Older people form the part of the population most likely to suffer from tobacco-induced disease and premature death: smoking shortens life by an average 12–15 years. Moreover, smoking is the second best way to age the skin (after UV exposure). According to the World Health Organization, tobacco is more addictive than heroin, cocaine, alcohol, caffeine, and marijuana. Now is the time to stop!
Following are some helpfull tips to quit smoking
How much do you know about the risks of smoking as an older person? Studies suggest that you are unlikely to want to stop until you know the worst. Get online and find out now!
Never too late
Smoking for decades doesn’t make it harder to give up—nor are the benefits reduced. Studies demonstrate that quitting even post 65 brings significant health benefits and extends lifespan. After five tobacco-free years, risk becomes close to that of a lifelong nonsmoker.
Make a plan
The first step in quitting is to decide you want to stop (not just cut down). It may help to record your thinking in a journal. List reasons for quitting and explanations for why it hasn’t worked in the past. Note alternative ways to cope with stressful events. Set down a date to aim for.
Using appropriate nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches, gum, inhalers, and nasal sprays or non-nicotine Zyban tablets, reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms and can double your chance of quitting. Check with your doctor before buying off-the-shelf products.
Consult your doctor about clinics or groups that offer programs tailored to helping smokers kick the habit. For free advice on how to quit smoking, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at Quit Smoking.
The camaraderie of other would-be nonsmokers can help in the struggle to quit. Seek out a group near home or work.
You need friends
Enlist the support of family, friends, and work colleagues. Have them email you supportive messages and be there to help you resist temptation at difficult times. It’s easiest to quit if a friend joins the struggle.
It often helps to sever associations between smoking, socializing, and alcohol. Save smoking for solitary sessions. Plan your social life around nonsmoking friends and venues. Cut out alcohol during at least the first two months of quitting; this seems to boost willpower to keep up the good work.
Detox with fruits and vegetables
Not only does smoking create freeradical molecules that prematurely age the body, but smokers also have lowered levels of the antioxidant vitamins needed to mop up the damage. As an antidote, pack your diet with free-radical-busting fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of water to flush away toxins.
Keep your fingers busyc When you just have to do something with your fingers, open pistachio nuts. They are a great snack for the heart, since they contain more cholesterol-lowering phytosterols than other nuts. Greek women swear by worry beads for occupying the hands. Knitting with chunky wool on large needles also brings satisfyingly speedy results.
To support and cleanse the lungs after giving up, take coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) as a herbal tincture (30 drops daily in water) or as capsules (follow pack directions).
Researchers have found acupuncture effective in helping kick the habit. Ask your doctor about referral.
Take the remedy Caladium 30 c daily for two weeks after giving up to modify cravings for tobacco. Take Nux.Vomica 30 c daily for two weeks to help the body rid itself of nicotine. If you develop a cough after giving up as the lungs try to drain built-up catarrh, try a daily dose of Pulsatilla 30 c until symptoms ease.
Need to put something in your mouth? Try a crisp apple. The tangy freshness can stave off cravings.
Light, regular exercise reduces withdrawal symptoms and stimulates natural painkillers. Visit the gym when symptoms seem worse.
Indulge in other pleasures: read a novel in a hammock, sunbathe for 15 minutes, have a few minutes extra in bed in the morning, or enjoy dark chocolate after dinner.
If you give in, don’t feel like a failure. Dust off your self-respect and start over. The average person takes seven goes to give up for life. Zero tolerance of tobacco is essential after giving up. Even after years of abstinence, just one cigarette can trigger cravings.
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