Countdown To Quit Smoking

countdown to quit smoking

Countdown to quit day. When is the “best” quit day?

1. Don’t select a day which could be unusually stressful

2. Don’t put off your quit day

3. Quit within the next 3 weeks

4. Don’t select a day when you are ill

5. If you are a woman who is pre-menopausal try to pick a day during the two weeks after your monthly period.

Write on a calendar like this:

As we have been going through these webpages, and through the following pages, make sure that you start to disarm smoking triggers, improve your self confidence, figure out why you are smoking and start to reduce the amount that you smoke. The days preceding Quit day should just be there to make sure that you are on the right track. That all the i’s have been dotted and t’s crossed. This then helps for when you quit because your procedures are already in place to cope with any hazard or low point post quit day.

Day -5: make sure that you have identified and disarmed smoking triggers

Day -4: you have self confidence, remind yourself

Day -3: reduce the amount that you smoke

Day -2: In just 2 days, you will become a non-smoker- keep hands busy, concentrate on other things,

Day -1: preparing for withdrawal, have you got everything in place?

Quit Day: The big day has arrived- party

Days +1onwards: Relapse and staying free for good

The important reasons to actually quit smoking

Smokers try to quit only once every 2 to 3 years and most do not use proven treatments. Repeated, brief, diplomatic advice increases quit rates. Such advice should include a clear request to quit, reinforcing personal risks of smoking and their reversibility, offering solutions to barriers to quitting, and offering treatment. Journal Of General Internal Medicine 2003.

If I held a gun to your head which had one bullet in it and asked you to pull the trigger, would you do it? 100% of people will say no, yet that is exactly what is happening with cigarette smoking. Killing yourself, paying someone to do it and knowing that it can kill you is very bizarre. Worse still is that children are starting to smoke at an alarming rate of around 4000 children/ day…girls more than boys usually (maybe they think about the weight loss issue in our photo manipulated world?). So it is weird, with all the adverts and all the knowledge that we know about smoking now, why are people still doing it and even starting to do it?

Admittedly we have covered many mental barriers but in some instances children especially, don’t realize what smoking can do to them. A statistic is just a number, a person on a bed with oxygen is someone else and a cigarette pack with tar lungs is just that, a picture- it is not them. So peer pressure and low self-esteem must be incredibly strong or, the actual affects of smoking are not registering. Does film play a part? Maybe, especially when actors look cool, still get the partner, have great homes and nothing happens to them.

But smoking is an invisible killer. It doesn’t strike straight away, it takes it’s time and does it slowly and usually irreversibly so when you have noticed a change- it is too late then to reverse the issues but you life can still be much much better when you quit.

Do you know who were the best quitting group? Doctors- MDs. They quit smoking in droves and are still the largest group to quit. Now if a Doctor is doing it there must be a vast reason why. Unfortunately there are many reasons why, and most are health related.

Now you may think that scare tactics don’t work, and you would be right. But scare tactics are not there to scare you away. They are meant to counter your brains image of the smoker- away from the actor portrayal and away from the great bunch of smokers that meet up daily. Your brain sees what it wants to see and what you show it. If it gets constantly bombarded with good images, then hey, those images are going to be called upon every time you smoke. But here is something to counter it…true things that you must read.

1. 90% of all lung cancer deaths are smoking related. This is not mildly linked. Researchers have found that if you smoke you are 23 times more likely to die from lung cancer.

2. Death is not beautiful for a smoker. It is usually brutal, costly and long with very little treatment. There is a condition called Berger’s Disease which is inflammation of the arteries and causes blockages within the hands and feet. This occurs in young men- 35 years old who smoke…not some old guy who has smoked for years and years…do you know what? There is no cure, just prevention of symptoms which can include pain. And in some cases ulceration (because of lack of blood), gangrene and amputation are not uncommon. Read again, in young males…not someone who is old.

