Mar 30 2016
“Quitting smoking is easy – I’ve done it lots of times.” -Unknown
The vast majority of smokers have tried to quit at least one and often more in the past. Surveys show that nearly 7 out of 10 current U.S. smokers (68.8%) say that they want to quit cigarettes and never smoke again. Many are successful, but it often takes several attempts for them to stick with it and become smoke or tobacco free.
There is hope for those who want to quit because since 2002 there have been more former smokers who quit than current smokers.
How old are people when they usually try to quit?
Surprisingly it’s not just older people who want to quit. Out of the total number of smokers, more than 4 out of 10 (42.7%) tried quitting last year, including:
Nearly 5 out of 10 (48%) of all high school students who smoke
Nearly 5 out of 10 (48.5%) smokers aged 18–24 years
More than 4 out of 10 (46.8%) smokers aged 25–44 years
Nearly 4 out of 10 (38.8%) smokers aged 45–64 years
More than 3 out of 10 (34.6%) smokers aged 65 years or older
How much do we spend on cigarettes and tobacco dependence?
U.S. smokers spend about $90 billion on cigarettes and tobacco products every year.
The typical smoker finishes an average of one pack of cigarettes a day. With a pack at around $6.50 each, that adds up to $2,400 a year or more on cigarettes per smoker.
Additionally, the healthcare costs associated with tobacco consumption cost about $70 billion each year.
Why are cigarettes so harmful?
Cigarettes and other tobacco products contain more than 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of them proven to be carcinogenic and more than 70 shown to cause cancer.
Tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals; hundreds are harmful, and about 70 can cause cancer.
From cigarette smoking to pipes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, consuming tobacco products greatly increases the instance of serious health issues, debilitating diseases, and even death in users.
What health problems does smoking cause?
Consumption of every form of tobacco increases the development of oxidative stress, prematurely aging the body with symptoms like hair loss, cracked skin and wrinkles, and yellow teeth, and increases toxins that cause pain, inflammation, and degenerative health conditions.
This list of damage smoking causes extends to just about every organ, system, and part of the body you can think of, including asthma, vocal cord damage, osteoporosis, poor circulation, Bronchitis, lung damage, organ failure, cancer, and death.
How many people die from smoking every year?
According to the Center for Disease Control, smoking kills about 5.1 million people every year.
To put that death toll in perspective, that is more than all the deaths caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders…combined.
Why is it so hard to quit smoking?
Cigarettes and other tobacco products contain a dangerous drug called nicotine that is highly addictive, causing both chemical and mental dependence.
In fact, studies show that nicotine may be just as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol, and more people in the U.S. are addicted to nicotine than to any other drug.
Therefore, quitting smoking isn’t just a matter of willpower or habit – it also requires breaking a physiological addiction, the same as getting off any drug.
People who try to quit smoking usually suffer acute withdraw symptoms like:
Feeling moody, irritable, angry, or stressed
Having trouble thinking clearly
Profound cravings for tobacco
These may lead to binge eating and weight gain, alcohol abuse, or too often, a relapse to smoking again.
Does your health really improve once you quit, and how fast does it change?
12 hours after your last cigarette:
Carbon monoxide levels in your blood drop to normal.
24 hours after your last cigarette:
Your lungs begin to clear out accumulated mucous and tar. Your pulse rate and blood pressure begin to lower.
48 hours after your last cigarette:
Your sense of smell and taste begin to improve as nicotine is eliminated from your body.
72 hours after your last cigarette:
Your bronchial tubes begin to relax, making breathing easier and increasing lung capacity.
2 to 12 weeks after your last cigarette:
Circulation improves, making walking, daily physical activity and exercise easier.
2 weeks to 3 months after your last cigarette:
Your heart attack risk begins to drop and lung function starts to improve.
One to 9 months after your last cigarette:
Coughing and sinus congestion decrease, lung function improves, shortness of breath decreases, and energy level improves.
1 year after your last cigarette:
Your risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half compared to a smoker.
10 years after your last cigarette:
Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a smokers. Your risks of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decrease significantly.
15 years after your last cigarette:
Your risk of coronary heart disease and lung cancer is back to that of someone who has never smoked a cigarette in their life!
How can your chiropractor help you quit smoking?
If you’re a smoker, no one can quit for you – it’s ultimately up to you to do that. But the good news is that there are many methods and techniques that are proven to help smokers quit successfully.
Chiropractors are an important ally in helping smokers quit nicotine and most importantly, stay off of it. While many smokers opt for replacement drugs and medications like the patch or gum to help them wean off smoking, or even try to quit “cold turkey”, those methods don’t have very high success rates without relapse.
Seeing a chiropractor may be the best method to help you quit.
First off, they will provide counseling, education, and support to help you tackle your addiction. Just as importantly, many chiropractors can help with natural healthcare solutions that to help you fight the addiction – called smoking cessation programs.
Some methods they employ include:
Acupuncture stimulates certain points on the body that are associated with cravings, triggering the nervous system and releasing naturally beneficial neurotransmitters such as endorphin, serotonin, and adrenalin, all of which help to rebalance your body during the nicotine withdraw phase.
Light or laser therapies
Pinpointed light therapies also trigger the release of endorphins and serotonins, naturally and effectively calming the stresses the body is under during the critical first 72 hours after your last cigarette.
Proper supplementation and homeopathy further helps reduce stress, cravings, and symptoms of withdrawal. Additionally, naturopathic care and proper nutrition are vital.
To accelerate the body’s natural healing process, we’ll help flush your body of harmful toxins that accumulated in the blood, tissues, and cells through smoking.
Your body will heal itself quickly and efficiently once it is properly aligned and subluxations or blockages are removed. Therefore, getting adjusted regularly as you quit smoking will aid your recovery, helping you quit smoking and stay off cigarettes for good.
If you’re trying to quit smoking – and maybe it’s not the first time – contact us for help to do it the right way!