When you smoke, you not only harm yourself, but also the people around you. Your lungs aren’t the only organs affected by tobacco; smoking has lasting effects on the mouth, nasal cavity, stomach, pancreas, kidney, liver, rectum etc. Smoking affects you physical and mental health, and can easily become an addiction.
Smoking increases a person’s risk of suffering from many types of cancer including oral cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer etc, as well as the chance of having a stroke or cardiovascular disease. It can also cause diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Emphysema. Smoking speeds up the ageing process, and triggers the formation of wrinkles. It can also cause cavities, gum disease and suppress appetite. Heavy smokers often have difficulties with their sexual functioning by having difficulty reaching an orgasm, and can even be infertile. Men may have difficulty maintaining an erection, while women who smoke are more likely to suffer from complications during pregnancy. Decreased bone density and weakened eyesight are some of the other long-term effects of smoking.
When it comes to quitting smoking, there is no one technique that can work for everyone. Smoking is an addiction that becomes a part of your normal routine, and hence, quitting cigarettes can be very difficult for many people. To successfully quit smoking, one must address both the addiction, and the habits that accompany it.
The first step to quitting smoking is to set a date for when you will have your last cigarette. Inform your friends and family about your decision, especially those who you used to smoke with and ask for their support. If you feel you may be tempted to smoke around certain people, it may be a good idea to avoid them for a while.
Given that smoking is a habit, it is natural to crave nicotine. You may experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, frustration, restlessness, insomnia, fatigue, constipation headaches and a reduced attention span. To cope with these effects, remind yourself why you quit in the first place. Find ways to distract yourself and reward yourself from time to time for not giving in to nicotine cravings.
To cope with nicotine withdrawal symptoms, you may want to try cigarettes substitutes like nicotine gums or nicotine patches that deliver small doses of nicotine at regular intervals without the tar and other chemicals found in cigarettes. E-cigarettes, although popular these days, are not a safe alternative to smoking. Alternative therapies such as hypnosis and acupuncture can also help quit smoking. Consult a psychiatrist, and be in regular follow up with him/her to stay clean and healthy.