Nicotine is highly addictive. It causes the adrenal cortex to release epinephrine, resulting in an almost immediate “kick.” This stimulates the central nervous system, and other endocrine glands, which causes a sudden release of glucose. Stimulation is then followed by depression and fatigue, leading the abuser to seek more nicotine. Don’t let the addictive nature of nicotine stop you from quitting. Half of all people who have ever smoked have quit.
Smoking isn’t healthy.
- Tobacco use causes more American deaths than all other drug use, homicide, suicide, automobile accidents, fire and AIDS combined.
- Cancer risk is ten times greater in smokers than in nonsmokers.
- Heart attacks are twice as likely in smokers than in nonsmokers.
There are other negative consequences to tobacco use too, like monetary cost, smelly clothes, and yellowed teeth. Despite its numerous advantages, quitting is a challenge. It usually takes three or more tries before you are finally able to quit. Studies have shown that each attempt both strengthens your resolve and teaches you more about what helps (or hinders) your efforts. If you think you can quit using tobacco within the next 30 days contact Health Promotion for support at 919-513-3295.
Approaches to Quitting Smoking
These three approaches, if used together, give you the best chance of quitting.
- Use medication or nicotine replacement therapy to decrease nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
- Seek support and encouragement. Family, friends, and health professionals can motivate you in your effort to quit. See a health educator to receive tips on quitting–many students say only one or two sessions helped them tremendously!
- Learn how to handle the urge to smoke. Other smokers, conflicts, or stress may trigger this urge. Try to distract yourself. Talk to a friend. Busy yourself with a task. Work out. Change your routine. Use relaxation techniques or deep breathing exercises.
Online Resources to Help You Quit Smoking
The Tobacco Prevention and Control Division of the North Carolina Division of Public Health will connect you with a personal Quit Coach, and also explains the immediate benefits of quitting smoking.
Become An Ex will help you formulate a strategy to re-learn life without cigarettes.