To quit smoking could be the most beneficial action for smokers to improve their quality of life and health, regardless of age or smoking history. Quitting the habit of smoking can have great health benefits. Scientific studies have shown that the sooner a person quits smoking, the longer life expectancy he or she will have. In addition, it indicates that there are benefits that the ex-smoker will notice immediately, such as the recovery of smell and taste or the improvement, after three months, of lung function. The ex-smoker will notice that he or she is coughing less and that fatigue or congestion will be reduced.
However, the main benefits are linked to cardiovascular disease. After one year, the risk of cardiovascular disease will be halved, although the risk will not be similar to that of a person who has never smoked until 15 years later. In addition, after five to 10 years, ex-smokers will have the same risk of stroke as a non-smoker. At age 10, the risk of developing lung cancer will be 30 to 50 percent lower than in people who continue to smoke. The following are the tips to quit smoking:
The first step is to set a date
This is fundamental because tobacco creates a physical dependence (on nicotine), social dependence (smoking with friends, in bars, etc.) and psychological dependence (quitting smoking could cause nervousness, insomnia, constipation, among others).
Tell your family and friends
It is important to seek the support of the people around you to achieve the goal. In the case that a person wants to stop smoking and his partner is a smoker; such individuals should try at the same time to have a better chance of success.
Related: Healthy Living Habits
Remove everything related to smoking
Before quitting smoking, everything related to tobacco must be removed from the environment: cigars, ashtrays, lighters, etc.
Analyze previous attempts
It’s normal to have relapses when you quit smoking and we can learn from them. The ex-smoker should repeat what worked for him in the previous attempt and avoid what hurt him. You can think, for example, which cigarette costs you the most and look for substitutes. If it’s after lunch, you can go for a walk, brush your teeth, or drink water. In addition, avoid or limit alcohol consumption for the first few weeks.
The ex-smoker can’t afford another cigarette. Nicotine has an addictive power, like cocaine, and makes recipients remember, wake up and need more cigarettes.
The pharmacological treatment can help to stop smoking, although it is not recommended in young people and pregnant women.
After following these steps, it is recommended that a specialist follow up in order to achieve greater effectiveness.