Smoking Cessation

Cigarette smoking is injurious to health. Lung cancer is perhaps the deadliest form of cancer than takes the lives of thousands of men and women in the United States per year. In the tobacco industry, billions of dollars are spent for advertising and production of cigarettes for distribution in all corners of the world. Even more billions in dollars are spent for medical treatment for persons who acquire diseases that are highly linked to cigarette smoking.

Other lung and respiratory ailments like emphysema, pneumonia, or asthma can further be aggravated by smoking. The American Cancer Society further suggests that cigarette smoking can cause blindness, and contribute highly to cardiovascular disease. Blood vessels may malfunction because of the toxins contained in cigarettes. There are about 20 carcinogens found in tobacco, which poses health risks not only to the smokers, but for pregnant women, children, and all other susceptible persons who inhale second hand smoke.

Nicotine is the highly-addictive drug that is found in cigarettes and tobacco. The introduction of this drug into the system causes a lot of people to become dependent on it. The addiction to smoking is further fuelled because a person cannot simply have one stick of cigarette at a time. When a person becomes dependent on nicotine, his behavior is likely to change when the drug is not available. He may be more irritable or impatient, and can easily be angered by minor situations.

Smoking cessation has major and immediate health benefits for persons of all ages and provides benefits for persons with and without smoking related diseases.

Smoking cessation decreases the risk of lung cancer and other cancers, cerebrovascular diseases, and chronic lung diseases. Women who stop smoking before pregnancy or during the first three to four months of pregnancy reduce their risk for having low birth weight of smoking cessation substantially exceed any risks from the average five pound weight gain or any adverse psychological effects after quitting.

Smoking cessation is the single most therapeutic health change for anyone who has, or is at risk for, cardiopulmonary disease. Although increasing the intake of complex carbohydrates has healthy benefits in lowering blood cholesterol smoking cessation provides dramatic results in less time. Striking a healthy balance between rest and exercise and taking advantage of more leisure activities are also beneficial, but any one of these cannot compare with the beneficial effects on arterioles achieved by smoking cessation.

Smoking cessation increases life because it decreases the risk of dying from definite smoking linked diseases. The most common cause of lung cancer is smoking which leads to death in both men and women. The risk of lung cancer declines steadily in people who quit smoking; after ten years of abstinence, the risk of lung cancer is about thirty to fifty percent of the risk for continuing smokers.

Smoking cessation also decreases the risk of cancers of the larynx, oral cavity, esophagus, pancreas, and urinary bladder. Smoking cessation considerably decreases the risk of peripheral artery disease compared with continued smoking.

Further data from the American Cancer Society states that 20 minutes after quitting smoking, blood pressure and heart rate drops. Within 12 hours of smoking cessation, the levels of the toxin carbon monoxide in the blood go back to normal. From two days to three weeks upon quitting smoking, lung function improves and the body’s circulation is better.

There are many challenges posed by smoking cessation. As mentioned before, nicotine addiction cannot easily be cut off from a person’s system, as his body has already become accustomed to the constant supply of the drug in the form of cigarettes. Immediately quitting smoking, a person may feel dizziness and fall into bouts of depression. He can become restless, unable to sleep or relax, has problem concentrating on work, and has the tendency to eat more.

Psychiatrists should advise all patients to quit smoking. For patients who are ready to stop smoking, it is best to set a quit date. Most clinicians and smokers prefer abrupt cessation, but because no good data indicate that abrupt cessation is better than gradual cessation, patient preference for gradual cessation should be respected. Brief advice should focus on the need for medication or group therapy, weight gain concerns, high risk situations, making cigarettes unavailable, and so forth.

Modeling has also been used in weight reduction and smoking cessation programs. It is an important component of group treatment plans in which members of the group learn from one another.

Bupropion is a type of medicine available by prescription that can help you to quit smoking. It was originally used as an antidepressant, but research shows that this medicine is also helpful for people who want to quit smoking. Bupropion alone is often not enough to help people quit smoking. It is usually used in addition to nicotine replacement therapy as part of a smoking cessation program.

The most successful aid to smoking cessation has been nicotine replacement therapy. Use of either the transdermal nicotine patch or nicotine gum clearly increases long term quit rates, usually by a factor of about two. The strictness of removal symptoms is reduced. Cognitive behavioral support increases the likelihood of success with the gum and may also do so with the patch.

The immediate benefits and plus points of smoking cessation include a more positive outlook in life. Food tastes better, bad breath is eliminated, and the sense of smell goes back to normal. Aside from those, you eliminate the added expenses of regularly buying cigarettes. The health considerations of others are also very important. Smoking can not only save your own life, but the lives of other people, too.

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