Facts about Quitting Smoking

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Smoking tobacco was being cultivated, as far back in history as 5000B.C, in South America before finding its way to the Northern Hemisphere. Initially chewed or inhaled, it constituted an integral activity in shamanistic cultural practices. Realising the sense of inebriation felt on smoking tobacco, the habit became widespread and became a hugely popular social phenomenon within the Western World. Moving forward, in 2010, around 19.3% (43 million) of the American population are habitually prone to light a cigarette and indulge in smoking.  In retrospect, scientific medical evidence has proven the dangerous effects of smoking and the anti-smoking culture against smoking has gained considerable strength by enforcement of legal and financial regulations.

Fact 1.   According to the United Nations, by the end of this century, and at the current statistics for smoking, one billion people could potentially die from active or passive smoking.

Fact  2.   
 Due to the increase in legislation and financial restrictions resulting in social pressures on quitting smoking in the developed world, tobacco companies have shifted their attention to the developing low-income countries.

Fact 3.  
Measures taken to proliferate a ‘˜ quit smoking’  culture  include raising price of tobacco products through taxation, limiting access to smokers in public places, negative self-promotion  and provision of adequate social, educational and medical services in discouraging smoking.

Fact 4.  
The drug in tobacco called nicotine is as addictive as cocaine, illustrating the challenges smokers face in quitting smoking. Both emotional and physical dependence to smoking makes it difficult to quit as the physical dependence inflict withdrawal symptoms while quitting whereas the emotional withdrawal symptoms take effect after quitting.

Fact 5.
 Quitting smoking is the best behavioural change a smoker can undergo in improving one’s health as cessation services normally functions as a secondary supporting service and in most cases are underutilized.

Fact 6.  
There are four basic steps in quitting. First is in taking a decision to quit. Second is to pick a Quit Day accompanied by a long-term plan. Third is to deal with withdrawal and the fourth is to sustain a non-smoking lifestyle.
Fact 7.
Nicotine replacement therapy approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) include patch, gum, nasal spray, inhalers and lozenges.

Fact 8.  
There are prescription drugs such as Bupropion (Zyban®), Varenicline (Chantix®) and Nortriptyline (Non-FDA recommended) to assist in quitting smoking.

Fact 9.
Other non-conventional methods of quitting smoking include acupuncture, herbal supplements and hypnosis.

Fact 10.  
Success rates in general for quitting smoking are around 4% to 7% if no support is used for assistance. Twenty-six percent of smokers who used medicines to quit smoking can sustain the non-smoking habit for over 6 months. Counselling and emotional support could achieve a higher rate of success.

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