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Friday, June 2, 2023

Understanding the Dangers: Why Quitting Tobacco is Essential

If you are a tobacco user, you may have heard many times that quitting is the best thing you can do for your health. But do you know why? And do you know how to quit successfully? In this blog post, we will explore the dangers of tobacco use, the benefits of quitting, and some effective strategies and tips for tobacco cessation.

Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year, of which more than 7 million are from direct tobacco use and around 1.2 million are non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke. Tobacco use can cause many serious health problems, such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Tobacco use can also affect your sexual health and fertility, as it can reduce blood flow to the genitals, lower sperm count and quality, increase the risk of erectile dysfunction and impotence, and cause complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

Quitting tobacco can have immediate and long-term benefits for your health and well-being. As soon as you stop smoking, your body starts to heal itself from the damage caused by tobacco. Within 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate drop to normal levels. Within 8 hours, the level of carbon monoxide in your blood drops to normal. Within 24 hours, your risk of having a heart attack starts to decrease. Within 2 weeks to 3 months, your lung function improves and you breathe easier. Within 1 year, your risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half. Within 5 years, your risk of stroke is similar to that of a non-smoker. Within 10 years, your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a smoker. Within 15 years, your risk of heart disease is the same as a non-smoker. Quitting tobacco can also improve your appearance, your sense of smell and taste, your mood and self-esteem, your energy levels, and your finances.

Quitting tobacco is not easy, but it is possible with the right tools and support. There are many methods and resources available to help you quit successfully. Some of the most effective ones are:

- Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT): This is a form of medication that provides you with a low dose of nicotine without the harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke. NRT can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings when you quit smoking. NRT comes in different forms, such as patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers, or sprays. You can use NRT alone or in combination with other methods.

- Prescription medication: Two types of prescription medication can help you quit smoking: varenicline and bupropion. Varenicline works by blocking the effects of nicotine on the brain receptors that make you feel good when you smoke. Bupropion works by affecting the chemicals in the brain that are involved in nicotine addiction. Both medications can reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings when you quit smoking.

- Counselling: This is a form of support that can help you cope with the emotional and psychological aspects of quitting smoking. Counselling can provide you with information, advice, motivation, encouragement, and problem-solving skills to help you quit successfully. Counselling can be delivered in different ways, such as face-to-face, over the phone, online, or through text messages.

- Self-help: This is a form of support that you can access on your own without professional guidance. Self-help can include using books, websites, apps, videos, podcasts, or other resources that provide information and tips on how to quit smoking. Self-help can also include joining a support group or an online community where you can share your experiences and challenges with other people who are trying to quit smoking.

- Other methods: There are some other methods that some people may find helpful for quitting smoking, such as hypnosis, acupuncture, laser therapy, or vaping. However, these methods have not been proven to be effective or safe for quitting smoking by scientific evidence. Therefore, they should be used with caution and only after consulting with your doctor.

The best way to quit smoking is whatever works for you. You may need to try different methods or combinations of methods until you find what suits you best. You may also need to make several attempts before you quit for good. The important thing is to never give up and to keep trying until you succeed.

Quitting tobacco is one of the most important decisions you can make for your health and happiness. It may not be easy, but it is worth it. You have the power to make it happen. Start your journey towards a tobacco-free life today!

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