Smoking Cessation  

 
 

Why should cigarette smokers think about quitting?

Smoking kills about 5 million people every year, and if it is not stopped, the death toll will increase to 8 million by the year 2030. The diseases are plenty and to name but a few: heart disease, stroke, cancer and emphysema. Tobacco use is a risk factor for six of the eight leading causes of death in the world. Adult smoking prevalence in Lebanon has been reported to be as high as 45% for males and 35% for females, considerably higher than the regional average in the Middle East and North Africa region (38%, 7%). A study showed that 53% of the surveyed population of pre-school children were exposed to water-pipe (Narguileh) through parents smoking either cigarettes or water-pipe (Narguileh).  In another study, an association between parent water-pipe smoke exposure and respiratory ailments among children was noted.

Not only do cigarettes harm the person smoking it, it harms the innocent children and adults at a nearby distance. Second hand smoking is an infringement on the rights of others. And it has been proven to be very harmful to the nonsmoker's health.

What are some tips for smokers who decide to quit?

There are two main issues involved in the process of quitting, one is to overcome the withdrawal effects of nicotine cessation and the second is breaking the habit.
Some smokers have been able to quit using the 'cold-turkey' method of quitting without gradual decrease of smoking nor any use of medications or nicotine replacement products.

Some of the nicotine replacement products range from nicotine gums to patches, inhalers and nasal sprays as well as some prescription drug pills. They help remove the withdrawal symptoms that quitting causes and aid the process of breaking the habit.

The power of support groups is a very important factor in the quitting process. Family and friends can keep you motivated by helping you reach your cessation goals.
Exercise and a healthy diet wards off the stress that comes from quitting as well as reduces overall stress in life that could have possibly lead to smoking in the first place.

Therefore it is best to have a holistic approach to quitting. Incorporating several of the above methods together, and not just one approach, increases the chances of a successful smoking cessation.

What about smokers who quit time and time again?

A smoker often does not manage to quit from his or her first try. The repeated attempts should not be discouraging, but rather an opportunity to learn from the experience and gain insight into one’s strength and weakness so as to later effectively quit smoking.

The smoker can customize his own strategy according to his personal preferences. Some might prefer emphasizing on immediate sudden cessation (cold-turkey), gradual reduction, while others might choose using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT).

The most important thing is to be proud in wanting a healthier life, never lose hope and to keep on trying.

Remember, a lot of people were able to quit. If they did, then surely you can too!

What about Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)? Does it help?

The Nicotine Replacement Therapy may be a useful way for some smokers to remove the physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings that any person attempting to quit experiences. They work best for those who have been smoking for many years and are more strongly addicted.

Nicotine replacement therapy comes in different forms of products. There are nicotine chewing gum, nicotine patches, inhalers, nasal sprays as well as prescription pharmaceutical pills. They work by injecting small amounts of nicotine into the body that help in removing the cravings. For example, patches are made to be used in phases and each phase gradually reduces the level of nicotine, ending up in the reduction of dependence. As for the nicotine chewing gum, nicotine is slowly absorbed through the gums and into the blood stream further curbing the urge to smoke. It is also effective in curbing the habit of smoking by making sure the mouth is always in use.