Feature Article: September 2021 – How Can Aging Adults Quit Smoking?

How Can Aging Adults Quit Smoking?

Crystal Willson

The entire globe is aware of the negative impact of smoking. However, despite knowing everything, a large percentage of people are unable to put a stop to it. In fact, as per studies, the trend or culture of smoking is constantly increasing among senior adults. Yet, smoking can have significant adverse effects on your physical and mental health despite the age factor. 

Today, smoking is among the leading causes of the two most deadly diseases: cardiovascular attacks and cancer. Some continue the habit and put their lives at risk. In this article, we will explore some of the best and practical ways to ditch smoking as an aging adult.

1. Switching To a Better Alternative First

A large percentage of senior smokers are looking for ways to quit the habit. But, one of the top mistakes they make is trying to give it up abruptly. Any withdrawal process of a recreational drug requires time. Hence, it is best to do it smoothly. E-cigarettes are excellent ways to transit gradually. They can give you the same feeling as smoking, but they are much safer and lighter than regular cigarettes. There are tons of options available on the market for e-cigarettes and e-liquids. 

You can find all the interesting ingredients to enjoy the vape of your choice that can easily replace your smoking habits, such as propylene glycol, nicotine, and addable flavors and mesh coils. You can also go for menthol vape juice brands to add more flavors to your taste.  

2. Be Prepared To Cope With the Withdrawal Symptoms

The withdrawal symptoms for senior generation smokers can be more challenging compared to the newbies. Since it’s a habit that they have varied on for years, the symptoms can become quite stressful for them. As you quit smoking, the withdrawal symptoms can begin to cringe in your nerves. 

Headaches, anxiety, irritability, and restlessness are some of the symptoms you can experience during withdrawal as an aged smoker. These symptoms are stronger in older people as their body has been dependent on nicotine toxins for years. Just as these toxins are flushed out of your system, the symptoms will begin to fade away! Some aged smokers are trying to withdraw face relapses which cause changes in behavior and mood swings. It is thus imperative that you contact your doctor or let your family know immediately in case of such difficulties. Besides, try to put in crunchy foods or hard candies in the mouth. Calm yourself by taking deep breaths and go to a non-smoking zone. Trying nicotine-replacement gums and lozenges are also wise. 

3. Do Not Keep Cigarettes with You

The worst thing while quitting smoking is to keep cigarettes handy with you. Keep the smoking sticks as far as possible from your reach. By the time your date of quitting arrives, you might still have cigarettes left. However, you must keep them away. 

Moreover, wash any clothes and clean any belongings that give out the smell of smoke. The motive is to get rid of anything that tempts you towards smoking again. 

If you have smokes around you anywhere in the house, it is much more likely for older people with a long-term habit to pick it up again easily. Once you encourage it again, it becomes challenging to cease it. 

4. Create Positive Support Around You!

It is vital for older people who are into smoking to be in a healthy and cheerful ambiance. Their mental; health condition is more vulnerable due to their age. Getting support from close family members like children, wife or grandchildren can contribute massive positivity in the process of quitting. 

People who are likely to live alone or lack support from their families find it challenging to quit smoking. But, the people who get a pat on the back once in a while or receive encouragement can quicken and ease the withdrawal phase. Your family shall play a significant role in the process of quitting smoking. 

Reach out for help if your family members or friends are unsupportive. Do not feel guilty saying no to your company of smokers when there is a house party or event. Remember, just a tiny spark and kindle the habit of heavy smoking again. So, never hesitate to stand up for yourself!

5. Setting a Date and Joining a Professional Quit Smoking Program 

Pick a date and write it on the calendar so that it always remains in front of your eye. Set the date at least 1-2 weeks later to prepare your mind aptly. 

Besides that, you can join any quit-smoking program where the trained counselors will help you understand all the nitty-gritty of this process. They will provide you with helpful tips and also motivate you. Getting support from other members of the program is also a plus point. Each session is mostly half an hour, and 5-8 of such sessions are necessary. Ensure to continue the program till after two weeks of quitting smoking not to have any rebounding effect. 

The Bottom Line

As per the American Cancer Society survey, over 42 million adults who smoked back in 2012 highlighted significant health risks. You must put maximum effort into quitting smoking as soon as possible to lead a quality life. It is never too late to quit, and detoxing from nicotine can save you from the clutch of many terrifying ailments that are ruling the medical world today. 

The above steps of smoking withdrawal are pragmatic and feasible. They can add a cushioning effect to your smoking withdrawal process by helping you quit eventually and effectively. Other than that, you can always take a second opinion from your health professional in case of any issues. 

References:

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/quitting-smoking-older-adults https://www.bhthechange.org/resources/older-adults-behavioral-health-and-smoking-why-quitting-smoking-is-still-a-conversation-worth-having/

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