Do you want to quit the CANCER WEED?
Don’t let your GOOD INTENTIONS go up in SMOKE…..
When you are talking about people who try to give up smoking. Many who try to give up the fags don’t really give themselves a good enough chance at doing it successfully. Why? Because, they try to go cold turkey or with Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) but that’s all. That’s ALL you ask? What else is there? Well a lot actually! Market Research shows that people can double the chance of successfully quitting smoking if they combine NRT with Behavioural Support. This is because smoking is both a Physical HABIT and a Psychological HABIT.
Smoking is very addictive and smokers become very dependent on cigarettes. Nicotine is as addictive as heroin and thus is just as difficult to give up. The physical addiction is managed by the NRT in reducing doses but the psychological/ behavioural addiction is just as difficult to master and that is why it is much easier to do it with the correct support.
So, what is Behavioural Support? Does this mean talking to your friend about it or quitting with someone else? That is support of sorts but the best support is from the professional. That is someone who is trained in Smoking Cessation. They can help to devise an action plan on how to cope behaviourally that fits both your smoking habit and your lifestyle. There is a very successful smoking cessation programme which begins with the person still smoking and supports the person to quit over a period of time.
So what is in a cigarette that makes it so dangerous?
Nicotine – a very powerful drug which reaches the brain in 7 seconds.
Tar – a sticky substance released when tobacco is burned and causes lung and throat cancer and the respiratory disease emphysema.
Carbon monoxide – a poisonous gas produced when a cigarette is burned and enters the blood stream immediately. It reduces oxygen in the blood and causes heart disease.
4000 chemicals 60 are known to cause cancer (carcinogens)
Acetone Ammonia Lead Hydrogen Cyanide
Arsenic, Radon/Methanol DDT Butane
Smoking is the biggest single cause of preventable death in Ireland claiming about 7,000 lives a year, mainly from 3 major diseases, lung cancer, heart disease and bronchitis/emphysema. Half of all smokers die prematurely in middle age with an average loss of 16 years. So, if smokers know they are harming themselves why do they continue? How can they justify this filthy habit?
Well, that’s just it! It is a very addictive habit which takes the right approach, with lots of confidence and appropriate support to quit. Some think they are not harming anyone else – WRONG – The smoke that is exhaled and the smoke rising from the burning cigarette (side-stream smoke) affects everyone who breaths it in. This particularly includes family members, work mates, and shockingly, this side stream smoke is very harmful to non-smokers, even more than if they were smoking themselves because it burns at a lower temperature, leaving more toxins behind. Babies and children are particularly vulnerable.
So, smokers who want to quit can improve their lung function, improve their overall health, save money (it’s a very expensive habit now) and at least have a clearer conscious about not causing serious harm to their loved ones. The benefits to successful cessation are great and in fact if smokers become non-smokers in 10 years their risk of heart attack is almost the same as someone who never smoked and the risk of cancer also drops significantly.
As a Health Life Coach and someone who is trained in smoking cessation the writer (Brona Cloonan, based in Wexford who sees people individually and runs group programmes) says that helping the smoker to have absolute belief that they can be successful is very important. Most smokers will have tried to give up before and may believe they can’t do it. However part of this confidence must come from the actions they have taken to ensure this success. They must take full responsibility for planning and strategising on how they will cope without their cigarettes. Everyone has the ability to choose their response and also to choose a different response. Changing behaviour is possible and more likely if the person goes systematically through the 6 stages of the change process. Brona says that while everyone is different and what will work for one person may not for another, persistence is critical and there are lots of tips which can help e.g.
12 Tips for Quitting
1. Seek the correct help
2. Prepare yourself properly
3. Make a date to stop
4. Think positively
5. Change your routines
6. Get more active.
7. Watch what you eat and drink lots of water
8. Watch out for triggers
9. Learn to cope with cravings
10. Start saving money and treat yourself
11. Take one day at a time
12. No excuses and don’t fall for the Having Just 1 Syndrome!
What are the Nicotine Replacement Therapy options?
The Patch (Nicorette and Niquitin CQ)
Alternatively medications which mimic nicotine may be used e.g. Zyban and Champix but can only be prescribed by a GP. Your doctor will assess if you are suitable for these tablets.
With the smoking ban now in place to stay it’s far more difficult for smokers these days. People are now even more sensitive to detecting that stale odour which smokers can’t smell. Many smokers would like to give up but most keep ‘putting it off till tomorrow’ but tomorrow never comes. Better Judgement is obviously being clouded by their own smoke. But the benefits are huge as once you stop smoking your body starts to repair the damage done almost immediately.
Kicking the smoking habit will kick-start a series of beneficial health changes that continue for the rest of your life. Start the New Year off with one positive goal – to successfully quit smoking. Every morning repeat your Positive Mantra “I can and will give up the fags” seek advice and support and don’t give up! Because that’s something smokers should never do … Give up trying. The impossible IS possible.
Health Life Coach
Contacts: mobile (087) 2337342, e-mail: HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” email@example.com, website: www.bronacloonan.ie