Cleopatra didnt Smoke
Nor did Alexander the Great or Leonardo Da Vinci. But advertising, old Hollywood movies, and other cultural motivators often link smoking with romance, virility, and even intelligence. The alluring temptress carries her cigarette in an exotic holder. The macho cowboy rolls his own from a drawstring pouch. And Sherlock Holmes has his Meerschaum pipe.
In contrast to these shopworn stereotypes, consider three read individuals: the glamourous Queen of Egypt, the Greek conqueror of the western world, and history's most famous genius - they didn't smoke!
The Cigarette - Your Friend?
If you have been smoking for a long time, you've probably come to see the cigarette as a friend. It helps you cope in times of stress, serves as a reward for a job well done, and gives you something to do when you're bored. Quitting would be like losing a chum. Unlike true friends, however, who have your best interests at heart, cigarettes endanger your health and limit your enjoyment of life.
It's Never Too Late
No, it's never too late to quit - even if you've tried before and failed. In fact, the odds of permanent success go up with every attempt. And no matter how long you've smoked, there are immediate benefits to quitting. As soon as you stop, the lining of your lungs begins to sweep out germs.
Right away, the body starts to repair damage done by smoking. Your risk for lung cancer levels off. After a year of non-smoking, the danger of a heart attack begins to drop. In ten years, it may seem as though you've never smoked.
Withdrawal symptoms from nicotine? Well, there will be some. The initial stages of non-smoking are generally marked by differing degrees of uneasiness. But don't worry. These feelings disappear within a few days. You may even feel a little light-headed at first, because instead of carbon monoxide, your blood is now carrying more oxygen to the brain.
Quitting - 10 Positive Rewards
Will you really benefit that much by quitting? Yes!
- Your chances of suffering a heart attack, lung cancer, and over 20 other diseases will plummet dramatically.
- Family and friends will thank you, since their risk of illness from second-hand smoke will drop.
- Your children will be less likely to smoke; in fact, children of smokers are eight times more likely to take up the habit.
- Your senses of smell and taste will return (food will suddenly be so much better!).
- You'll look more attractive. Your skin will appear younger and healthier because of improved circulation.
- If you are a woman thinking of having children, by giving up smoking, you will be more apt to have a healthy child of normal birth weight.
- Breathing will become easier. Morning smoker's cough will end, and you'll find you can do more without getting out of breath.
- You'll save money - probably enough to take a comfortable vacation - since a regular smoker spends up to $2,500 a year on cigarettes.
- You'll be less prone to accidents: smoking interferes with control of dangerous machinery, and with driving a car, not to mention that it is a fire hazard.
- Lastly, you'll experience renewed self-confidence knowing that you've just won a major victory - the battle against smoking!
Quitting to Win
The first step to quitting is identifying why you smoke. Smoking fulfills many needs, but each smoker has his or her unique and personal reasons. Some people smoke for stimulation, and others for the boost. Some see smoking as a form of relaxation. Still, others do it to have something to do with their hands. Cigarettes may also serve as a crutch in times of stress; to satisfy the craving of nicotine addiction; or merely as a habit, an unconscious activity triggered by actions like watching TV or having an alcoholic beverage. Have you been able to find your reason, or reasons, for smoking among those mentioned? You may have found these to be even better reasons to give serious consideration to the question of quitting. Steps can be taken that may help you to change your lifestyle, and establish good health practices. When you are trying to quit, eliminating a bad habit by substituting it with good habits can help. You'll be on the road to high-level wellness.
Substituting your cigarette
If you smoke for stimulation, try substituting it with a good walk or exercise. For relaxation, breathing exercises and stretching will be more effective than a cigarette. If needing something to do with your hands is your problem, it may be that a pencil or any trinket will do the trick. Are cigarettes used as a crutch in times of stress? Well then, try to release all this pent up energy by doing something constructive: housework, wash the car, mow the grass or, once again, exercise. If you feel an acute need to smoke, it may be that you are chemically dependant on nicotine.
Freeing yourself from this dependence will be difficult but not impossible. Remember that each passing day will see your cravings become less and less. Stay confident! The need to smoke will decrease! Smoking as a habit is a little easier to attack. Initially, try to determine at which times you smoke. When you surprise yourself lighting a cigarette, stop and ask you if you really want to smoke it. You will be surprised number of times where you will answer NO.
Two paths to freedom
Gradual reduction is one of the paths most likely to lead you to a new tobacco-free life. The physical symptoms & cravings related to your cessation will be less acute, but will last longer. How does one reduce his consumption of tobacco? Try to switching to " light " brands, making sure to inhale more deeply. Smoke only half of each cigarette. Or, smoke only in unpleasant places such as the garage or basement. You could also establish a quota system, which would limit your number cigarettes allowed each day.
Quitting cold-turkey, although harder to adapt to at first, is the method with the highest results amongst most smokers. Firstly, set a date and tell everyone that you will no longer be smoking as of that moment; you will then be obligated to keep that promise. Furthermore, friends will be less likely to offer you a cigarette or smoke in your presence if they know of your decision to quit. Secondly, prepare yourself mentally. Think of the $2,500 a year you could save by quitting, which could pay for your next vacation to the Caribbean or the Rockies. Repeat out loud "No thanks. I don't smoke."
The big day has arrived. You have stocked up on healthy food substitutes such as carrots, celery and sugarless gum for those sudden cravings. Now, take all your cigarettes, ashtrays and matches and throw them out! You want to avoid stressful situations? Good. You will avoid bars and parties with a lot of smokers? Excellent. You are going to the movie theatre tonight because smoking is now allowed? Marvellous!
You will feel tired for a few days after you have stopped smoking since nicotine is a stimulant. You must then become more active, sleep more and drink a lot of water or fruit juices to help your body rid itself of the toxins. Also, you may want to avoid seeing your friends that remain heavy smokers during this transition period. Many individuals find that self-reinforcement and having a positive internal monologue helps them remain on track. A positive maxim to remember when asking yourself if you can do it comes from the infamous English poet William Blake: "If the sun and moon ever doubt, they'd immediately go out". In reality, your choice to smoke or not smoke does not leave you in doubt, correct?
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR ATTEMPT TO BECOMING AND STAYING A NON-SMOKER!
To live without cigarettes and to breathe cleanly and easily, take the decision to quit today.