Smoke Free Blog

Tips on how to quit smoking

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Health, Diet and Dopamine for the Non-Smoker

Tired? Depressed? Feeling in need of something extra when you quit smoking?

When you quit smoking your body is going to be affected by various changes. Since your brain and your body are now no longer getting the regular fix of nicotine you will feel a little different for a few days.

This is the period that most people fail in their attempts and start smoking again. It has nothing to do with willpower or your own desire to stop smoking but your body trying to adapt to your new life.

Do not worry! This is perfectly normal and these minimal effects will be different for everyone. It is not a painful experience. Your body just needs to readjust to the new you.

One of the major factors involved in quitting smoking is the lower levels of dopamine that your body will produce. Dopamine is a natural neurotransmitter and nicotine increases the levels of dopamine in your body. This is what makes you feel good when you smoke. Food has a similar effect, hence the reason why some people start to eat more when they quit smoking.

The function of dopamine in the body is deals mainly with your pleasure and happiness. Lower levels of dopamine can be seen in depression, lethargy and poor attention. When you stop smoking cigarettes, you may feel some of these symptoms. Do not worry. This is perfectly normal.

Low levels of dopamine can also occur with stress, poor nutrition, poor sleep, alcohol, caffeine and sugar. When you become a non-smoker, you should try to avoid caffeine and alcohol for a while.

Stress. There is that word again that is so associated with smoking. Remember that any increased stress you feel is because your body wants dopamine and, more importantly, a cigarette. Do not give in. You have come so far already!

How is your diet right now? What are you eating? Do not, under any circumstances, start eating more because you think that it is a substitute for cigarettes. This will not work. Avoid caffeine and foods containing too much sugar, saturated fats and high cholesterol.

Now is a really good time to eat more fruit. The natural sugars in fruit will help your body adjust to the new non-smoking you. Fruit and vegetables will help with protecting your body from free radical damage. Antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin E are good for you right now. Buying some food supplements will help as well.

Eating natural foods and, especially, some nuts will help with your dopamine levels. Almonds, avocados, bananas, dairy products, lima beans, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds are all good foods for increased dopamine levels and this will be a lot better for you than nicotine ever was.

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Ways to Quit Smoking Cigarettes

If a person spent a dollar for every time he said that he will find ways to quit smoking cigarettes, then he would have probably earned enough to buy a new cellular phone. Kidding aside, smoking has already grown from being a bad habit into an addiction. A significant number of people rely on smoking for many reasons, and they stick to their routine despite knowing that cigarettes actually kill them slowly. Over the years, there have been many campaigns that aim to effectively convince people to stop and find effective ways to quit smoking cigarettes.

Some stories are successful while most result to failure and relapse. Therefore as expected, the cases of deaths and chronic diseases continue to increase nowadays. Coupled with sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition, people turn out living unhealthy lives. Over time, more and more people get addicted to coffee. And usually is it too late when they decide to quit for real. Many consider quitting a tough decision.

However, it is actually one that can save your life. And it can also save the people around you. Over the years, there have been numerous campaigns and information drives about quitting. However, here are some of the ways to quit smoking cigarettes – for good!

There Are Two Ways to Quit Smoking Cigarettes

The first one is the gradual decrease of smoking over time. This means that as time goes on, you smoke one less cigarette each day. Over time, you begin to smoke less and less until you have no more to smoke. This may seem effective but actually, it is not. First, the process or gradually stopping implies that you will still continue to smoke for a period of time. Therefore, you are still exposed to as much risks as you will still be getting the bad effects of the cigarette since technically, you have not stopped at all. Second, this method is more prone to relapse. Since you will have the mentality that you will be smoking less each day, it is easier for you to give in to temptation because you may think that you can do better the following day.

The second and more effective ways to quit smoking cigarettes is called the “cold turkey”. This method involves the sudden stopping of smoking. It is true that it will require more effort since it is harder to stop at once. However, there are less chances of relapse when quitting is performed this way. Furthermore, you begin to reap the rewards of quitting immediately. In fact, studies have shown that people who quit smoking experience better blood flow and lung activity within minutes of now taking cigarettes. Therefore, stopping right now will truly help you and your body.

Quit Smoking Cigarettes

Other Ways to Quit Smoking Cigarettes:

Make It a Group Decision

One of the most effective ways to quit smoking cigarettes is to make it a group decision. Most of the time, a person will have smoking buddies. These are the people that he would chat or spend quality time with while smoking cigarettes. Cigarette smoking is not only a habit for some people as it is also a method of socializing. Similar to drinking alcohol, cigarette smoking is another way to fit in. Furthermore, there are many people who smoke when they spend time with a specific group of people such as their families and friends.

