A recent study concluded that women who quit smoking by the age of 40 may be able to live an extra decade. Women who cut the habit by the age of 30 were given a 97% chance of avoiding a premature death. The study, set out in The Lancet medical journal, found that on average, lifelong smokers died ten years before people who did not smoke at all.
Most life-long smokers die from smoking-related diseases such as chronic lung disease, stroke, heart disease, and lung cancer. Although the amount of tobacco smoked is directly related with the risk of illness, even smokers who inhaled less than 10 cigarettes a day doubled their chances of dying early.
Even with the information we have on the detrimental effects of smoking, teens and young adults continue to light up. There’s no doubt that public figures and Hollywood movies have an impact on young minds. Prior to 2011, film makers made progress in reducing movie imagery and smoking, however, this has changed. In 2011, many of the top-grossing movies of the year not only glamorized smoking, but they were also targeted towards a young audience. Think back to movies such as Rango, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, Cowboys & Aliens, Midnight in Paris, and X-Men: First Class where Hollywood’s heroes were onscreen smokers. Film critics found 1,900 incidents of smoking in the 134 top-grossing 2011 movies, an increase of 36% from previous years.
Quit smoking options
Aside from a miracle cure, and regardless of age, breaking the habit can be a daunting task. Those who turn to “stop smoking” options often find themselves limited to choices that include:
Nicotine gum: If your motivation to quit smoking is financial, nicotine gum is a popular choice, but one that does not cost less than smoking. With each piece of gum you are still feeding your body nicotine, the substance you are trying to give up. These same notes can be applied if you’re considering nicotine lozenges or the patch.
Cold turkey: Another popular yet ineffective option, at least for most. Although results do vary, quitting cold turkey is rarely effective long-term. This is because nicotine is an extremely addictive substance to man. Consider a gradual decline of daily cigarette allowances instead of just randomly selecting a day to stop smoking.
Hypnosis: Some people believe in hypnosis and others do not. If you are a non-believer, being hypnotized to quit smoking will most likely result in non-success. Keep in mind that there is no clinical proof that hypnosis can actually help break the habit. For those who do exercise this avenue it’s often as a last resort.
Smokers who really want to stop smoking can also look towards prescription drugs, councilors, self-help books, and even acupressure to find that long-term relief from the nicotine desire. If you are truly set on kicking the habit, consider a more natural approach. This natural approach includes a balanced diet and common sense.
Numerous studies have shown that a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals reduces the body’s dependence on nicotine. Change your eating habits to avoid items such as processed foods, alcohol, and caffeine, even if only for a while. Give your body a chance to break the routine. Also, avoid placing yourself in situations where you may be tempted to light up. Avoid party atmospheres or being around others who have yet to quit smoking.