapy is a proven stop smoking aid that does not necessarily involve expensive professional counseling sessions; a mere combination of some outside assistance and a lot of self-help can easily increase your chances of giving up smoking for good. In the long run, quitting smoking will lead to better behavior and health.

Remember not to focus merely on one school of psychotherapy to help you stop smoking; there are tons out there. Try using various techniques from each school to reach your ultimate goal: giving up smoking permanently.

A very popular stop smoking aid is stop smoking hypnosis. Hypnosis was developed as a therapeutic method in the 19th century and although this was once only associated with charlatans, the professionals of today find that smoking hypnotherapy may actually aid in altering a number of smoking behaviors. This proves helpful in smoking to curb the nicotine addiction that is needed for actual long-term changes in smoking habits. Hypnosis involves triggering hidden levels in the mind to replace thoughts of smoking to other healthier triggers.

If smoking hypnotherapy does not appeal to you, you could try cognitive therapy, which will help you discover that you are in control of all of your thoughts and ideas, including those that influence you into smoking.

Through this approach, you will be required to list events and objects that usually lead you to smoking. Finding these smoking triggers will bring them into your consciousness, where you know they can be controlled. Once these thoughts are in you head, you can intentionally replace them with new thoughts. To do so, however, thoughts and feelings need to be balanced out. To stop smoking in the long-term, it is important to know what motivates you into smoking in the first place. Actually giving up smoking, however, is the goal that will still need to be reached.

To keep your mind off of smoking, you may also try focusing on no smoking activities. Instead of smoking to reduce stress, try exercising instead. Or, instead of smoking while having alcohol, try eating a piece of bread or fruit instead. By doing these things, you’ll not only be avoiding smoking, but you’ll be getting into shape, as well. Simply refraining from smoking one cigarette may slowly save your life. The main technique is to redirect your decision from smoking to something that will eliminate an entire smoking episode and present a healthy alternative.

Keep in mind, however, that all long-term behavior modifications may only come to success if they turn into re-forming habits. Once upon a time, smoking was not part of your system. To go back to that time, develop a proper no smoking plan. Then, follow it slowly, one step at a time.

Nicotine Addiction: Fact or Fiction?

March 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Smoking

Nicotine is known to be one of the factors that comes with smoking cigarettes. Nicotine addiction, however, cannot actually be attributed to nicotine alone. As much of a paradox as this sounds, nicotine isn’t actually addictive. It is what the human body does with nicotine that makes it seem like it suffers from nicotine addiction.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, each smoked cigarette comes with around 1.2 – 2.9 mg of nicotine each. Naturally, cigarette smoking does not entail a single cigarette smoked daily. On average, cigarette smokers consume a pack daily; that’s 20-40 mg of nicotine. And although this may still not sound like a lot, the effects of smoking that much do make an impact.

Nicotine awakens the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland located in the human brain. These areas hold an essential role within the endocrine system, which regulates the body’s hormones. Even the smallest dose of nicotine can wake a person up, so smoking cigarettes actually acts as a stimulant. Bigger doses of nicotine, however brings out the opposite effects of smoking and acts like a sedative. So the reason that smoking is addictive is because they both stimulate, as well as relax. More effects of smoking can be found here.

Most drugs cannot go through the barrier of blood and brain because this system only very selectively lets certain molecules enter the brain. Nicotine manages to do so; and by doing so, it raises the endorphin level, that consists of the ‘happy’ compounds.

Nicotine also tends to affect the amount of dopamine available in the brain, which is in charge of the positive feelings that come with smoking. Unfortunately, it cannot send a charge of negative feelings of how harmful smoking actually is. Additionally, nicotine releases adrenaline through the stimulation of the adrenal glands. This then heightens the body’s glucose levels, as well as the respiration, blood pressure, and heart rate.

Although the latter effects of smoking just mentioned may seem like desirable ones, it may result in wearing the arteries too quickly than required and making them less effective at their goals of delivering blood.

