Quit addiction: smokers need a firm will

Quit addiction: smokers need a firm will

With firm will and perseverance, smokers can get out of addiction
Smoking is a health hazard, bad breath and smell, addictive and expensive. There are enough reasons to stay away from cigarettes. In order for smokers to get out of their addiction, they need firm will and perseverance.

Smokers endanger their health
Tobacco consumption is a health hazard. Smoking alone favors twelve types of cancer such as lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer, cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke, diabetes, arterial diseases such as arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD (smoking lung). The smoke also makes you stink. Quitting smoking is never too late, according to health experts. A smoking cessation is worthwhile even in old age. However, it is usually extremely difficult for those affected. In a message from the dpa news agency, experts explain how to stop.

"A firm will is the prerequisite for stopping smoking"
Martina Pötschke-Langer from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) explains on the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day on May 31: "The smoking cessation is more complex than you think" and not least because nicotine is a "very heavy drug". Aspiring non-smokers not only have to adjust to physical withdrawal, but above all to the fact that addiction will always put you to the test. The will counts: "A firm decision, a firm will is the prerequisite for stopping smoking", says Pötschke-Langer. You also need a good reason: According to the psychologist Maja Storch, author of the book "Rauchpause", it must be even more than will: "You need a good reason that also convinces the unconscious." This can be, for example, the birth of a child or an upcoming operation. "It is important to notice that the reason triggers a strong emotional response," says Storch. This is the only way to be motivated by yourself.

Set a specific date
In order to quit smoking you need an appointment. The DKFZ writes on its website: "Choose an exit date within the next three weeks and don't let it put you off!" The experts also recommend: "Choose a stress-free time for stopping smoking!" Gabriele Bartsch from the German also said The head office for addiction questions (DHS) recommends setting a specific date in the dpa report. The psychologist Storch thinks that such a “magic limit” can work. It can also be helpful to put yourself under pressure by telling others about your decision.

Move more after stopping smoking
The smoking cessation should be well prepared. Pötschke-Langer advises those who would like to use aids such as nicotine chewing gum or plasters to have them available on the scheduled date. And: "You should throw away your smoking utensils." The fear of quitting is mostly unfounded. "The fear of withdrawal is often worse than the withdrawal itself," explains Bartsch. After three to four days, nicotine was no longer detectable. And the purely physical withdrawal is over after about 14 days. Although increasing after cigarette cessation is likely, it is not a must: "Smoking is stressful for the body," said Bartsch. "That's why it costs energy." So if you eat as before and don't move more often, you will probably gain weight. The problem can be addressed simply by consuming fewer calories and getting more exercise.

Go outdoors every day
After weaning, the first thing to do is to distract yourself. "Run away from the addiction," recommends Pötschke-Langer. You don't have to become a high-performance athlete just because you keep your hands off cigarettes, but you should plan to go outdoors every day. “Or you do ten squats instead of smoking,” says Bartsch. Fruit, vegetables or sugar-free chewing gum, but no sweets, are ideal for distraction by eating. Former smokers also have to break old habits. Those who were used to coffee and cigarettes on the balcony in the morning should at least sit somewhere else. "Maybe you switch to tea," says Pötschke-Langer. Since alcohol and cigarettes go hand in hand for many, it might be better to leave out the intellectual drinks for a few weeks. Meetings in smoking bars should be avoided. "Especially in the first smoke-free days, avoid places and people who could encourage you to smoke!" Writes the DKFZ.

Prepare the social environment for withdrawal symptoms
Since withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, discomfort and irritability are associated with the smoke stop, you should prepare your surroundings for it, advises Pötschke-Langer. If the worst comes to the worst, you will get support or at least an understanding of the bad mood. The thought of money can also motivate: As Pötschke-Langer calculates, you can save around 35 euros a week from previous consumption of one box a day. In half a year that's around 900 euros. In addition, in the event of a relapse, one should not throw out the whole project of non-smokers. According to Bartsch, the risk of relapse is still quite high in the first four to six weeks. Even after that, the temptation of the expert continues for one to two years. "You are a very long smoker who doesn't smoke." You should also arm yourself against tricks of the psyche. On the train of thought: "Now I have not smoked for a long time so that I am over it and can treat myself to a cigarette as a reward", according to Bartsch, you should not fall for it, otherwise you are a smoker again faster than you smoke a cigarette can ignite. (ad)

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