Smoking – The Truth
Smoking used to be considered cool. There was a time when everyone seemed to smoke and every celebrity, world figure and film star could be seen sporting a lit cigarette. Smoking as a recreation has been practiced in the UK since Elizabethan times, however as the 20th century progressed advances in medical science and research have proven contact with tobacco and cigarette smoking in particular is probably the greatest single cause of death in the UK and the world.
A cigarette contains a cocktail of deadly toxins:
- Nicotine is the drug that creates the addiction to smoking. Nicotine stimulates the brain so when smokers attempt to quit withdrawal from this substance creates intense cravings, headaches and increased anxiety.
- Tar is the residue that clogs your lungs before spreading 4,000 chemicals including 50 carcinogens (cancer causing agents) throughout your system.
- Carbon monoxide is the gas that affects the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. This means your body won’t get the oxygen it needs while you’re smoking. This in turn will lead to shortness of breath, low energy levels and poor circulation.
Smoking greatly increases the risk of developing the following diseases and health conditions:
- Lung cancer – more than 8 out of 10 cases of lung cancer can be directly linked to smoking.
- Other cancers – include cancer of the mouth, nose, throat, blood, cervix and pancreas.
- Heart disease – now considered the UK’s biggest killer, around 1 in 6 cases are caused by smoking.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – as with lung cancer, 8 out of 10 cases of this ghastly lung disease are attributable to smoking.
- Infertility – often a surprise this one. Smoking can damage fertility in both men and women and decrease the chances of conception.
- Gum Disease – Smoking not only stains teeth but also leads to permanent tooth loss through gum disease.
Other smoking related statistics:
- Approximately 100,00 people die every year in the UK from smoking related illnesses.
- Smoking is responsible for more than 5 million deaths worldwide each year.
- Approximately 17,000 children under the age of 5 are admitted to hospital each year with passive smoking related illnesses.
- Roughly half of all smokers die prematurely due to smoking related diseases.
- Life expectancy of smokers is about 10 years less than that of non-smokers.
- Most smoking related deaths are long and painful with many unpleasant symptoms.
Benefits of stopping smoking
Never too late to stop!
It is important to remember that it is never too late to stop smoking. The sooner you kick the habit the quicker your body will begin the process of recovery, and the risk of you developing life threatening diseases will decrease.
Increased life expectancy
If you quit by the age of 30 you could increase your life expectancy by 10 years! Even if you are in your 60’s you could add 3 years onto your life. However it is important to note that quality is always more important than quantity. Quitting is going to make you look and feel better for longer too. Healthy, problem free years are better years!
Stopping smoking lowers the carbon monoxide levels in the blood, allowing your lungs and muscles to work the way they should. The subsequent increase in oxygen to the brain will make you feel more awake, alert and energised. You will also find it easier to relax and sleep better than before.
When you stop smoking your immune system gets a boost. You will pick up less illnesses, be less susceptible to colds and flu, and generally feel healthier.
Giving up smoking will help you to breathe more easily and should increase lung capacity by as much as 10% You will find you can climb stairs and exercise without gasping for breath. You will also get rid of that smoker’s cough, and any other breathing difficulties should improve.
Smokers often reach for a cigarette when they are feeling stressed and need to relax. However, nicotine is a stimulant and increases stress levels in the long term! Ex-smokers discover they become less stressed than when they smoked.
Smoking prematurely ages the skin making it dry and prone to wrinkles. Ex-smokers find they look and feel better than before. Their skin and teeth look better and their complexion improves with their health.
Rediscover taste and smell
Smoking dulls the sense of taste and smell making eating and drinking less enjoyable. Quitting brings these senses back to life again. Quitting helps you to experience the sense of taste and smell like you used to. Quitting adds that extra dimension of pleasure back into your life.
Protect your loved ones
Research shows that passive smoking can be as harmful as smoking itself. By not smoking around your friends, family, and children in particular you will be reducing their risk of developing potentially fatal smoking related conditions.
If you have smoked 20 cigarettes a day for 10 years you will have spent in excess of £20,000! Every time you are tempted to smoke think about what you could do with that extra money!
Many people find even the thought of giving up daunting. Many more have tried and failed in the past so now believe they haven’t got the will power or what it takes to quit.
There are many different ways you might choose to quit, however hypnotherapy and the use of hypnosis have proven to be amongst the most successful. A few sessions of hypnotherapy can help increase your motivation, and perhaps even more importantly help you to think and feel like a non smoker. A big part of quitting is letting go of the habit, rather than the addiction, which can be dealt with fairly quickly and easily. Smokers develop many rituals and routines around their habit, which are frequently the thing they cling onto most. Familiarity is comforting whereas change can be a bit scary. As is the fear of missing out on or replacing the comfort this deadly habit used to bring.
Hypnotherapy works by putting you into a deeply relaxed state where you are more open to suggestion. Some people need a little practice letting go and relaxing deeply and completely. However everyone can be hypnotised and it is not only completely safe but also a relaxing and pleasant experience. Many people say it is like ‘massage for the mind.’
While you are in a deeply relaxed trance state suggestions will be made such as: “You are a non smoker; you have no interest in smoking;” “You dislike intensely the taste and smell of cigarettes;” “From now on your goal is good health and you will do everything possible to achieve this…” Because you are in trance your subconscious finds these suggestions more easy to accept and so they are less likely to be rejected.
For more information about how hypnotherapy could help you to stop smoking, or to book an appointment, please contact me now.