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You look around and you see men, old & young alike making a beeline at the local street vendor shop. While some enjoying their paan, others indulge in a quick ‘stress-free’ smoking session! 

And these days, it’s not uncommon to see young lads take so much pride in blowing smoke rings while their` friends watch in amazement. 

It’s easy for us to keep telling people to stop smoking!

We all know smoking leads to a number of health complications. Quite a few people out there struggle and struggle to give up smoking and end up being a failure. But there are many, many things that we can help these people do to enhance their health condition. 

That doesn’t mean you have still a reason to continue smoking and enjoy the health benefits. We need to look at all available options to discourage people from smoking as it would help their own health, their family and the whole community around us.

The main ailment that is caused due to smoking is free radicals in the human body. One puff of a cigarette smoke contains up to a million different free radicals. Free radicals in the body is what gives rise to disease, low immunity and several other health problems.

One way to minimise the free radicals is by using antioxidants and you can find antioxidants in your food right from fruits & vegetables to nuts & seeds. But sometimes you need a supplement or a plant based formulation that is rich in antioxidants if you are a constant smoker.

Your red blood cell has a function of carrying oxygen from blood to all the cells in your body. We all know that oxygen is our life force; you can live without food and water for a while but we cannot live without oxygen. Oxygen is what gives energy to our cells and it is required for every single function in your body. Oxygen usually latches on to a molecule called haemoglobin in your body. This means, when you have high levels of haemoglobin, you have high amounts of oxygen reaching all cells in your body.

In other words, when you have more amount of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide latches on to the molecule called haemoglobin instead of oxygen and gets carried to cells all over the body. Too much carbon dioxide in your blood can be very toxic and deadly. This can cause shortness of breath and higher heart rate. 

The body is able to release carbon monoxide through the normal breathing process. The problem arises when you have too much of this in our body from environmental pollution and cigarette smoking.

You should know what cigarette smoke contains and how it works in your body. Nicotine found in cigarette is the most dangerous thing, and this is what reaches your lung and causes addiction. Cigarette smoke also contains tar, which is very toxic and has the function of carrying nicotine to your lungs. 

Do you really get addicted to cigarette smoking?

Wondered what actually happens when you smoke a cigarette? You are not addicted to cigarettes at all. You are addicted to body’s unconscious conditioned response to those cigarettes. Your body releases a hormone called endorphin when you smoke cigarettes; it acts as a kind of pain reliever or body stabiliser. 

Each time you smoke a cigarette, your body keeps releasing more and more endorphins. And it reaches a point where your body releases a surge of endorphins the moment you put a cigarette on your lip, and in the process you are experiencing relaxation and relief from tension. 

But, is it a good way to relax? not exactly! Actually, it’s a trick played by nicotine that is contained in cigarettes to your body. When you smoke, you are inhaling the nicotine, and in fact this causes tension and anxiety in your body. The endorphins end up masking this feeling and comes to your rescue. This relaxation could last, maybe, for about 2-3 hours and the feeling of anxious effect or tension from nicotine comes back again forcing you to go for another go at smoking. This crazy cycle gets repeated over and over again, and you become an addict to this unconscious conditioned response. 

How can you support a quitter?

Self-motivation plays a major part in quitting smoking. Listen to them and help them realise why they want to quit and be clear about it. Grab a piece of paper and on one half, jot down the reasons why they smoke and on the other half, the reasons why they need to quit. This exercise will help them have a clearer idea of what they will lose and what they will gain from stopping smoking. Try putting a circle on the most important reason for them to quit. Put this on a separate piece of paper and have it placed in such a way they can easily look at it when they need to.

They may fail at some point and start smoking again. They might feel guilty about it. It's part of the journey, don't get angry with them. Instead, tell them they can still do it and remind them of all the progress they have made.

Celebrate when they succeed - Big or Small!

Keep reminding them about the benefits how their heart and lungs would enjoy, and that their health is only going to improve in the process. 

Help them de-stress. Show them that there are plenty of other ways to relax that could be actually beneficial to their body, such as exercise and meditation. Take them for a trip to nearby forest and help them lose in the greenery, sound of birds, etc. 

Giving up smoking is the best thing one can do. The best way to enhance one's health is by replenishing the vitamins & minerals that smoking takes away from your body!


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