How to Give Up Smoking
So you have decided you must stop smoking, or you want to help your partner to stop. How do you go about it?
Most important of all is to find the right reason to stop. No one ever stops who does not want to stop. Many who would like to stop fail because they are not fully convinced of the need. So the first task is to find the motivation that will make the smoker - yourself or your partner - stick to the resolve.
Motivation differs from person to person and from age to age. For example, young people care little for the health risks. They may even be attracted to the risk, as a dangerous, exciting aspect of smoking. Middle age and sickness are too remote: they don't make the link with themselves.
Instead, for teenagers and young adults, the best attack on smoking is the way it makes them look and smell. Smoking is dirty, and leaves a stale smell on the breath, clothes and hair. It is also environmentally polluting, and exploits Third World poverty to the benefit of big multinational businesses - very much a concern of today's younger generation. Which teenager likes the feeling that he or she is being 'ripped off by one of the big multinationals?
What does the young environmentally conscious smoker think when he or she hears that Third World land which could be used for food is instead used for tobacco - and that the profits go into arms, liquor and luxury electrical goods for the few, instead of food or agricultural machines? This happens in regimes of the left or the right. Pakistan uses 120,000 acres, and Brazil uses half a million acres, of the most fertile land to grow tobacco to satisfy the needs of the developed world.
Not only that, the tobacco companies are vigorously promoting their wares to Third World populations, adding smoking-regulated diseases to their burden of malnutrition and poor social conditions. Faced with these facts, no youngster who smokes can claim to be concerned about the health of the Third World. That is often as persuasive an argument as any on health or looks.
For many older women, appearance can be the key to stopping. Smoking ages people prematurely. This is not just expressed in more wrinkles, but in the whole complexion. Smoking shuts down the skin blood vessels, so that the face loses its healthy pink colour, turning to white or grey. Smoking women who buy expensive facial creams and beauty treatments could save themselves the money by stopping smoking.
Such rapid ageing extends to the hormonal balance in women, too. Women smokers undergo an earlier menopause; it may even start in the mid-30s. This can destroy the plans of the businesswoman who decides to postpone her family for a while. That 'while' can be an eternity.
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