The true face of smoking is disease, death and horror – not the glamour and sophistication the pushers in the tobacco industry try to portray.
Today we’re more aware than ever before about how bad smoking is for our health. In most Western countries smoking is restricted or banned in almost all public places and cigarette companies are no longer allowed to advertise on TV, radio, and in all other public areas.
Almost everyone knows that smoking causes cancer, emphysema, and heart disease; that it can shorten your life by 10 years or more; and that the habit can cost a smoker thousands of dollars each year. So how come people are still lighting up? The answer, in one word, Addiction!
Let’s talk about addiction
Smoking is a hard habit to break because tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. In fact it is more addictive than any other drug including alcohol, marijuana and cocaine. What’s even more dangerous is that the body and mind quickly become so used to the nicotine in cigarettes that a person needs to have it just to feel normal.
No one starts off wanting to be a smoker. Many are just curious to try it or they think it may be cool or their friends or family members offer them that very first one. Every day, almost 3,900 adolescents under 18 years of age try their first cigarette. More than 950 of them will become daily smokers,About 30 percent of teen smokers will continue smoking and die early from a smoking-related disease. On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than non-smokers. Just imagine what you can do with all those extra years.
Health effects of smoking among young people
In summary cigarette smokers will suffer from the following medical issues:
· Cigarette smokers have a lower level of lung function than those persons who have never smoked
· Smoking causes heart disease and stroke.
- Smoking hurts young people’s physical fitness in terms of both performance and endurance
- The resting heart rates of young adult smokers are two to three beats per minute faster than non-smokers putting unnecessary stress on the heart
- Smoking at an early age increases the risk of lung cancer.
- Teenage smokers suffer from shortness of breath almost three times as often as teens who don’t smoke, and produce phlegm more than twice as often as teens who don’t smoke.
- Teenage smokers are more likely to have seen a doctor or other health professionals for an emotional or psychological complaint.
- Teen smokers are more likely to have panic attacks, anxiety disorders and depression.
- Smoking can age skin faster, second only to the effect sun exposure has on giving premature wrinkles.
- Teens who smoke are three times more likely than nonsmokers to use alcohol, eight times more likely to use marijuana, and 22 times more likely to use cocaine. Smoking is associated with a host of other risky behaviors, such as fighting and engaging in unprotected sex.
What if I am Already Addicted?
The first step is to recognise the fact that you are now an addict. In other words you are being controlled by the tobacco companies against your will to purchase a product that is only doing you harm. Sounds like a pretty silly thing to do doesn’t it? However despite how illogical this may seem fighting nicotine addiction is not a simple process. If you are one of the many whom accidently fell into the trap of smoking, in the tips section there are 5 steps you can take to break the addiction now before it does irreparable damage.
If you have already started smoking here are 5 tips that can help you stop:
1. Realise that you are not the one making the decision to smoke. It is actually the tobacco companies through the use of Nicotine that is making you feel like a cigarette.
2. Also note that after stopping smoking for 48 hours all nicotine leaves the body hence the physical addiction actually stops. Consequently once you stopped smoking for this amount of time any withdrawals you are feeling are only psychological. So get through the first 48 hours.
3. Have a plan for those tough moments. Some people like to smoke when they are stressed or after a meal. Identify those moments and have a plan for what you are going to do when your mind tries to trick you into believing that you want a cigarette. Please note that a cigarette does not make the food digest better nor does it make the stressful situation disappear.
4. If you normally have a cigarette with a friend make a deal with them to either quit with you or never to offer you one again.
5. Now you are ready to quit, set a date and time that you are going to quit, congratulate yourself on becoming a non-smoker again, and stick to your plan.
1. If you are a non-smoker make a promise to yourself that you will never become a smoker and put yourself in unnecessary danger.
2. If you are a smoker set a date to quit and undertake the 5 step plan mentioned in the tips.