Why You Should Quit Smoking Now More Than Ever
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to millions of tobacco users saying they want to quit smoking. Tobacco harms the immune system and impairs lung function, making smokers more susceptible to respiratory infections such as colds, influenza, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It has long been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. There is no such thing as a safe level of cigarette smoke. When you smoke, the chemicals in tobacco enter your lungs quickly with each inhalation. Toxins are carried by your blood to every organ in your body. This is the time to make the decision to quit smoking and do everything you can to resist the urge.
World No Tobacco Day
Every year on May 31, the World Health Organization observes World No Tobacco Day to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco. This year, the day is more important than ever because countries all over the world are fighting Covid-19. Covid-19 is an infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs, and tobacco use continues to be one of the most serious public health threats, especially during this time of year.
The pandemic has undoubtedly caused significant changes in lifestyle. According to WHO, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to millions of tobacco users expressing a desire to quit, with nearly 60% of tobacco users worldwide expressing a desire to quit smoking. However, only 30% of the world’s population has access to high-quality tobacco cessation services.
Learn about nicotine withdrawal
Common withdrawal symptoms include irritability, poor sleep, difficulty concentrating, or increased appetite. Sometimes people report that they feel like they have cold or mild flu symptoms after they stop smoking. “Nearly 60% of tobacco users around the world want to quit smoking, but only 30% of the global population have access to quality tobacco cessation services,” WHO said on its website. However, within 20 minutes of your last cigarette, your body begins to heal. Nicotine leaves your system in three days. You may feel worse rather than better as your body begins to repair itself. Withdrawal can be painful, but it is an indication that your body is healing. For most people, the worst symptoms of withdrawal last a few days to a few weeks.
During this time, you may:
- Feel a little depressed
- Be unable to sleep
- Become cranky, frustrated, or mad
- Feel anxious, nervous, or restless
- Have trouble thinking clearly
To alleviate these feelings, you may be tempted to smoke. Just keep in mind that they are only temporary, no matter how powerful they appear to be at the time.
Controlling withdrawal symptoms
Some smokers may find it difficult to quit smoking, especially in these trying times. Even ex-smokers may relapse due to unexpected urges, increasing their risk of contracting Covid-19. However, if you’re ready to quit, you can do so using tried-and-true methods to gradually reduce nicotine cravings. This method of nicotine delivery allows your body to become accustomed to a decreasing amount of nicotine until it is completely eliminated. This procedure assists you in quitting smoking, which aids in the gradual healing of your lungs.
It’s always a good time to quit
There has never been a better time to kick the habit. Recommit to living without cigarettes if you have slipped or returned to smoking. Quitting is not easy for most people, but there are things you can do to protect yourself and others during the COVID-19 pandemic: Try a quit smoking medication. Consider using over-the-counter medications that can more than double your chances of quitting smoking. Consult a doctor before doing so.
Manage your stress and be kind to yourself
The COVID-19 pandemic’s stress and anxiety can lead to relapse and resumption of smoking after quitting. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you make a mistake. Be on the lookout for signs of depression. It can be difficult to cope with how our lives have changed.
Focus on the things you can control
Learn about secondhand smoke and make smoke-free rules at home. Don’t smoke in your home or car, and don’t let others smoke there either. Request that smokers in your home keep their cigarettes and lighters out of sight and take a shower or change their clothes after smoking. COVID-19 has created a lot of uncertainty. Instead of worrying about what happens next, try to concentrate on what you can control right now. Mindfulness practice may assist you in staying focused or resisting the urge to smoke.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help!
One of the keys to quitting successfully is having someone to talk to. Seek assistance from friends, family, and doctors. You can also chat online with a trained counselor. Set a new quit date and try again if you had a slip or started smoking again because COVID-19 is stressing you out. Most people need several attempts before they are able to quit for good. Reach out to counselors at Prashanth Hospitals, the best super speciality hospital in Chennai, if you need advice or just someone to speak to. Our doctors are also available for online medical consultation.