To say smoking is bad for you is an understatement. Studies have proven that smoking damages every organ in the body. It is linked to numerous serious health conditions and is responsible for millions of deaths every year. In fact, more people die each year from smoking than from HIV, illegal drugs, alcohol, automobile accidents, suicides and murders combined.
Smoking Causes Millions of Deaths each Year Worldwide
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) says that every year in the U.S. smoking causes 440,000 deaths, with 49,000 of those deaths caused by second-hand smoke. This equates to about one in every five deaths annually in America.
Worldwide, the number of smoking-related deaths goes up to an estimated 5 million per year. Based on current trends, the CDC expects that tobacco will be responsible for more than 8 million deaths each year by 2030.
And for every person who dies from a smoking-related health condition, there are 20 more people who suffer from at least one serious smoking-related condition. Worldwide, the CDC says on average smokers cut their lives short by 10 years compared to non-smokers.
This is especially disconcerting when you consider that tobacco use is “the leading preventable cause of death.” In other words, all these deaths could be prevented if people just didn’t smoke.
A Shocking 4000+ Chemicals are in Tobacco with 50 of them Known Carcinogens
In what should be their “golden years,” many long-term smokers end up suffering debilitating health conditions in their final years, all as a result of poisoning their bodies for yeas or even decades with the more than 4,000 chemicals in every puff of smoke. Some of the most disturbing chemicals on the list include:
- Arsenic (a rat poison);
- Formaldehyde (an embalming fluid);
- Ammonia (a toilet cleaner);
- Carbon monoxide (or CO; the same poisonous and potentially lethal gas in exhaust fumes);
- Acetone (a nail polish remover);
- Benzene (a petrol additive);
- Hydrogen cyanide (the poisonous gas used in gas chambers); and
- Nicotine, a highly addictive drug that is also used as an insecticide.
It’s unfathomable to think there are at least 3,991 more chemicals on this list. And what’s even more unfathomable is that with every puff of a cigarette, smokers unwittingly put these chemicals directly into their lungs and, thereby, into their bloodstreams where the poisons are circulated throughout their entire bodies.
Despite these startling facts, the CDC reports that in 2011, nearly one-fifth of U.S. adults were smokers, which means about 43.8 million people light up every day.
The good news is that you don’t have to be one of these statistics. If you’re a smoker, you have the power to quit, and there is no better time to quit than now.
The CDC says that about 1.3 million Americans successfully quit smoking every year, and you can be one of them.
Of course, it’s not easy to overcome the psychological and physiological effects of being a smoker. That’s why it’s important to prepare yourself and make sure you have the support system in place that you’ll need. Studies have shown that people who have help quitting improve their chances of success. Your support system can include friends and family, co-workers, counselors, non-smokers and other people trying to quit, smoking cessation programs, etc. The more support you have, the better odds you’ll have at giving up cigarettes permanently.
Smoking cessation experts have narrowed down the best quitting strategies to these five basic steps for how to quit smoking for good:
- Pick a “quit date”: Obviously, choosing a date to begin your new smoke-free lifestyle is the first step. So pick a date and then stick to it. Choose a date a week or two in the future so you can gear up mentally for the challenge. Some people like to have their “quit date” coincide with a special holiday or occasion, such as New Year’s Day, a birthday or anniversary. Quitting will just give you one more reason to celebrate the special occasion.
- Tell people you are quitting: Announce to friends, family and co-workers that you’re quitting and ask for their support and encouragement. If you’d rather not involve your inner circle of friends and family, you can reach out to support groups, seek counseling, or contact a smoking cessation program. If you’d rather remain anonymous, you can call a support hotline such as 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
- Expect & prepare for challenges: You are bound to have good days and bad days, so be ready for the bad ones so you won’t get derailed from your program. Before you quit, be cognizant of when you routinely take smoking breaks and when you experience cravings. Also, be aware of any triggers that give you the urge to light up. Being mindful of these things can help control temptations and stop yourself before you bum a cigarette from someone and get off track. The first few weeks and up to the first few months are typically the most difficult, so come up with ways to handle your cravings and temptations, whether it’s calling a non-smoking buddy for words of encouragement or jumping on the treadmill every time you get the urge to smoke. Everyone is different so find what works for you and stick with it. If you happen to relapse, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just get right back on your program and don’t give up. “Stick-to-it-iveness” and staying positive are key.
- Create a smoke-free environment: Before you quit, prepare your smoke-free environment by getting rid of all signs of tobacco in your home, car and office. Toss out all your cigarettes (no cheating by keeping an “emergency” stash) and lighters, wash all your clothes and bedding, clean your carpets, clean the ashtrays in your car (and maybe put an air freshener in there while you’re at it?), etc. The point is to get rid of the smell and anything that may tempt you to smoke.
- Consult with a Health Care Practitioner: Talk to your physician for advice on how to quit smoking. Quitting “cold turkey” can be difficult, so perhaps your doctor can offer some recommendations on how to quit smoking successfully and tell you about any other options.
These are just the first steps on how to stop smoking and begin your new, smoke-free life. Ultimately, you will feel better, look better, smell better, save money, and you’ll have more free time to do other things instead of burning up (no pun) your time smoking. An added benefit is that you won’t be subjecting your loved ones to second-hand smoke, so they will enjoy all the same benefits of a smoke-free environment as you do. In addition, you’ll set a healthier example and be a better role model for your children and others who look up to you.
How to Quit Smoking the Natural Way
For the all-natural, herbal way to quit smoking that is free of chemicals and medications, a great program to try is Healthy Choice Naturals Kick Your Nic! 7-Day Stop-Smoking Kit. With this program, kicking the habit has never been easier or healthier.
The Kick Your Nic! 7-Day Stop-Smoking Kit incorporates 4 herbal formulas that contain all the supportive vitamins, herbs and nutrients that your body needs to overcome cravings, eliminate toxins, control new temptations, and quell physical urges to smoke. The Kick Your Nic! Kit is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee, so if you’re not completely satisfied with your results, you’ll get your money back. So, no more excuses! Don’t put off quitting any longer. You have nothing to lose except your smoking habit!
For more information about the Kick Your Nic! Program, go to http://shop.healthychoicenaturals.com/Kick-Your-Nic-Quit-Smoking-Naturally-p/kick.htm.