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Article: Myths About Quitting Smoking: Worldwide Misconceptions

Myths About Quitting Smoking: Worldwide Misconceptions - DSF Antique Jewelry
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Myths About Quitting Smoking: Worldwide Misconceptions

When it comes to quitting smoking, many people have total misconceptions about the effects that quitting smoking can have on the body.

It's easy to see that we are not all equal when it comes to tobacco. Some people never take up smoking, others start late and others can't stop. Another interesting fact is that women, although they start smoking later than men, develop a greater degree of addiction and find it more difficult to give up the habit.

It is therefore important to know that beyond the will or motivation of each individual there is also a biological reason that influences the ease of overcoming the short-term effects of quitting smoking.

Nicotine withdrawal, feared by many smokers and recognized as a disease by DSM-IV, is defined as the variety of symptoms that occur when nicotine intake stops after long-term use. The cause is simple: as a drug in the true sense of the word, tobacco disrupts the functioning of the brain, leading to both physical and mental dependence.
Myths Quitting Smoking - Worldwide Misconceptions
In general, smokers tend to exaggerate the disadvantages of quitting (withdrawal effects) and downplay the benefits (improved health, physical performance, appearance, personal finances). But that doesn't mean they're right.

The stress associated with quitting, the fear of gaining weight, and the belief that it is already too late for their health are some of the factors that persuade smokers not to quit. Which explains the variety of myths and worldwide misconceptions that have arisen about quitting.

In addition, the cigarette industry is a highly profitable one, so some myths may even come from the manufacturers themselves.

Worldwide Misconceptions: Well-Known Myths About Quitting Smoking

1. "I'll get fat if I quit smoking!"

It's the most common myth unfortunately among smokers. But cigarettes and body weight have little to do with each other. Smoking doesn't lose weight, nicotine doesn't miraculously burn calories.

But why does this myth persist? It is because most people tend to compensate for smoking with eating, which explains why your pants start to get tight after you quit smoking. If you keep eating just enough you won't have this problem.

This is one of the most widespread misconceptions in the world.

2. "I won't be able to cope with stress if I quit smoking"

Although many people smoke when they are stressed, it has actually been shown that non-smokers are less anxious than smokers, and smokers who have quit are less anxious than ex-smokers.

Then why does this myth persist? The common misconception is generally accepted among smokers because they have developed the habit of smoking when they are stressed, and once they quit they won't know what to do in times of stress.

In fact, it's not cigarettes that calm smokers down, it's the fact that they get away from the office and away from their problems and soothe themselves. But you can also do this without smoking.

3. "My Grandfather Smoked All His Life And Lived Just Fine Till He Was 80"

It's true, there are some people whose genetic makeup prevents them from altering their body cells through smoking and forming cancerous tumors or developing serious diseases. But such cases are rare, experts warn.

Instead, more than 7 million people worldwide die from smoking. More precisely, every 6.5 seconds, a smoker or former smoker dies from diseases that cigarettes have caused or promoted, according to World Health Organization data. So the chances of you being among those with the protective genetic variant that will help you live a long life despite smoking are very small.

4. "Switching To Light Cigarettes Is Better"

People who switch to "light" cigarettes tend to inhale more smoke. Basically, they adapt the way they smoke to give their brain the dose of nicotine it has become accustomed to: they smoke more cigarettes, take a deeper or longer drag, and smoke the whole cigarette, according to lung specialists.

In fact, it's a statistically proven fact that most people who intend to quit smoking switch first from "strong" to "weaker" cigarettes. This is what the manufacturers of "light" cigarettes are count on, selling the illusion that smoking this type of cigarette will reduce the health risks and, in addition, the body will gradually wean itself off the high nicotine content of "normal" cigarettes.

It is already known that "light" cigarettes contain substances that are even more harmful than nicotine. Also, physical, biological nicotine addiction is much "milder" than psychological, gestural addiction. Therefore, replacing the gesture of smoking strong cigarettes with the gesture of smoking "light" cigarettes has no effect on the process of quitting smoking.

5. "After years of smoking, your health won't improve"

It's never too late to enjoy the benefits of quitting smoking. In fact, it's been proven that after just one year of quitting the habit, the risk of developing heart disease drops by half.

Within just 20 minutes of quitting smoking your heart rate and blood pressure return to normal.

Within 12 hours of quitting smoking, the level of carbon monoxide in the blood normalizes. Two to three months after quitting smoking, lung function and circulation improve.

6. "Nicotine products are just as harmful as regular cigarettes"

Studies have shown that simply quitting smoking without any outside help doesn't work for everyone. Most people who try to quit smoking this way will pick up again after a while. The chances of success are better if you combine the will to quit with a few sessions of psychological counseling.

Statistics show that psychological help increases the success rate of a smoking cessation program by 60%. And nicotine medications (gum, lozenges, patches) double the chances. But some think these nicotine products are just as harmful. But it should be known that nicotine is safe when taken as recommended by a doctor.

Even if we used nicotine products every day for many years, it would still pose fewer health risks than smoking. This is because nicotine products for people who want to quit smoking usually contain only nicotine. Cigarettes, on the other hand, contain around 4,000 other harmful compounds in addition to nicotine, of which over 60 are known carcinogens.

Some smokers believe that quitting tobacco is sudden and that willpower is their only help. This myth is partly true. Indeed, willpower is essential, but success is also guaranteed with the help of a counselor or medication, including nicotine-containing products such as patches or gum.

So, as you can see, there are many worldwide misconceptions about quitting smoking that have no factual basis according to scientists.

7. "Cut Down On Cigarettes And You'll Be Fine"

Cutting down on cigarettes is not an effective strategy because, as with those who switch to "light" versions, smokers end up taking more out of each cigarette.

8 . "E-cigarettes Is A Reliable Helper"

E-cigarettes are not effective for those who want to quit smoking, experts again warn. This is where the same explanation comes into play as for "light" cigarettes.

It is much more difficult to quit smoking cigarettes by replacing the act of smoking real cigarettes with the act of smoking e-cigarettes. In addition, e-cigarettes also contain harmful substances which, as with normal cigarettes, enter the smoker's body as well as the bodies of others via the vapor.

In many cases, the chemical composition of these devices is not even written on the packaging, so testing and regulation in this area leave something to be desired.

9. "If I Quit I'll Get Bored When I Go Out With Friends And Want To Smoke"

It's half the "mental hurdle" you come across when you want to quit smoking. The point is this: after three weeks of not smoking the feeling of wanting to smoke goes away, maybe not the mental craving.

That is, you no longer know what it feels like to smoke, physiologically speaking, and you become attentive to other sensations.

So you can organize your "cravings" and relaxation system differently - there are plenty of things to enjoy in this world!

These were nine of the most well-known myths about quitting smoking. 

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