Today marks the start of National Non-Smoking Week. This event was established in 1977 by The Canadian Council for Tobacco Control. However, The Lung Association likes to think of everyday as a great day to quit smoking. It is in fact the best thing you can do for your health!
The Certified Respiratory Educators at The Lung Association are always eager and happy to help anyone with their quit journey. I am grateful to be part of this small but mighty Health Promotion team that empowers everyone to breathe easier. I find that each person’s quit experience is different. However, there tends to be several common myths about quitting that can be barriers to many people’s success. Here are three common quit myths.
Quit Myth #1: “Quitting smoking is the same for everyone.”
Fact: People metabolize nicotine differently & many factors influence a person’s level of addiction. Diet, exercise, age, the time of day, gender, pregnancy, oral contraceptives, disease, medications, and race all influences how fast we metabolize nicotine. The faster you metabolize nicotine the stronger the addiction. Quitting is NOT the same for everyone. There are many more factors at play than simply ones motivation to lead a healthier life. This is all the more reason to speak to a health care provider about quitting.
Quit Myth #2: “I won’t be able to exercise until I quit smoking.”
Fact: Exercise may actually help you quit. Studies show exercise can decrease cravings and withdrawal symptoms, help prevent weight gain, improve coping abilities and combat stress.
Quit Myth #3: “After you have quit, if you are jittery and having trouble sleeping it is for sure nicotine withdrawal.”
Fact: Feeling jittery, agitated, and having trouble sleeping could be from caffeine intake. When people quit smoking, their tolerance to caffeine may be different. For many years, research has shown that people who quit smoking may have to cut their caffeine consumption roughly by half. This is because once a person quits, their caffeine can now stay in their body longer. Too much caffeine can cause side effects and be mistaken for nicotine withdrawal. Keep in mind that caffeine is in coffee, tea and soft drinks.
I hope that this blog helps debunk some of these quit myths. If you want to quit smoking, please give myself or my colleagues at The Lung Association a call. We will be happy to speak with you. 1-888-566-LUNG
– Jill Hubick, Certified Respiratory Educator and Registered Nurse, The Lung Association