Quit smoking: how to quit
Up to 90 percent of lung cancer caused by smoking. still, many smokers cannot get rid of the cigarette. This is how you become and stay a non-smoker. Quitting smoking – this is what many smokers want. But it is often difficult to keep smoking cessation in the long term. Remaining non-smokers after a successful quit – is the real challenge. Usually, several attempts to quit are necessary for this. But with a little help and a clear decision, it is workable to give up cigarettes. The right motivation and suitable means and methods. during the weaning phase as well as strategies for preventing relapses are important.
Means and methods of smoking cessation
Most smokers first try to get rid of the glowing stalk on their own. “Without support, but, the success rate on the first attempt is only three to six percent. says Professor Stephan Mühlig, psychologist, an addiction researcher. and head of the smokers’ clinic at the Chemnitz University of Technology.
It helps some smokers to reduce tobacco consumption and to stop it. BUT, this leads to self-deception and maintains the psychological dependency longer. says the addiction expert. Many sufferers so have more success with the endpoint method, where they stop from one day to the next. In contrast, controlled and reduced smoking does not work. in the long term for most smokers,” explains Mühlig. There are now many means and methods to make smoking cessation easier.
Achieve a good success rate in behavioral therapy group weaning programs. These offer for example, in university smokers’ clinics on a scientific basis. “The group provides support and creates. a kind of helpful social pressure to persevere. explains Mühlig, who himself leads such courses. So far, some of the therapy has to pay for yourself; five to ten-hour courses cost between 150 and 300 euros. Statutory health insurances subsidize the measure with 75 to 100 euros per year. some reimburse the entire amount. If you interest, ask about your health insurance. company whether they will contribute to the costs. The money invested in your own health can save giving up cigarettes.
Nicotine replacement and drugs from the pharmacy
Nicotine replacement preparations, for example in the form of chewing gum. patches or lozenges, make it easier to wean by releasing nicotine. and thus alleviating the symptoms of withdrawal. “The preparations do not must a prescription, but the health insurance companies. do not reimburse the costs,” says Mühlig. There are also other prescription medications in tablet form that can ease. withdrawal symptoms and increase the success of abstinence. But, these can also cause serious side effects. they must a prescribed and should only take under medical supervision. These drugs are also not reimbursed by statutory health insurance.
E-cigarette use is an alternative to tobacco cigarettes. Mühlig: “Although it is less hazardous to health, it is also not unproblematic. From a health point of view, smoking completely recommend.” The e-cigarette has been controversial as a weaning agent. Critics point out that there is no uniform control of the ingredients. and the nicotine content of the liquids filled in. Long-term studies on the harmfulness of some ingredients are still lacking. Also, depending on the design, the devices release more or less nicotine from the liquids. Thus, the user cannot determine what dose of nicotine he is actually inhaling. but, some studies show
Alternative methods of smoking cessation
The range of alternative therapies is large. Addiction researcher Mühlig warns of expensive. sometimes dubious methods that advertise with half-truths and allegedly high success rates. Acupuncture and hypnosis are particularly popular. “but, their benefit has not proved,” says Mühlig. If you want to be on the safe side, you can find out about recommended programs in the local area on the Internet. for example, on the joint website. the German Cancer Research Center and the Federal Center for Health Education.
Health Consequences of Smoking
Smoking is by far the most important risk factor. some serious illnesses and shortens life by an average of ten years. The German Cancer Research Center. speaks of 110,000 to 140,000 people per year who die in Germany alone as a result of smoking. Also, there are over 3,300 non-smokers who die as a result of passive smoking.
Smoking damages almost every organ, especially the respiratory tract and the cardiovascular system. Up to 90 percent of all lung cancer cases cause nicotine consumption. and smokers are at least twice as likely to develop. cardiovascular diseases and strokes. Chronic obstructive bronchitis is a common smoking disease. It often manifests itself as persistent inflammation. the airways – which can lead to the trivialized symptom known as “smoker’s cough. and over the years, in some cases, results in serious disability. The smoke can even damage the psyche and the brain: “Studies have shown that smokers. have a higher risk of depression, Anxiety disorders. and dementia diseases, even the risk of suicide increase several times, “warns Mühlig.
Quitting smoking lowers the risk of heart attack
According to the German Cancer Research Center, half of the tobacco. related deaths occur between the ages of 35 and 69. Only 58 percent of smokers reach the age of 70, only 26 percent live to be 80 or older. For comparison: 81 percent of non-smokers will be 70 years. and 59 percent will experience their 80th birthday.
But no matter how long and how much you have smoked: It is always worth quitting! The following video shows you why. First the good news: Per capita, tobacco consumption in Germany is falling. For example, while in 2011 every adult consumed an average of 1305 cigarettes, according to preliminary figures it was 1063 in 2020 – a decrease of 19 percent, as the Wiesbaden statisticians calculated. But according to the 2017 micro census, a good every fourth man (26 percent) and almost every fifth woman (19 percent) still smokes.
The right attitude
Your own health, the exposure of friends and family to passive smoking. the cost of cigarettes and, last but not least. the unpleasant feeling of being dependent on a – albeit legal – drug: there are many reasons to quit smoking. “But addictive behavior is not rational. Knowledge of the risks, the costs, none of this counts for smokers if they are not ready to quit inside. says addiction researcher Mühlig. Attempts to persuade, pressure from outside. all this is of little use or may even lead to the hardening of addictive behavior.
There is nothing that is not harmed in the lungs
In general, cigarette smoke causes inflammation in the airways. Viruses and bacteria are more likely to settle there. “There is nothing in the lungs that is not harmed by smoking,” says the head of the Immenhausen lung clinic in Hesse, who is also a member of the advisory board of the German Lung Foundation.
E-cigarettes are also not good, according to the expert. Their consumption also increases the risk of severe courses in Covid-19 quit smoking.
Many smokers would like to quit but shy away from the difficult-to-bear time of quitting. In reality, the physical withdrawal only lasts four to six weeks. and the worst withdrawal symptoms even subside after a few days. The intensity of the symptoms is also usually overestimated by smokers. The fear of withdrawal is usually worse than the withdrawal itself.
This inner conflict is typical of addicted smokers. They are always finding new “reasons” why it is impossible for them to stop right now. “Several attempts to quit smoking are normal. I myself only managed to get rid of cigarettes on the sixth or seventh attempt,” admits Mühlig. His tip: keep trying. Relapsing isn’t a shame, it’s the rule. And you’ll make it forever. Anyone can quit smoking – if you want to and understand how to overcome the addiction.