At one time, smoking cigarettes was fashionable. With well-thought-out ads, tobacco companies were able to add new smokers to their list daily.
But smoking, besides being addictive, was also leading to cancer and later, death. Smokers, and those who loved them were becoming alarmed. Others started to offer programs on how to stop smoking cigarettes in response to the growing call from those who wanted to break free but had suddenly come to realize that they were enslaved.
Today, smoke free spaces are becoming more and more popular and many are turning away from one of the most addictive, legal drug ever.
What’s in your cigarette
The most addictive ingredient in tobacco is nicotine. It is a poison to your system and adds nothing to improve your health. It instead poisons your blood and since the blood is the life of your body, it poisons every cell of your body, slowly.
At the same time, it acts very quickly to get you addicted and gets to your brain within 7 seconds of inhalation. It contributes to high blood pressure and an increased heart rate. No wonder you feel the way you do!
The other chemicals in your cigarette are no less harmful:
- Arsenic – this is rat poison. If it harms the rat, what do you think it will do to you? I am certain that you will not voluntarily place rat poison into your mouth.
- Carbon Monoxide – we know that this emission from vehicle exhausts can kill quickly when inhaled in sufficient quantity.
- Ammonia – used to clean your toilet bowl.
- Radon – a radioactive gas
- Cadmium – an element in the battery of your car.
- Methane – gas in your sewer
- Toluene – Industrial solvent
- Hexamine – the same thing you use, to light up and get your barbecue going.
- Tar – used to surface roads but is also in the cigarette you pull on although not exactly the same thing. It enters your lungs and coats the air sacks of your lung instead. Think of the effect on your ability to absorb oxygen then.
- Polonium-210 – a radioactive element.
- Acetone – you use it to remove nail polish.
- Butane – lighter fuel
- Methanol – rocket fuel
- Hydrogen Cyanide – this is a known poison.
These are just some chemicals found in your cigarette. It is estimated that there are over 7,000 chemicals contained in tobacco smoke and that more than 60 of these can cause cancer. Why take the risk?
Most likely you did so, not knowing all these things. Now that you do, you have more reasons for wanting to know how to stop smoking. It is the only way to rid yourself of all these harmful substances in your body and return to a healthy life.
Relieving your stress
When I was about 15 years old, I asked a teacher of mine why he smoked. He was an intelligent man and I could not understand why he would sacrifice his health for puffing at the end of a burning leaf.
He answered that smoking calmed him. It was a stress reliever.
While it may be true that smoking does bring a measure of calm to the smoker, consider the harmful effects.
- Smoking increases your risk of cancer to a great degree.
- It is estimated that about one third of all heart attacks result from smoking.
- “The American Cancer Society states that about one-third of all cancers and the majority of all lung cancers are due directly to smoking.
You are the one taking the risk, therefore you are the one responsible for eliminating that risk. You can make that healthy choice in the same way that you chose to begin to smoke.
If you have attempted to stop or thought about quitting, that is a good place to begin. But it is not enough. You need to actively take the steps that will ensure that you do quit.
I have witnessed the struggle that persons who want to overcome this habit go through. I recall once working with a man who was attempting to quit both smoking and sniffing cocaine. He had come to the rehab center where I worked and was clean for three weeks.
One day he visited the health center in the area and while walking along the roadway someone inadvertently puffed smoke into his face. It was the end of his attempt at rehab. For him, the craving was too much and he quit the center the same day.
I think he was/is living under stress and you too may be. But you can choose to put an end to your stressful living.
We both know that there are better, healthier ways to ease stress. I’ll mention music here, but if you need more information, then go here.
Your body on nicotine
The fact is that nicotine is addictive and there is none that have used it that have not fallen prey to its enslaving power. It is the reason why you have found it so difficult to quit smoking even though you wanted to.
So let’s take a look at what happens when nicotine gets a hold in your body. It would be important in helping you know how to stop smoking.
When you smoke, nicotine races to your brain. Within seven seconds it can get there. But even before that, it is absorbed into your cells and begins its poisonous work there as well.
It negatively affects your heart, your gastrointestinal system, your respiratory system, and your hormones.
In your heart, its rhythm and rate is affected. Your blood pressure increases and over time your arteries become constricted and diseased, including the coronary artery. This greatly increases your risk of experiencing a stroke.
Your brain is affected by a restriction of blood flow. You may find that you experience dizziness and lightheadedness and at night you have to deal with interrupted sleep.
Inadequate sleep is never good for the body and increases your irritability.
Nicotine’s baleful effects does not stop there however; it tends to increase clotting of your blood, thus placing you in the position of having to deal with blood clots in your circulatory system. Your may also experience the enlarging of your aorta and atherosclerosis.
Its effects on your gastrointestinal tract are as follows: dried mouth, tobacco breath – although you may be able to cover this to a great degree by using mints and other breath fresheners. The smell lingers on however even in your clothes. I’m sure that you know what I am speaking about.
Your teeth take on an unnatural color.
Nausea and vomiting is another result of the use of nicotine along with indigestion, peptic ulcers, heartburn and diarrhea. It is possible that you have experience some or all of these symptoms and blamed it on something else.
While these symptoms are general for both male and female, nicotine provides other harmful effects on a pregnant female that can also harm her unborn child.
