Health hazards associated with smoking include chronic lung and airways disease, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts in the eye, gastrointestinal disease, circulation problems, harm to the fetus of pregnant smokers, harm to family through passive smoking, and premature ageing of the skin.
Most people are aware of the hazards of smoking through advertising, public awareness campaigns and often peer pressure. They are probably ‘told’ these facts often. Family and/or friends may have tried confrontation, bribery or punishment! However, you will give up smoking only when you have made up your mind to do so. When this happens, smoking cessation products and plenty of support from others can help.
If you suddenly stop smoking, the addiction to nicotine can cause severe cravings and other withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, restlessness and loss of concentration.
Methods to help you give up smoking include:
- nicotine replacement therapy;
- tablets to help reduce your dependence on nicotine (e.g. Zyban, Champix);
- hypnosis; and
Giving up smoking may take a number of attempts, but this is normal. If one method of giving up doesn’t work, there are others that can be tried which may be better for you.