Medically Reviewed by Dr. K.on May 18, 2022.
Smoking and Heart Disease
You're probably aware that smoke is harmful to your lungs. Did you realize that it increases the chances of developing high blood pressure and heart disease?
Nicotine in cigarette smoke is a major contributor to the problem. It elevates your blood pressure and heart rate, narrows and hardens your arteries, and allows your blood to be more prone to clotting. It puts a strain on your heart and puts you at risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Make stopping smoking your top health priority if you smoke. It has the potential to save your life. Are you a nonsmoker? Keep in mind that secondhand smoking is still dangerous.
How to Quit Smoking
You should plan ahead and get support. To get started, consider the following suggestions:
- Set a date to quit smoking. It's something you should tell the doctor about.
- Make a list of reasons why you want to quit. Every day, go through the list.
- Take note of what makes you want to smoke. Only under specific situations? For a specific group of people? When you experience certain emotions?
- Make a list of various activities instead of smoking. Save it to your phone so you can access it quickly.
- Consult your doctor about nicotine patches or gum. They are helpful to some people.
- Participate in a quit-smoking support group or programme. Your doctor can guide you to more information.
- Do not bring lighters, matchsticks, or tobacco with you. All of these reminders should be kept out of sight.
- Do you share your home with a smoker? Request that they refrain from smoking in your presence.
- Don't get caught up with what you've given up. Consider how much better you'll be.
- Take a deep breath when you feel the urge to smoke. Hold it for a few moments before finally exhaling. Repeat this process before the desire to smoke has passed.
- Have your hands occupied at all times. Play with a pencil or a straw, drum on the dashboard of your vehicle, or browse down your phone.
- Instead of a smoke break, go for a stroll or read a novel.
- Stop environments, individuals, and circumstances that cause you want to smoke wherever possible.
- Eat low-calorie snacks (such as carrot or celery sticks, or sugar-free hard candies) or chew sugar-free gum while you want cigarettes.
- Limit alcoholic and caffeine-containing beverages. They will make you want to smoke.
- Exercising is essential. It's a fantastic way to unwind. Before you quit, you may want to start a wellness regimen.
- Obtain support. Make it clear to you that your intention is to get out of the habit.
- Have a consultation with your doctor that includes over-the-counter or prescribed nicotine replacement products.
How Will I Feel When I Quit?
It's difficult at first. You'll definitely crave cigarettes, be irritable, feel hungrier than usual, cough often, get headaches, or have difficulty focusing. These are all nicotine withdrawal symptoms. They are all normal symptoms you will experience. It's at its peak when you first quit, and it'll pass in 10 to 14 days.
Work to maintain control over the first few days. Consider your objective. Remind yourself that these are indications that your body is adapting to your current smoke-free lifestyle and recovery.
The majority of people attempt to quit three times before succeeding. Keep your head up! When you can confidently claim you used to smoke, it will be worth it.
Referenced on 11/05/2021
- Coverage for Tobacco Use Cessation Treatments – Benefits Summary – Smoking & Tobacco Use. (2014). cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/cessation/coverage/index.htm
- Guide to quitting smoking. (n.d.). cancer.org/Healthy/StayAwayfromTobacco/GuidetoQuittingSmoking/guide-to-quitting-smoking-how-to-quit
- Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking (2016, December 1)
- Understanding nicotine withdrawal. (n.d.)
- American Heart Association: “Smoking: Do You Really Know the Risks?" “How Cigarettes Damage Your Body."
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Are the Risks of Smoking?"