Consider this; nicotine affects the development of a child while it is still in its mother’s womb. This may result in the child experiencing behavioral issues from early in its life. Type 2 diabetes may also result along with obesity, muscle and joint pain and lung spasm.
I know that you would like to spare your child and yourself these defects. Consider the cost in time, money and effort that would have to be expended for the care and treatment of the child. Isn’t it better to quit smoking now? Or better yet, don’t begin at all.
No poisonous smoke in the temple
Using anything that defiles is always dangerous. Choosing to ignore the danger is foolish.
For more that 150 years it has been known that smoking cigarettes contributed to cancer. The main type of cancer that results from cigarette smoking is lung cancer. There are not many people who are not aware of this even though many new smokers are added to the list daily.
The good news according to the World Health Organization is that “quitting smoking can reduce the risk of lung cancer: after 10 years of quitting smoking, the risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker.”
There you have it, more reason to stick to your decision to stop smoking.
But lung cancer is not the only disease that results from smoking neither are you the only one affected by this habit. Second hand smoke has also been identified as contributing to tobacco related diseases in children of smokers and others who frequently inhale the smoke puffed out by the smoker.
Young children who are exposed to the smoke you breathe out, may experience a worsening of asthma if they suffer with that illness. The same is experienced if they suffer with pneumonia, bronchitis and other lower respiratory disorders.
I know of someone who never smoked a cigarette in her life but who died of lung cancer. Her husband was a chronic smoker.
Consider you body a temple of God. Anything that defiles the temple dishonors God. Refuse to allow tobacco smoke into the temple.
Addiction free – how to stop
There is a way out. If you desire freedom, then this is the way. It would call for sacrifice and exercise of your will as you have probably never exercised it before. But if you really want to overcome this addiction and free yourself of all the ill effects of tobacco, then I recommend that you take this route.
It will cost you 10 days of your life. The additional years and the quality of life it will afford you, cannot be fully estimated.
So now that you are armed with all that knowledge, let’s deal with how you stop smoking, for the rest of your life.
First, choose a date to stop. Today would be a great date but the sooner, the better. Let me state that this is not a phasing out plan. This is a “get it over and done with” plan. So set an early date.
One of the first things that will change is the amount of water you drink. This is a lifestyle change, so even after you are totally over the habit, your water intake will be at this amount or close to it.
As soon as you rise, drink two glasses of water on an empty stomach. This will begin the flushing out process, making it easier for your body to remove and expel the nicotine from your system. Over the remainder of the day, drink at least 6 more glasses of water. If your daily activity is very physical, you may find the need to drink more water. Let this be your liquid intake. Do not add any other, like soda or beers.
While you bathe inside, also take time to bathe the outside of your body. If possible, allow yourself three long baths per day – 15 to 20 minute duration. Allow yourself to relax during these baths. It’s a powerful way to avoid the smoking desire.
Nutrition plays a very critical role in your victory over nicotine and tobacco use. You will notice after a time that you are developing a keener sense of taste. This is because the nicotine had previously inhibited your taste buds. Now that you are no longer using, your sense of taste is returning.
Eat wisely. Avoid the use of highly seasoned foods, stews and fried foods. Add salads with light dressing. Steam or boiled foods may be best at this time. Always make sure that fruits are a part of your menu and avoid going to bed on full stomach.
Do not eat foods like pork or clams, ice cream, or other rich deserts. And keep away from the sodas, alcohol and beers. You do not want a relapse.
Exercise is important as is aids in the expulsion of the nicotine and other harmful toxins from your body. Make it a must in your routine for at least half an hour per day. Take the stairs as often as possible. Exercise in the sunlight is also beneficial to your overall health.
Temperance – total abstinence from that which is harmful and a moderate us of that which is good, should be a normal part of your lifestyle. Identify the things that you do that are harmful and get rid of them. Do not overdo the good stuff.
Air – the quality of air you take in can also contribute to your victory over tobacco or a relapse. Try to inhale as much fresh air as possible. Make that determined effort to stay away from environments where the air is heavily polluted, especially with cigarette smoke.
Rest – will be a huge factor in your recovery. You will need to know what is adequate rest for your body without having to use cigarettes. This maybe more critical if you had developed the habit of smoking just before bed and immediately before you got out of bed.
Trust in God – if you are a believer, then this is probably the most important step in your recovery. You can exercise faith in his promises to free you from all harmful things to help you overcome. Remember that He promises that ” who the Son sets free, is free indeed.
If you are not a believer and you really want that victory, now would be a great time to turn to Him. He has promised that He will not cast out any that come to Him for help.
Now that you know what needs to be done, it is up to you to go out and do it. This is no miracle cure, you have to want it, work on it and not give in or up.
I promise you that quitting would not be easy but we know that it would be worth it. There will be times when you will get that deep, intense craving to take just one pull. Here is where the exercise of your will is most important. Say no to the desire, do not own it. See it for what it is and reject it. Distract yourself with something beneficial to you. Take your mind off the urge.
The longer you refuse to smoke, the easier it would be for you not to. If for some reason you give in to the temptation, do not beat up on yourself and believe that it’s a sign that you cannot quit. Start over anew – day one. Encourage your self with “I can do this”.
If someone offers you a smoke, or encourages you to do so, simply state “I quit that habit”.
You are a success. Believe it.