Tobacco use can lead to serious health problems. Quitting smoking can reduce that risk. The most effective way to quit smoking is a combination of counselling and medication. At Woodlands Health, we will work with our community partners to provide accessible treatment for you when you are ready to quit.
Smoking causes many diseases such as cancer, lung diseases, heart attacks and strokes. Smoking also affects the health of our family and loved ones through second-hand smoke. When we quit smoking, we will improve our own health as well as the health of our loved ones.
When you quit smoking
When you stop smoking, your body can start to recover. The sooner you quit, the sooner you can see improvement in your health. For instance, your lung function will start to improve within days. After a few months, smoking-related symptoms such as coughing and a congested nose will decrease. You will also feel less tired. After a year, your risk of contracting lung and heart disease is lowered by 50%.
Quitting smoking is not easy. This is because cigarettes contain nicotine, a substance that has been proven to be as addictive as heroin and cocaine. Studies have shown that just one cigarette may be enough for a person to get hooked on smoking. Being addicted means that when the levels of nicotine in the body drops, smokers may experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, frustration and anxiety. As a result, smokers will crave for more nicotine and will find it very difficult to stop smoking.
There are two main ways to stop smoking:
1) Cold Turkey - Decide on a stop date and stop smoking completely
2) Gradual Reduction - Cut down on the number of cigarettes smoked each day and slowly reduce this figure to zero.
No matter which way you choose, help and support is available to make the process easier through counselling and medications.
- Article contributed by
Preventive Health & Occupational Medicine -