Today we’re more aware of how bad smoking is for our health. People start smoking for a variety of different reasons. There are no physical reasons to start smoking. Most adults who started smoking in their teens never expected to become addicted. Smoking is a hard habit to break because tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. That’s why people say it’s just so much easier to not start smoking at all. Smoking affects the body’s ability to produce collagen, so common sports injuries, such as damage to tendons and ligaments, will heal more slowly in smokers than nonsmokers. Smoking can also cause fertility problems and can impact sexual health in both men and women.
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 a year. Smokers also tend to be less active than nonsmokers because smoking affects lung power. An Italian study also linked smoking to an increased risk of getting a type of skin rash called psoriasis. Because smoking restricts blood vessels, it can prevent oxygen and nutrients from getting to the skin — which is why smokers often appear pale and unhealthy. The only thing that really helps a person avoid the problems associated with smoking is staying smoke free. People who smoke usually can’t compete with nonsmoking peers because the physical effects of smoking (like rapid heartbeat, decreased circulation, and shortness of breath) impair sports performance. It may help to have your reasons for not smoking ready for times you may feel the pressure, such as “I just don’t like it” or “I want to stay in shape for soccer” (or football, basketball, or other sport). The Internet offers a number of good resources to help people quit smoking.
“Weight gain is not likely to negate the health benefits of smoking cessation, but its cosmetic effects may interfere with attempts to quit.
A physician’s advice to quit can increase quitting odds by 30 percent to ten percent at six months
A range of population-level strategies such as advertising campaigns, smoking restriction policies, and tobacco taxes have been used to promote smoking cessation.
Acupuncture clinical trials have shown that acupuncture’s effect on smoking cessation is equal to that of sham/placebo acupuncture.
Professionally run quitlines may helpless dependent smokers, but those people who are more heavily dependent on nicotine should seek local smoking cessation services, where they exist, or assistance from a knowledgeable health professional, where they do not.
Research in western countries has found that approximately 3-5% of quit attempts succeed using willpower alone (Hughes et al, 2004) and clinical trials have shown that Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) can double this rate to approximately 6-10% (Silagy et al, 2004).
Some evidence suggests that better results are achieved when counselling support and medication are used simultaneously.
Some smoking cessation programs employ a combination of coaching, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, and pharmacological counseling.
The most common short-term effects of stopping smoking are: increased irritability, depression, anxiety, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, increased appetite, constipation, mouth ulcers and increased susceptibility to upper respiratory tract infections.The most obvious long-term effect is weight gain (Hughes, 2007).