As many as 20% of adult men and 16% of adult women are smokers, though the highest percentage of smokers are between the ages of 21 and 34. Smoking cigarettes is extremely damaging to your health. In fact, it contributes to more than one-third of deaths caused by coronary heart disease and is linked to 90% of lung cancer cases in the U.S. The American Heart Association states that smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the United States.
Many people who smoke understand the risks, but the addictive power of nicotine makes it difficult to quit. If you are trying to quit smoking, there are a number of remedies out there that can help. Patches, pills, and gums can help you to step down slowly instead of quitting cold-turkey, though many of these remedies still contain nicotine. If you’re looking for a more natural solution, try one of the home remedies listed below.
You probably already know that smoking is bad for you, but do you know why this is the case? You may be surprised to learn that there are more than 5,000 chemical components in cigarette smoke, hundreds of which are hazardous to your health. Each time you smoke a cigarette, you are inhaling those toxins directly into your lungs. Here are a few of the chemicals in cigarettes that are harmful to your health:
- Arsenic – A chemical used to preserve wood, arsenic has been linked to lung cancer as well as cancers of the lung, liver, skin, and bladder.
- Benzene – This chemical is used in the manufacture of other chemicals, and it has been linked to certain types of cancer, including leukemia.
- Cadmium – A type of metal used in batteries, cadmium has been linked to kidney cancer and prostate cancer.
- Formaldehyde – A chemical used to make resins and other chemicals, formaldehyde is also a preservative that has been shown to cause leukemia and other cancers.
- Polonium-210 – This is a radioactive element that has been linked to cancer.
- Tar – Though it isn’t a single chemical, tar contains numerous harmful chemicals, and it leaves a sticky brown substance in your lungs.
In addition to these chemicals, cigarettes contain nicotine which is a highly addictive and dangerous substance. You also breathe in carbon monoxide when you smoke.
According to the CDC, smoking harms nearly every organ in the human body, and it can contribute to a number of nasty diseases. This being the case, there are a number of signs and symptoms of tobacco-related health problems that you may notice – here are some of the most common:
- Shortness of breath (emphysema)
- Chest pain (angina)
- Difficulty swallowing
- Persistent hoarseness of the voice
- Frequent colds and chest infections
- Reduced exercise tolerance
- Stained teeth and fingers
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bloody urine
- Lingering smell of smoke
These are just a few of the many symptoms which may be related to diseases and conditions caused by smoking. The longer you continue smoking, the more likely you are to develop a tobacco-related health problem that could shave as many as 10 years off your life. Do yourself a favor and quit now!
5 Natural Remedies to Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking is no easy task – it takes a lot of will power. Many people quit smoking numerous times throughout their lives, but they always seem to come back to it. If you are serious about quitting smoking, try one of these natural home remedies. Not only will they help you to make it through the withdrawal symptoms, but they’ll also help to heal your body from the damage of cigarettes.
- Drink Plenty of Water
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and a dangerous toxin that can damage your body from the inside out. Drinking at least eight glasses of water per day will help to flush those toxins away and keep your body hydrated so your natural detoxification system can do its work.
- Drink Ginger Tea
Many people who quit smoking experience nausea or other digestive issues – ginger can help you to combat these symptoms. You can take ginger as a nutritional supplement in capsule form, but sipping hot ginger tea might be a little more soothing on your stomach. When you feel a craving for cigarettes coming on, heat up a mug of ginger tea and sip slowly.
- Use Ginseng Powder
Similar to ginger, ginseng is a natural substance that can help you to combat cravings for cigarettes. Purchase ginseng powder from your local health food store and stir a spoonful into your morning juice to help combat cravings all day. If that isn’t enough, take another dose at midday.
- Chewing on Licorice
If you still struggle with cravings, licorice might be what you need. Actual licorice sticks (not the candy) are a great substitute for cigarettes because you can chew on them, satisfying your oral fixation. Licorice also helps to boost digestive health which may help with detoxification.
- Cayenne Pepper
Add a pinch of cayenne to a glass of water and drink it down when you feel a craving coming on. The cayenne will desensitize your respiratory system to the addiction, helping to curb the urge to smoke.