The Stages of Quitting Smoking

Saying no to smoking is a very arduous and perhaps the most difficult decision for any smokers. Some people will take a step to stop smoking because of their own health and some relinquish this habit for the sake of the health of the people living around them. Some people start taking nicotine gum or medicine to quit smoking. There are different stages that can help you quit smoking gradually.

Effects of smoking:

The effects of smoking are seen in almost every part of the body. It affects both smokers and the people living with them. Smoking can potentially cause numerous diseases including heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, reproductive effects in women, pre-mature & low birth-weight babies, diabetes, blindness, cataracts, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer and what not.

The Stages of Quitting Smoking

The most probable smoking effects that smokers experience are shortness of breath, chest pain, persistent cough, leg pain, abdominal pain, blood in the urine, persistent hoarseness, pain on swallowing in the eyes, and unexplained weight loss.

Stages of quitting smoking:

Well, it may be difficult to stop smoking abruptly but it’s not impossible if you are determined. Experts recommend that you can go through some stages of quitting smoking without facing any hiccups. These stages can be defined as:

Pre-contemplation (not thinking about quitting):

Pre-contemplation is a stage in which a smoker does not think about quitting smoking on his own but he need support to do it. At this stage, the smokers are slightly influenced by the support given by the family members, friends, and doctors to stop smoking or take medicine to quit smoking. Smokers don’t realize that what they are doing is poisonous for them or probably they are afraid of the smoking effects after quitting.

Contemplation (thinking about quitting, but not ready to quit):

At this stage of contemplation, smokers start thinking about stopping smoking. They understand the detrimental effects of smoking. They realize that smoking is noxious to their physical and mental health, business, relationship, and work.  However, they don’t take any action to stop smoking immediately.

At this stage, most of the smokers are stuck in a dilemma, but if you motivate yourself by comparing the positive and negative aspects of smoking, you will get to know that dropping cigarette is the best solution for the life.

Preparation (getting ready to quit):

At this stage, a smoker is prepared to quit smoking physically and mentally. This is the high time to understand that smoking is not as if drinking a coffee, driving a car, taking a meal rather it poses stressful situations in the personal and social life. In this phase, some suggest you take nicotine gum or to take any medicine to quit smoking. You can consult a doctor to make a good plan how to keep the smoking effects at bay.

You need to take some alternative steps to get rid of craving for smoking, such as have your coffee at the workplace where smoking is prohibited, go for a walk after taking a meal, don’t buy a cigarette or go near the shop etc.

Action (quitting):

At this stage, the smoker is badly trying to quit smoking as early as possible. They have to fight the negative effects of smoking and might have to deal with nicotine craving, nervousness, nausea, headache, and anxiety. These conditions will try to pull you towards a cigarette but, at the same time, the positive effects of stopping it will make your day better and better.

Maintenance (remaining a non-smoker):

This is the most challenging stage that a chain smoker faces, as at this stage smokers need to stick to their decision of quitting smoking as long as possible for the sake of their health and family wellbeing. In this phase, your lungs recover well, you feel more energetic than ever before, and blood circulation improves.

You don’t require medicines to quit smoking anymore but remain determined to keep yourself away from the cigarette. Just try to carry on your exercise and healthy nutrition to become a smoke-free person and a role model for others.

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Steve Marc

Steve Marc is a professional in the health, nutrition and diet industry.
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