Smoking is undeniably a big bad for good health. The habit is associated with the risk of developing various diseases, such as cancer, for example, and therefore quitting smoking is one of the first resolutions to be included in the New Year’s list.
According to psychiatrist Patrick Bigaouette, when you see how harmful smoking is, that’s when you’re ready to quit. However, he stresses that the decision has to come from the smoker himself: it’s a commitment to himself.
To help with the challenge, the psychiatrist lists the following suggestions:
- Talk to family, friends, and close people about the decision who will be a part of your support system;
- Choose a date to put the plan into practice;
- You might try finding someone to quit smoking with you, join an online social networking or support group, or seek therapy to help you deal with all the cravings, withdrawal, and emotional challenges.
- Find out what makes you want to smoke: maybe it’s driving, doing some specific activity or stress. Think about how you will handle these situations or if you will avoid them altogether;
- Think of all the possibilities for managing cravings and dealing with withdrawal symptoms;
- Keep healthy snacks on hand, and meditate, go for a walk, or text someone in your support system when you get the urge to smoke.
- Consider resources such as nicotine replacement therapy, patches, gum, lozenges, an inhaler, or medications that contain bupropion and varenicline;
- Dealing with lack of motivation.
In the event of a relapse, Bigaouette says people tend to think the worst, that they’ve been wrong and that they’ve failed. But he cautions against the anxiety that hitting each other causes and advises the individual he is trying to quit to be kind to themselves.
Doctors say less than one in ten adults quit smoking each year. Many need to try several times before they can finally kick the habit, but 60% of people who try to quit are successful.
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Increasingly widespread in Brazil, the vape, e-cigarette or e-cigarette has become a real phenomenon among young people. The product generally has an appearance similar to a common cigarette, but it can also be found in pen drive or pen format.Martina Paraninfi/Getty Images
In colorful packages, with different flavors, without the bad smell of traditional cigarettes and with a lot of smoke, the products are very popular, especially among people aged 18 to 24, despite being banned in Brazil.Leonardo DeLa Cuesta/Getty Images
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Overall, the product consists of battery, atomizer, microprocessor, LED lamp and liquid nicotine cartridge. These mechanisms are responsible for heating the liquid which produces the vapor inhaled by the users.Dirk Kruse/EyeEm/Getty Images
Despite being widely used around the world and initially marketed as an alternative to regular cigarettes, vaporizers are dangerous to health, according to the Federal Council of Medicine (CFM).Martina Paraninfi/Getty Images
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Doctors say e-cigarettes are “a threat to public health” and carry even greater risks than regular cigarettes, as well as being a gateway for young people into the world of nicotine.Yana Iskayeva/Getty Images
These experts say that the metal filament that heats the liquid is made of heavy metals that end up being inhaled, such as nickel, a carcinogen.Shahril Affandi Khairuddin/EyeEm/Getty Images
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Again according to experts, the liquid produced by electronic cigarettes contains at least 80 chemicals considered dangerous and responsible for reinforcing nicotine addiction.sestovic/Getty Images
In addition, daily use of e-cigarettes causes inflammation in various organs of the body, including the brain. New research indicates that use may also deregulate some genes and cause the user to develop a condition called EVALE, product-caused damage in the lungs.RyanJLane/Getty Images
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Neurologist Wanderley Cerqueira, of Albert Einstein Hospital, explains that the effects on the user vary according to nicotine and liquid flavors, which affect how the body responds to infections. According to him, mint vapes, for example, make people more susceptible to the effects of bacterial pneumonia than other flavors.seksan Mongkhonkhamsao/Getty Images
The expert warns that immune cells appear to be deactivated as the lungs are continuously doused with chemicals. This process weakens the body’s defenses against threats like pneumonia or cancer.Diego Cervo/EyeEm/Getty Images
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Also according to the doctor, even tasteless vapors are dangerous. This is because they have other chemical additives in their composition, such as propylene glycol, glycerin, formaldehyde and nicotine itself, which causes cancer.hocus-focus/Getty Images
Research from Duke University in the United States has found dangerous levels of toxins in products used to impart a minty sensation to e-cigarettes. Problems have been found in several brands of these substances, but mainly in Puffbar, one of the most popular in the world. Hexadecimal/Getty images
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Scientists found levels of WS-3 and WS-23 toxins higher than those considered safe by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the product’s fluid. For example, of the 25 liquids tested, 24 had WS-3Getty Images
The substances are used in food additives to give mint a “cooling” without the mint flavor, but they shouldn’t be inhaled. They are also found in mango or vanilla flavored products.Daniel Cabajewski/EyeEm/Getty Images
A survey by the biopharmaceutical AstraZeneca points out that the average of Brazilians who consume more than 11 cigarettes a day (more than half a pack) is 39%. Bigaouette explains that it’s difficult to quit because nicotine simulates the idea of reward in the brain, a process that releases dopamine and causes a good feeling in the individual.
Therefore, explains the doctor, the body begins to crave the sensation caused by nicotine and begins to feel that it is normal. When the body doesn’t have access to the substance, it goes into withdrawal.
Bigaouette suggests that smokers considering quitting should, for example, calculate the costs of addiction. “A pack of cigarettes costs about five reais. One unit per day equals 150 reais per month,” he notes.
It also warns of:
- Risk of new diseases. Cancer, for example, is one of the conditions linked to smoking, as are cardiovascular problems and chronic pulmonary complications. In addition to reducing life expectancy, smoking can harm the health of people who accidentally inhale smoke;
- Lost time. Smoking can keep you away from work, family and friends;
- Use of electronic cigarettes. With health risks still uncertain from new technologies, vapers have similar physical and financial costs to traditional cigarettes. They are not admitted by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa).
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