1. What are the effects of cigarette on our body?
Head : stroke / paralysis: Loss of muscle function in the body; if you have started smoking from an early stage problems of anxiety are seen, in case you already have anxiety the symptoms start getting more intense.
Facial: harms our teeth, face cancer, wrinkles.
Throat and chest: change of voice, throat cancer, breathing problems (pneumonia, Asthma, bronchitis, COPD), heart related problems (high BP, heartbeat problems, heart attack), lungs cancer etc.
Stomach: intestine, liver cancer
Hands and legs: blood circulation and joints problem.
Others: problems with urinary bladder, loss of reproduction power, problems related to immune system etc.
2. Cigarette withdrawal effects
- Feel nervous and unhappy and a little intruded.
- Lose concentration on work
- Become short tempered
- Feel hungry
- Loss of sleep
- Anxiety (long term problems are not seen while you stop smoking)
* The above mentioned problems slowly decrease every day. After a month you don’t face such problems although you might want to smoke.
3. What is the remedy? What is the medicine?
*Without any medicine: Many of my patients have quit smoking without the help of any medicine. Some have left without any preparation beforehand. Among those, some were able to quit for their lifetime while some had to return to being a smoker after few months. According to my experience if some people have big reasons like; anyone in friend circle or family suffered from cancer due to cigarette, long terms problem related with respiration, if they are expecting a baby any time soon, new couple trying to keep their infant far from harmful smoke from cigarettes and people with these reasons are a bit more successful in general.
This is my advice: Try reducing the amount of cigarettes you take per day, per week. If possible tell more and more people about your plan to quit smoking. Be aware about the withdrawal effects as mentioned above.
– Oral Fixation/ hand to mouth habit/ muscle memory problems: People who have been smoking from past many years have a habit of holding and playing with cigarette and all of a sudden if this habit is gone, they become anxious. To make hands and fingers busy, use of stress ball is highly recommended. Such people should keep chewing something like; chewing gum, seeds/nuts (Peanuts, almonds, sunflower, pumpkin), coconut, carrot, radish etc. Nonetheless if you feel anxious, you should exercise (running, walking, and yoga). Try relying on meditation and music. If possible, take part in smoking cessation group (professional therapy) or self help group.
* As a replacement for cigarettes you should try nicotine gum, lozenge or patches. Some people also use electronic cigarettes as a remedy but since electronic cigarette have nicotine or substance called psycho-stimulant similar to nicotine, this itself can be an addiction.
* People even use medicine if they fail for multiple times to quit cigarettes. I first want to remind you that my treatment is just an option not mandatory. It might not be useful for few people. Consult your doctor before using any of these medicine or treatment options.
Medicines that are frequently used are: Bupropion and Vereniciline but both of these aren’t given to anyone without doctor’s prescription.
Bupropion: This drug is used for general depression and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (lack of concentration in anything for a long time). Some people can use this medicine to leave smoking. In my opinion, if a person smokes 1 or 2 packets of cigarettes in a day, s/he should reduce the amount to 5-6 a day and take this medicine. If you have seizure/epilepsy then don’t take this medicine without consulting neurologist. And if you have eating disorder (anorexia/bulimia), consult a psychiatrist before consuming this medicine.
Vereniciline: this medicine is only produced by a company called Pfizer. It is called Chantix in America and Champix in other countries. In accordance to my experience, this medicine has worked for 70% people but 30% couldn’t tolerate the adverse effects. People who couldn’t continue taking this medicine due to such adverse affects were able to leave cigarette for lifetime after taking this medicine regularly. The common and expected side effects of this medicine are: nausea, vomiting, loss of sleep, nightmares, headache, problem in digestion etc. You should ask the doctor beforehand about the side effects and what to do when those effects are seen. You should take this medicine only after consulting psychiatrist if you or anyone in your family (mother or father) or you had a mental disorder. Although there is a slight chance, this medicine can inspire someone to commit suicide. Among thousands of my patients, at least one has faced this problem. And if you fall on same category of mental health or if you had a mental disorder even a long time back, I used to visit the patient in a week, a month, three months and every time when needed. Better be safe than sorry so I suggest you to visit your psychiatric provider before starting this medicine.
4. What are the excuses that people make when they don’t want to leave smoking? And what are the facts about these?
* …But I love smoking. (The fact is they don’t love smoking but if they don’t smoke, they feel those withdrawal effects)
*But I am stronger than those people who don’t smoke despite smoking 2 packets a day, I am hardworking, dedicated, my household and family is better than others.(During sudden comparison, a person might feel such things but if they get affected by minor common cold, they take long time to recover. They suffer from breathing problems time and again.
*But I smoke light cigarettes with extra filter. I can’t smoke a whole cigarette at a time. (But whatever medium you choose to smoke, if you feel the buzz after smoking, thousands of chemicals present in cigarette including nicotine make their way to your brain)
*that person has been smoking since long time. He hasn’t suffered from cancer. (But before cancer cigarette has already disturbed your immune system and has been harming your body. For example; problem in blood vessels and blood circulation, BP high or low, intestine problem) it cannot be determined by face that a person has cancer or not and in many cases we can’t see the symptoms even after many years cancer has affected our body and when we finally know it is too late to
* It has already affected my body to an extent that even if I leave smoking now, it would do no good. (If you are able to leave before you are 37 years old, all the damage done to your body can be recovered and your body becomes normal. If you are able to leave at 60-70 years old, then the severe damage done to your body can be controlled for some time. The effect in respiratory system can be minimized, BP can be controlled, amount of oxygen in blood increases)
For Nepali version: चुरोटको लत लाग्ने समस्या के हो ? र कसरी चुरोट सजिलै छाड्ने