While not all of the recent news about health and smoking in Australia is positive, it certainly isn't business as usual. For example, in a move that should delight international investors in Big Tobacco and Big Pharma companies, we are actually seeing the launch of a study that will attempt to validate a drug that could help young smokers reduce the warning signs of diminished health and lung function while still lighting up. Perfect for anybody who wants to continue paying large sums of money over time to both industries and not do anything at all about the potential cancer risk that waits for the young smoker down the line. For most smokers, however, adding more chemical drugs to the daily mix along with the toxins from tobacco makes no sense at all.
For many Australians, the need to stop smoking now is clear-cut. There are proven natural ways to quit smoking that may have no side effects. Natural methods are most effective when combined in a programme that reflects individual challenges and deep personal feelings about lighting up. Personalised approaches have the best chance of success with the multitude of motivations for smokers.
By way of an illustration, consider that some smokers grab the next cigarette for pleasure, some for the regard of our cool peers and others simply to reduce stress, tension, and anxiety. Each of these tribes of smokers responds to a different assortment of techniques for stopping and staying tobacco free.
By far the most smokers say they smoke to fight stress. Life is full of conflict and static. You have to get along with someone at work. You must drive in traffic. Your spouse or other loved one is arguing with you. Suddenly, you fall back on your secret weapon, that pack of cigarettes. While you know you don't want to be a smoker you can't deny the habit is serving your needs at times. Why does it work to disperse the stress?
The answer is in the biochemistry of your body and brain. Smoking tobacco products pumps nicotine into your lungs, where the membranes that are supposed to provide oxygen to your blood passively allow nicotine to pass over and infuse into the bloodstream as well. It's not until that blood races into the brain that the nicotine takes effect and you feel the impact. The nicotine in your bloodstream triggers the release of essential neural chemicals, including dopamine. Dopamine is the brain's shorthand signal for pleasure, and when nicotine sets it off, you've hacked into your own brain system and gotten a dopamine hit without a natural external physical or emotional reason for it. But it's not a lasting sensation. As the dopamine falls off, your brain craves the good feelings. Your natural ability to resist stress is actually diminished at this point in the cycle. You are likely to be irritable. As stress returns, you know perfectly well how you got that feeling of pleasure, and so the chain begins.
Understanding the pattern is only the first step towards breaking the destructive pattern of chain-smoking. However, nobody expects you to just say no and be done with it. There are multiple strategies to convince your rational mind to persevere while enlisting your emotions and healthy life so that your body is ready for the chance, too. The rewards don't just include better health but also will lead to a better experience of life's other pleasures, without nicotine interfering chemically.
For insights into your smoking personality and motivations, we invite you to download this Free eBook, detailing the seven types of smokers and how they can best naturally quit.
Please contact us with your questions and observations about effective strategies in this profoundly personal battle for a better life.