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Expert Article: Want More Out Of Your Life? Quit Smoking, Quit Smoking, Quit Smoking!

The dramatist Oscar Wilde once wrote, "You must have a cigarette. A cigarette is the perfect type of perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want? "
Even though smoking is imprudent, its intangible qualities continue to entice millions of people to smoke.

Smoking has transcended India's rural, impoverished, and illiterate populations to become the new suburban fad. Due to rapid urbanization, stressful work, and disposable incomes, smoking has become part of the culture --a culture of dependence.

Types of smoking:

Whether chewed, smoked, or sniffed, tobacco use is a highly infectious habit.

The following are some of the different types of smoking:

  • Cigarettes
  • Bidis
  • Cigars
  • Kreteks
  • Pipes
  • Hookahs

To be honest, smoking in any form is harmful to one's health. Hence, no smoking!

Tobacco is used by one-third of the Indian population, killing over a million people each year. India has one of the world's highest rates of oral cancer.

How does smoking addiction develop?

Nicotine is found in tobacco. After you take a puff, nicotine immediately reaches your nervous system. It releases dopamine. This has a calming and pleasurable effect on the body.

The cycle, however, only lasts a short time, necessitating a continuous supply of nicotine. It becomes addictive after a while.

Smoking cessation: what happens in the body?

A smoker who is addicted to nicotine is completely reliant on it. The brain craves a constant supply throughout the day as a result of the addiction. When you stop smoking, your brain triggers irritability in your body, resulting in withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • The desire to smoke is extremely strong
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety is overwhelming
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Untimely hunger and thirst

Ways to quit smoking:

  1. Self-motivation: Unless you decide to quit smoking, your family and friends cannot help you. The key is determination.
  2. Counselling and exercise: Discuss your withdrawal symptoms with your peers and therapist. Exercising and working out will help you recover faster.
  3. Consume healthy foods and avoid junk food, tea, coffee, and alcohol triggers. Include fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods in your diet.
  4. Avoid short smoke breaks at work. Invest your free time in productive hobbies.
  5. Nicotine replacement therapy is available in various forms, including transdermal patches, gums, lozenges, inhalers, and nasal sprays.
  6. Nicotine patches: The FDA has approved this method of quitting smoking. They resemble small patches applied for 24 hours to a non-hairy area of the body. They come in three different doses - 7 mg, 14 mg, and 21 mg.
  • Over the course of 12 weeks, the dosage is gradually reduced.
  • If you have allergies, asthma, hypertension, a recent heart attack, an irregular heartbeat, or are pregnant, you should consult a doctor before starting the treatment.
  • Orally administered varenicline.
  • Orally administered bupropion hydrochloride with a long half-life.

Last but not least,

Yes, it is challenging. The smoking cessation protocol has its drawbacks. Nausea, vomiting, headaches, and irritability are all common side effects of the treatment. It is preferable to begin the process now rather than regret the consequences later.

Story first published: Tuesday, July 12, 2022, 11:00 [IST]
Read more about: smoking quit smoking
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