Health & Disease Prevention

Helping a Smoker Quit: Do’s and Don’ts

Helping a Smoker Quit: Do’s and Don’ts

General hints for friends and family

Do respect that the quitter is in charge. This is their lifestyle change and their challenge, not yours.

Do ask the person whether they want you to ask regularly how they’re doing. Ask how they’re feeling – not just whether they’ve stayed quit.

Do let the person know that it’s OK to talk to you whenever they need to hear encouraging words.

Do help the quitter get what they need, such as hard candy to suck on, straws to chew on, and fresh veggies cut up and kept in the refrigerator.

Do spend time doing things with the quitter to keep their mind off smoking – go to the movies, take a walk to get past a craving (what many call a “nicotine fit”), or take a bike ride together.

Do try to see it from the smoker’s point of view – a smoker’s habit may feel like an old friend that’s always been there when times were tough. It’s hard to give that up.

Do make your home smoke free, meaning that no one can smoke in any part of the house.

Do remove all lighters and ash trays from your home. Remove anything that reminds them of smoking

Do wash clothes that smell like smoke. Clean carpets and drapes. Use air fresheners to help get rid of the tobacco smells – and don’t forget the car, too.

Do help the quitter with a few chores, some child care, cooking – whatever will help lighten the stress of quitting.

Do celebrate along the way. Quitting smoking is a BIG DEAL!

Don’t doubt the smoker’s ability to quit. Your faith in them reminds them they can do it.

Don’t judge, nag, preach, tease, or scold. This may make the smoker feel worse about him or herself. You don’t want your loved one to turn to a cigarette to soothe hurt feelings.

Don’t take the quitter’s grumpiness personally during their nicotine withdrawal. Tell them that you understand the symptoms are real and remind them that they won’t last forever. The symptoms usually get better in about 2 weeks.

Don’t offer advice. Just ask how you can help with the plan or program they are using.

If your ex-smoker “slips”

Don’t assume that they will start back smoking like before. A “slip” (taking a puff or smoking a cigarette or 2) is pretty common when a person is quitting.

Do remind the quitter how long they went without a cigarette before the slip.

Do help the quitter remember all the reasons they wanted to quit, and help them forget about the slip as soon as possible.

Do continue to offer support and encouragement. Remind them they’re still a “quitter” – NOT a smoker.

Don’t scold, tease, nag, blame, or make the quitter feel guilty. Be sure the quitter knows that you care about them whether or not they smoke.

If your quitter relapses

Research shows that most people try to quit smoking several times before they succeed. (It’s called a relapse when smokers go back to smoking like they were before they tried to quit.) If a relapse happens, think of it as practice for the next time. Don’t give up your efforts to encourage and support your loved one. If the person you care about fails to quit or starts smoking again:

Do praise them for trying to quit, and for whatever length of time (days, weeks, or months) of not smoking.

Do remind your loved one that they didn’t fail – they are learning how to quit – and you’re going to be there for them the next time and as many times as it takes.

Do encourage them to try again. Don’t say, “If you try again…” Say, “When you try again…” Studies show that most people who don’t succeed in quitting are ready to try again in the near future.

Do encourage them to learn from the attempt. Things a person learns from a failed attempt to quit may help them quit for good next time. It takes time and skills to learn to be a non-smoker.

Do say, “It’s normal to not succeed the first few times you try to quit. Most people understand this, and know that they have to try to quit again. You didn’t smoke for (length of time) this time. Now you know you can do that much. You can get even further next time.”

If you are a smoker

Do smoke outside and always away from the quitter.

Do keep your cigarettes, lighters, and matches out of sight. They might be triggers for your loved one to smoke.

Don’t ever offer the quitter a smoke or any other form of tobacco, even as a joke!

Do join your loved one in their effort to quit. It’s better for your health and might be easier to do with someone else who is trying to quit, too.

 

Source   https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/helping-a-smoker-quit.html

 


Benefits of Quitting Smoking Over Time

Benefits of Quitting Smoking Over Time

It’s never too late to quit using tobacco. The sooner you quit, the more you can reduce your chances of getting cancer and other diseases.

Within minutes of smoking your last cigarette, your body begins to recover:

20 minutes after quitting

Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.

(Mahmud A, Feely J. Effect of smoking on arterial stiffness and pulse pressure amplification. Hypertension. 2003;41(1):183-187.)

12 hours after quitting

The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

(US Surgeon General’s Report, 1988, p. 202)

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting

Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.

(US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp. 193, 194, 196, 285, 323)

1 to 9 months after quitting

Coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs (called cilia) start to regain normal function in your lungs, increasing their ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.

(US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp. 285-287, 304)

1 year after quitting

The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone who still smokes. Your heart attack risk drops dramatically.

(US Surgeon General’s Report, 2010, p. 359)

5 years after quitting

Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Your stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2 to 5 years.

(US Surgeon General’s Report, 2010 and World Health Organization. Tobacco Control: Reversal of Risk After Quitting Smoking. IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention, Vol. 11. 2007, p. 341.)

10 years after quitting

Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. Your risk of cancer of the larynx (voice box) and pancreas decreases.

(US Surgeon General’s Report, 2010 and US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp. vi, 155, 165)

15 years after quitting

Your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.

(World Health Organization. Tobacco Control: Reversal of Risk After Quitting SmokingIARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention, Vol. 11. 2007, p. 11.)

These are just a few of the benefits of quitting smoking for good. Quitting smoking lowers your risk of diabetes, lets blood vessels work better, and helps your heart and lungs.

Life expectancy for smokers is at least 10 years shorter than that of non-smokers. Quitting smoking before the age of 40 reduces the risk of dying from smoking-related disease by about 90%.

Quitting while you’re younger will reduce your health risks more, but quitting at any age can give back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke.

Are there benefits of quitting that I’ll notice right away?

Kicking the tobacco habit offers some rewards that you’ll notice right away and some that will show up over time.

Right away you’ll save the money you spent on tobacco! And here are just a few other benefits you may notice:

  • Food tastes better.
  • Your sense of smell returns to normal.
  • Your breath, hair, and clothes smell better.
  • Your teeth and fingernails stop yellowing.
  • Ordinary activities leave you less out of breath (for example, climbing stairs or light housework).
  • You can be in smoke-free buildings without having to go outside to smoke.

Quitting also helps stop the damaging effects of tobacco on how you look, including premature wrinkling of your skin, gum disease, and tooth loss.

 

Source  https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/benefits-of-quitting-smoking-over-time.html





Moving When Young May Strengthen the Adult Brain

Moving When Young May Strengthen the Adult Brain

 

Being active in youth may change the inner workings of brain cells much later in life and sharpen some types of thinking, according to a remarkable new neurological study involving rats.

The study suggests that the effects of youthful exercise on the brain could linger deep into adulthood, potentially providing a buffer against the declines in brain health and memory that otherwise occur with age.

hamster wheel Nanette Hoogslag n Getty Images

hamster wheel Nanette Hoogslag/Getty Images

Most of us who are past the age of 40 are aware from doleful personal experience that mental acuity wanes as the decades pass. The deficits are often subtle — names and other nouns slide just out of our mind’s reach — but pervasive.

Some scientists have wondered whether the effects of this decline might be lessened if we started the downward slope from a higher peak, a condition that has been termed having a “cognitive reserve.”