Smoking is the leading causes of death in the world. Tobacco is mainly used in the cigarettes. Smoking can be easily preventable addiction. Every year millions of people die due to smoking related problems. The percentage of smokers is rapidly increasing in India. Passive or second hand smoke is also very dangerous to the health. Hence quitting smoking is important for health.

Smoking cessation is also known as quitting smoking or simply quitting. It is the process of discontinuing tobacco smoking. Tobacco is one of the most harmful ingredients in cigarettes. Tobacco smoke contains nicotine which is addictive. Nicotine withdrawal makes the process of quitting often very prolonged and difficult.

As per the survey, around 70% smokers really want to quit smoking. Strong willpower is very crucial factor in the quitting smoking. Cigarette smoking is banned at many public places. It is never too late to quit smoking. Smoking mainly damages lungs, so that it is very fatal to human.

Some of the most life threatening diseases caused by smoking includes:

1) Lung Cancer
2) COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
3) Severe Heart diseases
4) Stroke
5) Asthma
6) Reproductive disorders in women
7) Premature birth or low birth weight of baby
8) Diabetes
9) Cataract, blindness and other eye diseases
10) Various types of cancer like liver, colon, cervix, stomach and pancreatic cancer.

Hence smoking should be quitted without wasting a time to avoid any deadly diseases.

Benefits of quitting smoking include:

1) Increase in Life span
2) Improvement in health
3) Feeling of happy, satisfaction or refreshment
4) Better looking (smoking causes wrinkles, dullness on skin)
5) Improvement in the sense of smell and taste
6) Money saving

There are lots of plans to quit smoking. It is depend on individual person to select best plans as per the suitability. But the ultimate goal should be to quit smoking completely.

1) Cold Turkey (No Outside Help):

This is the most common plan to quit smoking. In this plan, about 90 % people try to quit smoking without any outside help. Only strong willpower plays an important role in cold turkey plan. No medicines, aids or therapy is involved in this planning. But this is not the most successful method as only 5 to 7% smokers are able to quit smoking completely.

2) Behavioral therapy:

In this method, counselor’s help is taken to quit smoking. Counselor and smoker together find out the ways for quitting smoking. The plan is based on emotions and situations. An effective plan is prepared to quit smoking.

3) Nicotine replacement therapy:

This therapy is widely used in the world by the smokers. There are several types including nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, sprays and lozenges which contain nicotine without use of tobacco. Nicotine replacement therapy is an effective therapy if smoker uses with behavioral therapy. These therapy needs support from friends and family. The main goal is to end addiction to nicotine, not simply to quit using tobacco.

4) Medications:

If above methods are failed to work then medication therapy is used to quit smoking. In this method, smoker consults with the doctor for correct medicines. Generally, Bupropion and varenicline (Chantix) are prescription medicines used which can help with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

5) Combo treatments:

Many smokers use combo treatment plans to quit smoking. It includes the combination of different methods. Eg: Use of nicotine patch and Gum is better than using patch alone. Other helpful combinations include behavioral therapy and nicotine replacement therapy, prescription medication with a nicotine replacement therapy patch and a nicotine replacement therapy patch and nicotine spray. Smoker should consult doctor before using combination therapies to avoid any complication.

How to stay on track?

It is very important to stick to the plans. Many times smokers broke planning in the middle of the treatment. Strong willpower and positive attitude helps to quit smoking. The steps to stay on track of a smoke-free life include:

1) Knowing the triggers and avoiding at early stage:

This is the fundamental stage for smoke free life. Person should avoid places, people or situations which force to smoking especially during first 3 months. This stage is very crucial as most of the smokers starts smoking at this step again.

2) Accepting that first few days are very tough:

Every smoker should accept the facts in quitting smoking. Strong determination is required in this step. Quit smoking groups are helpful to relive stress, depression and nervousness. Smoker naturally starts felling normal at the end of this step.

3) Not giving in to cravings:

Smoking people should not only change bad habits but also replace it with best habits. Instead of cigarettes smoker can use chewing gum or playing games on mobile to reduce stress.

4) Making friendships with non-smokers friends:

This is one of the most important parts in the process of quitting smoking. Smoker person automatically copies things of non smoker’s friends. It increases confidence towards achieving success.

5) Rewarding yourself:

Every smoker person should reward himself/herself as this is the tough job. After hitting goals, treat yourself with pride. Appreciating yourself is more enjoying than others.

Smoking Cessation is an important step in every smoker’s life for healthy future. A strong willpower and Psychological support of family members and friends also play crucial role for the successful Smoking Cessation.

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