If quitting smoking is going to be your New Year’s resolution, you’re going to have to do much more than engage in wishful thinking…
A new report by the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World shows that less than a quarter of smokers stay off cigarettes for more than a year using current cessation products.
The review was conducted by EY-Parthenon between May and July 2018, with the goal of assessing smoking cessation products and services that are on the market or in development.
“The Foundation’s global 2018 State of Smoking Survey shows that most smokers want to quit and that many try, often multiple times, without success,” says Farhad Riahi, MD, Chief Health, Science, and Technology Officer at the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. “This report shows that some smokers who try to quit, do so successfully by using available products and services. However, many more do not find these tools helpful or effective.”
Smoking tobacco is a major cause of preventable death and disability.
Writing for the Healthline blog, MD, Dr Judith Marcin, explains that “smoking can lead to a variety of ongoing complications in the body, as well as long-term effects on your body systems. While smoking can increase your risk of a variety of problems over several years, some of the bodily effects are immediate.
“Cigarettes contain about 600 ingredients, many of which can also be found in cigars and hookahs. When these ingredients burn, they generate more than 7 000 chemicals, according to the American Lung Association. Many of those chemicals are poisonous and at least 69 of them are linked to cancer.”
The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, a nonprofit organization with the purpose of improving global health by ending smoking in this generation, says a billion lives are at risk: a billion people who use tobacco – mostly smokers—will die because of it over the course of this century, if the status quo is maintained.
But a large percentage of smokers want to quit (up to 78%) and demand effective cessation tools.
“Quitting tobacco can have a positive effect on your health and lifestyle,” says CANSA.
- 20 minutes after your last cigarette: blood pressure and pulse rate drops and body temperature rises toward normal.
- 8 hours after quitting: carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal and oxygen level rises to normal.
- 24 hours after quitting: chance of a heart attack decreases.
- 48 hours after quitting: nerve endings start re-growing and the ability to smell and taste is enhanced.
- After 2 weeks to 3 months: circulation improves, walking becomes easier and lung function improves.
- After 1 to 9 months: there is a decrease in coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath.
- After 1 year: excess risk of coronary heart disease is decreased to half that of a smoker.
- After 5 to 15 years: stroke risk is reduced to that of people who have never smoked.
- After 10 years: risk of lung cancer drops to as little as one-half that of continuing smokers and the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases.
- After 15 years: risk of coronary heart disease is now similar to that of people who have never smoked and risk of death returns to nearly the level of people who have never smoked.
But according to the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World’s report, “most effective smoking tools currently on the market help fewer than 25% of smokers stay off cigarettes after just 1 year.”
Farhad added, “Stimulating innovation for more effective cessation tools, and making them affordable and accessible, are key pillars of the Foundation’s Health, Science, and Technology work.”
Get it done
But for now, perhaps all any of us has to rely on when it comes to quitting smoking, is grit and willpower! And if you’re not having the results you desire form the quitting programmes you have tried, take comfort that you are not alone.
Best to simply, try, try and try again!