Hi Mystic Moments, at the moment I'm smoking 20 a day, and I desperately want to stop, but cigarettes are so addictive! Any top tips to help me quit will be more than welcome.
Dennis, 42 from High Wycombe.
Hi Dennis, as with all addictions trying to quit takes time and dedication. Cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. Even if you want to quit smoking, the difficulty lies in the fact that you’re addicted to the effects of nicotine. Nicotine reconstructs the balance of two chemicals in your brain, called dopamine and noradrenaline. When nicotine alters these chemical levels, your mood and concentration levels change. Many smokers find this incredibly satisfying. When you inhale the nicotine, it immediately rushes to your brain, where it produces feelings of pleasure and also happens to reduce stress and anxiety. This pleasure is why many smokers enjoy the nicotine rush and in turn become dependent on it.
So, the primary challenge for us is to slowly ease you away from the nicotine and try to manage your cravings the best we can. When you stop smoking, the absence of nicotine in your blood changes the levels of dopamine and noradrenaline, which can result in you feeling anxious, depressed and irritable. It’s perfectly reasonable to crave nicotine when you quit, as smoking provides an immediate fix to these unpleasant feelings. To quit smoking, it really is mind over matter. If you believe you can do it Dennis, there will be no stopping you. The vast majority of people find it a lot easier to quit when they have a strong motivation to enforce it.
With so many potential health problems that can arise with smoking, it is so hard to understand why people still do it in this day age, in fact it's inflammatory. Below are a number of effects smoking has on the body.
Bones Ingredients found in cigarette smoke can disrupt the natural cycle of bone health. Your body finds it harder to form healthy new bone tissue, and it breaks down existing bone tissue quicker. Over an extended period of time, smoking leads to a thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density. Smoking can be responsible for the deterioration of your bones resulting in them becoming weak and brittle. Women need to be especially vigilant as they are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis (brittle bones) than non-smokers. Compared to non-smokers, smokers have an increased risk of bone fractures, and their bone breaks take longer to heal.
Brain Facts are facts, if you smoke, you are more likely to have a stroke than someone who doesn't smoke. The probability of having a stroke is increased by close to 50%. By smoking, you also double your risk of passing away from a stroke. Smoking can increase the chances of forming a brain aneurysm. A brain aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel caused by a fault in the blood vessel wall. If this ruptures, it can lead to a grave condition known as a subarachnoid haemorrhage, which is a type of stroke. Unfortunately, this can result in brain damage or even death.
Circulation When you smoke, the poisons from the tar in your cigarettes enter your blood. These poisons in your blood then make your blood thicker and increase chances of clot formation. There are also increases in your blood pressure and heart rate, making your heart work harder than usual. Your arteries narrow, reducing the amount of oxygen-rich blood circulating to your organs. Overall, these changes to your body increase the chance of your arteries narrowing and clots forming, which can be the foundation of a heart attack or stroke.
Heart Smoking increases the risk of conditions such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and cerebrovascular disease. The carbon monoxide from the smoke and nicotine both put pressure on the heart by making it work harder, thus increasing the chances of blood clotting. Other nasty chemicals in cigarette smoke weaken the lining of your coronary arteries, leading to furring of the arteries. Compared to non-smokers, smoking doubles your risk of having a heart attack or dying from coronary heart disease.
Lungs Coughs, colds, wheezing and asthma, are the initial effects of smoking on the lungs. It can cause fatal diseases such as pneumonia, emphysema and lung cancer. It is recorded that smoking causes 84% of deaths from lung cancer and 83% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. People with COPD have difficulties breathing, due to the contraction of their airways and damage of lung tissue. Typical symptoms include increased breathlessness when active, a persistent cough and recurring chest infections. A lot of time COPD is dismissed as a ‘smoker’s cough’. If people continue smoking and allow the condition to worsen, the implications on their quality of life can be catastrophic. The only way to slow this disease down is to QUIT!
Mouth and Throat Smoking causes significant upsets in the mouth department such as bad breath and stained teeth. It can also damage your gums and ruin your palate. The more severe effects smoking causes in your mouth and throat is an increased risk of cancer in your lips, tongue, throat, voice box and oesophagus (gullet). More than 93% of oropharyngeal cancers which resides in the throat are caused by smoking.
Reproduction and Fertility Male impotence can be caused by smoking, as it damages the blood vessels that provide blood to the penis. Not only this, but it can also damage sperm, reduce sperm count and potentially cause testicular cancer. Up to 120,000 men from the UK in their 20s and 30s are impotent as a direct result of smoking. If you are wanting to start or even add to the family, smoking certainly won't do you any favours. Men who smoke generally have a lower sperm count than non-smokers.
Smoking can also reduce fertility in Women. One study estimated that the fertility of women who smoke was 72% that of non-smokers and smokers were three times more probable to have taken more than one year to conceive. This aside smoking can also increase the risk of cervical cancer. Smoking while you are pregnant is a massive no-no as it can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth and illness. Figures show the risk of cot death is increased by at least 25%.
Skin Another negative is that smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that gets to your skin, which results in your skin ageing quicker and giving it a more grey and dull appearance. Smoking makes it three times more likely you'll get facial wrinkling, particularly around the eyes and mouth and can give you a yellow-grey complexion and hollow cheeks. Smoking prematurely ages your skin by between 10 and 20 years.
