~ Health Advice from PMGH – World No Tobacco Day – 31 May 2015 – The Dangers of tobacco use – Part 3 of 3 ~

From the moment you quit smoking, your lung function begins to improve as the tiny lung hairs called cilia regain their ability to work at clearing mucous and other matter. A few months after you quit smoking you will begin to notice all sorts of positive changes, such as a reduction in coughing and wheezing, and improved breathing. There is also a reduced likelihood of getting respiratory infections such as bronchitis. Starting a fitness routine will help curb cravings and get you on the road to better health. Remember that some activity is better than no activity but, before you start, it is advisable to discuss your physical activity plans with your doctor.

Reasons to start exercising after you quit smoking:
– Increases the natural ‘feel good chemicals’ in your brain.
– Can act as a distraction from smoking
– Can allow us to change our old smoking routines (go for a walk after dinner)
– May help reduce nicotine cravings

Save money when you quit smoking – Cigarettes cost money and the cost is increasing all the time. Have you considered how much money you could save by quitting smoking and being a non-smoker? What would you do with all the extra money? Work out the cost of smoking and how you might use it on a piece of paper and carry it with you.

Top 9 Tips On How To Quit Smoking –
It’s never too late to quit smoking; these tips are from various research groups and have been identified as the best 9 tips to quit smoking.

Tip 1 – Quitting is different for everyone, so find an approach that will work for you. This may be either the cold turkey approach (stopping suddenly and totally) or a more gradual reduction in the number of cigarettes you smoke each day. Set a date to quit — and stick to it. Make it sooner rather than later. If you are quitting by yourself, it is recommended that you stop smoking completely on your quit date.

Tip 2 – Get as much support as you can from family, friends and work colleagues. Let them know you are planning to quit, and ask smokers not to smoke around you or offer you cigarettes. Quitting with a friend can also be an excellent idea — you can share your feelings and encourage each other.

Tip 3 – Throw out all cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters and anything else that might remind you of smoking. Wash your clothes and clean your car and home to remove the smell of smoke.

Tip 4 – Nicotine replacement therapy, such as nicotine patches or chewing gum, could be a good idea for those who smoke heavily or who feel they may need the extra help. There are also oral prescription medicines you can take please talk to your doctor about what is right for you.

Tip 5 – Plan ahead for situations in which you are likely to be tempted to smoke such as parties or drinking. Try to avoid these situations in the early stages of your quitting program.

Tip 6 – Write down all the reasons that made you decide to quit smoking, and carry them with you in case you need reminding!

Tip 7 – Keep the following 4 Ds in mind when you have a craving.
Delay – Remember that the worst cravings last for only a few minutes and will become even less frequent the longer you have quit.
Deep breathe – This should help you relax and focus your mind on something else.
Drink water – It is a good idea to drink plenty of fluids to help flush the nicotine and other toxins out of your system.
Do something else – You could go for a walk, to the movies or visit a supportive friend. Try eating an apple or cleaning your teeth when you would normally have a cigarette. You could hold something else, such as a pen or beads, to replace the need to hold a cigarette, or chew some gum.

Tip 8 – Avoid alcohol as many people find it hard to resist smoking when they drink.

Tip 9 – If you find you are losing motivation to quit, remind yourself of the many medical and financial benefits of quitting! For example, did you know that 12 months after quitting, your risk of heart disease is reduced to nearly half that of a smoker’s?

TIP – If you are struggling to quit smoking, please see your doctor at your local urban health clinic who will put you on the right track to quitting successfully.