Other effects of smoking and nicotine that affect the body include the suppression of releasing insulin from the pancreas, which regulates glucose and could lead to diabetes. Although smoking does not necessarily lead to diabetes, it does heighten the risk thereof.

Quit smoking now and reduce the dosage of nicotine that your body receives. Withdrawal symptoms from nicotine addiction may include undesirable effects, but in the long run, quitting smoking will keep you out of harm’s way for much longer.

Improve Your Health, Quit Smoking

March 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Smoking

Most people who consider quitting smoking think that it’s far too late to save themselves. This is far from true. In fact, the health benefits that come with smoking cessation are immediate and last a lifetime.

Within a mere hour of smoking cessation, the internal temperature of the hands and feet will increase, while the pulse and the blood pressure will decrease. Compounds that are created in the body from smoking make the blood vessels smaller and increase the heart rate. As nicotine addiction is flushed from the body, the body will return to its regular state.

Within a few hours of smoking cessation, the blood’s carbon monoxide levels will go back to normal. Since nicotine addiction comes with CO, it reduces the overall oxygen that the body receives. So, as the CO level goes down, the body will have more oxygen for its needed purposes: overall life sustenance.

Within a day of smoking cessation, there will hardly be any more risks of heart attack. Within two days of smoking cessation, the body’s nerve endings will undergo alterations. The stimulation that was put in by nicotine addiction will suddenly lower and the body will start to regain normal sensations. Additionally, regular senses of smell and taste will return, as well. After you quit smoking, food will usually taste much better and scents will smell much better.

Within a few weeks of smoking cessation, the nicotine addiction will be down to a minimum, if still existent at all. The body’s circulatory system will slowly go back to normal. Exercising will no longer leave the person with shortness of breath that used to come with smoking. Within a couple of months of smoking cessation, exercising will completely cease to be a problem.

Within a few more months of smoking cessation, the sinus congestion that smoking usually comes with will hardly be existent. The tiredness that used to come with smoking will lower, as the level of energy increases. By this time, all of the bodily systems are slowly going back to its pinnacle.
If you keep up with the no smoking program, you will no longer have to worry about strokes. Did you know that the risk of a stroke is actually 50% more than that of a person who does not smoke? Within a decade of smoking cessation, the body will completely return to the state of a person who has never had a nicotine addiction.

All the major risks of disease that used to come with nicotine addiction will practically fall away once you completely stop smoking. Quitting smoking is totally possible; just give it a few years. Giving up smoking is a great commitment to ensure a long term of health. Don’t let the odds bother you. Quit today.

How to Quit Smoking and Avoid Weight Gain

March 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Smoking

Weight gain is a common effect in the initial stages of smoking cessation. Usually this occurs at a gain of 5-10 pounds, sometimes even more. Sadly, this weight gain cannot be avoided when one chooses to quit smoking. Weight gain from giving up smoking can be attributed to a variety of causes.

For most people, quitting smoking causes weight gain due to the nicotine addiction and sudden withdrawal from it. Because of this, food becomes a smoking substitute. A constant intake of food will naturally result in a gain of weight.

At the same time, those who suddenly decide to quit smoking will not think of joining a certain exercise program, since the effects of smoking will still be omnipresent. The overall effects of smoking, such as shortness of breath, will naturally not disappear straight away. Joining an exercise program is already hard for non-smokers; just think about how those who are quitting smoking must feel.

Then there are the effects of physiology. Even mere low degrees of smoking tend to elevate the heart rate, which helps in keeping the body weight off. In the long term, building up the arteries’ fatty deposits induced by smoking will end up outweighing them.

What really attributes to ultimate weight gain, however, is the mixture of increased food intake to the lack of overall physical exercise in those trying to quit smoking. This is not a lost cause, though. Stop smoking naturally and make changes in your overall lifestyle, in the process. Eat healthy and plan the ideal exercise program for you.

Some quit smoking tools require strict willpower in the individual involved. To prevent yourself from smoking, try eating fresh fruit instead. Resist the temptation of delicious foods that are high in calories to make up for that smoking need.

