Put that cigarette down

It all starts with a shared puff with a group of friends, some of us have had our fare share of goofing around with a stolen cigarette from daddy’s pack when we were younger.

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Although this may initially be an innocent act by kids which is thought to not result in any harm, it actually haunts a lot. Being honest, a lot of smokers don’t have valid reasons of what really led them to being addicted to the nicotine. The fact that we don’t necessarily know anyone in our circle that has been in one point hopitalised because of smoking makes chances of smokers to quit scarce. People live with the notion of “seeing is believing” and it ends there.

We have a lot of people relying on cigarettes to function. This addictive product makes people develop this sense of dependency hence a smoke is taken whenever feeling overwhelmed, when in a stressful situation, feeling tired, while partying and basically doing or feeling anything. Reasons for smoking vary from person to person and each one of them has a story behind their taking part in the unhealthy habit of smoking, whether valid or not. It cannot be ignore that smoking is more than just a habit; it is in actual fact an addiction that a lot find it hard to beat. Smokers find themselves in a lot of failed attempts in quitting the cigarette. A smoke is not only just a smoke but it has a lot of paper trails of illnesses and inconveniences.

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As tinny as cigarettes may seem they have potential to cause great damage to a human body. Cancer is one of the deadly illnesses that are a result of nicotine present in cigarettes. This may be respiratory related cancers like lung cancer which causes breathlessness due to blockage of the air sacs or one affecting the oral cavity which results to teeth looking brown, drying up of lips and development of mouth ulcers and last but not least ovarian cancer.

Fertility problems tobacco can be responsible for failed pregnancies as it affects the reproductive health. Women who smoke are more at risk of having miscarriages, delivering premature babies with some with defects and are at high risk of having difficulties in fertility.

Worsening of existing illnesses smoking increases high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases which are a result of hardening and narrowing of arteries and for those who are already diagnosed with heart problems are at risk of stroke and heart attacks. It also increases chances of inflammation to the airways thus resulting to asthmatic attacks; this can also affect those who are second hand smokers.

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There are options to consider that help in kicking the habit of smoking, you can choose to try out nicotine replacements therapy which include prescribed nasal sprays and inhaler and over-the-counter patches, gum and lozenges. You can identify your triggers so you can try avoiding them, this can be making yourself scarce in places like clubs, bars and parties until you are fit to resist temptations.

Try to keep yourself busy by finding distractions and inform your friends and family of your plans to quit smoking so they can be supportive by not smoking around you. Try consult with someone professional to try establish psychological reason of you continuing with smoking or seek advice from those who have been on the same journey you are about to take.

It is essential that you do not underestimate this process, as you will be met by great temptation and withdrawals. You should try keep in mind the benefits and reasons behind you wanting to stop smoking and these undoubtedly are over shined by reasons of you smoking. Remember this step is the greatest gift you can ever give yourself.

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