Alternate Names : Quitting Smoking, Nicotine Withdrawal
What can be done to prevent the condition?
Once a person starts smoking, he or she quickly becomes addicted to nicotine. The key is to never start smoking. Antismoking campaigns can be effective in getting this message out.
What are the long-term effects of the condition?
There are typically no long-term effects from nicotine withdrawal. The most intense symptoms last only a few weeks. Craving for nicotine is the only symptom that persists longer than a month.
The health risks from the chemicals found in tobacco are enormous. Tobacco use can cause the following diseases:
coronary artery disease and other forms of heart disease
gastroesophageal reflux disease
Tobacco use can also cause the following conditions:
decreased life expectancy
erectile dysfunction, or impotence
gray hair and baldness
high blood pressure and circulation problems
infertility in men and women
osteoporosis and increased risk for bone fractures
weakened immune system
The good news is that the health damage caused by tobacco is preventable and may be reversible. Within 20 minutes of quitting, the healing begins. By year 15, the person's risk of heart disease and early death is almost the same as that of people who have never smoked. In addition, an individual's risk of dying from chronic bronchitis or emphysema decreases as long as he or she remains smoke free.
An individual who quits smoking will have the following advantages:
circulation to the hands and feet will improve
food will taste better
general health will improve
risk for serious illness will decrease
sense of smell will improve
skin will look healthier
What are the risks to others?
Smoking cessation poses no risk to others. In fact, it will reduce the amount of secondhand smoke that friends and family are exposed to.