Good Reasons to Quit Smoking Today, No Matter What
If you want to quit smoking, you have to go head-to-head with your mind and body. Nicotine is addicting, and so is the social aspect of smoking.
Whether you smoke out of boredom or to relieve stress, it’s better to quit as soon as possible. Your health depends on it.
Smoking is destroying your health
Smoking causes all kinds of health problems that don’t always show up until years later. Although, many ex-smokers say they developed a chronic cough and had difficulty breathing long before they were officially diagnosed with any type of respiratory disease.
Everyone knows that smoking can wreak havoc on their respiratory system, but you may not be aware that smoking can damage and weaken your bones. When your bones are weak, or they take longer to heal after a fracture, that’s going to be bad news when you get older.
Older people already have a hard time recovering from fractures, and some – like hip fractures – can be fatal.
Smoking deprives your body of oxygen
When you smoke a cigarette, you’re not just depriving your body of oxygen in that moment. You’re filling your blood with carbon monoxide, which actually displaces the oxygen in your blood. In that case, instead of transporting oxygen to your cells, tissues, and organs, your blood is transporting carbon monoxide throughout your body.
When your tissues are deprived of oxygen, it’s called tissue hypoxia, which is another condition that slows wound healing.
You may have heard that acute hypoxia aids wound healing, but only in the beginning stages of healing. Chronic hypoxia prolongs and even prevents healing. At some point, wounded tissue requires oxygen to heal. If you’re smoking cigarettes all throughout the day, you’re keeping your body in an oxygen-deprived state and any wounds will take longer to heal, if they heal.
Smoking raises blood pressure
If you continue smoking, you’ll slowly starve your entire body of oxygen, which makes your heart work harder. This, in turn, raises your blood pressure and will weaken your heart over time.
When your blood pressure is constantly high, it makes your blood more likely to clot. By smoking, you’re putting yourself at risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Stress of any kind puts you at risk for stroke and heart attack. If you’re trying to quit smoking, you need to manage your stress levels.
Overcome cravings with TouchPoints
Wear the bands throughout the day and when you feel the urge to go out for a smoke, activate the “craving” setting and wait about 30 seconds. Repeat the process a few times and you may experience a lessening – or even disappearing – of the desire to smoke.
You have the power to quit at any time
Most ex-smokers will confirm how difficult it is to quit smoking. Many people make multiple attempts to quit smoking before they finally succeed. However, others say they simply chose never to pick up another cigarette. They were uncomfortable and went through withdrawals, but they never gave in to their cravings once they chose to quit.
Quitting takes a moment – being ready to quit takes time
According to Healthline, data published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says smokers make 8-11 attempts to quit. The American Cancer Society came to a similar conclusion with 8-10 attempts. The Australian Cancer Council determined it takes 12-14 attempts. However, new research from Ontario suggests that smokers attempt to quit 30 times before they’re successful for at least a year.
What takes so long to quit? The answer varies depending on who you talk to. Some people say they couldn’t find the right method – nicotine gum doesn’t work for everyone. Others switched to vaping hoping they could taper off, but developed another addiction.
Quitting is choosing not to pick up another cigarette
Technically speaking, a person successfully quits smoking the moment they choose not to pick up another cigarette (and follow through with choice). No matter how many attempts are made, quitting happens in an instant. It just takes some people years to make the final decision to quit.
In other words, the initial realization of “I need to quit smoking” happens before the person is ready to drop the habit. That’s mostly caused by the addictive nature of nicotine. When a person wants to quit, their mind is fighting their body and unsuccessful attempts are times when the mind gives in to the body’s craving.
Quit smoking before you’re ready
If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll never quit. When you’re addicted to nicotine, your body and mind work against you. Your body convinces your mind that you need to keep smoking.
The only way to quit – regardless of how you quit – is to take control of your mind and stick to your choice no matter what. Even if you have to sit on your hands and ride out the withdrawal symptoms, preserving your health is worth the temporary inconvenience.
*This is a guest article written by Alex Sanders