Getting free of a tobacco addiction is certainly 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 of the body’s organs are attacked by the toxic substances found 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—between 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:
- yellow hair, nails, and teeth
- bad breath
- premature aging of the skin
- raspy voice, and
- cigarette smell
Effects on well-being
Several factors, including good health, impact our well-being. Smoking is detrimental to health and decreases quality of life because of its harmful effects (decreased vitality and physical endurance, breathlessness, predisposition to pulmonary infections, early morning cough, bronchial secretions, etc.).
Think of the feeling of well-being and freedom you will experience when you will be able to do the activities you enjoy again, without being out of breath and tired. Smoking cessation often gives you a second wind and a great sense of pride!
By getting smoke-free, you will gain quality time that you can spend doing the healthy things you enjoy—go for walks, call a friend, eat a fruit, or play with a child. 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.
The effects on your personal finances
It is a known fact that smoking is expensive. Smoking cessation could allow you to complete a project that you are constantly 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 buying 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 doctor prescribed oral treatments are valuable assets. Although they are sold over-the-counter, nicotine replacement therapy (patches, chewing gum, lozenges, inhaler or sprays) are reimbursed by a number of insurance companies when they are prescribed. The good news is that your pharmacist can now prescribe them to you, 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 loved ones
Whether we 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 in turn begin to smoke during adolescence or as adults. You can make a difference. Seeing all the efforts you are making to quit smoking and the positive results that stem from them, your children will learn that smoking cessation 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:
- Identify 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 advantages and disadvantages of smoking and of smoking cessation to get a clear picture of your own beliefs.
- Ask yourself what is stopping 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 to support you.
- Speak to your pharmacist, so he/she 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 wait any longer to get rid of the hold tobacco has on you. You will benefit from a new sense of freedom for a long time to come!