Jul 07, 2018 Stop Smoking
Deciding to stop smoking is a very difficult decision because of the effort it involves. Cigarettes contain nicotine which is a very addictive substance. Nicotine in small doses is a stimulant that makes you feel good, increases your heart rate, improves concentration and your memory. Larger doses have a relaxing effect which encourages smokers to inhale more intensely to achieve a greater effect. Unfortunately, nicotine is not the only chemical you inhale when you smoke. Cigarettes contain a whole host of carcinogenic chemicals that cause immeasurable damage to your body. There are over 4000 toxic substances in cigarettes seventy of them cause cancer. People put themselves at risk of lung disease, lung cancer and mouth cancer every time they take a drag of a cigarette. Giving up smoking is the same as giving up any type of addictive drug because your body craves for the effects of nicotine. Stopping any type of addictive drug results in withdrawal symptoms which make giving up even harder. Once you overcome these symptoms you eventually stop smoking and are able to live a happier healthier life.Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that reacts with receptors in the brain increasing the production of neurotransmitters. This results in the production of dopamine which is a feel-good chemical. It also stimulates the production of serotonin which lifts moods and noradrenaline which creates stress hormones (Source: Neurochem). Eventually, the brain gets used to the nicotine levels and requires more to have the same effects. This is why people start their habit on five cigarettes a day and end up smoking twenty after a while. Nicotine in extremely large quantities is harmful but the small amount from a single cigarette is unlikely to be. However, all of the other chemicals in cigarettes are extremely harmful and lead to death so smoking is not a safe way to have nicotine. Any type of addictive drug has negative consequences so it is a good idea to find ways to give up your smoking habit. Coming off any addictive drug is going to be difficult so withdrawal symptoms are inevitable. Symptoms include; cravings for nicotine, sweating, nausea, insomnia, weight gain, irritability, weight gain and headaches. You are most likely to suffer these symptoms if you decide to go cold turkey and suddenly stop smoking. This is also the reason people find giving up smoking difficult. Symptoms feel worse three days after giving up because the nicotine is completely out of your system. People with strong willpower are able to live through these symptoms and eventually stop feeling them. Other people give in to the cravings and only manage to stop smoking for a very short time. Most people give up smoking up to 15 times before they find the strength to overcome withdrawal symptoms. (Source: Healthline). Going cold turkey does not work for everyone so treatments that help you to withdraw from nicotine gradually are a great help. E-cigarettes give you the opportunity to reduce your nicotine intake without the very negative effects of cigarette smoking. There is still some uncertainty as to how healthy they actually are but they are still a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. Nicotine patches, sprays, mints, and gums provide a boost of nicotine and help to quell cravings. While drugs like Champix reproduces the effect of nicotine and helps you give up without cravings. Mobile phone apps and support groups provide motivation and celebration of your achievements. Smoking is such a harmful habit the NHS provides lots of helpful support so people can give up smoking and live healthier lives.
By Parv Sagoo (Sept 2018)
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