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.
Rose Melendez, RN
Head of Emergency Department
Rose Melendez, RN is the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital.
Tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to listen to Nurse Rose live on the radio.