7000 Reasons to Quit Smoking!
A recent European survey found that smoking rates in Ireland fell from 29% in 2012 to 21% in 2015. Good news for those who have been successful in giving up but the fact remains that more than 5,200 people die every year from the effects of smoking and half of all smokers will die from smoking-related diseases. Ireland remains the second-highest ranking country for smoking-related deaths in the EU proving that despite our efforts, we still have a long way to go.
Smoking-related diseases are broken down as follows:
People who smoke are more likely to suffer a stroke; smoking can adversely affect fertility and can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth during pregnancy, and smoking can result in the hardening and narrowing of the arteries which can reduce the blood supply to the heart. These are only some of the negative associations smoking has with your health.
Smoking also has a significant effect on State coffers – approximately 6-15% of the total health budget is spent on treating tobacco-related disease every year. Research has shown that smoking-related diseases accounted for about €280 million in hospital costs alone in 2008.
Research has also shown that 70% of people who smoke are keen to give up and for these smokers, there’s lots of help out there to make sure they’re successful in kicking the habit. If you can stay off cigarettes for a few weeks, you’re much more likely to become a permanent non-smoker.
Cigarettes – what exactly are you putting into your body?
If you’re thinking about quitting, maybe knowing exactly what you’re inhaling will help make up your mind. Of the 7,000 chemicals contained in tobacco smoke, many are poisonous. Over 60 cause cancer.
- Nicotine – Very quickly becomes addictive and affects the brain.
- Tar – Tar gathers in the lungs and is carcinogenic. It forms when tobacco cools and condenses.
- Carbon Monoxide – An odourless, colourless gas that interrupts how the heart and blood vessels work.
- Arsenic – This can occur in small amounts in cigarette smoke and is often found in rat poison.
- Ammonia – Ammonia is often used in cleaning products.
- Acetone – Best known for removing nail polish.
- Toluene – A toxic chemical often used in oils, rubbers, resins, adhesives, explosives and detergents.
- Methylamine – Used in tanning lotion.
Quitting smoking is extremely hard.
There’s no doubt that quitting smoking is extremely hard. Here are a few steps to bear in mind if you’ve decided to quit.
Stop altogether or gradually? Statistics show that smokers who give up altogether are more successful than those who decide to cut down.
When do you smoke? Do you smoke when you have a drink or with colleagues during your break at work? Does a cigarette accompany your morning coffee? These times when you have a cigarette are called triggers and by replacing these with new routines, you’ll be less likely to reach for the pack.
Concerned about withdrawals? Withdrawals are often an unwanted side effect but they mean that your body is recovering from the trauma you’ve put it through by smoking. Some common withdrawal symptoms include not sleeping properly, coughing and resentfulness. They don’t last forever and will be worth the effort in the long run.
Do you really want a cigarette? Cravings can be hard to deal with and occur in the first few days after giving up. These also don’t last forever and you they should decrease in intensity after about five minutes. Aids to stop you smoking can be helpful for some people.
Don’t eat away your cravings After quitting smoking, some people over-compensate by filling up on food instead. Watch what you’re eating if you don’t want to pile on the pounds.