People begin to smoke for a lot of different reasons. Some of which include stress, peer pressure or social status. Many people would like to quit this habit but they can’t. They are addicted to the nicotine. In one study, it was reported that due to the health problems smoking causes it comes back to cost society $47.00 per pack. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, it destroys elastin (wrinkles in face), can contribute to erectile dysfunction and can contribute to more deaths then all the other causes of death combined. Nicotine works in the pleasure centers of the brain and is 4 ½ times as addictive as heroine. As hard as it might be, you can quit with determination, discipline, help from family, friends and you’re your health care provider.
Cigarette smoke has over 4000 different chemicals in them and not only cause’s harm to the tissues the smoke makes contact with, but also reduces the oxygen to all the organs, tissues and cells of the body. It has been proven that smokers triple the chances of developing cataracts. And of course, second hand smoke affects all of your family and friends that are around you when you light up.
Within one month of having your last cigarette, you carbon dioxide levels decrease and the heart rate decreases and you decrease your chance of heart attack. After quitting for five years, the risk of a stroke is the same as a non smoker. After 15 years, the risk of a heart attack is the same as a non smoker of the same age. The long term benefits of quitting smoking include the decreased chance of lung, stomach, bladder and other cancers; coronary heart disease, chronic lung disease, stomach ulcers, peripheral artery disease, chronic cough and more.
To quit, and to give yourself the best chance of success you must make a commitment to quit if you truly want to quit this dirty habit. If you don’t really deep down want to quit you will have a high percentage of failure. Get rid of your cigarettes, make it harder to smoke where you normally smoke such as the kitchen table with your morning coffee or driving in your car. If you need to smoke you have to do it where you don’t normally smoke and you can’t smoke with friends, family member or co-workers. You have to smoke alone. Walking is a good exercise to do when you want to quit smoking. Take deep breathes as you walk. Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol as most people smoke more with alcohol and their morning coffee.
Some people will feel irritable and nervous and have the need/desire to do something with their hands and mouth. Chewing gum, suckers, mints, licorice can help you overcome this urge. Be careful with black licorice as it can affect your blood pressure. These urges soon pass and before long you won’t need these crutches to stay on track.
Acupuncture has a history of being successful in helping people quit the smoking habit. Often times, the habit can be broken with just a few treatments while other patients may take more. If you want to really quit smoking but have a hard time because of the cravings and habits that have developed over the years, give acupuncture a try. You have nothing to lose except the unhealthy habit and the smelly clothes, house, hair, car and your mouth tasting like an ashtray.
If you would like to try acupuncture to help you stop this unhealthy, dirty habit, give us a call to schedule an appointment.