3. Name a cancer and usually the smoker can get it. Sometimes it can be the throat, organs, skin, bladder or even the stomach. People who chew tobacco can easily get mouth cancer. These are terrible cancers, just like any cancer, but just look online to see someone who has had parts of their mouth removed, their tongue removed or even part of their wind pipe. What happens with that operation is that the stomach has to be moved up and the other organs arranged differently to accommodate the shorter wind pipe.

3b. Also note that smoking reduces the stomach mucus which protects it from the acid needed to digest your food. Without that mucus you get stomach ulcers and they are painful- basically it is acid on skin, and a very corrosive acid at that. Keep on smoking and keep on getting stomach pain. Also smokers have a reduced immune response which means that they get over illnesses slowly which never helps with infection. Coupled with a reduced blood supply then infections tend to stay longer than necessary.

4. Smoking is never by itself. We usually have high blood pressure (nicotine constricts your blood vessels so you feel colder- smoking outside in the Winter time never warms you up- it’s a myth). Some people are over weight and some have Diabetes. This then adds to the effects of smoking and the heart is affected terribly. Stroke (in the brain) or heart attacks- the after effects being very debilitating. If you add Diabetes to the mix you have a problem and everything is increased by doubling- so you have a 7 times chance of stroke, 14 times chance of heart attack and 21 times chance of ulcers and amputation. We have seen many ulcers which have gone onto amputation because they just do not have the blood to heal.

Smoking is associated with poorer glycemic control [in Diabetics] and an increased prevalence of microvascular complications compared with not smoking. Ex-smokers can achieve glycemic control equivalent to and have a prevalence of early complications similar to that of those who never smoked. Diabetes Care 1995.

5. If you want healthier children, quit smoking. Smoking affects women by making their periods irregular, delayed conception, infertility and spontaneous abortions- these are affected because smoking affects women’s hormones. In men it can cause erectile dysfunction. Also the baby itself is at risk- being of lower birth rate (which studies have pointed to being the most important thing to determine a baby) and have a higher chance of birth defects at the start and later on in life. 

Maternal smoking in pregnancy is a major risk factor for SGA [small for gestational age infants]. This study suggests that mothers should be advised to cease smoking completely during pregnancy, and that a reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked or smoking low tar or nicotine concentration cigarettes does not reduce the risk of SGA. Acta Paediatrica 2002.

…significant differences were observed between smokers and non-smokers in the birth weights of the babies and in cyanide and thiocyanate levels in maternal blood and urine. An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 1977.

5b. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is more active with mothers that smoke especially through pregnancy- the baby then can not adjust itself to breathing right when asleep and then there is a higher chance of the baby dying in its crib.

5c. Smoking more than a pack a day whilst breast feeding causes the nicotine to transfer through into the breast milk. This causes vomiting, rapid heart rate, diarrhea and restlessness.

5d. Want kids? Smoking has an effect on testosterone. The creation of testosterone is reduced because of the Carbon Monoxide.

…cigarette smoking can contribute to infertility in men. Medical Journal Of Australia. 1973.

6. Osteoporosis, a debilitating disease for men and women, more so for women, is affected by smoking. Smoking reduces the uptake of calcium for our bones and decreases the potency of Oestrogen which helps in the woman’s body in so many ways especially calcium absorption. But the likeliness and severity can be greatly decreased when smoking is stopped and calcium tablets are taken with Doctor approval.

We found that smoking was the single most important risk factor for the development of postoperative complications, particularly those relating to wound healing, cardiopulmonary complications, and the requirement of postoperative intensive care. A delay in discharge from hospital was usual for those suffering a complication. Journal Of Bone And Joint Surgery.

7. Your brain is lethargic. In other words it is completely tired all the time, it has small blood vessels which have been affected by smoking and it makes you wonder, ponder and forgetful. The brain needs oxygen all the time and is bathed in blood- it is your command center and everything you do goes to brain helping. Strokes are common as well as memory loss and brain related illnesses because of poor blood supply, toxins and Carbon Monoxide infiltrating your blood. Increasing Oxygen in your area does nothing because Carbon Monoxide loves your blood more than Oxygen, and literally boots out Oxygen.

