Smoking is right up there at the top of the list of the most dangerous habits along with alcoholism or doing drugs. According to statistics, it is responsible for 90% of all lung cancer cases and deaths, and can kill up to 50% of the active smokers, whose number currently stands at 1.1 billion around the world.
The negative consequences on our health is due to the 7000 harmful ingredients in a cigarette. Cigarettes contain tobacco, carbon monoxide, arsenic, butane and glass particles which can damage your lungs beyond repair. Inhaling these and other chemicals literally burns the lungs, causing problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. Furthermore, the plaque deposits from cigarettes in the arteries can cause heart attack, stroke and congestive heart failure.
The nicotine from cigarettes raises the levels of cortisol in the blood as well as the levels of DHEA hormone, which weaken the immune system and leave our body more prone to serious diseases and conditions. Smoking also increases the risk of dementia, insomnia, diabetes, osteoporosis, hormone imbalance and infertility.
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and the withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of drugs. Once it passes the blood-brain barrier, it can trigger the release of dopamine and lead to pleasant feelings. The addiction is pretty powerful due to the depletion of important nutrients in the body (vitamin C, beta-carotene, ubiqunol, glutathione and alpha-linoic acid) which are responsible for neutralizing free radicals. Supplements can’t help you get rid of smoking, so the best way to replenish the levels of these nutrients is through food.
Although smoking can be difficult to quit, here are a few natural ways that will help:
Hypnotherapy is great for resolving different problems and dangerous habits, not just smoking. It allows you to enter an altered state of consciousness where you bypass certain levels of reality and are compelled to follow clues from an external source. This can relate smoking to unpleasant stimuli and help you quit smoking.
Magnesium is a mineral that can reduce your nicotine addiction and reduce its effect on the NMDA receptors, which trigger the release of dopamine in the brain. This means that the mineral can reduce your satisfaction of smoking and help you quit the awful habit.
According to several studies, regular exercise can cause a short-term reduction in the desire for cigarettes which should help you in the long run.
4. Nicotine patches
Many people claim that nicotine patches are highly helpful, and may be even more effective if combined with bupropion and varenicline. The doses depend on how much and how often you smoke every day.
This ancient technique can lower your tobacco cravings by inserting needles in certain points in the chest and mouth.
Chewing a slice of lime whenever you feel the need for a cigarette can reduce the cravings thanks to the high antioxidant and vitamin C content of the citrus fruit.
Some experts suggest that sitting through difficult scenarios such as cigarette cravings can help you overcome the addiction.
8. Olfactory training
Studies have shown that exposing smokers to the smell of cigarettes, fish and rotten eggs during the Stage 2 of REM sleep can help them quit the habit.