Quitting Smoking

Smoking contributes up to one in ten deaths every year worldwide, a figure which easily eclipses the combined number of deaths caused by terrorism, vehicle accidents, alcohol-related diseases, firearms-related fatalities, hunger and drug use. In the United Kingdom alone, over 86,000 people die annually due to smoking-related diseases.

Since deaths from smoking-related diseases are frequently categorised under different ailments, it is difficult to attribute a precise figure to deaths caused by tobacco use. However, a number of studies conducted over the years estimates that smoking-related deaths total to well over five million annually, and the figure is expected to rise to ten million by 2030. The greater tragedy here though is that these are entirely preventable mortalities.

Smokers are not oblivious to the dangers posed by extended tobacco use; 69 percent of them try to quit smoking every year. However, 85 percent of them will give up within a week, and less than six percent will ultimately succeed. Don't cheer for the six percent just yet though - between 60 and 90 percent of them will relapse within a year. As the great Mark Twain once said, "Quitting smoking is easy: I've done it thousands of times!"

So why is it so hard to quit smoking? In a word, nicotine.

Nicotine, the primary stimulant found in cigarettes, is fiendishly addictive. A study by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates that nicotine has a comparable level of addiction to Schedule I drugs like heroin and cocaine. Let that sink in for a moment - quitting smoking is as tough as quitting hard drugs. It is easier to quit using soft drugs such as LSD and cannabis.

Beyond nicotine dependency, quitting smoking also triggers a wide range of withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiousness, loss of concentration and hunger, among others, which will frequently lead to relapses.

However, all is not lost. Research shows that smokers can increase their chances of permanently quitting smoking by seeking counselling, using medicine or doing nicotine replacement therapy. If you are serious about tackling your nicotine dependency, then please continue reading to learn of the proven solutions to kick your smoking habits.