Nicotine addiction is very powerful and you know it is tough to quit smoking if you’ve tried and failed. Most smokers become edgy just thinking about quitting. But why is it so hard? The answer is nicotine which is a drug naturally found in tobacco and is highly addictive. The body becomes psychologically and physically dependent on nicotine over time. To be successful in quitting you must overcome both of these.
When you try to cut back or quit smoking, nicotine’s absence leads to withdraw symptoms. Psychologically, the smoker is giving up a habit, which means a major change in behavior. Physically, the absence of nicotine makes the body react. If you want to successfully quit smoking you must deal with both. Withdrawal symptoms can include depression, feelings of frustration and anger, trouble sleeping, restlessness, irritability, trouble concentrating, headache and increased appetite.
You may start smoking again to get rid of the symptoms but who said it will be easy to quit smoking? Withdrawal symptoms will occur if a person who has smoked regularly greatly reduces the amount smoked or abruptly stops using tobacco. Symptoms start after a few hours from the last cigarette and about 2 to 3 days later peak, and they can last several weeks.
Why should you quit smoking? Health concerns should be on top of the list of reasons. Smoking can cause not only lung cancer but also many other kinds of cancer such as cancer of the mouth, throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx), esophagus, kidney, cervix, some leukemias, bladder, pancreas and stomach. Smokers are more likely to die from heart attack than nonsmokers. Smoking also causes yellow fingernails and hair, wrinkling of the skin, bad smelling clothes and hair, bad breath and increased risk of macular degeneration.
Special Risks at Women
Smoking at women over 35 who use birth control pills is a risk factor for heart attack blood clots of the legs and stroke. Also a lower birth-weight baby and having a miscarriage are unique risks for women.
It is Never to Late!
No matter how long you’ve smoked or your age, quit smoking will help you live longer. Quitting before age 35 you will avoid 90% of the risks attributable to tobacco. And even if you quit smoking later in life you can significantly reduce the risk of a premature death.
If you find it hard to quit smoking remember that in a long run your life will improve with fewer illnesses from flu viruses and cold, reduced rates of pneumonia and bronchitis, and better self-reported health status.