Nicotine is the drug in tobacco that makes tobacco products addictive. People become addicted to nicotine over time which is why the first few weeks after quitting smoking are the hardest. Some people who give up smoking have withdrawal symptoms. They may become irritable, hungry and tired. Some people may have headaches, feel depressed, or have trouble sleeping or concentrating. Some people will have no symptoms at all. If you quit smoking you are likely to add years to your life, breathe more easily, and save money. Whether you are young or old you will also lower your risk of cancer, heart attack and lung disease. You will have better circulation and improve your sense of taste and smell.
When you quit you may need support to cope with your body’s desire for nicotine. Nicotine replacement therapy can help some smokers quite. You can buy products like chewing gum, patches, and lozenges over -the-counter. There are also nicotine replacement products that require a doctor’s prescription. It is important to talk with your doctor to determine which medicine is best for you.
Some people think smokeless tobacco, pipes and cigars are safe. They are not. Using smokeless tobacco can cause cancer of the mouth, larynx, esophagus as well as gum problems. pipe and cigar smokers may develop cancer of the mouth, lip, larynx, esophagus and bladder. Smokers also create secondhand smoke which can cause health problems for everyone exposed to the smoke. Secondhand smoke is very dangerous for people who have lung conditions or heart disease. It may cause bronchitis, pneumonia, or lung cancer. In babies and young children secondhand smoke can also cause inner ear infections.
The good news is that after you quit your lungs, heart and circulatory system will begin to function better. Your chance of having a heart attack or stroke will decrease and your breathing will improve. No matter how old you are the health benefits of smoking cessation are undeniable.