Deciding to quit smoking is difficult, but actually accomplishing it is a victory beyond compare. Overcoming the addiction of nicotine is more difficult than overcoming the addiction of heroin, they say. Nicotine is said to be one of the most addictive substances on the planet, and is not shoved away easily.
Nicotine is also a very poisonous substance, since on drop of pure nicotine placed on the tongue will kill an adult almost instantly. The amount contained in cigarettes by comparison is minuscule, but it is terribly habit forming, nonetheless.
Prior to World War II, the instances of lung cancer in the United States was a statistical zero. If you look at pictures during the war here at home and overseas, you see everyone with a cigarette dangling from their lips. The movies all had the leading characters smoking, as Humphrey Bogart said, “Play it again, Sam,” through his cigarette and halo of smoke. About 10 years after the war the lung cancer statistics began to mount, and still do today with around 160,000 people dying each year.
Most people need lots of help if they are going to quit cigarette smoking. Some can quit “cold turkey” and that is pure hell for about 3 to 4 weeks. But they say after they get through it all, they abhor cigarettes and all that goes with them. That is because the body detoxes and purges a lot of the tobacco from the lungs and the nicotine from the person’s system, and that accounts for the tough time initially.
Most need some assistance, and would do well to seek the help of a doctor or an group that will help them through the process.
One way of getting through the misery of quitting is to use nicotine patches or gum, which keeps the system from going crazy while the body purges the effects of smoking. One thing that happens is that the lungs begin to clear out from all of the tar that has accumulated there. Tobacco tar destroys the alveoli in the lungs and once they are gone, they are gone.
The alveoli are the transfer agents of the oxygen we breathe in from the lungs to our red blood cells. Smoking messes all of that up, but quitting helps the alveoli that are left.
Smoking involves lots of habits that evolve around the act itself, that people find psychologically satisfying. Smoking first thing in
the morning seems to be a ritual that many smokers like to do. Lighting up right after a meal, has its pleasures as well. Smokers tend to flock together, so smoking in a social situation with other smokers has its place too. Smoking when the pressure is on, is another time when the habit is very much pronounced.
One of the biggest problems people have when quitting, is that they don’t get to do these satisfying routines any longer, and
coupled with the physical withdrawal, it makes things doubly difficult. This is a big reason that there are so many relapses from people attempting to quit.
One new trend is the advent of electronic cigarettes, where you don’t really smoke anything but a vapor the device generates. You can blend actual nicotine into the e cigarette vapor and then taper it down gradually to a level you wish, or to no level. Here you can keep your smoking routines, but without having to worry that this habit is going to kill you.
The new e cig trend is causing millions to switch from tobacco cigarettes to the e cigs. If you have had difficulty quitting with other methods, you might give electronic cigarettes a try.