Smoking is extremely hazardous habit, which may easily turn into a fatal addiction. When a person becomes addicted to smoking then it becomes very hard for him/her to quit smoking. However, self-motivation along with some natural home remedies can help them a lot in overcoming the addiction.
Causes of Smoking
There are various causes that may lead to smoking but let's have a look on some basic causes that often lead to smoking.
- Media influences
- To handle stress or Awkward Situations
- Peer Pressure (Group Influence)
- To be Social
- As a Status Symbol
Harmful Effects of Smoking
1. Lung Cancer
Smoking decrease lung function and often cause Lung cancer.In general 90% of cases of lung cancer deaths in men are caused by smoking, and about 80% in women.
2. Pulmonary Diseases
In addition to Lung cancer smoking also cause several pulmonary diseases.Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common lung diseases and is usually caused due to smoking. Respiratory bronchiolitis interstitial lung disease (RB-ILD) is an other smoking related interstitial lung disease.
3. Cardiovascular diseases
Smoking cause cardiovascular diseases. Almost 35% of smoking related deaths are due to diseases of the arteries and heart. A smoker has 2 - 4 times the chance of developing chronic heart disease than a non-smoker.
4. Heart Attack
Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with people who don't smoke. Smoking Increase blood pressure and increase heart rate. Smoking causes Narrowing of the blood arteries and reduces amount of oxygen the blood can carry.Smoking Creates an imbalance in the demand for oxygen by the cells and increases your chances of heart attack.
5. Blood Circulatory Problems
Smoking causes many Blood Circulatory problems due to gradual build up of plaque in arteries. Such condition leads to narrowing of blood arteries which may further leads to various blood circulatory problems.
6. Brain Stroke
More of your brain cells die the longer you smoke, and brain function can be reduced. Smoking increase Carbon monoxide levels in the blood which restricts the supply of oxygen to body and brain cells. You can also suffer strokes due to constrictions in the blood vessels supplying the brain.
7. Osteoporosis and Weak Bones
Nicotine and toxins in cigarettes affect bone health from many angles and causes gradual loss of bone mass and osteoporosis. Smokers have double the risk of having a bone fracture as compared to non-smokers.
8. Premature or Early Aging
Smoking also results in Premature or early aging. smoking leads to an increase in an enzyme that breaks down skin, and also a reduction of up to 40% in the production of the collagen needed to renew skin. The result is people start showing premature physical signs of aging of the skin and the excessive formation of wrinkles.
9. Extremely Harmful for Mother and Fetus(Baby)
Smoking during pregnancy is extremely harmful for both mother and Fetus (baby) and can be disastrous to Fetus(Baby). The carbon monoxide in a two pack a day habit restricts the oxygen supply to the developing fetus by 60%. This results in abnormal growth and lack of development, and can even cause premature births and stillborn babies. Women who smoke while pregnant increase their risk of giving birth prematurely.Low birth weight also has been linked to smoking.
10. Reduces Fertility in Women
Smoking reduces fertility in women and causes early menopause. Smoking reduces the ability to get pregnant and also affects the time it takes to get pregnant. Smoking affects how receptive the uterus is to the egg. The more a women does smoke the more she reduces the changes of getting pregnant. Smoking while pregnant boosts the risk of miscarriage.
11. Male Impotence
Smoking can reduce the sperm count, and also results into men impotent.Smokers are twice as likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than non-smokers, and this has been confirmed by many medical searches. Smoking causes atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries feeding the penis, and the nicotine also constricts the smaller blood vessels leading to impotence.
12. Poor Vision
Smoking causes poor vision and may lead to various kinds of eye problems. Recent research have found that smokers have double the risk of developing cataracts compared with non-smokers. This risk is triple for heavy smokers. Smoking also increases a person's risk of developing macular degeneration. Studies have also found that smokers face a risk of developing macular degeneration that is two to four times greater than that of people who have never smoked. In addition to Cataracts and macular degeneration, smoking also causes dry eye and optic nerve damage.
