Quitting smoking has become almost an obsession in more recent times, especially considering that more and more information has become available as to the dangers of smoking. As more people have become aware of the necessity of having a healthy lifestyle, getting proven expert advice on breaking the habit has become critical.

According to the NHS, about 100,000 people die every year from smoking in the UK.1 In addition, many more people suffer from debilitating illnesses and life-threatening conditions as a result of smoking and second-hand smoking.

The risks of smoking

Although the dangers of smoking have become common knowledge over the years, the extent to which it affects the human body is being discovered more and more every day. It’s been found that smoking not only negatively affects overall health but it can be the cause of a host of debilitating illnesses and diseases.

To gain an idea of how widespread and destructive smoking is in general, note that the CDC (Center for Disease Control) estimates that smoking causes more deaths each year than the following causes combined:2

  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Illegal drug use
  • Alcohol use
  • Motor vehicle injuries
  • Firearm-related incidents

Smoking has a host of risks and is related to many health conditions; it’s almost impossible to mention them all. Smoking causes the following cancers: mouth, throat, larynx, lung, oesophagus, pancreas, kidney, bladder, stomach, cervix and acute myeloid leukaemia.

In addition to the above-mentioned cancers, there are numerous other risks from smoking; even passive smoking (being around smoke).

Risks of smoking include:

  • Asthma
  • Emphysema
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Weakened immune system

In addition, smokers are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, smokers are 30% to 40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers.3 In addition, the more cigarettes an individual smokes the higher the risk for diabetes.

Why do people gain weight when trying to quit

Weight gain is one of the major problems faced when one is attempting to quit smoking.

It’s estimated, that overall, people who quit smoking gain approximately 10 pounds on average.

If you’re concerned about packing on those extra pounds, consider the advice forwarded by the NHS:4

Steps you can take to keep weight gain to a minimum. They are:

  • Take more exercise.
  • Use stop smoking treatments.
  • Diet cautiously – it can help reduce weight while you quit, but you must be careful not to take too much on at once.

Replacing the craving

One of the main reasons why people who are attempting to stop smoking begin to gain weight is because usually, they begin to replace the craving for that cigarette with something else. In most cases, it’s junk food. It almost becomes a reflex action to have to put something in one’s mouth; the brain learns the habit and muscle memory is sometimes hard to lose. In addition, cravings boredom, and stress can contribute to overeating. Consider keeping a healthy snack, fruit or vegetable close, something that’s low in calories so as to prevent weight gain.

Stop smoking tablets in addition to weight loss tablets are very conventional options available for assisting in getting rid of the habit. There are many success stories of people benefitting from the use of these pills to improve their condition.

Alternative ways to stop smoking

There are numerous unconventional ways which have been explored and in some cases have proven successful.

The following is a list of alternative methods to stop smoking:

  • Stop smoking hypnosis – Defined as an altered state of awareness in which one appears to be in a sleep or trance. This form of hypnosis attempts to convince the patient of the negative effects of smoking and it’s unpleasant consequences. Results of this method are mixed.
  • Water – Considered to be at least a partial cure for so many diseases, water is a natural detoxifier that helps clean the body of the toxin nicotine.
  • Ginseng – Adding ginseng to your juice or a beverage of your choice may be something you would want to consider. It helps fight those cravings you may have during the day. Having a bit early in the morning is recommended.
  • Vitamins – Fighting the toxins in your body from years of smoking would require a great deal of help. Stocking up on multivitamins would pay off big time.
  • Ginger – Such a beneficial and natural spice used to fight against numerous illnesses and symptoms that may include nausea and upset stomach. If, or when you feel nauseous and you’re tempted to get your hands on a cigarette, keep some ginger nearby. You can have it in capsules, tablets or old-fashioned ginger tea.

References:

  1. What are the Health Risks of Smoking – NHS
  2. Health Effects of Smoking – CDC
  3. Be Tobacco Free – HHS
  4. Stop Smoking without Putting on Weight – NSH

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