Quitting smoking is said to be the most difficult in its first two weeks, as the nicotine addiction is flushed out. This would be the ideal time to plan your exercise regime. During this time, make sure you stay hydrated, so you don’t feel forced to eat away your smoking craving. Doing so will also help get rid of the remaining smoking contamination in your body. Plus, water is absolutely calorie-free!

In the long term, the biggest struggle will be keeping up with your smoking cessation. Always keep your goals in mind, however, and focus on your willpower to achieve a healthier you. As long as you stay on the right track, you will be able to quit smoking without gaining a single pound.

Stop Smoking: How to Ignore the Cravings

March 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Smoking

Quitting smoking is never an easy task. More often than not, a person who is trying to stop smoking will have a craving due to the lost nicotine addiction. Smoking withdrawal cravings vary from person to person, so certain no smoking methods must be employed per individual; it is essential to find which no smoking technique works for you. Here are some ways to quit smoking that have served helpful to a wide number of individuals; perhaps they will work for you.

Cigarette smoking is a hard habit to quit. Even when you stop smoking, you will still feel the urge to continue the habit. The initial two weeks serve to be the hardest, as the body tries to flush our any nicotine addiction left in the body before it hopes to reach its status quo. Technically, the body tries to remain normal. And with this sudden no smoking change in lifestyle, it has a hard time returning to normal. However, knowing that the body wishes to revert to normalcy should be taken to your advantage.

What makes smoking cessation so hard is the guilt and anxiety that one feels while trying to stop smoking. The body starts to feel out of control and indecisive about whether to quit smoking now or not. Because of this, there is an increase in stress levels, which in turn causes the person to crave smoking to release it. This could become a never-ending cycle if you are not careful with your smoking habits.

The first two weeks are the hardest because that is when the body starts to change. Quitting smoking entails dedication and willpower, even through the hardest of times. During this time, try to avoid anything that could cause even the least amount of stress. Do not try to quit smoking right before you start a new job, for example, or when someone dear to you is about to undergo surgery.

Healthy distractions are good distractions. If you see some fresh fruit, forget the nicotine addiction and eat the fruit. Tangy fruits, like oranges or pineapples, are usually more effective in forgetting the nicotine addiction.

Whenever you feel the sudden urge to start smoking again, try listening to your favorite songs. Songs usually last about the same time it takes to smoke, so try to block the smoking out of your head and concentrate on the music. Elevating songs are highly recommended to forget smoking. Anything that requires intense concentration is good when one is trying to stop smoking, really. Do anything that suits your personality.

Another helpful technique to avoid smoking is to keep your hands busy. Squeeze a ball or something. This way, you will eliminate the thoughts of smoking, as well as aid your circulatory system to get back in shape.

It should not take long before you start forgetting about your nicotine addiction. Although the nicotine addiction may resurface through time, it will become easier to stop smoking as time goes by. Keep reminding yourself of the long-term benefits of quitting smoking and the short-term advantages you may have thought were present during your period of smoking will diminish into oblivion.

How Smoking Leads to Heart Disease

March 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Smoking

Cigarette smoking may always lead to serious repercussions, such as serious conditions like heart disease. However, we do not often hear what that means or how smoking may cause it, in the first place.

Most of the time, as a repercussion of smoking, this refers to coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is when a main blood vessel leaving the heart with blood rich in oxygen becomes constricted. Because of this, the risk of blood clot or vessel closure is heightened. Heavy smoking for a long time relates to this in a couple of ways.

Cigarette smoking comes with the presence of carbon monoxide, which combines with hemoglobin, present in red blood cells to move oxygen around in the body, the heart included. When the heart’s oxygen decreases while smoking, the risk of heart disease increases.

Cigarette smoking also comes with the presence of nicotine, which also decreases the blood’s oxygen. Nicotine is harmful in more ways than one, though. It also increases the risk of blood clotting, which could have a direct effect on increasing the risk in getting heart diseases.