The data indicate structural deficits of several cortical and subcortical regions in smokers relative to never-smokers…The present findings may explain in part the frequently reported cognitive dysfunctions in chronic cigarette consumers. Journal Of NeuroScience 2006.

8. Insurance premiums, medical costs and Doctor visits increase when you smoke- Insurance premiums are lower for non-smokers. So that medical bill or that Doctor visit can be reduced just by stopping smoking. In the future who knows what will happen to insurance costs, will they be too high? Will you be non-insurable because smoking is preventable- you can stop? This also includes dental costs. Smoking causes inflammation to your gums and over time it forces gums to recede now showing the base of the teeth- this can then causes decay and the literal falling out of teeth- so more trips to the dentist and higher insurance/ dental costs.

Younger individuals and especially males smoking more than 15 cigarettes a day were found to have the highest relative risk of losing teeth. The combination of a high plaque score and smoking was, together with age, the strongest predictor of tooth loss. Journal Of Periodontology. 1994.

9. Do you like food? In time you won’t be able to taste it. Smoking chemicals reduces the effectiveness of your taste buds meaning that all food becomes tasteless and bland. In some cases people then crank up the sugar and salt- increasing the risk of other conditions like blood pressure which in turn becomes more potent because of your smoking.

10. It is more than odd that people in today’s society of image conscious media continue to smoke, especially women. Smoking ages you, turns your hair yellow, yellows your fingers and teeth. Strangely enough, research found deep set in wrinkles in smokers at 20 years of age. Stopping smoking actually stops the ageing process relating to smoking.

Tobacco smoking was not only related to ill health but also to an impaired functional capability in bone mineral density, pulmonary function and muscle strength. Age And Ageing 1982.

Smoking 20 cigarettes per day was equivalent in effect to almost 10 years of chronological ageing. British Journal Of Dermatology 2002.

…the data are consistent with the conclusion that smoking causes skin wrinkling that could make smokers appear unattractive and prematurely old. Department Of Epidemiology And BioStatistics 1992.

11. Do you want to live? Sure we may know people who smoke like a chimney for years and nothing happens to them- well what we see on the surface, but in reality they are hurting with complications that they don’t talk about- guaranteed. But this is a subject that smokers will excuse and dismiss every single time, because it is a statistic that none of us want to hear- our time of death. Unfortunately we all think that we will live for ever, but when you look at it, the average life expectancy is 86…

I am 35, so if I am healthy and I don’t get killed tomorrow I have, on average 51 years of my life left…which is worrying, but never thought about. What is even more worrying is that when I am 86 it is likely that I won’t be doing half as much as I am doing now…my patients are a testimonial to that…so lets knock off 6 more years as 80 is an age where you still do stuff, but maybe not in too much pain or tiredness.

Now if I smoked, studies have shown that smoking reduces my life expectancy by an average of 10 years…which means it could be more or less than 10 years…but 10 years is normal. So now I have 41 years of my life left if I lived to 86...but we chopped off 6 years…so now I have 35 years left of my life…I have my life again left…and do you know how quick those past 35 years have been?

The excess mortality was chiefly from diseases that can be caused by smoking. Positive associations with smoking were confirmed for death from cancers of the mouth, oesophagus, pharynx, larynx, lung, pancreas, and bladder; from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other respiratory diseases; from vascular diseases; from peptic ulcer. BMJ 1994.

…prolonged cigarette smoking from early adult life tripled age specific mortality rates, but cessation at age 50 halved the hazard, and cessation at age 30 avoided almost all of it. BMJ 2004.

Smoking increases inhospital mortality, admission to the intensive care unit, and lower- respiratory tract infection, Journal Of Infection Control And Hospital Epidemiology 2003.

1. Its Difficult To Quit Smoking

2. Prepare To Quit Smoking

3. Preparing Against Failure

4. Cigars And Safe Cigarettes

5. Countdown to Quitting

6. Quit Day And How To Reduce Smoking Urges

7. So Far...The Best Treatment Methods Around