Have you ever asked yourself, “Why should I quit smoking?” Cigarettes are terrible for your health. If you’ve been smoking for a long time it can be hard to even imagine not lighting up but you can do it. There are ways to quit smoking that won’t take too much of a toll on your sanity.
The Effects of Smoking on Health
When you think of the health effects of smoking, the first disease that probably comes to mind is lung cancer. However, there are plenty of other diseases cigarettes can cause. These include cardiovascular disease, COPD, emphysema, and asthma. But the damage doesn’t stop there. Smoking can also increase your cholesterol levels, raise your blood pressure, and increase your chances of macular degeneration. Smoking is also a leading cause of erectile dysfunction in men over the age of 30.
Why You Should Quit Smoking
If you really like cigarettes, you’re probably wondering, “Why should I quit smoking?” Sure, the risks are there but they don’t apply to you, right? Wrong. You should quit smoking because of the benefits it will bring to your health. The health effects of smoking far outweigh any “cool factor” you think you might have when you do it.
Once you quit smoking, your lung function improves almost immediately. Your sense of taste and smell returns and your general health improves. In just 72 hours, your body will test 100% nicotine-free. Breathing becomes easier as your lung bronchial tubes relax. Within 2 weeks to 3 months, your heart attack risk begins to drop significantly. Circulation also improves and chronic cough has likely disappeared. Within 1 year, your risk of heart attack and coronary artery disease drops to 50% of that of a smoker.
How to Quit Smoking
Quitting cigarettes can be stressful for any man. This is one of the primary reasons guys keep putting it off. It’s easier to keep buying “one more pack” than throwing the things in the trash and waiting out the withdrawal symptoms. If you want to quit smoking, you have to get serious about it first. You have to really make a mental commitment to understand the health effects of smoking and getting healthy.
The way you quit will depend on how long you’ve been smoking and the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. It may also depend on the level of stress in your life as quitting can make your stress levels rise exponentially.
Here are some ways to quit smoking:
Gum and Candy – Ordinarily, no health website is going to recommend you chew sugary gum or candy. However, the sugar may not be good for you but the smoking is worse. The craving for nicotine may often just be a craving for carbohydrates. For example, jujubes are low-calorie and long-lasting so they’re an ideal choice for smokers trying to kick the habit.
Exercise – Every man needs to keep his fitness levels up but this goes double for men who are trying to quit smoking. Vigorous exercise not only curbs your cravings by taking your mind off of them but it can help alleviate the feelings of depression and irritability associated with quitting.
Quit with a Buddy – Quitting with a friend can make it much easier than going it alone. When you have a friend to share your cravings, frustrations and triumphs with, your chances of kicking the habit greatly improve.
Talk About It – When you announce to your doctor, friends, and family that you plan to quit, you improve your chances of never lighting up again. Not only will you receive much-needed support, you’ll be sending out your positive intention to the universe. It’s the Law of Attraction!
Get Some Support – Whether it’s an online group or physical support group, your chances of quitting greatly increase when you can talk and share your feelings with others quitters.
Relaxation Exercises – Quitting is stressful. Taking some quiet time each day to meditate or practice relaxation exercises can help ease feelings of stress and make quitting easier.
Herbal Remedies – The natural herb lobelia can help calm your cravings, ease your irritability, and make cigarettes lose their appealing taste. Valerian is another herb that can help craving-related insomnia and ease feelings of stress. Hyssop can help clear mucous related to COPD and ease the anxiety associated with quitting.
Prescription Medication – Some men find quitting so difficult they think of turning to a prescription medication like Chantix. It has a history of working for some people but a word of caution: Chantix should never be used by a person with a history of mental illness. It can cause homicidal thoughts, bouts of rage, nightmares and hallucinations.
Quitting smoking isn’t easy for any guy but with time, the health benefits you’ll experience will be worth the momentary cravings you have to go through. Don’t give up. Even if you slip up a few times and grab a cigarette here and there, it’s not the end of the world. You just have to keep trying.