Tobacco is a drug. Quitting is easy for some, but difficult for the majority of smokers (and the people living around them).
A – Incentives :
- To eliminate the primary cause of atheromatous plaque development, and thereby slow down the occlusion of brain, heart, and leg arteries (one must not forget that after a few years after quitting, an ex-smoker reaches the same risk level of ischemic neurologic disease as a non-smoker).
- To eliminate a carcinogenic product.
- To avoid exposing one's family to second-hand smoke, and to stop treating smoking as an ordinary thing. (Your children and grandchildren are already subjected to temptation at school. Do not add to it.)
- To eliminate a factor of skin aging.
- To save money, which may be invested in other, less dangerous, pleasures. For extra motivation, keep a piggybank in which every day you put the money you used to spend on cigarettes. After a while, you can use that money to treat yourself to a gift or a trip. This will help you appreciate the money you saved.
B – Obstacles :
- It is first necessary to fight dependency, which is responsible for problems while quitting.
- Then, it is necessary to fight the habit of automatically picking up a cigarette at certain times during the day (upon getting up, after meals, etc.), or during travels, when one goes by certain places, etc.
- And finally, it is necessary to guard against relapse (how many smokers have successfully quit smoking completely for months, then succumbed to the temptation of a cigarette offered by a friend (just one and that's all), and were then unable ever to stop again).
C – How to do it?
- To fight against dependency, one may use substitute products, such as nicotine patches.
- To combat the habit, the best solution is quitting at once and totally, and never having a cigarette on you or at home. This may be impossible for a smoker who has reached three packs a day. Stopping must then occur by stages, with the knowledge that, in the event of personal or professional problems, the risk of relapse is very high.
- To fight against relapse, it is necessary to take nothing for granted and be continuously on guard.
If quitting is impossible for you, despite help from your relatives and attending physician, make an appointment with an anti-tobacco center (there is one in many hospitals).
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