ABOUT TOBACCO ADDICTION
Tobacco smoke is Australia’s most preventable cause of death and disease. Each year, smoking kills over 15,500 people and secondhand exposure kills up to 2,000 more in Australia alone. According to the World Health Organisation, by 2020 tobacco use with cause over 12% of all deaths globally. This is more deaths worldwide than caused by HIV, tuberculosis, maternal mortality, motor vehicle accidents, suicide and homicide COMBINED.
Tobacco contains over 7,000 chemicals, 70 of which are proven to cause cancer. Nicotine is the addictive component in cigarettes and is what makes it so hard to quit.
Tobacco smoke contains toxins, poisons, heavy metals and carcinogens. These are the elements that cause diseases and damage your health and tar is the chemical that causes cancers. Furthermore, carbon monoxide reduces the amount of oxygen carried in your blood stream.
WHY IS TOBACCO SO ADDICTIVE?
- Chemical: Smokers are physically dependent on nicotine and most smokers suffer from withdrawal symptoms including: cravings, irritability, frustration or anger, tension, difficulty concentrating and sleeplessness.
- Habit: All smokers have habits that can trigger smoking. They are often tied to certain activities, places or people.
- Emotions: Negative moods such as stress, anger, frustration and sadness can trigger you to smoke, as well as smoking for pleasure or to increase concentration.
What can help you to quit? There are many ways to quit, but clinical guidelines and WHO advocate the use of evidence-based “stop-smoking medication” combined with education, support and behavioural counselling by a trained Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS)
RECOVERY AFTER QUITTING You will feel the benefits of quitting straight away as your body repairs itself. Depending on the number of cigarettes you smoke, typical benefits of stopping are:
- After twelve hours almost all of the nicotine is out of your system
- After twenty-four hours the level of carbon monoxide in your blood has dropped dramatically. You now have more oxygen in your bloodstream
- After five days most nicotine by-products have gone
- Within days your sense of taste and smell improves
- Within a month your blood pressure returns to its normal level and your immune system begins to show signs of recovery
- Within two months your lungs will no longer be producing extra phlegm caused by smoking
- After twelve months your increased risk of dying from heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker
- Stopping smoking reduces the incidence and progression of lung disease including chronic bronchitis and emphysema
- After ten years of stopping your risk of lung cancer is less than half that of a continuing smoker and continues to decline (provided the disease is not already present)
- After fifteen years your risk of heart attack and stroke is almost the same as that of a person who has never smoked
“Not even one puff” – Nopuff