Smoking Cessation Guidelines
Smoking cessation refers to the process of discontinuing the habit of tobacco smoking. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and is a significant risk factor for not only lung cancer but heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, and other conditions.
Tobacco smoke contains nicotine, a highly addictive chemical compound that can lead to nicotine addiction and dependence. Nicotine is what keeps people smoking tobacco. However, it’s the thousands of chemicals found in tobacco smoke that make the habit so damaging to the body.
Along with nicotine, tobacco smoke delivers more than 7,000 chemicals with each inhale. Among these thousands of chemicals found in tobacco smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful, including ammonia, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen cyanide. Of these 250 toxic chemicals, at least 69 can cause cancer. Although the amount of chemicals in each tobacco cigarette is small, their effects are cumulative, meaning the amount stored in the body increases with each puff of a cigarette.
Smoking cessation is difficult; it is incredibly challenging to break the cycle of nicotine addiction. Tobacco cigarettes are designed to deliver nicotine to the brain within seconds, which is the main reason that people continue to use tobacco even when they want to quit.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
- About 34 million U.S. adults smoke tobacco.
- 70% of smokers said they wanted to quit, according to a 2015 survey.
- In 2018, about 55% of smokers had made a quit attempt in the past year, but only about 8% were successful in quitting for 6-12 months.
Process of Smoking Cessation
The smoking cessation process involves getting past the physiological nicotine addiction and coping with the psychological dependence. Many tobacco smokers use cigarettes as a way of dealing with stress, bonding with friends, and just plain habit. What are the most common processes of smoking cessation? Processes vary from person to person but typically include:
- Urges to smoke tobacco or cravings for nicotine
- Feeling stressed, anxious, irritable, jumpy, or angry
- Cough and dry mouth
- Sore throat
- Nasal drip
- Chest tightness
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling tired, restless, or bored
- Increased appetite
- Constipation, gas, or diarrhea
- Trouble concentrating
Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation
The benefits of smoking cessation are almost instant, and the body begins to naturally recover and heal from the damage caused. Within 20 minutes after the last cigarette, the heart rate drops to an average level, and blood circulation improves. Within 12 to 24 hours, the carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal, and the risk of heart attack is significantly reduced. By the third day, the senses of smell and taste will improve, and nicotine levels in the body are depleted. After 14 days, the markers of systemic inflammation begin to reverse, and muscle function improves. Within three months, the lung function starts to improve, and by the ninth month, shortness of breath, wheezing, and cough will decrease.
After one year of smoking cessation, the added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a tobacco smoker. Within five years, the risk of having a stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s, and the risk of developing cancer of the mouth, throat, or esophagus is half that of a smoker’s. The risk of stroke will continue to reduce over the next ten years as the body continues to heal. Following 15 years of smoking cessation, the likelihood of developing coronary heart disease is the equivalent of a non-smoker. Thus, the longer a person stays off tobacco, the more the body will recover from the harmful effects of nicotine addiction and tobacco smoking.
Smoking Cessation Education
One reason why attempts to quit smoking tobacco have such low success rates is that despite many effective techniques and treatments for smoking cessation, most smokers do not use them in their attempts to quit. Why? Most people simply don’t know about the options available. Learning about the health risks associated with tobacco use, the adverse effects of nicotine addiction on the brain, and smoking cessation strategies can help people prepare to quit tobacco successfully.
Smoking Cessation and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
Smoking cessation aids such as nicotine gum, nicotine patches, or prescription drugs can make quitting cravings and withdrawal easier for some people. However, conventional cessation aids like nicotine patches and gum are not always powerful enough to curb nicotine addiction. That is why an increasing number of people have turned to hemp as a natural and more effective solution to kick their addictive tobacco habit.
Hemp is a variety of cannabis containing medicinal terpenes and cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), which has been found in numerous studies to reduce cigarette consumption in tobacco users. Hemp also contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in cannabis, but the amount is so minimal (under 0.3%) it does not result in getting “high.”
Hemp flower is smoked in Native American communities and has long been used for its anti-inflammatory and calming properties, as well as for pain management, nausea control, and other ailments. Smokable hemp products offer a relaxing alternative to tobacco, with hemp flower being an effective NRT.
