smokers sincerely want to quit. They know cigarettes threaten their health, set a bad
example for their children, annoy their acquaintances and cost an
inordinate amount of money.
Nobody can force a smoker to quit.
It's something each person has to decide for himself, and
will require a personal commitment by the smoker. What kind of smoker are you?
What do you get out of smoking? What does it do for you?
It is important to identify what you use smoking for and
what kind of satisfaction you feel that you are getting from
Many smokers use the cigarette as a kind of crutch in
moments of stress or discomfort, and on occasion it may work; the
cigarette is sometimes used as a tranquilizer. But the heavy smoker, the person who tries to handle severe
personal problems by smoking heavily all day long, is apt to
discover that cigarettes do not help him deal with his problems
When it comes to quitting, this kind of smoker may find it
easy to stop when everything is going well, but may be tempted to
start again in a time of crisis. Physical exertion, eating, drinking, or social activity in
moderation may serve as useful substitutes for cigarettes, even in
times of tension. The
choice of a substitute depends on what will achieve the same
effects without having any appreciable risk.
Once a smoker understands his own smoking behavior, he will
be able to cope more successfully and select the best quitting
approaches for himself and the type of life-style he leads.
Because smoking is a form of addiction, 80 percent of
smoker who quit usually experience some withdrawal symptoms.
These may include headache, light-headedness, nausea,
diarrhea, and chest pains. Psychological
symptoms, such as anxiety, short-term depression, and inability to
concentrate, may also appear. The main psychological symptom is increased irritability.
People become so irritable, in fact, that they say they
feel "like killing somebody." Yet there is no evidence that quitting smoking leads to
Some people seem to lose all their energy and drive,
wanting only to sleep. Others
react in exactly the opposite way, becoming so over energized they
can't find enough activity to burn off their excess energy. For instance, one woman said she cleaned out all her
closets completely and was ready to go next door to start on her
neighbor's. Both these
extremes, however, eventually level off. The symptoms may be intense for two or three days, but
within 10 to 14 days after quitting, most subside. The truth is that after people quit smoking, they have more
energy, they generally will need less sleep, and feel better about
Quitting smoking not only extends the ex-smoker's life, but
adds new happiness and meaning to one's current life. Most smokers state that immediately after they quit
smoking, they start noticing dramatic differences in their overall
health and vitality.
Quitting is beneficial at any age, no matter how long a
person has been smoking. The
mortality ratio of ex-smoker decreases after quitting. If the patient quits before a serious disease has
developed, his body may eventually be able to restore itself