As a pulmonologist, I see patients with breathing problems on a daily basis. Too often do I hear patients express regret about not quitting smoking earlier. The truth of the matter is that it is never too late! quitting smoking is more important than any medicine a doctor can prescribe in preventing long term health problems. So I encourage all my patients who smoke to try every day to cut back and eventually quit smoking.
Patient who smoke need to be ready to quit smoking. If you are not ready to quit smoking, you should think spend a minute every day thinking about the reason why quitting smoking is a good idea. Once you are ready, you should talk to your doctor about ways to help you quit. Even if you don’t ask, your doctor may ask about ways to help you quit smoking. Just talking about how to quit smoking is more important that a prescription pad, and there is no quick fix to quitting. Although there are medicines than can help people quit, making a plan is the critical first step.
Nicotine is a powerful drug, more addictive than any drug that can be bought illegally. The nicotine found in cigarettes takes between 7-10 seconds to reach the brain. The thousands of other chemicals in cigarettes are just along for the ride, and they are more toxic than anything you can imagine putting in your body. Most people remember their first cigarette, which was probably bad experience. But the nicotine keeps people coming back for more, even though the adverse effects are obvious to even a first time smoker.
Once you are ready to quit, remember a few things:
Finally, using a medicine that replaces the nicotine, like the nicoderm patch, nicotine gum, or nicotine lozenges, replaces the only thing in the cigarettes that your brain is addicted to. Once you have gotten over those urges, the chances of giving the cigarettes up for good increases 3-fold! using another medicine, like chantix or buproprion, can increase the chances of quitting even more, just ask your doctor.
Thanks for reading, and good luck!