Six steps for those who want to quit smoking

According to the World Health Organization, tobacco kills more than 8 million people a year. (Image: Copy)

Not too long ago, smoking was considered legal. To see a neat person following trends, it was enough to walk with tobacco between your fingers. At least the ads showed that they were not banned until the 21st century. Today, smoking is understood as a disease caused by chemical dependence on nicotine, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco kills more than 8 million people. year.

However, quitting smoking is not easy – even though most smokers are aware of its harmful effects. Because it is an addiction, it requires several measures to combat it effectively. Listed below are some.

change perspective

“For me, the first step in quitting smoking is to be absolutely sure you want to do it. What changed it inside was the arrival of my first granddaughter, Maria Clara, “says Wal Marinho, 58, who has smoked since the age of 15.” Today, I can stay anywhere, even with people who smoke. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel like it. So it’s nice to make sure you want to quit. ”

Disconnect the pleasure

Motivation is crucial, but it is essential to create the conditions for people to do this. “This is the key point,” explains Jaqueline Scholz, a cardiologist, director of the Instituto do Coração (InCor) Tobacco Care Program and creator of the Smokers Assistance Program. In his method, he puts a “punishment” on the patient to smoke. In other words, a patient can consume tobacco whenever he or she wants, but under certain conditions: he or she must be alone, watching the wall, without a cell phone, food, or drink.

“It’s about distinguishing the whole scenario that an individual puts in that context and transforming it into something even more enjoyable. This will prepare you for the second moment of quitting smoking, ”says the doctor.

clear the road

There are those who can quit smoking at once, and those who gradually quit smoking, especially those with high addiction. Whatever method you choose, it’s a good idea to avoid triggers to reduce the chance of recurrence.

Tell friends and family to get rid of packs and even consider giving up tobacco-related foods or drinks, such as coffee or beer, for a while. “This support network is very important for anyone who wants to quit. And if you speak of your will, everyone will help you. I even lead people to reduce their smoking habits because they don’t smoke around me, ”Wal says.

use substitutes

“Our brains are made up of billions of nerve cells, such as neurons, that communicate with each other through chemical elements (hormones, neurotransmitters) produced by the brain itself. Nicotine stimulates dopamine production, as a neurotransmitter that affects our mood and provides a sense of pleasure and well-being, ”explains psychologist and neuropsychologist Mariana Bertuani.

Thus, when a person quits smoking, he or she feels withdrawn and the brain compensates for norepinephrine, which increases irritability and nervousness. To reduce this crisis, chewing gum, nicotine patches, or anti-smoking drugs are highly indicated for relieving uncontrolled smoking cravings. For many, the first week is the worst. But in general, this phase takes one and a half to three months.

take care of mental health

By interfering with well-being, nicotine can affect depressant or stress-relieving activity. Medical and psychotherapeutic help is therefore essential throughout the smoking cessation process. Other symptoms of a withdrawal crisis include: dizziness, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and headaches that affect mental health. In addition, anxiety, which can cause weight gain and thus affect self-esteem.

It is possible for private and public groups to find help through the Internet, special programs, and even the Unified Health System (SUS), the National Tobacco Control Program, and the Family Health Program.

Celebrate small profits

Remember: reduction is already a profit. “We need to understand that people need to change their behavior over the years, they reinvent their routines and create their own habits. It’s a very strong break and we need to appreciate it,” the psychologist encourages. going on a trip or going out to dinner with a loved one to party.

According to experts, significant changes in breathing and blood pressure occur as soon as someone decides to stop. For example, two days later, the sense of smell detects more odors and the sense of taste tastes better. “I didn’t feel my house smell like a cigarette. It’s really cool to smell all day and also smell at home, ”Wal concludes.