chewing tobacco

Great American Smoke Out – Are you struggling with quitting?

| Dr. Eva Norman

Live Your Life Physical Therapy is celebrating National Smoke Out Day by helping you KNOCK OUT that tobacco habit! National Smoke Out
Day is set aside to help bring you information on ALL types of tobacco use, not just smoking! What can a physical therapist do to help you with tobacco cessation? You may be surprised!

Why Should You Quit?

At any age, quitting tobacco (in any form) can actually add years to your life. Here’s a little table that tells you how many years you can add to your life if you quit at a particular age. This information is provided by The University of Colorado and a study presented by the New England Journal of Medicine. See where you fall on the chart & then think about what you have experienced in just ONE YEAR of your life…. are you willing to miss out on something spectacular or are you ready to enjoy extra years of life and celebration with your friends and family?

quit smoking

How Do You Quit?

Quitting tobacco involves two things:

  • breaking the addiction to nicotine
  • making behavioral changes

Tobacco dependence involves both of these areas, hence why it requires you to change your habits in both ways. Tobacco dependence is a physical addiction to the nicotine in it and a psychological addiction to the use of it and all of the habits that come with that addiction.

Breaking the addiction to the nicotine itself can be done in a variety of ways. There are substitutions to wean you off of the nicotine. These nicotine replacements can involve a prescription from your doctor or buying over the counter replacements. Types of nicotine replacement include the nicotine patch, nicotine chewing gum, e-cigs, nicotine lozenges, and prescriptions such as bupropion or varenicline. Often utilizing a combination of replacements together can work best, depending upon the person. Ask your physician about prescribing the right choice for you.  Please note that e-cigs have not been studied well and while they do provide the body with nicotine there is no scientific evidence to date that shows whether these new wave replacements are successful or not and minimal information that provides us with the full effects of using e-cigs. Studies have shown that utilizing medicinal smoking cessation products can more than double your success rate of quitting.

Other people have had success with breaking the nicotine addiction by using laser therapy, acupuncture, and many times by simply quitting “cold turkey” and walking away from the cigarette completely. The fact is that tobacco addiction is very real and it can take the body weeks before withdrawal symptoms end. Anyone who doesn’t believe that tobacco and nicotine is addictive simply refuses to believe the facts and scientific evidence we’ve had for many years.

Live Your Life Physical Therapy Can Help

As we noted, there are two aspects to quitting tobacco use; the actual addiction to the nicotine itself and the behavioral role. Live Your Life Physical Therapy can help with the behavioral role and in its own way that change in behavior can help the physical addiction process also. One of the reasons for being addicted to tobacco is the fact that the nicotine gives people a “high” by affecting the brain. It increases the dopamine, which in turn makes a person feel psychologically better. However, exercise also increases the body’s dopamine and can give a person a positive psychological feeling. Live Your Life Physical Therapy can create a personalized exercise program based on your needs and abilities which you can use to replace smoking. We offer the ability to work with you one-on-one for 60 minutes to set up an exercise regimen that not only appeals to things you enjoy but it can also quickly be put into action when your craving begins. Something as simple as walking, using free weights , or even dancing can bring up those same dopamine levels and give you a sense of pleasure; thereby, replacing your psychological need to use tobacco to increase those dopamine levels. If you can imagine changing your behavior of reaching for tobacco to reaching for the doorknob to enjoy a beautiful walk outdoors or simply grabbing free weights and strengthening your body instead, then you can imagine a life without tobacco.

Let us help you quit. We want you, at any age, to understand what tobacco is doing to your body. From COPD to cancer and everything in between, your tobacco use is going to lessen your quality of life at some point. YOU can make a change NOW and we can help you every step of the way. Make the choice to be more active, more positive, and more aggressive to not only increasing your life span but increasing your quality of life.


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