About one in 5 Americans are smokers and about 80 per cent of smokers say they would like to quit smoking. When you try to quit smoking it isn’t easy though. Many try more than one smoking cessation method before they actually quit for good.
Most smokers don’t have to search far for a reason to try to quit smoking. Their family, friends and the media bombard them with enough reasons to butt out. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that cigarette smoking is responsible for over 400,000 deaths each year in the United States. Smoking causes about 90 per cent of all lung cancer deaths in men and 30 per cent of all lung cancer deaths in women.
Aside from the obvious health reasons, many people want to quit smoking to save money, save the environment, to eliminate the foul odor, as well as the unsightly yellow fingers and teeth they have as a result of nicotine.
Just as cigarettes are big business so is smoking cessation so people who are trying to quit have to plan carefully, which brings us to the first thing that will not help you in your quest to quit smoking…poor or little planning. Smoking cessation experts say the first step is to decide when and how you will attempt to quit. For instance, don’t plan on quitting during a busy or stressful time in your life. When people do this, they are just setting themselves up for a fall. Once you have a time period in mind you can figure out how you will go about quitting.
The support system you have is also important. Research shows that people who don’t have a good support system around them find it more difficult to quit smoking. If you plan to try to quit smoking talk to your family and close friends first to see what kind of encouragement and support they will give you.
Smoking researchers have discovered that if you cheat within the first two weeks of experiencing withdrawal symptoms, it guarantees you will start smoking again within the next 6 months. Still studies show that attempts to quit smoking are never a waste of time. The amount of smoking is reduced when you make an attempt and people who keep on trying have a 50-50 chance of actually quitting for good.
It is important to keep in mind that while there are many smoking cessation methods, not all of them are fool-proof. Electronic cigarettes are designed to deliver nicotine in vapor form. This vapor is inhaled by the user. Some manufacturers promote the e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking; however, the U.S Food and Drug Administration have not approved the device as a smoking cessation aid. The FDA calls the manufacturing process for the e-cigarettes “substandard”.
While some people have said that acupuncture and laser therapy are good ways to quit smoking, there doesn’t appear to be enough scientific evidence to support either of these methods. A study in Singapore involving over 300 participants exposed to laser treatment found no difference in quitting rates and a similar study in the United Kingdom found minimal results.
Acupuncture is said to lessen the withdrawal symptoms of smoking cessation. Many people have tried this treatment for quitting and say they have been successful, yet medical reviews indicate there isn’t enough consistent evidence to call acupuncture a sure-fire method. Medical experts do admit it has possibilities and warrants further investigation.
According to the Cancer Control Institute in Australia a comprehensive study shows that even when people fail at their attempts to quit smoking, they tend to be better off. Researchers discovered that the majority of those who have tried smoking cessation methods end up smoking less following failed attempts. Change in consumption can make a difference in your health and the health of those around you.
Related Reading: Can e-cigarettes really help you stop smoking?