When people talk about smoking, they usually refer to the habit of smoking cigarettes which contain tobacco that is burned and the resulting smoke is inhaled. Inhaling the gas form of a substance is a very efficient way of delivering drugs into a person’s bloodstream and affects people very quickly. In case of smoking, the inhaled substances affects the brain in a similar way that endorphins and dopamines do; the brain associates these with feelings of pleasure. Consequently, smoking can be fun and is effectively a legal recreational drug.
Number of one cause of death
Unfortunately for smokers, the act of smoking has many and serious health effects: the burning tobacco creates carbon monoxide which reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen when inhaled into the lungs. Furthermore, there are toxic elements in Tobacco that cause additional health damages.
Until a mere few decades ago, smoking was not perceived to be an unhealthy habit. However, countless studies have proven unarguably that smoking tobacco can result in numerous diseases such as lung cancer, heart attacks and strokes. It can also result in birth defects of unborn children (such as low birth weight) if a pregnant mother smokes. Finally, it can even cause impotence, which although is not lethal, is never good news for any male.
In addition, there’s the effect of second hand smoking. Bystanders, often children of a smoker, are affected as well (albeit to a lesser extent) without having smoked themselves. So smoking cessation should be the goal of every smoker!
Over a billion people worldwide smoke – an astonishing number, considering the health risks, which are widely known. In fact, in some countries (such as the UK) every cigarette box has an almost ridiculous large warning of the dangers of smoking. Yet still such an enormous number of people smoke.
How to stop smoking?
The problem with smoking is that it is addictive, both mentally and physiologically, so after starting to smoke on a regular basis, it is habit which is hard to break free of. However, there are several ways:
- Using willpower: although this can work, this is considered the hardest method and research has shown that only 3-5% of attempts using only willpower will be successful. It is an physiological addiction after all.
- Using psychotherapy/support groups: this can either be done by going to a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in smoking cessation, or receive it in the form of CDs.
- Hypnosis: similarly to psychotherapy, by going to a hypnotherapist who specializes in smoking cessation, it is possible to quit smoking.
- Self hypnosis: just like the previous item, only using CDs or MP3s that you can listen to on your own. Supposedly very effective – I know two heavy smokers who have successfully broken the habit using this method.
- Self help books: this type of book can really help get one in the appropriate mood and provide necessary advice and sport.
- Nicotine replacement therapy: this type of treatment helps with the cravings and withdrawal as the amount of nicotine is gradually reduced over time. This could be done using nicotine patches, nicotine sprays, nicotine gums, inhalers, etc.
- Electronic cigarettes: these are devices that vaporize liquid nicotine. Although they contain nicotine, the resulting tar and carbon monoxide is much lower than a standard cigarette. vape