It’s World No Tobacco Day on the 31st of May and the perfect opportunity to consider snuffing out those smokes for good! Despite the knowledge that smoking is responsible for causing and worsening a number of nasty diseases, including cancer and emphysema, there are 6 321 000 adult and 55 000 children (aged between 10 and 14) smokers in South Africa.
Why You’d Want to Quit
A recent study included in the New England Journal of Medicine has demonstrated that smoking cigarettes is almost certain to knock at least 10 years off of your lifespan. Smoking is also known to cause about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths.
Smokers are twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease and to suffer from a stroke when compared to non-smokers. In short, smoking has a huge negative effect on your health and well-being in general.
The great news is that you’ll reap almost immediate rewards the minute you decide to quit. After just 20 minutes of not smoking, your heart rate and blood pressure begin to drop. After 12 hours, the carbon monoxide levels in your bloodstream normalise, and after just two weeks of kicking the habit, your circulation and overall lung function will start to improve dramatically. Your risk of suffering a heart attack also slowly starts to decline.
How to Quit Smoking
There’s no one size fits all when it comes to quitting smoking. Even if a friend of yours swears by nicotine gum, and a family member claims that she owes her success to acupuncture, you may find that you fare better by simply going ‘cold turkey’ or signing up for hypnosis sessions. Everyone is different! It’s all about trial and error and, most importantly, constantly reminding yourself of the reasons why you want to quit.
It’s also definitely worthwhile to join CANSA’s free online eKickButt programme which supplies a series of handy tools – tried and tested – to help you quit for good. If you’re looking for support and guidance, it’s a great idea to call the National Council Against Smoking (NCAS) QUIT Line: 011 720 3145 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you managed to kick the habit? Please be sure to share your story and tips with other students hoping to quit on our Facebook page!