Billions of people around the world are hostages of tobacco dependence, which in people who have never smoked, causes a feeling of disgust and pity. About the dangers of tobacco addiction written tons of articles, conducted hundreds of studies. So why, knowing how harmful a cigarette is, do smokers continue to open the pack again and again and wrap themselves in fumes? Nicotine as a cause of addiction, reasons to stop smoking and what ways to stop smoking exist .
Insidious nicotine networks
A business built on the sale of tobacco is extremely profitable. The reason lies in the cigarette itself. Nicotine, which is contained in each of them in different doses, causes first mental and then physical dependence. Thus, the daily smoking of only 1 cigarette for half a year leads to the formation of persistent craving for nicotine, which is already extremely difficult to overcome. However, this figure is individual: people with a weak sense of will can get into nicotine nets after a few smoked cigarettes.
Nicotine is a substance that dilates blood vessels and causes mild euphoria. This explains the feeling of relaxation and pleasure that smokers describe, and this is what makes them turn again and again to a cigarette pack. Mental dependence on smoking is stronger than from alcohol, but weaker than from narcotic drugs. But, unlike the latter, the purchase and storage of cigarettes are not a crime and are not prohibited by law, which significantly increases the popularity and availability of tobacco.
Why do you need to quit smoking
It is not too late to quit smoking, and even the 30-year experience of nicotine addiction is not a reason to finally give up on your health. Very often one can hear the phrase “The doctor forbids me to quit smoking now, because ….”. Indeed, many smokers would feel an incredible surge of joy from the fact that someone from the representatives of official medicine would approve of their friendship with a cigarette, and, nevertheless, this is not so. There is not a single situation in which it would be worthwhile to continue this destructive and self-destructive occupation, smoking nothing justifies.
What changes will occur in the life of a person who decided to completely abandon cigarettes:
- After half a day in the blood will return to normal levels of carbon dioxide. This means that oxygen in it will be enough for a full life.
- After 3-5 days, the taste in the mouth will regain its freshness, the need to buy chewing gum will disappear and be ashamed of the unpleasant smell.
- After 2-9 weeks, the function of external respiration (the volume of inhaled air) and the work of the cardiovascular system will improve significantly, the potency will become more stable.
- After 3-4 weeks, the agonizing morning cough, shortness of breath, the mucosa of the respiratory tract will become more resistant to infections.
- After 1 year, the risk of heart attack will be halved, and after another one – the risk of stroke will be the same as for non-smokers.
- After 5 years, the risk of cancer of internal organs will significantly decrease, and after 10 years – the probability of oncology of the respiratory tract will be 2 times lower.
It is never too late to quit smoking, however, the sooner this is done, the less problems with age can arise.
How to refuse a cigarette smoker with experience
Indeed, psychic dependence on nicotine develops quickly and manifests itself quite strongly. A man who started smoking in his youth and who, after a few years, who had thrown away, will carry this craving through his life, and his most terrible dream will be that he has again opened a pack of cigarettes. After all, in order to smoke again, it is enough just to go to the nearest supermarket and buy it, which is much easier than getting back to using drugs.
However, the benefits of stopping smoking at any age and with any experience have been convincingly proven by a large number of clinical studies. So where do you start, if it is decided to permanently end the relationship with tobacco?
All methods of quitting can be divided into non-drug and drug.
Drug-free smoking cessation rules
Quitting smoking, in general, is not very difficult – you just need to stop doing it, and it is up to everybody. What are the basic rules will help in this?
- It is necessary to stop smoking at once and completely. Reducing the number of cigarettes smoked per day does not reduce dependence on nicotine, but merely causes the smoker to endure and wait for another cigarette with great desire. If it was decided to smoke a single cigarette before bedtime, then all thoughts of the second half of the day will be occupied so that it ends quickly. Communication with the family, games with children – all this will fade into the background. This is not an option.
- Do not buy cigarettes with a lower content of nicotine and calm yourself down with it. When inhaling a lighter cigarette, the smoker will feel that it is “useless”. As a result, the number of such cigarettes will be more, and the breath itself will become deeper. The amount of nicotine produced will be the same as a result, or even more.
- If one spouse smokes, then the second will be much more difficult to give up cigarettes. A one-time cessation of smoking by both spouses can be the next stage in their lives and only strengthen the relationship.
