Quit Smoking: It’s Terrible for Your Health
If there’s one thing medical science has researched exhaustively and is certain about, it’s that smoking poses considerable risks to your health. The American Cancer Society considers it the single greatest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world.
Many of us associate smoking first and foremost with the risk of cancer, and smoking unquestionably is associated with various forms of cancer. But it’s also linked to asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), gum disease, heart disease, and stroke among other illnesses. It makes your breath and clothing smell bad too.
Because smoking is so bad for us, the benefits of quitting smoking are considerable. Unfortunately, though, people in search of the easy way to stop smoking are apt to be disappointed. That’s because smoking is addictive. That’s why 36.5 million Americans still smoke cigarettes decades after the health risks became common knowledge and why patients sometimes continue to smoke even after their doctors have advised them it’s of the utmost importance that they stop.
There are ways to stop smoking, however, and the tips below can help you succeed and enjoy the benefits of stopping smoking.
Quit Smoking Tip #1: Make a Plan
Use the free tools available at smokefree.gov or 1-800-QUIT-NOW to create your own personal smoking cessation plan. Download an app to keep track of your progress and set a date to begin.
Quit Smoking Tip #2: Substitution
If you simply stop smoking, it can leave a certain hole in your routine, so don’t just stop. Replace smoking with something else like exercise, socializing with friends who are non-smokers, and/or chewing sugarless gum (sugarless gum helps prevent cavities too.)
Quit Smoking Tip #3: Stay Away from Other Tobacco Products
The evidence is in that alternative tobacco products like e-cigarettes don’t help a person stop smoking. Research has found that cigarette smokers who also use e-cigarettes are 59% less likely to quit than those who don’t. If that’s not bad enough, e-cigarettes are unregulated and can contain numerous contaminants, have not been studied enough to identify all the possible health risks, and may even cause fires or explode.
Hookahs are dangerous too. One study found that using a hookah is like smoking 100 cigarettes.
Quit Smoking Tip #4: Keep Away from Smoking Triggers
Smokers form certain associations that incline them to reach for a cigarette. These can be people, places, or things, and it will help you stop smoking if you avoid them. Common smoking triggers include alcohol, coffee, hanging out with smokers, and stress. In addition to disposing of cigarettes themselves, get rid of lighters, ashtrays, vaporizers, and e-cigarettes and spend your time in places where smoking is forbidden.
Quit Smoking Tip #5: Reward Yourself
When you don’t smoke for a morning or a day, give yourself some positive reinforcement for your accomplishment. Spend some of the money you’re saving on cigarettes and give yourself a treat.
Quit Smoking Tip #6: Reach Out
It’s harder to stop smoking if you try to do it without support, but fortunately, you don’t have to. Let your family and friends know you’re quitting smoking and ask for their help and advice. You can reach out to your doctor and dentist too.
We at Comfort Care Family Dental hope this information proves useful. If you’d like our help with a smoking cessation program or with any aspect of dental care, please contact our office.