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World No Tobacco Day: How to Quit Smoking

writtenByWritten by: Leah McCabe
Leah McCabe

Leah McCabe

Leah likes writing about health and science subjects. Through her writing she hopes to help people of all backgrounds have equal access to information and quality healthcare.

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May 31, 2020 Read Time - 5 minutes

World No Tobacco Day: How to Quit Smoking

World No Tobacco Day is observed every year on May 31 by the World Health Organization (WHO) in action to create awareness of the health risks caused by using tobacco.

This year, the focus is on protecting young people from the marketing of big tobacco companies and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use.

According to WHO, tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year— that’s half of its total users.

The total deaths that result from non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoking is nearly 1.2 million a year.

While tobacco continues to be one of the biggest public health threats, WHO strives in encouraging the government to place stricter policies that help reduce the manipulation and use of all tobacco products. 

If you’re a smoker, you’re well aware of the risks you’re taking on. The CDC reports that 68% of adult smokers want to quit and 55% of smokers have tried to quit in the past year, with only 7.5% having success, that’s less than 1 in 10. Here are some points to help you begin your journey.

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

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What Happens if You Suddenly Stop Smoking?

Depending on your use of tobacco, nicotine withdrawal symptoms or cravings may take place immediately after quitting smoking and may make it difficult to abstain from smoking.

Since it is highly addictive, nicotine withdrawal will affect you mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Here are a few symptoms you may experience when you quit smoking:

  • Trouble concentrating 
  • Intense craving for cigarettes 
  • Insomnia 
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Coughs 
  • Increased appetite 
  • Anxiety or depression

Read: What Are Common Symptoms of Quitting Smoking?


How Long Does Nicotine Withdrawal Last?

The nicotine withdrawal symptoms can peak within 48 hours after you quit and subside over 3 to 4 weeks.

Fortunately, these withdrawals are temporary. They may coincide with the following timeline:

  • 20 minutes to 24 hours: The effect from the nicotine will wear off and you may begin to crave another cigarette. You will feel the effect over time and may begin to feel anxiety and have trouble concentrating. You may have an increased appetite. 
  • 48 hours to 3 days: During this time you will experience headaches, insomnia, impatience and remain feeling anxious as the nicotine leaves your system. Once you have conquered these couple days from your last use of tobacco, the nicotine will clear out of your system.
  • 2 to 4 week: You have resisted and remained mentally strong through the first few weeks of the withdrawals. You may experience low energy levels but your brain fog will clear up and your appetite will begin to settle down. Your anxiety and depression will also improve.
  • 5 weeks and on: The challenge is to keep yourself mentally strong and distract yourself with healthier habits. Celebrate the many milestones you’ve accomplished so far!

What is the Most Effective Way to Stop Smoking?

Cutting cold turkey can be an effective way to stop smoking however, there are other methods to help you stop smoking gradually.

Depending on your smoking cessation plan, there are prescription medications that our online PlushCare physicians can prescribe you.


Read: Smoking Cessation Medications


CHANTIX, also known as varenicline, is a medication that works by activating sites in the brain called nicotine acetylcholine receptors which inhibit nicotine withdrawals by imitating mild nicotine effects.

CHANTIX helps in the process of reducing your tobacco use to gradually quit smoking. 

Do Your Lungs Heal After You Quit Smoking?

Your lungs begin to recover just hours after your last cigarette, and will heal over a course of 1 to 9 months. Keep in mind, the longer you’ve smoked for, the longer your healing process will be.

A critical aspect of lung recovery is healthy cilia. Overtime, the cilia in your lungs begin to repair which is what sweeps out the debris, mucus and other pollutants left in your lungs from the nicotine and tobacco.

There are other effective ways to clean your lungs while they are healing, including diet and breathing exercises.


Read: Learn How to Clean Lungs After Quitting Smoking


Healing your lungs after smoking takes time but it’s never too late to quit smoking and begin a healthier lifestyle.

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

Get Smoking Cessation Treatment Online

An online doctor can help you create a quitting plan and recommend coping strategies to prevent a relapse. They can also provide you with prescription smoking cessation medications proven to increase your odds of successfully quitting.

Just talking to a doctor about quitting smoking has been shown to increase success rates compared to those who go in alone.

There are also helpful support groups that can hold you accountable and connect you with others in similar situations. A PlushCare doctor can help you find a support group during your online appointment.

Book an appointment today to begin your recovery journey with one of our PlushCare physicians. 


Read More About Quitting Smoking


Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

WHO. Tobacco Fact Sheet. Accessed May 29, 2020 at https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tobacco

cdc.gov. Smoking Cessation. Accessed May 29, 2020 at https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/cessation/smoking-cessation-fast-facts/index.html

Medlineplus. Smoking Cessation Support Groups. Accessed May 29, 2020 at https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007440.htm

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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