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Detoxify Your Life: Eliminating Bad Habits Effectively



Saying Sayonara To Smoking




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Studies have shown that a single cigarette can reduce a person's life by eleven minutes. Therefore, if you're smoking half to one pack a day, you might as well be robbing yourself of several extra years in this world.

Habitual smokers would say that the reason they do so is that it gives them something to do. Smoking addresses restlessness and boredom. Others claim it eases tension and relaxes them. Some say it's because most of their friends and colleagues smoke and not doing so makes them feel out of the group.

Do these characterize you? Whatever your reasons are for smoking, one fact remains the same -- it isn't and never will be good for your health. No amount of justification can counter this.




Smoking Kills

A single stick of cigarette is home to over 4000 chemicals, 400 of which are toxic. The most dangerous ingredients in a cigarette are tar, which is what causes cancer; carbon monoxide, which cuts the body’s oxygen supply; nicotine, which raises your cholesterol levels and feeds your addiction; and other particle and gas combinations that may lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders (COPD), like bronchitis and emphysema.

According to studies, people who smoke and deaths from smoking-related ailments are even more prevalent than the incidence of deaths bred by drug addiction, AIDS and even traffic accidents. That is such a high risk from something that looks so small and harmless. Sad, but true.

The most serious illness that can come out of habitual smoking is, perhaps, cancer. Lung cancer, to be exact. In fact, around 90% of lung cancer diagnoses are caused by smoking. But smoking can also result in other types of cancer, such as cancer of the oesophagus, cancer of the kidneys and cervical cancer.

The list doesn’t end there, unfortunately. Chronic smoking can also lead to cardiovascular problems, increased blood pressure, and periodontal (tooth and gum) problems, can aggravate ulcers and asthma, cause cataracts, bloodshot eyes and the eventual loss of eyesight, and even decrease fertility. Studies show that a male who smokes a lot is more prone by 50% to suffering erectile dysfunction.




It’s Not Just About You

Smoking also doesn’t just affect you. It can also bring negative effects to the people around you. In fact, passive smoking is considered to be as dangerous as actual, direct smoking itself, particularly if it’s done around pregnant women, children and people with existing respiratory problems. Children of smokers have been found to have low birth weight when they are born.

The bad effect that follows habitual smoking does not initially come out. That’s why smokers often dismiss it and continue on. However, smoking is a silent and slow killer. What you’re doing to your body now by smoking will come back to you in the future.




Why Quit?

Again, because smoking kills.

There are many benefits to kicking the smoking habit. First is that quitting reduces the strain on your health. You will be able to breathe more easily and work better. The chronic feeling of tiredness will be gone and the sluggishness will definitely wane. You will also be doing your organs a favour because your sense of smell and taste will improve.




How To Quit

There is no single and sure-fire way to end this nasty habit. Smoking is hard to break, especially if you’ve been doing it for a long time and move among fellow smokers. However, with enough discipline and willpower, as well as the support of family and friends, the challenge shouldn’t be too difficult to face.

Here are some methods that have helped other smokers quit:

  • Cold Turkey. Going cold turkey means abruptly stopping the habit without any outside help. This is a little difficult to achieve and the withdrawal symptoms are likely to barge in all at the same time. However, such symptoms (i.e. coughing, disturbed sleep, concentration problems, cravings, etc.) usually peak in the first few days and then wane in two to three weeks. It’s drastic but a lot of ex-smokers have sworn by it.

  • Hypnosis. Several surveys have found that the smoking habit, while primarily driven by nicotine addiction, is also largely a psychological concern. What hypnosis can do is help change your mindset in order to reduce dependence on smoking. While its efficacy has yet to be proven scientifically, the fact that “mind over matter” has been tried and lauded is enough validation.

  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy. NRTs have been found to be equally or more effective than going cold turkey. There are a variety of NRTs available at drugstores and can be obtained with or without prescription. They include patches, lozenges, gums, nasal sprays, inhalators and microtabs. Each has a specific way of dealing with the habit but all of them involve the regulation and simulation of nicotine.

  • Support Groups. Quitting smoking is a lot easier if you have family and friends cheering you on. You can approach ex-smokers to compare experiences and join local support groups and draw motivation from them. In the United Kingdom, you may also call the NHS Smoking Helpline or the NHS Stop Smoking Services office (0800 169 0 169) and the NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline (0800 169 9 169) for free specialist advice.

  • Break Routines. Often, smoking becomes habitual because it is part of your daily routine. If you’ve become used to dragging a stick or two after a meal, why not try getting ice cream or going for a short walk, instead? If you’re accustomed to lighting up with a Bud in hand at a club, get a different drink.




That’s A Wrap!

For whatever reason you wish to stop smoking and whatever method you plan to use, one thing should be in your head the entire time: you’re doing yourself a favour.

Sure, quitting is hard. You might even have to try a number of times before finally succeeding. Do not be disheartened. Stay motivated and don’t give up. Before you know it, the next time you look smoking straight in the eye is when you say “goodbye”.










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