Smoking is a very dangerous addiction, yet people can not give it up easily. Find out why smoking is so addictive, what are the issues that result from smoking, what are the treatment methods for this, what the benefits of quitting are and much more about smoking.
Why is Smoking So Addictive?
Smoking rushes nicotine to the brain and this is the quickest method of delivery; smoking also gives smokers precise control over their nicotine intake. Therefore, both ‘control and speed’ greatly enhance the addictive effect of nicotine on the brain. Smoking actually introduces nicotine to the pulmonary beds of their lungs from where nicotine is directly transported to the brain in seconds.
Nicotine mimics the neurotransmitter acetylcholine; it binds to and activates the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Once nicotine reaches the brain, it quickly spreads into the activated brain areas such as benefit, memory and learning centers. These shooting receptors cause the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasure and addiction. So, in order to maintain these dopamine levels, a person needs to smoke frequently. Smoking may actually maintain dopamine levels by reducing enzymes that break it down or by raising the amount of molecules that inhibit dopamine clean up.
Simultaneously, nicotine also affects other regions of the brain that control mood, energy levels and memory as well as cause long-lasting neurological alterations. Because of this, the brain gets used to a constant dose of nicotine and therefore once you quit smoking, you experience withdrawal symptoms. This also makes it a difficult habit to kick.
What is Passive Smoking and What Are the Risks?
Passive smoking can be described as involuntary inhalation of secondhand tobacco smoke. This secondhand tobacco smoke is a combination of smoke exhaled by active smokers in addition to smoke discharged from smoldering tobacco, diluted with ambient air. Passive smoking generally occurs in closed environments, but open surroundings are equally prone. Passive smokers are also exposed to carcinogens and toxic components present in secondhand tobacco smoke.
Passive smoking can have serious impacts on a person’s health. The health effects of passive smoking are as debilitating and serious as smoking itself. The risks outlined below are connected with passive smoking.
Cancer – About 3,000 cancer-related non smoker deaths are directly attributed to passive smoking annually.
Heart Diseases – Approximately 50,000 non smoker deaths suffer from heart related issues and can be connected to passive smoking.
Respiratory Diseases and Problems – Second hand smoke causes higher rates of lower respiratory infections, including pneumonia and bronchitis. It is also a contributory factor for upper respiratory irritation and infections as well as decreased lung function.
Ear Infections – Passive smoking is accountable for an increased number of ear infections.
Low Birth Weight – Second hand smoke is responsible for 10,000 low birth weight births a year and is a major factor for many infant deaths.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – Passive smoking is connected to almost 2,000 cases of SIDS annually.
Still births – Passive smoking is also accountable for an increased chance of still births and spontaneous abortions.
What Problems Can Occur From Smoking?
Smoking is dangerous and the dangers of smoking are serious. Tobacco smoke contains 43 cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds besides 400 other toxins that have nicotine and tar. Additionally, smoking causes lung and throat cancer, cardiovascular disease, emphysema, as well as bronchial and lung ailments.
Non smokers are also at risk of developing smoking related illnesses through passive smoking. A pregnant woman who smokes increases the chances of her baby dying from SIDS, being underweight and having behavioral issues. The world’s top cause of death and disability, smoking-related illnesses cause 30 million deaths per year.
What Should one do If He Wants to Give up Smoking?
Giving up smoking is the most difficult thing.
Must have the desire to give up smoking and Make a strong will to avoid a smoking relapse
Must learn about the effects of smoking, understand its effects and face the fact that you need to quit smoking and follow, finish and preserve a stop smoking plan
As soon as you have made your mind up to quit smoking, half the battle is won; because most smokers don’t think about quitting. Smokers often attempt to quit more than once before they actually succeed. But continuing to attempt also requires grit and perseverance; it also shows how dedicated you are to the cause.
As soon as you have learned about the hazards of smoking, you will surely feel more committed to quit. Learning about the health consequences is enough to shock most people into stopping quickly.
You have to prepare to stop smoking. You have to distance yourself from friends, situations or places that compel you to smoke. Be surrounded by people who can assist you with your initiative.
If you can’t quit cold turkey, don’t hesitate to use stop smoking aids like medications and NRTs. Most people are able to quit and stay quit with outside assistance.
If you want to stop smoking and remain a quitter, you have to stay away from temptation and persistent smoking cravings. ‘Slipping up’ will only lead to a relapse so keep yourself motivated to remain smoke free.
Some people have a strong determination to quit smoking via the cold turkey method; this is accomplished by sheer will power alone. But most smoker’s find it difficult to quit in this way and therefore require treatment to help them stop smoking. Some men and women may become non-smokers through counselling alone but their numbers can be counted on the fingertips. Counseling helps strengthen an individual’s motivation to quit and retains him/her motivated until he/she can quit successfully.
Many smokers take advantage of nicotine replacement therapy (NRTs) to help them quit smoking. This therapy works to relieve someone from nicotine withdrawal symptoms by supplying nicotine externally. At the exact same time these individuals are well protected from other harmful toxins present in cigarette smoke. However, since NRTs provide nicotine, there is always a chance that person may become re-addicted to smoking.
Presently, nicotine-free drug for smoking cessation such as Zyban (bupropion) and Chantix Varenicline (known as Champix in Europe) would be the most advanced and the most preferred ways of quitting smoking. These treatment medications have been approved by the FDA as effective smoking cessation drugs. But, Chantix is preferred over Zyban as it not only provides relief from nicotine withdrawal symptoms but also lowers the pleasure derived from smoking.
Success rates are much greater with Chantix smoking cessation medication as compared to that of Zyban smoking cessation pill; but, both the medications have their share of side effects. While Chantix causes nausea, constipation, flatulence, insomnia, change in taste, increase in appetite, fatigue, dry mouth and bloated feeling, Zyban causes dry mouth, insomnia, changes in appetite, agitation, headaches, jitters, skin rash and seizures.
What are The Benefits of Quitting?
Advantages of smoking cessation treatments are manifold. You will begin to notice remarkable changes in the body. Your sense of smell and taste improve, you breathe easier and your smoker’s hack begins to vanish; the long range after-effects of quitting really signal the start of a healthy life. Most of all, you improve your odds for a longer life because now you’ve got a reduced risk from heart disease, stroke, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and several sorts of cancers. You can quit smoking and avail benefits such as:
Living longer and enjoying a better quality of life
Regaining the love and esteem of your loved ones
Saving time spent on smoking for additional effective uses
Living fitter through prevention of smoking related diseases
Smelling better, having sterile unstained teeth
Relishing the taste of food
Having a healthy skin
Appreciating a better sexual life; smoking cessation is known to enhance fertility and reduce your risk of developing erectile dysfunction
Giving birth to healthy children
Being financially better off