Approximately 7,000 chemicals are found in cigarettes and tobacco smoke. These chemicals are the primary cause of lung cancer due to smoking. This article provides some healthier alternatives to smoking cigarettes and tobacco for you.
Unhealthy substances in your cigarettes
Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco smoke that makes it challenging to stop smoking. It activates your brain stem and increases dopamine secretion in your nucleus accumbens (a pleasure center).
Cigarettes contain carcinogens which are cancer-causing substances. When heated, traditional cigarettes release Carbon monoxide, which leads to reduced oxygen transportation and hemoglobin formation, causing tissue damage. The smoke also contains Acrolein which causes bronchitis: the inflammation of cells in your lungs. It causes DNA mutations in your epithelium (the inside lining of organs).
Furthermore, when smoking a traditional cigarette, you inhale Hydrogen cyanide. This poison gas disables your body's mitochondria (the energy source of your cells that uses oxygen), resulting in cell death. It deprives the body of aerobic respiration and alters the Krebs cycle (a chemical reaction in the mitochondria).
The tar found between tobacco leaves can cause black lung disease. (pneumoconiosis) It also causes cancer when it enters the lining of your lungs and skin, where it produces mutations leading to cancer.
By inhaling the smoke from cigarettes, you take in Ammonia which irritates the upper airway and increases cilia beating (the mechanisms that remove toxins from your body), causing cell death in the ciliated cells. Moreover, it destroys lung tissues, acne, asthmatic bronchitis, and nasal mucosa irritation.
Formaldehyde is another chemical present in cigarette smoke that causes bronchitis and cancer of the lungs and nasal passage. It causes DNA mutation and destroys your brain cells.
Here are some healthy alternatives that can help you give up smoking.
Switch to vaporizers:
E-cigarettes or wax vaporizers are the best alternatives to smoking cigarettes. It contains flavored liquids that have nicotine without tobacco and other harmful chemicals. You can choose from hundreds of different flavors and healthily enjoy them. One study found that e-cigarettes were up to 95% safer than regular cigarettes in aiding smokers trying to quit.
Drink more water:
Drink at least two liters of water a day, especially when you are smoking and trying to quit. Studies show that drinking water before meals reduces your desire for cigarettes, especially in the evening. You should drink one glass or bottle of water every time you smoke, and eventually, it will reduce your need to smoke.
Get enough sleep
It would help if you tried going to sleep early and waking up before sunrise at least 6 hours after having your last cigarette. This practice will reduce the withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be insomnia, irritability, craving a cigarette, nervousness, etc.
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Exercising helps give up smoking because nicotine is usually released from your body when you sweat during exercise. It will help you get rid of the nicotine quickly and reduce your withdrawal symptoms like irritability, nausea, restlessness, etc. Plus, it's healthy, so it will improve your overall health.
Eat apples, oranges, and berries.
The antioxidants found in these fruits can help eliminate the carcinogens of cigarettes from your body, reducing your risk of cancer. You can also eat cucumber for its diuretic properties (it promotes urination).
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Drink green tea
Green tea contains nicotine without carcinogens, so it can help you quit smoking. It will also improve your overall health because green tea prevents cancer and heart disease. Drinking green tea twice a day (in the morning and evening) can offer immediate results. An alternative is to vape green tea with an electric rig or patches with green tea extracts.
Take a walk outside for fresh air.
It would help if you tried spending as much time outside as you can. This action will help you reduce your nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms. If you are inside, you should open the windows to relax and get fresh air.
Use a nicotine patch to help curb cravings.
Nicotine patches deliver your body with a small but steady stream of nicotine and reduce your withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, they give you more time to kick the habit. You can rub the nicotine patch on the arm or place it between the gum and cheek. Always follow the instructions given for proper application.
Follow a healthy diet.
Eating foods rich in vitamins C, A, B6, etc., can curb your cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Quitting is not easy, but it can be easier if you have the correct information. Also, withdrawal symptoms can last for months. It would be best if you stayed strong away from cigarettes in any form. Good luck!