Interview with Dr.
Smoking is bad for your health; it harms nearly every organ of the body. Quitting smoking is not easy, but you can do it.
- Smokers double their risk of dying from coronary heart disease, and if they also suffer from high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, the risk increases eight-fold.
- 40% of heavy smokers die before retirement age compared with 15% of nonsmokers.
- Children whose parents smoke are more likely to develop glue ear, asthma and other breathing problems than children of nonsmoking parents.
- Smoking during pregnancy is of particular concern because it may damage the health of the fetus, as well as the mother.
The Benefits of Quitting
- Within 48 hours of quitting, nicotine is no longer detectable in the body.
- By 3-9 months, breathing problems show improvement with lung function increased by 5% - 10%.
- In 5 years the risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.
- By 10 years risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker. Risk of heart attack becomes similar to that of someone who has never smoked.
To Help Yourself Quit
- Choose a day to stop and stop completely on that day - get rid of cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters.
- Tell everyone that you are stopping - they can offer encouragement and support if you are struggling.
- Take it a day at a time, each day aim for just one more day.
- Identify times that you usually smoke and ensure that you have something to occupy you. Some people find that nicotine gum or patches help the initial withdrawal.
- Think positive say you are a nonsmoker - not a smoker who has given up.
- Save the cigarette money and buy yourself a reward.
- Stay stopped - remember how well you have done so far, and how much healthier you will be.
- Remember many people have to try several times before they succeed in stopping for good. It is a strong addiction but do not give up trying - ask your family doctor for help.
- Every day without a cigarette is a triumph.
Make today your quit day!