When we think of smoking we automatically think lung cancer. But smoking can actually cause a wide range of debilitating and potentially fatal diseases such as pneumonia, emphysema, chronic obstructive lung disease and bronchitis. Several other types of cancer have also been closely linked with smoking, including pancreatic, nose, mouth, bladder, cervix and kidney cancers.
The good news is that if you stop early enough, your health will immediately begin to improve, and your body start to recover.
Ditching the smoking habit is not only imperative for a longer and healthier life, but it can protect your family and loved ones from the harmful effects of your actions, too. Things like passive smoking while pregnant and smoking in front of your children are all reasons why you should stub out the habit now.
Will I be able to quit? Put out your worries now
"I don't think I'm strong enough to quit."
Try to approach quitting with a positive attitude. Think of it as starting a new and healthier chapter of your life. You can set yourself up for success by picking a day that you are least likely to encounter temptations and using that as a starting point. For example, many people associate smoking with alcohol and therefore find it easier to give up on a Monday when they won't be going out and consuming alcohol.
"What if I smoke again?"
Just because you've veered off course before, does not mean you have failed. If you do smoke a cigarette, stop again immediately after. Try to distract yourself from temptation and avoid places and activities you previously associated with smoking. Relapsing is not the same as failure; so do not take it as an excuse to give up.
There is so much help and support readily available, more people than ever before are finding it possible to quit. If you have been unsuccessful in previous attempts to give up smoking, now might be the time to try a different method. If you have previously used Nicotine Replacement Treatments (NRTs), then perhaps it is time you considered a stop smoking medication from your pharmacist.
"I've been smoking for years, is there any point in giving up now?"
YES. ABSOLUTELY! The body's powers of recovery are impressive. Liver, lungs, blood pressure and heart rate can all return to healthy levels given time and a healthy, smoke-free lifestyle. After one year of not smoking, your risk of heart attack reduces by half, and after five years your risk of stroke is that of someone who has never smoked.