Tobacco use is one of the leading cause of death and disease in the World. Once people start smoking, they usually have a hard time quitting. This is because nicotine, the main ingredient in tobacco, is addictive. But what makes nicotine so addictive?
Whether people smoke or vape, nicotine releases the brain chemical dopamine, which leads to the brain re-learning the behavior of having tobacco all the time, as with many drugs. This is also known as reinforcement.
But here’s the catch: The brain gets a dopamine “hit” from nicotine every time a person takes a puff on a cigarette or inhales vapor from an e-cigarette that contains nicotine.
An average smoker takes 10 to 15 puffs per cigarette, so those who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day get at least 250 “hits” each day. That’s a lot of “teaching” the brain to keep using nicotine.
Whether a person consumes nicotine through tobacco or vaping, its reinforcing effects might be much more harmful than the user imagines.
I have a confession to make, “I used to Smoke Cigarettes”
I have also succumbed to this instant “hit”, the first time I had a cigarette in my hand was in my BTech, so you can’t call yourself a victim when you are taking a cigarette willingly, I believe that everyone smoke cigarettes despite knowing they’re bad for our health. I will share my view further but it was just a one-off, Yes I held my first cigarette for a photo. How stupid!!! You see I Hated the smell, I was just able to take a picture and drop it and I still have the picture with me.
After 5 years, I picked it up again from a friend and coworker on a cold evening to take a break from work and drink coffee, and I repeated it for two more years, Initially, only to share a cigarette with friends who smoke, it progressed to a full cigarette, from weekends to weekdays. Finding a friend who smokes or even making a new friend is always easy.
If I were on par with average smokers, I used to smoke maybe two or three each week, never bought a cigarette, always required a friend, although at that level, I still had cravings to smoke whenever I saw one of my friends holding one in their hand. My mind can only imagine the feeling of someone who is addicted to dopamine. It’s a tall order, but I am sure we can fight it together.
The last time I had one was years ago, so I completely quit, however, it did not happen overnight. It took me a couple of weeks to come out of it.
When you have a clear WHY, WHAT and HOW you will Figure out !!
Why do People Smoke ?
Most people who smoke tobacco start during their teenage years or as young adults. There are many reasons why a person starts to smoke.
Many teens view it as a reflection of their rebellion against their parents. Others see it as a way to cope with peer pressure and begin smoking as a way to appear “cool”. Some may be modeling their favorite hero in a movie, parent’s, or sibling’s behavior, and others believe it is a way to relieve stress or boredom. Despite the fact that you think you are not going to smoke, it is easy to become addicted to tobacco because of the nicotine found in the product.
How bad is smoking ?
Personal Health :
Smokers dont grow Old, they die Young
Smoking causes premature death, reducing life expectancy for smokers by at least 10 years. Quitting before the age of 40 reduces the risk of dying from smoking-related diseases by about 90%. A list of the health problems caused by smoking would be insufficient, and the irony is that everyone who smokes already knows this.
My personal testimony :
One cigarette can deplete my physical performance by 40% during strength training or running, in fact, it’s the biggest reason I quit smoking. If just one cigarette limits my performance, I can only imagine how much 10+ in a day can do.
Health of People around you (Family, Friends) :
Passive smoking means breathing in other people’s tobacco smoke. Research indicates that second-hand smoke can increase the risk of respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Arteries become less flexible in as little as five minutes with smoke inhalation, just as they become less flexible for a smoker.
My Personal testimony:
Even after quitting for years, I can still smell tobacco from a distance, and if I passively smoke I can see a change in my heart rate and breathing rate, and I was surprised at how fast the body reacts to tobacco smoke.
Health of your Finances :
In addition to the daily financial burden of smoking cigarettes, smoking may cost you more for health and life insurance, high health care costs due to smoking-related diseases, as well as expose your loved ones to dangerous chemicals in cigarette smoke. You can save over $6,000 a year by quitting, as well as more than $30,000 in five years and six figures in ten.
My Personal Testimony :
Although I didn’t spend money on cigarettes, I have seen friends and family who were always struggling financially not to buy a pack, but to handle the health challenges later in life and the impact it may have on their family financially and emotionally for decades to come because of challenges they go through.
Smoking – what one does for their Personal benifit and pleaseure at the expense of familys future of health and finances.
Three Reasons Why It Is Difficult to Quit Smoking
While there are many reasons why people continue to smoke, nicotine is what makes it so difficult to quit. Nicotine is as hard to give up as heroin since the dopamine it produces has become addictive, and you get hooked on it immediately, while other drugs require privacy or an environment to pursue.
Smokers are difficult to quit due to their old habits. Smokers often follow a routine they follow consciously or unconsciously. It is evident in the little things like smoking while driving, drinking coffee, or whenever they feel tempted to do so.
