Everybody knows that smoking isn’t just bad for you and your lungs, but that it kills: a smoker’s life expectancy is at least ten years shorter than everyone else’s, and if you quit before you’re 40 you can reduce your risk of smoking related death by a whopping 90%.
Within just a year, your risk of heart disease will have halved. And if you manage to stay tobacco free for another year, research suggests you’re likely to be done for good.
There are benefits that might surprise you, too. So in honour of World No Tobacco Day, Valiant Clinic’s experts reveal them here – and there are five useful tips on how to actually stop, too.
1. Food will taste better – because your tastebuds essentially come back to life!
2. You’ll smell better – and so will everything in your house. From bedsheets to your sofa!
3. You’ll gain back time – Unbelievably, smokers take about 7 weeks out of their year on smoke breaks at work. Imagine if that time was directed elsewhere!
4. You’ll save money – It might sound obvious, but have you thought about how much? A heavy smoker on two packs a day at Dh18 each is racking up Dh13,104 a year!
5. You’ll have healthier, less irritated eyes – and you’ll reduce your risk of cataracts, too.
6. You’ll look younger – That’s thanks to a whiter smile and an increase in blood circulation to your skin.
7. You can clean less – No picking up cigarette butts and ash.
8. You’ll have more friends – by no longer forcing them to inhale your second-hand smoke. The extra energy you have might help you get out and socialize more, too.
9. You’ll quit other bad habits – Certain behaviour is intertwined with smoking. For example, morning coffee.
10. You’ll have better functioning insides – Smoking messes with your digestion!
So you want to quit. But how? Valiant Clinic’s experts have some suggestions
1. Find a strong reason - Motivation is a key reason to keep going. Try to understand how smoking hurts your body, or costs you money for example. Focus on your strongest conviction to quit.
2. Avoid or reprogram your triggers - Keep a diary of when you smoke. Note the patterns. You might find you smoke more after dinner, for example. If you do, go on a walk or have a cup of tea instead.
3. Create a victory calendar – Make a wall calendar and mark every day you don’t smoke. Add healthy rewards at certain milestones – say, after a week or two weeks.
4. Start an exercise regime – When you first start, it might not be easy. Smoking makes you wheeze when you exercise. But you’ll be motivated by how noticeably fitter you become.
5. Enlist a support system – Tell your friends, family or colleagues what you’re doing. It keeps you accountable!
If you’re keen to give up smoking, whether it’s cigarettes or water pipes like shisha, you can do it and help is at hand. Valiant Clinic’s Consultant Pulmonologist, Dr. Fabrizio Facchini, and Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr. Monica Mendes have put together a strategy that can help. To learn more, contact them at Valiant Clinic.