There are many myths about quitting smoking. In fact, there are so many it looks as though the tobacco industry has made them up. Is it too late? Will you gain weight? Will you become a nervous wreck and start biting all your nails? If you didn't succeed the first time, does this mean you'll never succeed at all? Let's break some of these myths for you.
First myth: “It’s too late to quit because the harm has already been done.” This is not true. It is never too late to quit smoking. According to WHO, the carbon monoxide in your blood drops to normal levels within the first 12 hours of quitting. In 2–12 weeks, your blood pressure and pulmonary function improve. In 1–9 months, your cough and breathing improve. After a year, your risk of developing heart disease is half lower than it is for smokers. Quitting smoking therefore has direct short-term benefits for your health and well-being, so it makes sense and is beneficial regardless of your age.
Second myth: “If I didn’t succeed once, I never will.” This is also not true. According to WHO, it takes an average of seven takes to successfully quit smoking. For this reason, it is essential that you keep trying and testing new methods and approaches. People differ from one another, so different methods work for different people. The first person may find that making a simple decision to quit is enough, while someone else might find that nicotine patches work best for them. Then there are those who resort to therapy or hypnosis. It is important to not quit upon your first failed attempt. Instead, draw some valuable conclusions and try again. Or try differently.
Third myth: “I will gain weight when I quit smoking.” Yes, it is undoubtedly true that some individuals gain weight during this process, but this is not necessarily a consequence. One of the reasons why this might happen is the fact that quitting normally improves an individual’s sense of smell and taste, which can make food more appetizing. However, we believe that you can use this to your advantage. As your senses improve, you can start discovering healthy foods, new tastes and aromas. But practice moderation! Another important factor in determining your body weight is physical exercise, so we also recommend that you spend plenty of time indulging in outdoor activities.
Fourth myth: “I will become a nervous wreck that no one will be able to stand.” Quitting smoking is related to several withdrawal symptoms, such as feeling down and on the edge. This is why it makes sense to consider reducing your daily dosage and gradually getting your body used to the absence of harmful substances. This will also reduce the psychological impact of quitting or cast it away altogether. It is also noteworthy that nicotine does not reduce stress. In fact, scientists have proven that nicotine increases the level of stress. The dominant reason why you feel relaxed after smoking is due to the fact that you’ve made some time for yourself and took several deep inhales and exhales. Try doing it without a cigarette.
Fifth myth: “I can avoid risks by just reducing my daily use.” It is true that only smoking 5 cigarettes per day instead of 20 reduces your risk of developing disease or dying prematurely. However, this risk is still substantially higher than it would be if you quit altogether. Reducing your daily use is undoubtedly beneficial and makes sense in terms of slowly getting your body accustomed and avoiding the withdrawal symptoms associated with reducing or quitting. Nevertheless, your ultimate goal should be to quit. Quitting does not have to happen in an instant if you find this too demanding, but I highly recommend that you plan your journey and define a timeframe in which you will quit smoking altogether.