The effects of smoking through nicotine are very dangerous. In the long run, nicotine addiction may help fatty deposits grow on the arteries. This will constrict the blood from flowing through the body and will harden the blood vessels.

Cigarette smoking also tends to lower the amount of high density lipoprotein (HDL) in the body, which is a good type of cholesterol. This would help fatty deposits grow and is sometimes referred to as atherosclerosis, a major cause of heart attack.

By reducing the size of an artery, blood pressure is increased, which makes the risk of a rupture more likely since the artery wall will weaken. This is called an aneurysm and could lead to the brain’s oxygen starvation, eventually leading to a stroke.

By hardening an artery, one has a harder time dealing with regular strains and stresses of its function, too. A blood vessel is quite similar to a hose, but is also different from in through various ways. Like a hose, fluids can be transported only when holes are present. Unlike hoses, however, it cannot be turned off while doing so. If blood stops in any way, for no matter how long, a person’s health could be in danger.

An overall effect that stems from cigarette smoking that could lead to heart disease is that the effects of smoking contribute largely to one’s physical health, and not in a good way. Some factors that may result from smoking are shortness of breath, reduced oxygen, and many more that makes exercise hard to manage. All of those factors, including choices one makes for their lifestyle are oftentimes linked to cigarette smoking.

Lack of exercise will lead to weight gain and an increase of body fat percentage, as well as further the risks of heart attack and heart disease, all because of smoking.

Heavy smoking in the long term has a much higher chance to lead to coronary heart disease than not smoking at all. Quit smoking now for a longer life. Three months after you quit smoking, your circulation will become better. A year after you quit smoking, you are that much closer to having a body of a non-smoker again. A decade after you quit smoking, you will be as healthy as a non-smoker again. It is never too late. Quit smoking now and see the difference.

How Smoking Leads to Cancer

March 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Smoking

It is an overall known fact that heavy, long-term cigarette smoking can cause cancer. However, exactly how smoking causes cancer still remains unknown to researchers world-wide, though some theories have appeared throughout the years.

Though they are able to get damaged, normal cells have the ability to self-repair. Sometimes, the cells are sloughed off and the lymph system gets rid of them to replace them with ones that are brand new. However, this process is not 100% fool-proof. Some cells can grow to become abnormal, growing into strange shapes and therefore not working properly. When this happens, they can keep growing to a level that the body will not be able to function with. The result is cancer.

Aside from those processes, the act of smoking is also known to produce carcinogenic substances. One example is tar. When smoking, the burning paper, in which the tobacco lies, is filled with tar. This will find its way into the lung’s small sacs called alveoli, which usually transport oxygen into the bloodstream. The presence of tar irritates the cells and this, too, could lead to abnormal cell growth.

Another substance that is present while smoking is nitrosamine. Nitrosamines have been tested clinically on small mammals and have been proven to be carcinogenic substances, as well. Although this is only present in small amounts when smoking, they may still have a huge effect, most of all when smoking heavily. Some systems in the smoking human may even be extra sensitive to this substance. And remember all the other substances that accumulate when smoking; if you add them all together, smoking is almost sure to lead to lung cancer in the long run.

Naturally, smoking only one or two cigarettes daily may not lead to lung cancer. However, smoking such a small amount is hardly feasible in today’s world due to nicotine addiction. Those who have been smoking regularly for twenty years and have been smoking a pack daily have very high chances of getting lung cancer.

Non-smokers do get lung cancer sometimes, though. But this does not mean that smoking is not a cause; merely that there are various causes but that smoking is one of them. Studies have already proven it. As the amount of people smoking cigarettes rises, so does the cancer rate.

A single factor mentioned above might not be able to prove the case of smoking. However, all of them put together make the case very strong. So strong, in fact, that we can state that smoking heavily in the long term can increase the odds of getting lung cancer by a mile. In fact, 87% of lung cancer can be attributed to smoking. Quit smoking now.

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