Here's another good reason to kick that nicotine habit of yours. New research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that women smokers are 17 times more prone to develop Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) than non-smoking women. This condition is characterized by the narrowing and hardening of blood vessels (atherosclerosis) that restrict the flow of blood to the legs. As a result, leg pain and cramps are experienced during normal activities like jogging and walking.
The study also revealed that smokers who quit this habit immediately had lower risk of PAD. It is very important to remember that people with this condition also often develop atherosclerosis somewhere else in the body, most likely in their heart. Today, over 8 million Americans have this condition.
So what do you do now? Do you just sit there, go on puffing your cigarette, wait until your leg arteries get clogged and suffer from PAD? If you're smart enough, you'll put down that stick of cigarette and do something about this habit.
Here are some practical ways to quit smoking for good.
Set Your Mind To It
The first step is always the most difficult one, as many long-time smokers can attest regarding quitting cigarettes. But if you equip yourself with the right reasons to quit, it would be much easier for you to do so. Some of the reasons you can use to motivate yourself to get rid of this addiction include:
- heart disease
- secondhand smoking
- economical costs
Heart Disease: As you know, smoking is one of the leading causes of death from heart disease, not only in the United States but also in other parts of the world.
Secondhand Smoking: Also, if you love your family and people around you, you won't subject them to the risk of secondhand smoking and health problems it brings.
Economical Reasons: Finally, if you do the math, you'll find that getting rid of smoking can save you significant amount of the money in the long run.
Delay the Urge, Do Something Else
Whenever you crave for a cigarette, tell yourself that you're going to have one after five to ten minutes. Then while you're waiting, do something that will keep you occupied and engaged so that you can forget about your urge to smoke. This technique works well for many smokers. When you learn to delay gratification, that's the time when it would be easier for you to quit smoking.
Look for Alternatives
Chew gums, enjoy candies, or go for electronic cigarettes. Sometimes, it's not the puffing that makes you addicted to the habit but just the thought of putting something in your mouth. For that, you can find alternatives that won't subject you to hundreds of harmful chemicals.
Chewing gums or having candies are good alternatives to smoking. Another is to try electronic cigarettes that do not contain any nicotine. Remember, however, that electronic cigarettes have not yet been approved as a healthier alternative to cigarettes. In fact, it is still under investigation in terms of its long-term effects to the body. But you can try it and see if it helps you get rid of your smoking addiction.