Therefore, one on the effective ways to quit smoking cigarettes is by quitting as a group. This is more effective because each one can monitor the performance of each member of the group. Usually, when only one member of the group quits, he or she ends up smoking again when spending time with the group. However, if everyone quits, the group is able to stick to the decision and help each other become healthier people. Read More

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The 5 Benefits of Quitting Smoking Timeline

It’s no surprise for any one that smoking is undoubtedly harmful for one’s health, and for the health of people around them. Most of the harmful effects of smoking come forth in the long term as old age starts to kick in, and a majority of smokers are of the opinion that smoking helps them with digestion and helps in increasing concentration levels and reducing stress. However, 70% of all the “implied” benefits of smoking are psychological and social pressure is another factor that gets people interested in smoking. It may come as a surprise to you that there are around 250 harmful elements in tobacco smoke out of which 69 contribute towards causing cancer. However apart from discussing the harmful effects of smoking we will focus more on the benefits of quitting smoking timeline.

All is not lost

A number of smokers particularly those who have been smoking for a long time think that whatever damage had to be done is done and there won’t be any use in quitting smoking, this is a big misconception and the human body is such that the repair process begins as soon as you take the last dreg of smoke. Just remember it is never too late to stop smoking and if a person really wants then they can quit the habit and start making their life healthy again.

Benefits of Quitting Smoking Timeline #1 – The First Smoke Free Week

This might be the most difficult phase for a lot of people, as when your nicotine levels will start to decrease you will feel impatience, you will become prone to being irritated quickly and you might get angry more easily. Your body however will love this new change and in less than an hour you will notice that your blood pressure will decrease, the pulse rate will drop and your hands and feet will feel warm. The process of your body going back to normal will have begun. Soon enough the oxygen levels in your body will increase as well and the carbon monoxide levels will decrease as well. After a day or so your ability to smell and taste will have shown a noticeable improvement and you will enjoy food like never before. You may not notice all of this during this week since you will be dealing with a lot of other distracting things but as you will settle in with this change you will start noticing all benefits of quitting smoking timeline.

Benefits of Quitting Smoking

Benefits of Quitting Smoking Timeline #2 – Three Months and Counting

Consider this an achievement and treat yourself to something good (does not mean you go ahead and have a tobacco related product) when you reach this milestone. By now your lungs will have started to heal themselves and there will have been a lot of tissue repair which will make breathing easy and you won’t be huffing and puffing as much as you did before. Other than this your blood circulation will get better and you will start noticing how healthy you feel, and this is the point when you actually start feeling the benefits of quitting smoking timeline.

Benefits of Quitting Smoking Timeline #3 – Month Nine of Staying Away From Tobacco

By now the benefits of quitting smoking timeline would be quite evident and if your body could thank you, it would! And in a way it will as well, you will experience a reduction fatigue, you will be more fresh and active without having to rely on anything and you will be able to handle everyday tasks with much ease. Throat problems will be a lot less and you will have to deal with very little congestion and you will notice yourself that you won’t be coughing that often as compared with before. You should surely be thankful for the benefits of quitting smoking timeline.

Benefits of Quitting Smoking Timeline #4 – The whole one Year

A whole smoke free year might have seemed like eternity, but from now on you will hardly look back and it will all be easy and the benefits of quitting smoking timeline will have progressed towards reducing the risks of various diseases related to tobacco smoke. You will have a 30% less risk of developing heart diseases since most of them are linked to smoking because of reduced oxygen and increased blood pressure. Your teeth and gums will also show improvement and no longer will you have to worry about yellowing teeth or have black lips which are one of those things you notice in most smokers, the benefits of quitting smoking timeline should now be really set in your life. Read More

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What to Expect When You Decide to Quit Smoking: Common Withdrawal Symptoms of Quitting Smoking

Many smokers have no idea what to expect when they decide to quit smoking. Going off nicotine is stressful enough on its own. Adding the physical and emotional symptoms of quitting smoking makes it even more challenging. It is essential to get prepared for the reactions that are likely when you quit smoking. Knowing how your body will respond can help you keep motivated about the decision, without experiencing the harsh consequences of the symptoms of quitting smoking.

The symptoms of quitting smoking are mostly connected to the so-called nicotine withdrawal syndrome. Each person experiences unique discomfort and side effects when quitting smoking. Those quitting smoking side effects can be mildly annoying or especially difficult to cope with. Summing up the experiences of all former smokers is a difficult task, since some individuals report a number of quite unusual side effects connected to their nicotine withdrawal. One thing is certain – quitting smoking can be an exceptionally challenging task. Still, the right kind of motivation and emotional state will help you overcome the hurdles connected to the first few weeks after you quit smoking.

