Quitting Smoking Is Not Easy, But It Is Possible: Today Is International Smoking Cessation Day

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Quitting Smoking Is Not Easy, But It Is Possible: Today Is International Smoking Cessation Day
Quitting Smoking Is Not Easy, But It Is Possible: Today Is International Smoking Cessation Day

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Quitting smoking is not easy, but it is possible: today is International Smoking Cessation Day

International No Smoking Day is celebrated on the third Thursday in November. Almost all smokers know that they are harmful to their health, but not many people think about those around them. However, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. According to WHO statistics, 65,000 children die each year from diseases associated with exposure to second-hand smoke.

Quitting smoking is not easy, but it is possible: today is International Smoking Cessation Day
Quitting smoking is not easy, but it is possible: today is International Smoking Cessation Day

Photo: pixabay.com /

The third Thursday in November marks the International Smoking Cessation Day initiated by the American Cancer Society and WHO. Almost all smokers know that they are harmful to their health, but not many people think about those around them, including their own children. However, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. According to WHO statistics, 65,000 children die each year from diseases associated with exposure to second-hand smoke.

More than 8 million people die each year from the effects of tobacco use: more than 7 million deaths occur among tobacco users and former users, and over 1.2 million among non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke in indoor air.

Nearly half of the world's children regularly breathe air contaminated with tobacco smoke in public places. Tobacco is the most common cancer-causing carcinogen known today. Its smoke contains more than 2000 chemicals, of which about a hundred are active toxic and carcinogenic substances, thousands of soot particles. Passive smoking can cause cardiovascular diseases, various cancers, can provoke asthma, and secondhand smoke also impairs cognitive functions. In infants, it increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. In pregnant women, it leads to pregnancy complications and low birth weight babies.

Quitting smoking is not easy, but it is possible

The main thing is to want to live without cigarettes, to limit oneself and not hesitate to seek help, recalls the narcologist, psychotherapist of the Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Tobacco Smoking and Non-Chemical Addictions of the Moscow Scientific and Research Center of Narcology Valery Lykov. How to quit smoking, everyone decides for himself, and expert advice can help with this:

First of all, you need to clearly form motivation for yourself. It is better if it is positive. Instead of setting “I quit smoking”, “I want not to smoke” is taken as the basis. Women have their own specificity of motivation - the preservation of attractiveness, beauty. Of course, pregnancy is a serious motive to quit smoking. For people with health problems, the main motive for quitting cigarettes can be treatment for diseases - for any of them, smoking cessation can be safely recommended as one of the key stages of therapy.

To quit smoking, you need to prepare yourself by choosing the right time, convenient for you personally. The first weeks are the hardest for most people. Therefore, you can coincide with the weekend smoking cessation or quit smoking on vacation. Although it happens that on vacation there are more temptations, and it is easier to quit smoking at work, where it is prohibited, or no one smokes. In addition, there is a certain percentage of smokers who quit easily, and at first feel good, but after a month they are covered - this is the so-called delayed withdrawal symptoms.

Next, you need to decide on strategies for quitting smoking. The simplest thing that can be done without serious effort at the initial stage is to limit smoking: exclude smoking on an empty stomach, on the move, in places where it is prohibited. Further, it is recommended to exclude "automatic" smoking, for which, before lighting a cigarette, you should ask yourself the question: "Do I really want to smoke now, do I need this cigarette?" This technique allows, without stress, at times to halve the number of cigarettes smoked and prepares for a complete rejection of them. Most smokers are advised to remove all cigarettes from their home. But there are people who, on the contrary, need cigarettes to be always in sight, emphasizing that no one and nothing prevents a person from smoking, but he himself makes such a choice. He can take out a cigarette at any time, twirl it in his hands, smell it, break it and throw it away.

Sometimes it is difficult for a person to do without medication. Nicotine replacement therapy, drugs acting on nicotinic receptors, increase the likelihood of quitting smoking by 2-2.5 times. But this does not cancel the work of a person on himself.

No need to refuse outside help. The difficulty in quitting smoking is related to the severity of tobacco dependence. Often, a person cannot quit smoking on their own due to concomitant problems of a neurotic level (latent anxiety-depressive states). Sometimes a smoker has somatic diseases that require special escort tactics in order to protect him from complications.

Often, women have difficulty quitting smoking. Sometimes a woman smokes 5 cigarettes a day, which seems to be an easy degree of addiction. But in fact, it is very difficult for her to quit smoking because of the psychoactive effects caused by tobacco: nicotine relaxes in stressful situations and stimulates when there is an intellectual load. But all these effects are short-lived, and they are followed by a serious failure, forcing you to grab a cigarette again and again. And if there is some psychological problem, it is better to look for a more effective strategy for managing your condition than smoking: undergo a course of psychotherapy, try to master the techniques of psychosomatic self-regulation.

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