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Quit Smoking Today Before It’s Too Late

By Medical Expert Team

Mar 22 , 2023 | 3 min read

Tobacco kills almost half of its users. Studies show tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year, out of which around 7 million of those deaths are a result of direct tobacco use, while the other 1.2 million deaths are a result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Almost 80% of the world's tobacco users reside in low and middle-income countries.

In 2020, 22.3% of the global population used tobacco, of which 36.7% were men and 7.8% of them were women. Tobacco smoke is enormously harmful to health. Smoking harms almost every organ of the body. Smoking affects the lungs, heart, GI tract, central nervous system, kidneys and reproductive system. Smoking is the primary cause of Emphysema, Lung cancer, Chronic Bronchitis and COPD.

Smoking makes the body more susceptible and defenceless against infectious respiratory diseases such as Pneumonia, Aspergillosis, Tuberculosis, etc. Smoking also increases the risk of cataracts and poor eyesight. Smoking can lead to heart attack and stroke. Smoking is also a risk factor for erectile dysfunction and infertility. Passive smoking is equally dangerous and must be strongly discouraged.

Hazards of smoking

Tobacco smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals, out of which about 70 are known carcinogens. Tobacco smoke is harmful to your body. Smoking harms every organ of the body.

What is withdrawal?

A lot of smokers say they want to quit, but actually, less than 10% of smokers succeed in quitting. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the main cause of not being able to quit is nicotine. Withdrawal symptoms can start a few hours after quitting and may last a few weeks.

People who try to quit may feel anxious, irritated, and depressed and may develop insomnia, mood changes, hunger and headaches due to withdrawal symptoms. However, with tips from physicians and strong determination, one can overcome withdrawal symptoms.

How to quit Smoking? Finally!

Recent studies have shown that if we have strong determination, we can quit smoking easily. Tobacco dependence is a chronic disease that requires repeated intervention and multiple attempts to quit. Effective treatments exist that can significantly increase rates of long-term abstinence.

We must explain to the patients that, do they wish to

  • Be around for their loved ones?

  • Have better health?

  • Set a healthy example for their children?

  • Protect their family from passive smoking?

Consult your Pulmonologist/Chest specialist for a customized plan of care.

The following are easy steps to help you quit smoking.

  1. Select a quit date: Choose a date within the next few days when you'll quit smoking

  2. Choosing a quit method: There are three ways to quit smoking. Choose the method or combination you think will work best for you.

    1. "Cold turkey": Stop smoking once on your Quit Day. This method does not prolong the quitting process.

    2. Reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke each day until you stop smoking completely.

    3. Smoke only part of each cigarette.

  3. Tackling withdrawal: Consult a doctor who can prescribe nicotine (gums, sprays, patches, etc.) and non-nicotine replacement medicines that can help curb your withdrawal symptoms, which will help you quit smoking.

    Medicines are most helpful when used correctly and combined with a behaviour-modification program in the supervision of a chest specialist. A combination of counselling and medication is more effective than either independently. Clinicians should encourage individuals making a quit attempt to use both counselling and medication.

  4. Quit on the quit day and follow the advice by a physician.

  5. Drink plenty of fluids

  6. Exercise regularly and perform deep breathing exercises

  7. Keep yourself occupied; join hobby classes

  8. Eat vegetables and salads at short intervals

  9. Follow the advice of your physician

E-cigarettes and Vapes

Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), electronic non-nicotine delivery systems (ENNDS) and Heated tobacco products (HTPs) are some devices that heat a liquid to create an aerosol, which is inhaled by the user. These may contain flavouring agents, nicotine, or both in varying concentrations.

These are known as e-cigarettes or vapes. The main issue is the use by children and adolescents, as these have addictive potential and could actually increase nicotine consumption and can hamper growth. These may increase the risk of heart and lung disorders. Some additives in these could be toxic to the user.

However, there seems to be an increased psychological and physical dependency on these if used long-term. Due to widespread advertising and ease of availability, these have become a fashion and add to addictive behaviour in school-going kids and adults. The Government of India has banned the sale of these products in this country.

Written and Verified by:

Medical Expert Team