Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Quitting Smoking

''Smoking cessation (stop smoking) represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives."
I take pride in my ability to make my patients quit smoking.In last 10 years I might have helped hundreds of my patients quit smoking.
First I tell them that there is a long Que of diseases trying to get into the body of a smoker.Who will come first I don't know. It is a race. Either heart attack or Lung Cancer or mouth cancer or chronic obstructive lung disease or one of the umpteen other diseases and cancers will win the race but others will soon follow.
Then the patient will respond by saying "I will reduce smoking".
"That is of no use. That wont save you from those diseases " will be my warning.
Then the patient will say "I will reduce first and stop completely within a short period".
My reply will be "In my experience it is difficult to stop smoking like that. The best method is to stop suddenly. I am sure you will be able to stop suddenly when you are in ICU but it is wiser to stop it before reaching the ICU". The patient will be usually convinced.
Then in the patient's file under that day's date, in bold capital letters I will write STOPPED SMOKING TODAY and show the patient what I had written. This works most of the time.
For very heavy smokers quitting suddenly may not be that easy, but still with some mental strength most people can quit suddenly.
These are the immediate and long term benefits of quitting smoking from

20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drops.
12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal
2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's
5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.
10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker's. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease.
15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker's

Kicking the tobacco habit offers some benefits that you'll notice right away and some that will develop over time. These rewards can improve your day-to-day life a great deal.

your breath smells better
stained teeth get whiter
bad smelling clothes and hair go away
your yellow fingers and fingernails disappear
food tastes better
your sense of smell returns to normal
everyday activities no longer leave you out of breath (for example, climbing stairs or light housework).


Christine Harris said...

You give great advice however, what do you recommend for a person that wants to quit yet lives with a very heavy smoker? I have tried Chantix which works very well yet still have not been able to quit completely due to my trigger walking through the door daily at 5pm.

charakan said...

Better not to blame others.You should be your own master.I won't advice using a substance like Chantix whose safety profile is not so good. I am sure you have enough mental strength to quit and to stay quit.That will help your partner also to quit