Despite the fact that the knowledge and information around the damage that smoking cigarettes does to your health is widely available, there are still an estimated 1.1 billion people worldwide who smoke – this is the equivalent of one in every five of the global population.
This is probably a good opportunity to remind ourselves of why smoking has such an impact on our health.
- Eight million people die prematurely every year from smoking.
- Smoking today is most common in Europe and Asia, where more than 20 percent of adults smoke every day.
- Smoking has been demonstrated to lead directly to a number of life limiting diseases. These include: cancer, heart disease, stroke, emphysema, diabetes, tuberculosis.
- Smoking while pregnant can lead to irreversible damage to the child, including lung problems, stunted growth, asthma attacks and tuberculosis.
While the evidence against smoking is so compelling, it does beg the question, why do so many people persist in maintaining a habit that has been proven to kill in so many different ways.
Short term intangible benefits
When someone attempts to give up smoking, they do so in the knowledge that they are benefiting their health. The problem is that the immediate benefits are so intangible that the struggles inherent in giving up smoking are bigger.
Chances are you are still in reasonable health, other than a smoker’s cough in the morning, and the inevitable impact on your wallet, the immediate effect of smoking is not felt. You are not dying on that particular day, you are not ill, you still have all your limbs. On this basis, the benefits of giving up a pastime that you enjoy are located in some mystical future which is too intangible to feel today.
This means that it is easy to push giving up to tomorrow, or next week, or next month. There will always be plenty of time to stop in the future, so you might as well enjoy your last few opportunities to smoke.
The variety of available vaping flavours is overwhelming
Moving from smoking to vaping is the route that millions take in a bid to give up cigarettes. This is a tried and tested route, but requires a degree of time and attention to make the changes from changing to vaping. This is because there is such a wide variety of flavours and brands to choose from – from Jack Rabbit to Jak’d eliquids, from Fancy Fruits to Fugly But Sweet, navigating your way through the myriad of flavours on offer risk driving you back to the familiar territory of the simple tobacco cigarette.
Is quitting smoking really that difficult?
One of the reasons why people find it so hard to quit is because this is a narrative that has been fed through to smokers since before they even picked up a cigarette. While we are told that nicotine is addictive, it actually only stays in the bloodstream for up to a maximum of three days. Many people successfully give up cigarettes for a few days, only to go back to it after a couple of weeks.F
Consequently, it is not tFhe nicotine that is the addictive element, but the habit of smoking itself. The routine and ritual of smoking – that first one in the morning, after a good meal, with a cup of coffee – these are all habits that pepper our days, adding to a psychological obstacle that is harder to get over than any addictive element.
The best piece of advice to giving up cigarettes is to tell yourself that it is actually quite easy, and simply requires you to tolerate a bit of discomfort every now and again. Taking out the ‘difficult’ element will put you on the first step to success.