In a cigarette, one gram of dry tobacco can contain up to 23 milligrams of nicotine. Nicotine is readily absorbed in the blood and contributes to smoking-related diseases. Studies have shown that when you quit smoking, you reduce the risk of dying prematurely from heart attack and other smoking-related diseases by 50-90 percent. In addition to adding quality years to your life, you also save the money that you otherwise will spend buying tobacco products.
While smoking is addictive, quitting smoking is not an impossible task. Just like most unwanted habits, getting rid of smoking addiction takes a lot of focus and discipline, as well as sincere understanding and support from family and friends. The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recommends the following combination to help you begin your first step to quitting:
● Set a quit date.
● Get support.
● Take medicine.
To begin, get a notebook or journal and write down the date you will quit smoking altogether. Be realistic when choosing the date. The quit date can be as immediate as “right now.” For those who have been smoking for years, it may take a while to drop the habit. Reducing the number of cigarettes smoked per day or skipping smoking every other day can gradually ease the smoking habit.
Before the quit date, clean up your house. Throw away ash trays, dust off cigarette ash, wash the curtains and clothes that reek of tobacco smoke. This will help you rid of anything that reminds you of smoking.
As the quit date arrives, you will need a lot of discipline and strength. Remind yourself of why you want to quit. Write down the benefits of quitting and ask your family and friends to help remind you as well.