Some Myths about Smoking

stopping

Are there any benefits to smoking?

It has been argued that smoking does have some benefits. The most common benefits that people believe are that smoking is good for stress relief, weight control and increased concentration.

Smoking helps me relieve stress…

One of the most common reasons people give for continuing to smoke or for going back to smoking after stopping is to relieve stress. The reality is that smokers tend to report higher levels of stress than non-smokers. After stopping smoking the level of stress in former smokers drops significantly. When you stop smoking it may feel like you are more stressed as a result of not smoking. For the first few weeks, you are likely to experience mood swings and be irritable. The nicotine in cigarettes is highly addictive and these are withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are likely to last up to four weeks and you can help manage these by using laser therapy.

Smoking helps me stay thin…

On average, smokers do weigh less than non-smokers. When you stop smoking the typical weight gain is around 2-3 kg. The nicotine from smoking acts as an appetite suppressant and smoking also increases the rate at which your body burns calories. Smokers will often replace cigarettes with snacking when stopping smoking. People often believe that smoking will help them to control their weight and be healthier. However, the risks of continuing to smoke far outweigh those from minor weight gain.

Does smoking help protect me against Alzheimer’s?

It has been suggested that smoking can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However, this has been largely dismissed by experts and the evidence is now suggesting that smoking increases your risk of dementia. More information can be found at the Alzheimer’s Association.

Is it better for me to switch to light, mild or low tar cigarettes?

We all know which cigarette packs are supposed to be light or mild, even if it no longer says on the packet. For years, smokers have seen these products as a ‘healthier’ alternative to smoking ‘full strength’ cigarettes. Research shows that smokers of ‘light’ or ‘mild’ brands are likely to inhale as much tar and nicotine as smokers of regular cigarettes. This means they can take in as many cancer-causing poisons as smokers of regular cigarettes. In simple terms, ‘low tar’ cigarettes are just as harmful as regular cigarettes.

Is cutting down a good idea?

Many people believe that cutting down is a good way to reduce the health risk from smoking. This might include smoking fewer cigarettes, switching to lower strength brands or switching to alternatives to cigarettes such cigars or pipe smoking. There is evidence to show that when people smoke fewer cigarettes, they tend to smoke them harder to compensate for this thus there is no real health benefit. There is no evidence that merely cutting down as a strategy to stop makes a quit attempt more likely to succeed. The only way to really reduce the risks from smoking is to stop completely.

Just one won’t hurt…

It is very easy to get tempted into having just one cigarette once you have stopped. DON’T DO IT! This is one of the easiest ways to get back into smoking. If you really are desperate for ‘just one’ you should consider avoiding the places and situations where you find temptation. It may also help to call the Anne Penman Helpline and talk to one of our technicians who will give you advice to help deal with the temptations.

What if I get addicted to Anne Penman Therapy?

There is no evidence to suggest you could become addicted to Laser Therapy. There are no drugs or addictive chemicals involved in the programme.

My Gran is 90 years old and smoked all her life…

There is always the story about the 90-year-old whose secret to long life is 20 cigarettes a day and a tot of brandy before bed. Chances are that their long life has absolutely nothing to do with smoking. The fact is that half of all smokers will die as a result of smoking. Of the other half, some might live to an old age. However, you are far more likely to live longer if you don’t smoke. Even if you are lucky enough to escape fatal illness, smoking still increases signs of ageing, the chance of impotence and blindness and a whole range of nasty ailments that could make your golden years very unpleasant.

It can’t hurt me now; I’m only young…

The younger you stop smoking, the more chance you have to benefit later. After stopping smoking, it can take 15 years to totally reduce your risk of a heart attack to that of a non-smoker so the sooner you stop, the more likely you are of reclaiming benefits over time. For a list of all the benefits of stopping over time see our benefits of stopping page.

Roll-ups, Cigars and Pipes are OK?

Some people think that changing to a roll-up cigarette can help them to stop smoking, or reduce the harmful effects of smoking. Evidence suggests that smoking roll ups are actually more dangerous. Roll-ups burn at a higher temperature than manufactured cigarettes. They also go out more, requiring re-lighting. These factors mean that you are getting higher doses of harmful smoke each time you inhale. Major studies of pipe and cigar smokers have shown that cigar smokers have double the risk of lung cancer than non-smokers Pipe smokers are eight times more likely to get lung cancer than non-smokers. Whichever way you smoke your risk of fatal disease is significantly higher than that of a non-smoker.

Anne Penman ©2017