World Tobacco Day

For most tobacco users, tobacco cravings or urges to smoke can be powerful. But you’re not at the mercy of these cravings.

31 May | World No Tobacco Day

When an urge to use tobacco strikes, remember that although it may be intense, it will probably pass within five to 10 minutes whether or not you smoke a cigarette or chew on some tobacco. Each time you resist a tobacco craving, you are one step closer to stopping tobacco use for good.

Good reasons you should stop

Quitting smoking lowers the risk for cancer, coronary heart disease and improves the functioning of blood vessels, the heart, and lungs. As soon as you stop smoking your body begins to repair itself.

Tobacco contains nicotine and produces chemicals like carbon monoxide that speed up your heart rate and elevate your blood pressure. The same can occur if you vape with nicotine-based e-cigarette fluids. The effect is immediate the moment you inhale.

Within the first 24 hours of quitting cigarettes, your heart rate, blood pressure, circulation will improve and the carbon monoxide levels in your lungs will return to a more normalised state by the end of the first day. And, after one to three months, your lung function could improove by as much as 30%. Over time, your risk of life-threatening health problems, including heart disease and stroke, drops dramatically. 

Here are 10 useful tips to help you quit smoking.

  1. Decide on a date and do it
  2. Throw away reminders of smoking (ashtrays, lighters, old cigarette packs)
  3. Drink lots of water to flush the nicotine from your body
  4. Exercise more – take your dog for a walk
  5. Change your routine – avoid situations that make you smoke for first 2 days
  6. Rally support by telling friends and family that you have quit
  7. Understand that its normal to experience dizziness, headaches and coughing for at least 14 days
  8. Focus on getting through the first 2 days – after that it gets easier as cravings start to reduce
  9. Eat at regular times and snack on healthy foods in-between to avoid weight gain
  10. Don’t give in to the ‘just one cigarette’ excuse when a crisis or stressful situation occurs

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Over time, your risk of cancer, lung disease, and many other serious diseases will be much lower than if you keep smoking

How fast and how well your body recovers can depend on the number of cigarettes you normally smoke and how long you’ve been smoking, and whether you already have a smoking-related disease. The sooner you quit the sooner your body can start to repair itself. Remember, trying something to beat the urge is always better than doing nothing.

Take the 24-hour challenge now – and get one step closer to being totally tobacco-free.

Some medical aids offer assistance to help you quit smoking. To find out if your medical aid has benefits like this, or to find one that does, get in touch with one of our specialist consultants.

You can also make use of our FREE and independent medical aid price comparison tool that compares prices and benefits of all the top medical aids in South Africa, engineered to compare your existing medical aid option with industry alternatives.