Author: Bob Richard, Registered Respiratory Therapist, Health Management Services, Renown HealthWhen you’re trying to quit smoking, it’s clear the odds are stacked against you. Studies have shown that an addiction to nicotine can be just as strong as an addiction to cocaine or heroin. But just because smoking is hard to quit, doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
Think about the immediate health benefits from quitting smoking. Within 20 minutes of quitting, your heart rate drops to normal levels. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide levels in your blood begin to normalize and lung function improves. Over a period of weeks, months and years, your risk for heart attack significantly drops as well as your risk for a multitude of smoking-related cancers.
Despite the obvious health benefits, it often takes people ten or more attempts to actually quit smoking. The reason it’s so difficult is a combination of the strong physical and mental addiction to nicotine. The symptoms of physical withdrawal can be severe and last about seven days. The mental withdrawal can last even longer and be even more severe for some.
But there is hope. A new drug called Chantix combined with a support program has shown great results in helping people quit smoking. When you’re ready to quit, I recommend you develop a 7-day countdown to stop smoking. Over those seven days, prepare yourself to be a non-smoker:
If you do try to quit and fall off the wagon, don’t give up. Start your process of quitting again right away. You’ll have momentum and experience on your side which will help increase your chance of success.
To learn more about Renown’s Quit Smoking program contact Health Management Services at 775-982-5073.
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