What happens when you smoke? Why is it difficult to give up smoking? During the process of smoking,a chemical compound called nicotine present in the smoke releases extra amounts of brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine which give you the sense of pleasure, fulfillment and satisfaction. These chemicals are produced naturally by your body through which you experience satisfaction from simple acts such as taking a cup of hot drink near the fire during extreme winter. But for a habitual smoker the body starts to depend on the nicotine to release the chemicals. Gradually the amount of nicotine requirement increases over a period of time.
Nicotine is a brain stimulant that speeds up heart beat and raises blood pressure. Nicotine also causes rise in the levels of adrenaline in the blood stream causing a sensation of thrill and satisfaction and enhancing the feel good factor.
When you smoke,nicotine is absorbed in the blood and taken to the brain. Over a period of time due to regular smoking,the brain gets addicted to nicotine. When the nicotine level falls in the blood,the brain is deprived of nicotine and the brain craves for nicotine by creating the urge to smoke to make up for the nicotine shortfall. This is called nicotine cravings . In short nicotine addiction is the cause of nicotine cravings.
Regular smoking damages lungs and might lead to bronchitis,increased susceptibility to pneumonia, influenza,heart diseases and even cancer. Smoking affects the cholesterol level by lowering the levels good cholesterol HDL and increasing the levels of bad cholesterol LDL. Smoking also causes nicotine deposits on teeth,gum and throat which might cause bad breath. Smoking may also affect the bone building process which may lead to osteoporosis. Smoking affects women by increasing the susceptibility to cervical cancer and lowering fertility. Above mentioned health hazards should be enough to make one quit smoking for ever.
Withdrawal symptoms are those which occur when you give up smoking. They are prolonged irritability,restlessness,loss of concentration,increased food cravings for some people,headache and sleeplessness. These symptoms last for about two weeks but peek on the third day and stabilize and gradually reduce. Once you cross the first five days your success rate improves.
There are many methods used for giving up smoking. What is quit smoking cold turkey method? The phrase quit smoking cold turkey means giving up smoking in one go and facing the withdrawal symptoms boldly. If the motivation and desire to quit smoking is stronger than the desire to smoke,this method is quick and preferable. The will power has to be extremely strong to withstand the withdrawal symptoms. The success rate for quit smoking cold turkey method is low but can be done with enough motivation.
Screen yourself for depression since smoking acts as self medication for depression,anxiety and stress. Join a smoking cessation support group. When you see others like you trying to quit smoking,it strengthens your resolve to succeed. Avoid friends who smoke and places like bars and parties where the inducement to smoke is high.