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MAIN Arrow to Health Health Arrow to Smoking Smoking - Kicking the Habit

cigaretteIn the U.S., smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease — ranging from heart disease, stroke and lung cancer to age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and pancreatic cancer.

Other conditions sometimes associated with smoking include complications in pregnancy, and migraine headaches.

Indeed, the sooner a smoker quits, the better.

So why do millions of people around the world, who are aware of smoking's dangers to their lungs and overall health, still continue to smoke?

The answer is that nicotine helps boost a brain chemical called dopamine which, in short, simply makes smokers feel good ... and leaves them wanting more. For this reason, those who abruptly quit often find it takes several attempts before they can permanently kick the habit.

Physical withdrawal symptoms may vary depending on how long and how much they've smoked. Mild-to-severe symptoms typically include headaches, colds, congestion, tremors, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, and digestive upset.

In addition to physical symptoms (which usually dissipate after 72 hours), psychological withdrawal may persist for many months afterward. Upon awakening or going to bed, in times of stress or elation, following a meal, in social situations, while drinking alcohol, or any other time the subconscious expects a nicotine fix is when cravings are strongly triggered.


also in the How-To Library:
stop smoking
How to quit smoking

Today, help is widely available for smokers who want to kick the habit, including support groups or behavioral therapy and counseling sessions, or in combination with nicotine replacement therapy in the form of nicotine chewing gum, patches, nasal sprays or inhalers.

Antidepressants such as Wellbutrin or Zyban are also prescribed to support smoking cessation, and vaccines are now being readied to help smokers quit by blocking the dopamine response triggered by nicotine.

Around the Web, find out more about the dangers of smoking along with guides to medications and aids to smoking cessation, where to find support, tips & advice on stress relief, plus related forums & discussion boards with helpful personal stories on how other smokers finally kicked the habit for good ...

also see related feature -> Don't Just Quit. Take the Next Step

More information about smoking around the Web:


How to Quit - Excellent collection of informative articles on helping smokers kick the habit including facts on smoking cessation products, related health benefits, guides specifically targeted to African Americans, teens and clinicians, with related links & resources. - Billing itself as "the Internet's leading cold turkey quit smoking resource" with a wealth of tips & advice on quitting, information on nicotine addiction, smoking's effects on the lungs and circulatory system, personal stories, related video clips, forums & discussion boards.

Stop Smoking - Information from the American Lung Association with facts on nicotine replacement therapy including details on the nicotine patch, nicotine gum, prescription medications and a link to their free online smoking cessation program.

This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.


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