25 percent of smokers in Germany want to quit smoking, but often fail and yet reach back to the "stink of misery". Smoking is the most important preventable cause of a variety of diseases. Smoking and health are closely related: Each cigarette shortens the life expectancy of a smoker by five and a half minutes. Strong smokers lose up to 12 years of age. Regular smoking makes you mentally and physically dependent.
Good reasons to quit smoking
There are many reasons to quit smoking. In addition to the financial aspects, health is usually the focus of the decision:
- Cigarette abstinence improves your quality of life and your well-being even after decades of steady tobacco consumption.
- Damage to the vascular system normalizes even after long periods of smoking.
What happens after smoking cessation in the body?
How your body reacts to nicotine abstinence:
- Already after 20 minutes, there is a better circulation of the hands and feet.
- After 8 hours your blood can transport more oxygen again.
- After about 48 hours, your sense of smell and taste improve.
- Within a year, circulation and respiration stabilize again.
- After about 5 years, the risk of having a heart attack is almost as high as with a non-smoker.
- After 10 years without cigarettes, the risk of lung cancer is just as high as that of non-smokers.
Nicotine withdrawal as a learning process
Nicotine abstinence is a learning process that can be divided into three phases:
- decision phase
1. Make a decision
Here are the following questions to help you:
- Do you have the firm intention to quit smoking?
- What reasons can you name, why you no longer want to smoke?
The more voluntary and confident your decision is, the more promising the progress is. The will to co-operate and change behavior is the imperative for lasting success. Everything starts in the head!
2. Stop smoking
Two methods are available:
- The final point method no longer smokes at all from a certain key date. This method is particularly successful when a good motivation behind the smoking waiver.
- The reduction method slowly reduces the number of cigarettes smoked daily. It is more difficult to quit smoking in this way than with the last-resort method because it makes it harder to learn new behaviors.
No matter which method you prefer, you need a firm determination to persevere and have to become active yourself.
Nicotine replacement supplements as a supportive agent
To support it, there are various drugs in the form of nicotine patches, nicotine gums or tablets. These replace the nicotine that one would otherwise "consume". The hazardous pollutants, however, fall away. The withdrawal symptoms are significantly alleviated.
The combination of self-regulation and medicines has proven particularly promising in practice.
- Nicotine patch: For smokers with regular daily consumption, a nicotine patch is suitable. The smoking cessation takes place by continuous release of the nicotine from the glued plaster. Withdrawal symptoms are thereby alleviated. The plasters are switched to a lower dosage after a period of 8-12 weeks, gradually reducing nicotine intake.
- Nicotine chewing gum: For "wavering" smokers or smokers who smoke in certain situations, chewing gum offers an alternative. At every hour or as needed a chewing gum is chewed. After about 4 weeks, the number should be reduced daily until it can be completely dispensed with.
- Tablets: Meanwhile, there are also tablets for oral use, which support the budding nonsmoker in his efforts. The drug does not contain nicotine, unlike plaster and chewing gum.
It is important to clarify to the doctor, if a treatment with nicotine-containing medications comes into question. However, if applied consistently, the chances of becoming a non-smoker are doubled. Nicotine replacement products are available without prescription in your pharmacy.
3rd stabilization phase
Often this phase is underestimated, because now it is about stabilizing the success and not to relapse again. The new behaviors must be integrated into everyday life and lead to a "new" everyday life without cigarettes.
So this hurdle can be taken:
- Address emerging problems arising from the new non-smoking situation. For example, arrange smoking areas or smoking times at work.
- Make known what has been achieved in your area; this, too, contributes to the stabilization of the new status.
- Reward yourself for your success, because you have achieved something.
9 tips on how you can do it better
- Choose an appointment where you will not be stressed, for example, on vacation or on weekends.
- Remove your ashtray in the car.
- Inform friends, acquaintances and relatives about your project.
- Bet that you will give up smoking successfully.
- Choose more cigarette types that you do not like.
- Remove "silent reserves".
- Clean up your smoker utensils.
- Impose a smoking ban in your apartment.
- Leave the ashtray unclean in the office. The "beautiful" sight may perhaps spoil your appetite for cigarettes.
The lasting success of all measures, however, is bound to one condition: the firm will!