13. Poor Immunity
Smoking adversely affects your immune system and causes poor immunity. As a result, reduces your ability to fight against various kinds of infections and diseases. A person with a weak immune system is more vulnerable and prone to attacked by external bacteria and viruses and easily get infected and becomes sick.
14. Reduces You Fitness Level
Smoking massively reduces your endurance and fitness level. Smokers reach exhaustion before non-smokers do and can’t run as far or as fast as non-smokers. In addition, smokers obtain less benefit from physical training and have less muscular strength and flexibility as compare to non-smokers. Smokers get tired more easily, have a harder time breathing, and have more leg pain during exercise.
15. Bad Breath, Stained Teeth and Dark Lips
Besides lowering your overall health level, smoking also decrease your facial beauty. Smoking makes your breath stink and stains your teeth. In additions, it may also turn your rosy pink lips into rough, dry and dark lips.
16. Early or Premature Wrinkles
Smoking speeds up the normal aging process of your skin and contributes to early or premature wrinkles. Smoking causes narrowing of the blood vessels which reduces the blood flow to your skin. With less blood flow, your skin doesn't get sufficient oxygen and important nutrient and starts developing early or premature wrinkles. In addition, Smoking damages collagen and elastin that give your skin its strength and elasticity. As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely because of smoking.
17. Dangers of Second-hand Smoke
Cigarette smoke is not only injurious to your health but it is also dangerous for others including your colleagues, friends and family members. Smoke that comes from the burning of a tobacco product or smoke that is exhaled by smokers is called second-hand smoke. When second-hand smoke is inhaled by non-smokers also puts them at a risk of many fatal diseases. Non-smokers who are exposed to this smoke have a higher risk of lung cancer and coronary heart disease. Children exposed to tobacco smoke have higher risks of developing many diseases including asthma, ear infection, respiratory infections and Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
18. Early Death
Smoking causes an early death. The average smoker dies 15-20 years earlier than they should. The major causes of excess mortality among smokers are diseases that are related to smoking, including cancer (Lung, Larynx, Pharynx, Esophagus, Stomach, Pancreas ), cardiovascular diseases, respiratory and vascular disease.
Smoking Withdrawal Symptoms
Smoking contains Nicotine that creates addiction very rapidly, once hooked if the smoker stops smoking he or she will feel the symptoms of withdrawal. Smoking withdrawal includes any or all of following symptoms:
- Depressed mood
- Lack of Concentration
- Excess Appetite or Hunger
- Higher blood pressure
- Constant Crave for Tobacco or Smoking
After second or third days of quitting smoking or as soon as your body notices a shortage of nicotine, you may start feeling the above symptoms and it may lasts for 1-3 months.
However, if you have a strong will power you can definitely overcome all of these symptoms. Believe in yourself. Believe that you can quit. Think about some of the most difficult things you have done in your life and realize that you have the guts and determination to quit smoking. It's up to you. Definitely You can do it.
20 Best Natural Home Remedies To Stop Smoking
1. Orange or Grape Juice
Juice of orange or grapes is highly beneficial in getting rid of smoking. These fruits are effective in removing nicotine out of your body. Moreover, they will help reduce your craving or desire for smoking. Try to drink orange or grape juice, at least twice a day.
In addition to quit smoking, grape seed extract also helps to repair lung damage. Smoking breaks down vitamin C therefore it is very important to take 5,000-20,000 mg. of vitamin C on a daily basis day. According to intensity of withdrawal symptoms and smoking damage you should consult a doctor for the exact daily dosage of Vitamin C. Naturally Vitamin C is found in most fruits and vegetables with citrus taste, including oranges, grapefruits and their juices having the highest content.
Honey serves as an herbal medicine as well as an antioxidant and considered the best food source that is rich in vitamins, enzymes, proteins and amino acids that helps dealing with cigarette addiction and helps in quit smoking. Consume 2 teaspoons of honey every day, for about two months. This will decrease the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and also reduce the urge to smoke.
3. Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Juices
In order to neutralize the urge of smoking, drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices. The consumption of carrots and celery juice also helps overcome smoking addiction.
4. Rock Salt
Whenever you feel like smoking, apply a pinch of rock salt at the tip of your tongue. Do this process, for about one month. You will find yourself becoming less and less addicted to it.
5. Drink Lots Of Water
Try to drink lots of water. Hydration is an important factor while quitting smoking. It helps flush out the unwanted toxins from your body. In addition, the intensity of withdrawal symptoms gets reduced. Furthermore, dehydration of lack of water may be a trigger for cigarette cravings in the same way that it is a trigger for hunger cravings.
6. Mimosa Herbal Tea
A tea made from the herb of Mimosa Pudica is considered very helpful in controlling the after effects of quitting smoking like anxiety and headache. In addition, it is believed to enhance the regeneration of nerves. Mimosa Tea also has anti-inflammatory and mild sedative properties. Drinking Mimosa tea regularly will prevent people from going back to smoking again.
Note: Use of this herb as a tea or tincture may interact with antidepressant medication so before using this herb you should consult your doctor or pharmacist for potential interactions.. However, its consumption is not recommended to pregnant or breast-feeding mothers. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding mother, you are not allowed to use this herb due to some potential side effects.
7. Deviate your Attention
Whenever you induce an urge of smoking then deviate your attention towards something which is more interesting for you. Listen to music or indulge yourself in any other activity, when you experience a craving for smoking. Most cravings only last 10 - 20 minutes. Distract yourself, keeps yourself busy and the cravings will pass. When you are free and don't have anything to do then talk to yourself :
“I refuse to believe that smoking is more powerful than me.”
“I won’t give smoking any more power over my life".
Self motivation and self confidence is one of the most powerful and effective way to overcome nicotine cravings.
8. Avoid the Smoking Triggers
Avoid doing things that make you want to smoke. Identify the smoking triggers and get rid of them. You should avoid the consumption of alcohol and caffeine, because they are found to be amongst the most common smoking triggers. At the same time, stay away from those who smoke.
9. Stay away from all Tobacco Products
Try to get rid of everything that is related to it. Avoid all tobacco products, such as cigarettes and cigars, which are in your possession. When you do not find any of the products within easy reach, the urge to smoke will automatically reduced. If you are habitual of smoking immediately after meal, eat a hard candy or chewing gum as a replacement.
10. Avoid Acid Promoting Foods
Try to acid promoting foods because they increase the craving for cigarette nicotine. Try to avoid processed and packaged products, red meat, white bread, beer, wine and sugar. Avoiding these foods will make it easier for you to quit smoking.
11. Eat Alkaline Promoting Foods
Eating foods with high alkaline(opposite to acid) content are also very helpful to deal with quitting smoking. Alkaline promoting foods reduce Cigarette nicotine cravings. Apples, avocado, banana, lime, lemon, orange, dried figs, raisins, basil, carrots, celery, cucumber, onion, mint and spinach are good alkaline foods to reduce nicotine cravings.
12. Eat Bananas to Quit Smoking
Rich in Vitamin-B and many other minerals and alkaline nature, bananas are very helpful for quitting smoking. It will be a great idea to include ripe bananas in your diet if you are planning to quit smoking.
13. Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with a glass of water. Stir until the Sodium bicarbonate is completely dissolved in the water. The resulting mixture is alkaline in nature and very helpful to suppress the craving for smoking.
Each and every time when you feel the craving for smoke, rinse your mouth with the resulting mixture. You can carry this mixture with you, in a small bottle. This way you can use it wherever you go, whenever you feel the need to smoke.
If you feel the urge to smoke after every meal then after your regular meal drink a glass of water by dissolving a tablespoon of baking soda. Gradually you will lose the desire to smoke very easily.
However, if you are on medications, or low sodium diet, then you should ask your doctor before using baking soda.