This woman above may look like she's happy but believe it or not, she is celebrating her 30th birthday...
That's what smoking does to you!
Stomach Smokers have an increased risk of getting stomach cancer or ulcers. Smoking can impair the muscle that controls the lower end of your oesophagus (gullet) and allows stomach acids to move in the wrong direction back up your gullet. This process is known as reflux. Smoking cigarettes is a notable risk factor for developing kidney cancer. Quite simply, the more you smoke, the greater the risk.
Find Your Reason to Quit
To get motivated, you need a compelling, personal reason to quit. Trying to stop without a substantial reason why will make this journey incredibly tricky. These are great reasons that will hopefully make you strong enough and resist that urge to light up again.
Family Protecting those around you will always be a great motivational tool. Secondhand smoke is dangerous, especially for children. Every time you light up in your home, the majority of the smoke doesn't stay in your lungs; instead it pollutes the air around you. When your family breathe in your secondhand smoke, not only is it unpleasant for them, it can also have health repercussions. People who are exposed to secondhand smoke regularly are more likely to get the same diseases as smokers. So by quitting you won't only extend your own life, but you will also save those around you, who really don't have a choice. Even if you can't go cold turkey, just smoking outdoors can be life-changing enough.
Role Model People in everyday life always (whether they like to admit or not) have their own role models. If you are a family man Dennis, the role model in your kids' lives will more than likely be you. The effects of smoking are there for you to see in black and white. Most children that grow up with parents smoking tend to smoke themselves. Which could be due to being around smoke from a young age or seeing their role models doing it and wanting to follow suit. The motivation here is to be an excellent role model and make your children aware of the implications that smoking can potentially cause in your life. It's a dangerous habit with a countless number of negatives and no reward, so why encourage it?
Health You're primarily responsible for looking after yourself, you should always come first. If you look after yourself, you are then in a position to be able to look after others. So as far as your own health is concerned smoking really isn't ticking any boxes. As shown earlier it can lead to many complications and potentially result in severe conditions or in some cases, death. Your body is a temple, and you only get one, so motivate yourself to look after yourself.
Appearance The effects of smoking occur both internally and externally. Everyone wants to age gracefully, and most people who smoke have a catalogue of skin issues as it unnaturally ages people by 10-20 years. It causes visible wrinkles, bags to form under your eyes and drains your natural glow. If you want to look good for your age, that is all the motivation you need to give up smoking. Looking fresh and feeling good vastly improve your quality of life and give your confidence that much-needed kick in the right direction!
There is light at the end of the tunnel Dennis and anything is possible. To be able to quit you just need a little help in hand and a push in the right direction. Below are methods to increase the chances of you being able to stamp out this terrible habit for good.
Cold turkey Going cold turkey is certainly the hardest of all methods with about 90% of people who try to quit smoking, attempt to do it without external support. No aids, therapy, or medicine. Although most people try to give up this way, it's not the most successful method. Only about 5% of people possess the willpower and are able to quit on their own.
Behavioural Therapy This involves working with a therapist to find ways not to smoke. Together, you'll find the triggers that make you want to smoke and then make a plan to battle through the cravings.
Nicotine Replacement There are plenty of products available, including nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, sprays, and lozenges. They work by giving you nicotine without the use of tobacco. You get your nicotine hit without all the nasty chemicals on top. You may be far more likely to quit with nicotine replacement therapy, but it works best when combined with behavioural therapy and lots of support from friends and family. Don't forget that the goal is to finish your nicotine addiction, not just to stop using tobacco.
Alternative Therapies Some people find alternative therapies beneficial. They are all intended to help you to quit smoking, but there is currently no substantial evidence that any of these will enhance your chances of becoming smoke-free. Some alternative methods to help you to stop smoking might include yoga, acupuncture and hypnosis. Another way to quit smoking in today's market is the use of e-cigarettes. This method is rising massively in popularity, but the long-time effects or this alternative is yet to be determined.
Dennis, today is the day you say no to smoking. Courtesy of the NHS, here are a list of changes your body will undergo as soon as you decide to give it up. Click the link below!
You'll begin this journey as a conflicted caterpillar, but then you get into your cocoon, undergo metamorphosis and transform into a beautiful butterfly. Quitting smoking will be a life-changing event that will resonate throughout the rest of your life.
Mystic Moments have actually crafted a blend of their own. It is important to note that this is not guaranteed to make you quit smoking, but it will certainly help. The Smokers Relief Blend is designed to help relieve some of the symptoms you may experience while quitting nicotine, as well as help uplift your mood, ease cravings and extend the period you can go without lighting up.
Contains: Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia Melarosa), Black Pepper (Piper Nigrum), Sage (Salvia Sclarea), Coriander (Coriandrum Sativum), Grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi), Marjoram (Origanum Marjorana) and Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis).
As this is such a noble cause, we are also going to provide a 20% off discount code for our Smokers Relief Essential Oil Blend. This is available to everyone until the 24th August. To be used at the checkout. One use per customer.
Discount Code: IQUIT20
I wish you all the best Dennis, please get in touch and let me know how it all goes. Good luck my friend.
Peace out and God bless x
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