Additionally, people who are quitting will experience withdrawal symptoms. Then some may feel restless about not using their hands or mouth and begin to crave the smell and taste of cigarettes, which eventually leads them to indulge in smoking again.
If a smoker makes friends in a smoking room or another place where they have a common interest, often asking for a light, it becomes tempting to go out with their smoking friends. At concerts, bars, etc., it becomes more difficult for smokers to resist. These kinds of situations may make these individuals reach for a cigarette and convince themselves they can limit it to just one or restrict themselves to social situations.
When people don’t smoke, they may have withdrawal symptoms. That’s because their bodies have to get used to not having nicotine. Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Feeling down or sad
- Having trouble sleeping
- Feeling irritable‚ on edge‚ grouchy
- Having trouble thinking clearly and concentrating
- Feeling restless and jumpy
- Slower heart rate
- Feeling more hungry or gaining weight
I want to Quit Smoking
Making a decision to quit smoking is a Personal responsibility
“Responsibility” means something far beyond that something much more important! Personal responsibility is at the root of everything we think, do, conceive, fail at, or achieve in our lives. Personal responsibility is the bed rock of all individual action. Responsibility does not mean “duty” or “burden.” It is not the measure of our liability or our accountability: it is the basis of our individual determination to accept life and to fulfill our selves within it.
“The Compound Effect” book gave me the push. Every day it may not make a big difference, but imagine how your lungs would look if you smoked 1500 cigarettes at once, are you willing to see them go through that?
Fortunately, running helped me give up smoking because positive and negative habits can’t stick together too long, and if we want one, we must give up one, and we always have a choice.
the 3A’s to Quit Smoking
If you really want to quit smoking, just replace the word TOMORROW with TODAY and LATER with NOW. Why wait until TOMORROW when you can quit smoking TODAY, and why wait until LATER when you can quit smoking right NOW.
Attitude : Think Positive
You will stay motivated if you have a goal for why you want to accomplish something. If you have a reason for why you should stop, you will not lose focus. It can be anything, from wanting to be healthy to not exposing your own child.
Utilize the Power of Self talk,
stop saying the words “I cant..”, “If only I could…”, ” I wish I could but I cant..”, “I could never do that…” which are negative programing you are giving yourself which is preparing you to be defeated everyday
Remember , the subconcious mind is listening and waiting for instructions , and it doesnot care what we tell it, it just does it!
If you think “I can” you are right, if you think “I cannot” you are right both the times .
Start saying “I never Smoke”, “I no longer have problems with nicotine withdrawl, I am healthy and storng”, “I donnot smoke ,my lungs are strong and healthy. I am able to breath deeply and fully”, get hold of a good self talk and program your subconcious mind daily.
Assosiations: Stay Around People Who Do Not Smoke
You should hang out with people who are not smokers. Just like hanging out with other people who smoke can entice you into smoking, hanging around with people who do not smoke will probably keep you occupied without the need to light up. Also, inform your friends that you are no longer smoking. Speaking up helps keep you accountable, make the world aware that you are a nonsmoker and one that you intend to stick with.
Action : The Best day is Today
There’s no such thing as “just one” cigarette.
It is said that smokers attempt to quit at an average of 6 – 11 times before they finally succeed. It will be a difficult journey, but with the proper guidance and help, you will achieve your goal, and keep in mind why you decided to quit and relate it to your family and friends whom you care for and love. I believe it is easy to choose between family and cigarettes and I hope family always win.
Identify an accountability partner you respect, set a goal of 365 straight days, and begin with seven days, then add 30, 60, 90, 6 months, and 10 years. Take pride in your achievements.
In life, you cannot forget the negatives, because the moment you try to remove them, you first have to remember them, and we can only dilute them with positive habits, such as eating healthily and exercising regularly. Try to achieve a weight goal, create new habits, and change your trigger points. If you smoke with coffee, switch to chewing gum, eat carrots, and for every negative experience, replace it with ten positives
Few habits you can start with :
- Doing a full-body cleanse, join an asramam in India where you are stripped out of technology, junk food and introduced to deep body cleanse which helps you remove all the toxins in your body
- Start being active dialy 10,000 steps and 20mins High intensity workout where you heart beat is above 130bpm.
- Practice meditation and yoga to build control over your mind and body
- Pick up a good book to read or listen to podcasts which will help you create new habits and change your perspective about life, some of favorites are the compund effect, what to say when you talk to yourself, How not to die, atomic habits.
If you know WHY you want to quit, WHAT and HOW will come much easier for you. Instead of relying on external motivation, truly engage in this for the wellbeing of yourself and your family.
If you would like more support and accountability, please join our #oneenrbgytogthr group or forward this article to your friends. This article is dedicated to my family who is experiencing the side effects of smoking and wants to quit.
It is possible for everyone , its just a decision away Make it Today.
Today is when you Say “I Never Smoke”