14. Radish and Honey
A smoothie made by radish and honey is also very helpful in getting rid of smoking addiction. Mix one medium size grated fresh radish(moli) with 1-2 tablespoons of honey and whenever you feel the craving for smoke then drink it like juice.
15. Green Oats
Green oats, also known as avena sativa or wild oats are highly beneficial for quitting smoking. According to recent researches green oats can reduce the craving for nicotine and ease withdrawal symptoms. In addition, green oats also help promote detoxification of nicotine during the withdrawal process.
An extract derived from green oats can ease withdrawal symptoms and help to decrease cigarette cravings. However Green oat capsules are also easily available in the market. You can safely take about 300 mg of green oats daily, but it is strongly recommended to consult a doctor for the correct dosage for you. According to intensity of your withdrawal symptoms, a doctor will prescribe the exact dosage of green oats capsules.
Smokers striving to quit smoking are often advised to have crunchy foods that keep their mouth busy. Thus, popcorn is one of the most amazing snack that can be used for this purpose. Popcorn not only keep your mouth busy but also help to curb your urge to smoke.
To enhance the health benefits and prevent intake of unhealthy and extra calories, make sure you munch on air-popped popcorn that do not contain much butter.
17. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper being alkaline in natural, is also very beneficial to stop smoking. You can include this spice in your daily diet or mix a few pinches in a glass of water and drink this whenever you feel the urge for smoking. Cayenne pepper helps in desensitizing the respiratory system to all the addictive things, such as tobacco, nicotine and chemical irritants contained in the smoke. In addition, its antioxidant property stabilizes lung membranes, in turn preventing damage. It also helps to reduce the craving for smoking.
Cinnamon is an amazing alkaline spice that can be employed to aid stop smoking. Whenever you feel craving for a cigarette, you can suck on or chew a cinnamon stick.
Ensure that you always have a cinnamon stick readily available. Keep cinnamon sticks at home, in your car, at work and anyplace else where you used to smoke. Apart from mimicking the nicotine cravings, it relieves negative breath and helps to get rid of impurities from blood.
If the cinnamon aftertaste is unpleasant after you have used your cinnamon stick then drink a glass of water. The water will diminish the cinnamon taste.
Licorice herb can help you quit smoking naturally. Licorice has alkalinity similar to cinnamon and also very beneficial to curb your cravings for nicotine. The slight sweet taste of licorice helps kill the urge to smoke. In addition, it also relieves smoker’s cough.
Chewing a small stick of licorice root is a good substitute of a cigarette and can satisfy your urge to smoke. You can even drink licorice root tea 2-3 times a day.
You should be aware that while licorice and its extracts are safe for normal use in moderate amounts.
Dried root: 1 - 5 g as an infusion or decoction (boiled), 3 times daily
Licorice 1:5 tincture: 2 - 5 mL, 3 times daily
Long-term use (more than 4-6 weeks) or ingestion of excessive amounts can causes many health problems including headache, fatigue, lethargy, high blood pressure, excessive loss of potassium, sodium and water retention which can lead to leg swelling and other problems.
Note: Licorice is not recommended for those who have diabetes, high blood pressure, adrenal disease or reduced kidney or liver functioning. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding mother, you shouldn't use this before consulting a doctor.
20. Multi-vitamins Diet
Smoking causes deficiency of a number of vital nutrients in our body. This can be replenished by eating foods rich in Vitamin A, C and E. If you are not able to get these vitamins from your daily diet plan then after consulting a doctor take supplements of Vitamin A, C and E. According to the intensity of your withdrawal symptoms and smoking damage your doctor will prescribe the exact daily dosage of these vitamins.
Vitamin A is beneficial in repairing the damaged mucus while Vitamin E repairs the damaged cells due to smoking. Vitamin C being a powerful anti-oxidant help to fight against the body damaging free radicals.
All of the above vitamins(A, C and E) will not only help in coping up with the withdrawal symptoms of smoking as well as will help to repair the damage caused due to smoking.