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Tobacco is a serious public health problem in the world and is the single largest cause of preventable disease, disability, and premature death in our country. The World Health Organisation estimates that 8 million people currently die each year as a result of smoking. In this article we will look at the best way to quit smoking.

There is a drug in tobacco: nicotine. This substance is addictive and toxic. It is absorbed through the respiratory tract and, in less than 10 seconds, reaches the brain. Hence its addictive potential, its speed of action, and its power as an enhancer. It acts on the nervous, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, and neuromuscular systems. Another important component of cigarettes is tar, which is produced in the combustion of cigarette paper and tobacco. It is responsible for some respiratory diseases as well as various cancers (including lung cancer). Carbon monoxide also comes from cigarette combustion. In the lungs, it combines with hemoglobin to form a compound that prevents oxygen from binding to red blood cells, limiting proper oxygenation of the body. It plays an important role in the production of acute myocardial infarction, arteriosclerosis, and some chronic respiratory diseases.ngs.

Why Stop Smoking?

Cigarette pinned to tag with question mark on it for what is the best way to quit smoking

These are the diseases most commonly caused by tobacco use:

Cancer: the substances found in tobacco frequently cause cancer, such as lung cancer, cancer of the lips or tongue, throat cancer, and the lesser-known but equally devastating oesophageal and bladder cancer.

Cholesterol problems: tobacco produces what is known as bad cholesterol in our bodies.

Powerful addiction: addiction is considered a disease. Nicotine addiction is even ranked ahead of alcohol, heroin, and cocaine in terms of the seriousness of its use.

Heart and blood vessel diseases: clogged arteries are the cause of heart attacks, strokes, cardiac crises, coronary angina.

Heart disorders: nicotine can aggravate heart rhythm disorders.

Insomnia: like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant and therefore prevents people who already suffer from insomnia from sleeping well.

Bronchitis and emphysema: direct consequences of smoking.

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: causes heartburn.

Peripheral vascular disease: poor circulation in the arteries of the legs and therefore blockage.

Diabetes: very aggravating factor in this type of disease.

Erectile dysfunction

Degeneration of the retina: risk of losing sight.

Problems during pregnancy: increased risk of miscarriage, placental abnormalities, hemorrhage. After pregnancy, sudden infant death syndrome, decreased quantity and quality of breast milk.

The Best Way to Quit Smoking According to Science

A cartoon "cold-turkey" to show the best way to quit smoking

Smoking less and less, using nicotine patches, resorting to medication, going cold-turkey; which is the best way to quit smoking? There are different alternatives for those who want to quit this dangerous habit. However, stopping smoking abruptly is the most likely way to lead to lasting abstinence, rather than cutting down, even for smokers who initially preferred to quit by gradual reduction. An Oxford University study investigated a total of 700 cases in England. All participants in the analysis smoked at least 15 cigarettes per day and wanted to quit.

A common goal was set for all: to quit smoking within two weeks. They were divided into two groups: one group was to continue smoking normally until the day they were to cut out cigarettes. The other was to reduce their consumption over the 14 days gradually. All participants were offered counseling and nicotine replacement products of their choice. At the end of those two weeks, all 700 smokers became ex-smokers. The medical team then measured their progress for four weeks and at six months. Those who quit cold turkey had 25% better results than the group that reduced gradually. Overall, 49% of the quitting group succeeded, compared to 39% of the tapering group. In the final control, half a year later, the trend continued: 22% of the overnight quitters had not returned to smoking, while 15% of the gradual quitters remained nicotine-free. Based on the results of the study going cold-turkey had the best results and therefore is the best way to quit smoking!

After Quitting

A doctor  giving a thumbs standing beside a stop smoking benefits sign

12 hours later: Circulating nicotine in the blood disappears, and carbon monoxide levels normalize.

Three days later: Blood pressure and heart rate are regularised in people with cardiopathies. You may not be able to concentrate on even the simplest activities.

One week later: You start to notice improvements such as the disappearance of coughing and choking on acute exertion. The anxiety has not gone, but it is less and less.

Eight weeks later: The cilia lining the bronchial tree once again prevent germs from entering the body: respiratory infections and psychological dependence decrease.

Six months later: The worst moments are behind us: psychological dependence is practically non-existent, circulation and respiratory function are in good condition.

One year later: The risk of coronary heart disease is already 50% lower than in smokers. The respiratory improvement is more than evident.

Five years later: The risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder has halved.

Ten years later: The risk of lung cancer is half of what it was when I smoked. Your risk of pancreatic and laryngeal cancer is also down. Your body gives you a break.

15 years later: You will feel as if you never started smoking. Your risk of heart disease will be equivalent to that of those who have never lit a cigarette.