Spring Clean Your Health: Kick Your Smoking Habit
Spring is often seen as a time for a fresh start – with many of us spring cleaning around our homes. Why not do some spring cleaning when it comes to your health? Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, offers her tips to quit a bad health habit that many struggle with — smoking.
Why is it so hard to quit smoking?
Nurse Rose: Quitting smoking is tough for a number of reasons.
- Nicotine in cigarettes is addictive. Quitting can cause physical withdrawal symptoms including intense cravings, headaches, anxiety and sweating.
- Cigarettes are often used to reduce stress. Many people smoke cigarettes because nicotine can momentarily boost your mood or reduce depression and irritability. However, the long-term health consequences outweigh these short-term effects.
What kinds of health problems does smoking cause?
Nurse Rose: Smoking might help you unwind momentarily, but it can cause a range of serious long-term health problems.
- Lung cancer
- Heart disease
- Back pain
- Osteoporosis (thinning of the bone)
- Male impotence
- Slower healing
Do you have any tips for people who want to quit smoking?
Nurse Rose: Yes, in fact, Adventist HealthCare is part of a long history of efforts by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church to help people stop smoking. Here are some tips from Adventist HealthCare’s smoking cessation counselors.
- Get ready. Select a quit-date when you won’t have a lot of stress and tell people close to you about your plan.
- Change your routine. If you usually smoke after lunch, take a walk instead.
- Use medicine. Nicotine replacement therapy can help manage cravings.
- Get support. You can seek help from a Smoking Cessation Program like that at Adventist HealthCare or visit smokefree.gov for help.