Smoking is a highly harmful habit, which causes 90% of all lung cancer deaths. More than 1.1 billion people in the world smoke tobacco, and it kills up to 50% of them (ASH).
The deadly consequences of tobacco use are due to the inhalation of more than 7,000 ingredients, like arsenic, carbon monoxide (it displaces oxygen on hemoglobin in red blood cell, so cells do not get the needed oxygen), butane (in lighter fluid), and tiny glass particles ( which cut up the lungs to improve nicotine delivery).
The inhalation of these chemicals causes lung-related issues, like lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and the plaque deposits might also cause heart diseases, like heart attacks or congestive heart failure, as they damage the heart and blood vessel integrity.
Moreover, nicotine also increases cortisol (the stress hormone) and DHEA (the ‘all is good’ hormone) levels, but chronically elevated cortisol levels weaken the immune system.
This detrimental habit also contributes to:
- Hormone imbalance
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Blood sugar issues
Nicotine easily becomes addictive, and the withdrawal symptoms which appear quickly after you extinguish the cigarette are edginess and irritability, so you reach for a new one. It actually crosses the blood-brain barrier and leads to pleasant feelings by releasing dopamine.
This addiction is extremely powerful, and some even claim that it is more difficult to quit smoking than to give up the use of cocaine or heroin (ACS, 2015).
Many of the negative effects of smoking might be due to the depletion of essential antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, glutathione, ubiquinol, and alpha-lipoic acid, which collect the additional free radicals and other oxidant species which result from smoking.
Additionally, the negative effects of smoking cannot be relieved with the use of supplements, as the best way to supply the body with the needed nutrients is through the consumption of healthy foods.
There are several methods which can help you in the struggle to quit smoking and soothe the withdrawal symptoms. Here are the 8 most effective ones:
Magnesium reduces the nicotine addiction by antagonizing NMDA receptors, which stimulate the release of the dopamine.
This mineral also lowers the effects of nicotine on the NMDA receptors by improving GABA (our relaxing neurotransmitter) synthesis. This means that magnesium will reduce the satisfaction you get from smoking.
Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness where one bypasses certain aspects of reality and feels compelled to follow cues from an external source.
Therefore, it can help you relate smoking to unpleasant stimuli, and thus accelerate the process of quitting.
Acupuncture has been found to help people who try to give up smoking, and the insertion of needles on certain places linked to the mouth, lungs, and airways, lowers the cravings for the taste of tobacco.
Studies have shown that 5-minute moderate-intensity workout causes a short-term reduction in the desire to smoke.
Numerous people have tried nicotine patches and claim they are really helpful. It has also been found that these patches are even more effective when combined with drugs like varenicline and bupropion.
The doses are determined by the number of cigarettes one smokes daily, and how frequently one smokes.
Chewing the skin of a lime slice when the cravings hit, will help you reduce them, as they are high in vitamin C and antioxidants.
Researchers exposed smokers to the smell of cigarettes and rotting eggs or fish while they are in Stage 2, non-REM sleep for a week, and they smoked less during this period.
Studies have shown that the practice of ‘sitting’ through difficult scenarios, like cravings or withdrawal symptoms, helps smokers give up smoking more easily.