Our Floral Blend hemp cigarettes are a natural alternative to nicotine gum, nicotine patches, or prescription medications that help with smoking cessation.
Smoking tobacco harms nearly every bodily organ and organ system and diminishes a person’s overall health and well-being. The longer a person smokes tobacco, the greater their likelihood of experiencing harm from smoking, including earlier death. However, tobacco users can substantially reduce their risk of disease by quitting, regardless of their age.
How to Quit Smoking Cold Turkey?
Many people decide to go “cold turkey” when quitting smoking tobacco. In other words, they stop smoking tobacco all at once without medication or NRTs. Quitting this way is not easy, nor is it the most effective smoking cessation method. Quitting cold turkey isn’t difficult because tobacco users lack willpower––it’s because nicotine is highly addictive and withdrawal symptoms can be intense.
How to Stop Smoking Naturally?
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms and tobacco cravings can be powerful, but there are effective methods to stop smoking naturally, including:
- Deep breathing and meditation
- Getting support from a friend or family member
- Staying hydrated
- Trying nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) such as hemp cigarettes
Smoking cessation isn’t easy—but it’s not impossible. More than three million people quit tobacco each year. So, what’s the most effective method of smoking cessation? The combination of NRTs, changes in diet, increased physical activity, and counseling is considered the gold standard for smoking cessation. In addition, there are other alternative treatments, like acupuncture and hypnosis, but more research is needed on the success of these treatments.
Foods that Kill Nicotine Cravings Naturally
- Peppermint can help alleviate nicotine withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, stomach troubles, and irritability. Peppermint leaves can be eaten as a part of a meal, brewed as tea, or smoked.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables such as berries, kiwi, citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, broccoli, and cauliflower will help restore Vitamin C levels, which tobacco smoking is known to deplete. Vitamin C also reduces levels of the stress hormone Cortisol and helps return blood pressure to normal levels.
- Raspberry Leaf has been said to reduce the side effects of withdrawal from nicotine and is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. This leaf can also increase metabolism and energy and aids in detoxification. Raspberry leaf can be eaten, brewed as tea, or smoked.
Hemp Cigarettes and Smoking Cessation
The nicotine in tobacco cigarettes is highly addictive. In fact, experts say it may be as addictive as drugs like cocaine or heroin. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms can be intense and may include anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia, nausea, headache, and upset stomach. Hemp, on the other hand, does not have any side effects other than relief from these symptoms.
The main active ingredient in hemp, CBD, has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-nausea, and pain management properties. Some people also find that the hemp flower helps decrease anxiety.
Soje was developed with smoking cessation in mind. Our hemp cigarettes are free of tobacco, nicotine, and chemical additives. Our Floral Blend hemp cigarettes include nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) ingredients, such as Echinacea, Uva Ursi, and Lobelia, which have been shown to have nicotine detoxification, anti-anxiety, and anti-inflammatory properties. This allows people seeking a nicotine replacement the opportunity to take nicotine cessation into their own hands.
Healthcare providers use the 5 “A’s” model to treat tobacco use and dependence. The model begins with identifying tobacco users and appropriate interventions based on their willingness to quit. The five major steps to intervention include:
- Ask – Identify and document tobacco status for every patient at every visit.
- Advise – Urge the tobacco user to quit in a clear, strong, and personalized manner.
- Assess – Determine if the tobacco user is willing to attempt cessation.
- Assist – Offer advice and support to those willing to quit.
- Arrange – Schedule follow-up contact, in person or by telephone, preferably within the first two to three days after the quit date.
The 5 “R’s” model is designed to help motivate tobacco users who aren’t ready to give up the habit. The 5 “R’s” include:
- Relevance – Help the tobacco user identify relevant reasons for cessation.
- Risks – Invite the tobacco user to discuss the negative consequences of tobacco use.
- Rewards – Invite the tobacco user to identify personally applicable incentives for quitting.
- Roadblocks – Ask the tobacco user about potential barriers to quitting tobacco and give suggestions on moving forward.
- Repetition – Repeat these motivational techniques during every visit with a tobacco user who is unmotivated to quit.
Both models can be helpful for people seeking advice on how to help a loved one quit tobacco.