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Fighting Tobacco Addiction

Clarify your Motivation for Quitting
You want to improve your life and you know that tobacco has robbed you of your stamina. Quitting smoking can give you new energy and a more positive attitude toward life. Your greatest accomplishment will be to take control your own destiny and not let yourself be influenced by tobacco advertisements and addictive drugs.

no smoking 
No Smoking

These are some things to consider as reasons for quitting smoking:

Strategies for Quitting
The ritualized behavior of smoking addiction has many features in common with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) which is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations, or behaviors. To quit smoking, you have to solve two problems: 1) you have to find out the psychological reasons why you smoke, and develop methods for dealing with all the aspects of your life so that you are not dependent on tobacco, and 2) you have to conquer your physical addiction to nicotine. An addict can choose to get treatment from regular rehab centers, or, if they can afford it, they can go to luxury treatment centers that have wonderful amenities.

Address the Psychological Issues
Your main strategy for quitting smoking will be to figure out what to do in all those situations where you smoke now. What are you going to do when you drink a cup of coffee? Just drink coffee. How about after meals or when you feel restless? If you don't have answers to these questions it will be a lot harder to quit smoking. Here are some techniques that will help:

Address the physical addiction
Nicotine is as addictive as many illegal drugs. If you are a heavy smoker or a heavy user of chewing tobacco, quitting suddenly will be very uncomfortable because of the withdrawal symptoms. You will be irritable, you will have headaches, insomnia, chills, and you may feel shaky or nervous. You may also have a dry mouth, feel your heart racing, or break out in a sweat.

Methods to stop smoking:

When you have smoked your last cigarette, throw out all your tobacco products in the trash or burn them in a bonfire. Do not give them to another smoker, and least of all to a friend. Discarding your tobacco is a ceremony similar to a funeral that says goodbye to an old way of life and starts you onto a new path. The hardest adjustment will be learning how to handle your relationships with family members and friends who still smoke. By quitting, you will be breaking a bond that you had with them. They will need to learn to respect your need for a smoke-free environment, and this is not easy if you share living accommodations or meet in areas that allow smoking. You can do it!

Resources for Quitting Smoking
Free Help to Quit Smoking. Talk with an NCI smoking cessation counselor for help quitting and answers to smoking-related questions in English or Spanish - call toll free within the United States, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848)

Smokefree.gov - Offers online step-by-step cessation guide, local and state telephone quit lines and publications which can be downloaded, printed, or ordered.

Center for Disease Control - Explains the hazards of smoking and offers resources for quitting and support. (Provides some links in Spanish).

QuitNet - Offers smoking-cessation resources plus tips and advice from counselors. (Provides some links in Spanish).

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  1. Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Productivity Losses --- United States, 2000--2004
  2. Toxic Chemicals in Tobacco Products, National Center For Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  3. National Cancer Institute, Smokeless Tobacco: Health and Other Effects
  4. Smoking and Skin Aging in Identical Twins, Daven N. Doshi, MD; Kaija K. Hanneman, DO; Kevin D. Cooper, MD, Arch Dermatol. 2007;143(12):1543-1546 [link]
  5. Jamie Brown, Real-world effectiveness of e-cigarettes when used to aid smoking cessation: a cross-sectional population study, Addiction, doi: 10.1111/add.12623

© Copyright  - Antonio Zamora