Tobacco consumption in different forms has been around for centuries now. These days however, people have streamlined the ways in which they consume tobacco and usually, that involves smoking it in one form or another. Some roll it into paper themselves, stuff it into a pipe, or just buy already rolled cigarettes by the piece or pack. For wealthier people, they usually buy cigars or Backwoods. All these come with the same amount of accompanying risk.
Tobacco smoking has been identified by governments and international health bodies as a habit that is dangerous to the health of those that engage in it. There is a multitude of reasons why this is so, some of which include:
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Increased risk of stroke
- Increased risk of lung cancer in both men and women
- Diminished overall health
Aside from the above, frequent smoking has been known to cause a litany of other respiratory and immune system diseases and is even a risk factor for COVID-19, among many others.
Obviously, we do not need to go over these health risks associated to smoking, you have probably seen many TV adverts, public service announcements, and posters stating much of the same thing.
Aside from the obvious health drawbacks to smoking tobacco, there are also some other less desirable accompanying features to the practice. Some of which are:
- Cigarettes leave an undesirable odour: As most people that smoke will testify, cigarettes leave a discernible smoky odor after the fact. Not restricted to the mouth alone, this scent also clings to the smoker’s clothes and sometimes is difficult to mask even with strong perfumes.
- Cigarettes stain the lips and teeth: Perhaps a more pertinent superficial disadvantage, regular smoking leaves permanent stains on the lips and teeth of the smoker. Sometimes, even the gums and inner mouth tissue get stained as well.
- Makes smokers erratic: those that are used to smoking regularly will testify to how cranky, irritable, and erratic they get when they don’t partake in their daily quota of tobacco. It becomes difficult to manage these cravings and this can prove difficult for close friends and family.
With all these said, it then becomes obvious that there should be a conscious effort on the part of every tobacco smoker towards quitting the practice in its entirety. This is easier said than done, however. Some ordinary habits that don’t have much of a mental anchor are difficult to quit, and with the mental and physical dependence to nicotine built up by the body over time, quitting is exponentially more difficult. You see, as smokers continue to engage in the act, their bodies build up a cellular-level dependence on the substance. Also, resistance to the drug gradually increases, meaning that smokers begin to take more and more of the stuff to satiate their cravings.
The good news, however, there are ways through which to gradually quit smoking. Just like with many other things, full freedom from tobacco smoking is gradual- and to be honest, some people even fail on their way to rid themselves of their dependence on the drug.
There are, however, a few things that if followed with discipline, might just prove successful. Let’s take a look at some of these methods:
- Nicotine patches: The butt of many jokes about how it doesn’t really work, nicotine patches are scientifically proven to help curb the craving for cigarettes and other nicotine products. It works by adhering to the skin (after being plastered on the arm, elbows or any other skin surface) and delivering a steady dose of nicotine into the user’s bloodstream. This fills the quota the individual would have otherwise smoked. The patches gradually reduce the nicotine delivery until the user doesn’t need either the patches or the cigarettes anymore.
- Smoker’s gum: I bet you didn’t think there were special brands of chewing gum made specifically for smokers right? Well, there are. Just like the patches, the chewing gum works by delivering curated doses of nicotine with the aim of helping the body cope with the withdrawal symptoms caused by the absence of cigarettes.
- Starter vape kits: It might sound counterintuitive suggesting one form of smoking as a replacement for another. Contrary to what you might think however, vaping is much healthier than smoking cigarettes. The vapour is lighter on the lungs and in a short while, users can even transition to flavours that do not have any nicotine whatsoever. As the vape culture is becoming more and more pervasive, you can buy tried and tested starter vape kits at a number of locations all over your vicinity and online distributors. This method, contrary to popular belief, has been a proven way to effectively quit the habit by a number of successful quitters.
To conclude, it is important to maintain a dedication to getting over any addiction, and that of cigarettes is no different. Things take time, but you will be doing yourself a great service by quitting as soon as possible.