- Think in advance how you will occupy yourself in those moments that were previously set aside for smoking. Seizing smoke breaks is a common mistake that leads to a quick weight gain after you stop communicating with tobacco. A small charge, a glass of milk or green tea will be much better, you can simply go to the balcony and inhale the fresh air, filling your lungs with it and feeling its freshness.
A narcologist or psychologist who specializes in nicotine addiction can help a person give valuable advice. Particularly effective is teamwork, where several people immediately want to give up nicotine. After all, the feeling that you are not alone sometimes turns out to be much more valuable than all the individual advice.
Quit smoking medications
However, one will power is not enough for everyone. Sometimes, when the whole environment of a person smokes, it is very difficult for him to influence his habit. Especially in those cases when cigarettes are always at home and you can safely take them at any time.
For those who want to quit smoking, but cannot do it on their own, special medication.
- Nicotine replacement therapy.
Its essence lies in taking drugs, which include nicotine. As a result, the dependence is partially satisfied and the need for cigarettes is reduced. A drug Nicorette Available in various dosage forms. Other trade names Nikonorm, Nicotrol, Nicotinell, etc.
Transdermal patch. It is recommended to gradually reduce dependence on nicotine. This is achieved by reducing the dose: at the beginning of the course, it is recommended to apply 1 patch in the morning and remove it after 24 hours (contains 21 mg of nicotine) or at bedtime (contains 15 mg of nicotine). After a month, you can reduce the duration of its use for several hours. After 3-6 months of this treatment, the drug can be completely canceled.
Also, this drug is in the form of a spray, chewing gum (570 rubles for 30 pieces) or chewable tablets. They are recommended to apply at the moment when a person has an irresistible desire to smoke. However, it is imperative that you take into account the maximum allowable daily dose, so as not to develop signs of overdose.
Advantages of the drug: due to the gradual reduction of the dose there is a decrease in dependence on nicotine. The combination of different forms at the same time allows you to maintain a constant concentration of nicotine, which will prevent the need for tobacco.
Cons: many side effects and contraindications (especially for patients with cardiovascular diseases). Cigarette addiction is replaced by drug dependence.
- Nicotinic receptor antagonists.
This group includes drugs such as Champix (varenicline), Tabex (cytisine ), gambazine (anabazine ) . The drugs block the nicotine receptors that are in the brain and thus eliminate the need for this substance. They are also available in the form of tablets, patches, spray and films for attachment to the sky.
The exact dose of the drug is usually picked up by the doctor. In the first few weeks of therapy, the use of patches or films for attachment to the sky is recommended, and further transition to tablets.
Advantages of the drug: medication do not contain nicotine, act centrally, that is, remove the cause of the disease (the addiction itself).
Cons of drugs: a large number of contraindications and side effects. The fact that drugs act on the neurons of the brain makes them extremely serious and dangerous to the health and even human life. A number of clinical studies have shown their ability to cause serious depression, which sometimes ends in suicidal attempts. Therefore, therapy with these drugs should be under the careful supervision of a narcologist or psychiatrist.
- Antidepressants (atypical and tricyclic).
This group includes drugs Velbutrin (bupropion), Pamelor (nortriptilin). These drugs are used to treat various mental illnesses and depression, and reducing cravings for nicotine is one of their possible effects, but not the main ones.
The drugs are used exclusively on the recommendation of a prescription from a psychiatrist, as they require a very serious attitude. Even when taken in adequate doses, they can cause serious side effects (sleep disturbance, increased pressure, etc.), and self-medication can lead to very serious consequences.
- Homeopathic remedies.
Nicomel in the form of lozenges . The effect of them is rather dubious and, nevertheless, customer reviews are generally positive. At the very least, the process of sucking delicious pills can directly replace the act of smoking a cigarette, which is also not bad.
Thus, we see that taking drugs to reduce dependence on nicotine is a rather serious event, which should be held under the supervision of a doctor. Most drugs, even in the form of seemingly harmless patches, can have side effects, the risk of which greatly increases during self-treatment. Therefore, before taking them, it is worth trying all non-drug measures and, in the event of inefficiency, to begin the fight against nicotine addiction from a visit to a specialist.