Breaking free from tobacco addiction is a major challenge. Finding your true motivations is certainly a major asset in this process.
A few thought-provoking statistics
It is known that smoking is harmful to health and can even cause death. Nearly all the body’s organs are attacked by the toxic substances contained in tobacco. The lungs are particularly affected. In fact, upwards of 85% of lung cancers and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) are directly related to smoking. Smokers also present a risk of mouth, stomach, bladder, kidney, and cervical cancers, among others.
Moreover, the circulatory system (heart and blood vessels) is not immune to damage caused by tobacco—25 to 30% of cardiovascular diseases (myocardial infarction, stroke, etc.) are linked to smoking.
Because the life expectancy of smokers is reduced, quitting smoking as early as possible allows a person to live a healthier and longer life.
Other physical consequences
Aside from the many health problems it causes, smoking generates visible physical changes:
- yellowed hair, nails, and teeth
- bad breath
- premature aging of the skin
- hoarse voice, and
- cigarette smell
Effects on well-being
Many factors, including good health, impact our well-being. Smoking is detrimental to health and reduces quality of life because of its harmful effects (decreased vitality and physical endurance, shortness of breath, predisposition to pulmonary infections, morning cough, bronchial secretions, etc.).
Think of the feeling of well-being and freedom you will experience when you can do the activities you enjoy again, without feeling too out of breath and tired. Smoking cessation often gives you a second wind and a great sense of pride!
By quitting smoking, you will gain quality time to spend on the healthy things you enjoy—go for walks, call a friend, eat some fruit, play with a child, etc. No more sneaking outside in the freezing winter to smoke a cigarette! Enjoying the small pleasures of life without turning to tobacco will bring you great satisfaction. Moreover, people will see you differently; judgment will be replaced by admiration because you have quit smoking.
Effects on personal finances
It is a known fact that smoking is expensive. Quitting smoking could allow you to do something that you have been putting off due to lack of funds. Isn’t it tempting to buy yourself a new car or to go on a trip instead of wasting money on tobacco products that are harmful to your health?
Admittedly, quitting smoking is difficult because of tobacco’s addictive nature. Pharmacologic aids, such as nicotine replacement therapies or prescribed oral treatments are valuable assets. Although they are sold over-the-counter, nicotine replacement therapies (patches, chewing gum, lozenges, inhaler or sprays) are reimbursed by a number of insurance companies when prescribed.
The good news is that your pharmacist can now prescribe all types of smoking cessation aids, including oral medications. So, you don't have to see your doctor to get a prescription. This type of investment in your health and well-being will certainly cost you a lot less than the tobacco products and their harmful effects!
The effects on the people around you
Like it or not, smoking often divides a group of people into two categories. For instance, smokers must go outside to smoke during an event in a public place. Wouldn’t it be more pleasant for them to be able to spend the entire evening with their family and friends?
Second-hand smoke should not be overlooked either. It has a number of harmful effects on the health of the people around you, and is also very unpleasant for non-smokers.
If you have children or grandchildren, there’s no better message to send to them than to quit smoking. Children of smokers often take up smoking during adolescence or as adults. You can make a difference. By seeing your efforts to quit smoking and the beneficial results, your children will remember that not smoking is the best option.
Find your reasons to quit smoking
The benefits of smoking cessation are well-known. Now, all you have to do is find the convincing arguments that will help you rid yourself of this bad habit. Here is some advice on how to achieve it:
- Consider why you smoke (to relax, be in a good mood, promote concentration, or out of boredom, etc.). Smoking fulfills a need; identify it and find other ways to fulfill it.
- Make a list of the pros and cons of smoking and quitting to get a clear picture of your own beliefs.
- Ask yourself what is preventing you from quitting smoking and try to find alternative solutions.
- Consult available resources by calling the iQuitnow helpline (1-866-527-7383) or by visiting (iquitnow.qc.ca).
- Ask family and friends for support.
- Speak to your pharmacist, so they can assist you during this process.
The decision to live a smoke-free life is the best one you can make for your health and your future. Don’t delay in kicking your smoking habit. You will enjoy a new sense of freedom for a long time to come!