Symptoms of Quitting Smoking #1: Respiratory Symptoms

Naturally, the lungs and the respiratory system are most affected by smoking, especially if the nicotine addition has been ongoing for many years. Once you decide to quit smoking, the lungs will begin repairing themselves and getting rid of all the toxins accumulated inside the tissue. The result will be quitting smoking symptoms that resemble flu or a respiratory disease like bronchitis. In order to remove all of the accumulated tars and toxins, the smoker is likely to cough up phlegm. Very often, ex-smokers will experience shortness of breath and chest tightness in the first weeks of quitting smoking. The coughing may get so intense that it may even cause chest pain. A sore throat and stuffy nose may also feature among the symptoms of quitting smoking soon after that final cigarette. These symptoms of quitting smoking are something normal. They will last for several weeks until the lungs undergo their repair process.

Symptoms of Quitting Smoking #2: Mouth Ulcers and Bleeding Gums

Mouth ulcers rank high among the popular symptoms of quitting smoking. The problem with this quitting smoking side effect is that the ulcers can be exceptionally painful and difficult to cope with. The ulcers appear most commonly in the case of people using nicotine gum in their attempts to quit smoking. Most researchers believe that the absorption of nicotine in this form could be responsible for the appearance of the painful sores in the mouth. Vitamins and topical treatments applied to the ulcers can minimize the pain experienced as a result of this quit smoking withdrawal symptom. Gum bleeding is another typical side effect of quitting smoking, as well. This problem can be overcome through an increased intake of vitamin C supplements or foods rich in vitamin C like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, tangerines, kiwis and tomatoes.

Symptoms of Quitting Smoking #3: Nausea, Heartburn, Weight Gain and Diarrhea

It turns out that the symptoms of quitting smoking can affect the digestive system, as well. Though the number of ex-smokers who experience such problems is smaller, these quitting smoking side effects should not be underestimated. When you quit smoking, you are likely to experience nausea due to the sudden decrease in the amount of nicotine the body gets. The good news is that the nicotine withdrawal symptom will last solely several days. Heartburn appears occasionally, as well, though researchers have no explanation of this symptom or whether it is connected to a specific method of quitting smoking. Diarrhea may be another digestive symptom experienced by those who try to quit smoking, regardless of the method. These digestive symptoms are somehow uncommon but many people who try to quit smoking will report weight gain as one of the most common side effects that are unconnected to the respiratory system. Nicotine has been recognized as an appetite suppressant. In addition, many smokers will need to chew on something like candies, crackers or chocolate in order to resist the temptation to light a cigarette. Exercising more often and decreasing the amount of food as the cravings start to subside can help you cope with the weight gain. Read More

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Fallen Off the Quit Smoking Train – Here’s How to Get Back On!

Quitting smoking is hard, but you didn’t need us to say that to you. It’s hard because of all of the chemicals found in a single cigarette. Those chemicals work together to send a lot of signals to the brain at once. Over time, the brain gets addicted to that rush of signals, and it’s very hard to break the addiction. You might see other people that can start and stop smoking and think “Hey, I could do that!” Really, you can’t — and these people that tell you that they can give up smoking whenever they want are generally very light smokers that have not been smoking for a long time. If you really want to beat your smoking habit for good, you need to make sure that you don’t try to pick it up again. You will ruin your odds of getting over the addiction if you do this.

So, where do you go from here? You might be asking yourself that and feeling pretty ashamed of going back to those cigarettes. Don’t do that to yourself — if you shame yourself into anything, you’ll carry around too much guilt. Many smokers have to try to quit several times before they’re actually successful.

What you need to do is find a path to quitting smoking that works for you. We definitely recommend using e-cigarettes in order to get you in the right frame of mind. If you use e-cigarettes, you have a choice between going with the ones that have nicotine and the ones that don’t. The non-nicotine ones give you the pleasure of putting something to your lips and the sensation of a very fine vapor coming out. There is no smoke and no flame, so they are permissible in places that you normally couldn’t smoke at. Being able to smoke virtually everywhere is definitely a pleasant surprise — which is why e-cigarettes are so popular!

If you don’t want to go down this path, you might want to explore the more psychological side of why it’s so difficult for you to quit smoking. Many former smokers never realized that they have so much that determines their own path into smoking, always just assuming that there wasn’t really anything wrong with them at all. However, journaling can reveal to you exactly why you became a smoker, and any emotions that you assign to smoking. Does smoking make you feel good after a long day at work? You might want to try to switch to physical activity instead. You can get the same type of rush through working out without the harmful aftereffects of smoking. Read More