How Smokers Quit


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Let’s talk about why we smoke. It may come as no surprise to smokers but most nonsmokers do not understand how strongly addictive tobacco products can be. Like an old school advertisement used to say, “It’s what’s inside that counts. ” It begins with nicotine.

Nicotine is a drug that is a natural component of tobacco. Nicotine is highly addictive and is considered by many to be as addictive as heroin or cocaine. The longer one smokes the more the body becomes physically and psychologically dependent on nicotine.

Researchers find that smokers must break their psychological and physical dependence in order to become smoke free long term.

Once smoke is inhaled the nicotine is carried deep into the lungs. Once in the lungs it is absorbed quickly directly into the bloodstream and travels through the body.

Nicotine exerts a dramatic affect on many parts of the body such as the heart and blood vessels, hormonal system, metabolism, and the brain.

Unfortunately nicotine is found in breast milk and even in cervix mucous secretions of smokers. During pregnancy, nicotine freely crosses the placenta and has been found in amniotic fluid and the umbilical cord blood of newborn infants.

Now here’s the way the psychological addiction takes hold so deeply. Once inhaled the nicotine triggers pleasurable feelings that induce the smoker to crave smoke more. This drug also acts like a depressant by interfering with the way information travels between nerve cells.

Once the nervous system becomes adjusted to the presence of nicotine, smokers find their habit increasing by several additional packs per week. Additionally, their blood nicotine levels increase proportionally.

Once level of tolerance to the drug is developed by the smoker the smoking habits continues to increase.

What Happens When Smokers Quit

According to the American Cancer Society, the following benefits are experienced once smokers break the habit.

  • 20 minutes after smoking stops the heart rate and blood pressure drops.

  • 12 hours after stopping, carbon monoxide levels in the blood drop to normal.

  • 2 to 3 weeks after stopping circulation improves and lung function increases.

  • 1 to 9 months later coughing and shortness of breath decreases. Additionally the cilia fain lungs regain normal ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs and reduce risk of infection.

  • 5 years after quitting the risk of stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker of 5 to 15 years.

  • 10 years after quitting the cancer death rate is ½ that of continuing smokers. “

    So How Do I Quit?

    Use these 5 Top Tips To Begin Your Life As A Nonsmoker

    1. Eliminate guilt. Changing a habit takes several weeks so a few missteps are part of the normal pattern of change. Don’t beat yourself up should you finding yourself smoking again after you’ve started your program.

    Guilt triggered emotions and reactions cause more failed nonsmoking results than any single other factor. Be kind to yourself and forget about guilt. You will be successful if you follow this program.

    2. Decide on a date when you will become a nonsmoker (set it close enough to be realistic but not so close as to be stressful)

    3. Write the date on a 3 X 5 business card and look at it at least twice a day for the next 30 to 45 days (in the morning before getting out of bed, at noon/optional, at night as the last thing you do before retiring)

    4. Spend some time during the day visualizing yourself as a nonsmoker. It may take a while to get comfortable with this exercise but it is well worth the effort. Find a quiet spot where you won’t be interrupted for at least 15 minutes.

    Turn off the ringer on your phone and let everyone know you need some quiet time. See yourself involved in activities as a nonsmoker. Enjoy the feelings, sights and sounds that would naturally be part of the surroundings that you are visualizing. Allow yourself to spend as much time as you want, enjoying activities as a nonsmoker.

    5. Most often there are events or activities that have created habit patterns that are directly connected to smoking. For some it is the first cup of coffee in the morning. Others find when they are out socializing with friends they smoke more than at other times.

    Review your own smoke related habits for situations that tend to contribute to heavier smoking than other activities. Eliminate or modify the frequency of times when you engage in those activities for the next 30 to 45 days.

    About The Author:
    Alex Rich PhD is a hypnotherapist with a private practice in personal development and business coaching. Did you know nearly 85% of those who try to stop smoking fail. Click here to learn how you can quit smoking in 1 hour. Copyright 2007 – Alex Rich, PhD. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article as long as you leave all of the links active, do not edit the article in any way and give author name credit.

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