Like other physically addictive drugs, nicotine addiction causes a down-regulation of the production of dopamine and other stimulatory neurotransmitters as the brain attempts to compensate for the artificial stimulation caused by smoking.
Therefore, when people stop smoking, depressive symptoms such as suicidal tendencies or actual depression may result, although a recent international study comparing smokers who had stopped for 3 months with continuing smokers found that stopping smoking did not appear to increase anxiety or depression. This side effect of smoking cessation may be particularly common in women, as depression is more common among women than among men.
In place of smoking cigarettes, try sunflower seeds, sugar-free lollipops, or gum, or carrot or celery sticks if you're concerned about weight gain. You can also switch your cigarette habit for a nut habit, and eat four nuts in their shell for every cigarette you want to smoke. This way, you're using your hands and your mouth, getting the same physical and oral sensations you get from smoking.
Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper and write them on one side; on the other side make a list of all the things you dislike, such as how it can interfere with your health, work, family, etc., suggests Daniel Z. Lieberman, M.D., director of the Clinical Psychiatric Research Center at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Think about the list over time, and make changes. If you are brave enough, get feedback from family and friends about things they don’t like about your use of cigarettes. When the negative side outweighs the positive side, you are ready to quit.
Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, killing more than 480,000 Americans each year. Smoking causes immediate damage to your body, which can lead to long-term health problems. For every smoking-related death, at least 30 Americans live with a smoking-related illness.
The only proven strategy to protect yourself from harm is to never smoke, and if you do smoke or use tobacco products, to quit. The Tips From Former Smokers® campaign features real people with compelling stories of their suffering as a result of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. For practical information on how to quit, see I’m Ready to Quit. Other Resources Quitting Smoking Fact Sheet
Tell your friends, coworkers, boss, partner, and kids how you feel.Andrew Hobbs/Thinkstock Don't bottle up your emotions. If something makes you angry, express it instead of smothering it with cigarette smoke. If you’re bored, admit to yourself that you’re bored and find something energetic to do instead of lighting up.