Cigarette smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable disease and creates one of the most difficult addictions to cope with. According to the CDC, tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals; hundreds are harmful, and about 70 can cause cancer. Smoking affects smokers and nonsmokers alike and increases the risk for serious health problems, many diseases, and death.
Most smokers become addicted to nicotine, a drug found naturally in tobacco. Research suggests that nicotine may be as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol. Quitting smoking is hard and may require several attempts. People who stop smoking may start again because of withdrawal symptoms, stress, and weight gain. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Feeling irritable, angry, or anxious
- Having trouble thinking
- Craving tobacco products
- Feeling hungrier than usual
Quitting smoking greatly reduces the risk of developing smoking-related diseases. Although the health benefits are greater for people who stop at earlier ages, there are benefits at any age. You are never too old to quit. Stopping smoking is associated with many health benefits:
- Reduced risk for heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease
- Lowered risk for lung cancer and many other types of cancer
- Reduced heart disease risk within 1 to 2 years of quitting
- Reduced respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath
- Reduced risk of developing some lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD
- Reduced risk for infertility in women of childbearing age; women who stop smoking during pregnancy also reduce their risk of having a low birth weight baby.
Research has shown that medications, behavioral therapies and counseling are all effective treatments to help people stop smoking. In fact, research shows that counseling and medication used together are more effective than using either one alone.
SafeHealth’s unique smoking cessation program leverages the power of counseling and behavioral therapy by engaging your unique whole body-mind in the process of quitting. We offer programs using Interactive Guided Imagery℠ to empower you and provide extra reinforcement to help you experience lasting success. Our smoking cessation service features:
- Professional holistic caregiver who understands both physical and mental/emotional addiction
- Individual or group sessions
- Eight weeks of reinforcement (for groups), as desired
- Experienced certified Interactive Guided Imagery℠ Guide and board-certified occupational health nurse specialist with addiction counseling experience
- Individuals may participate anonymously through their company EAP or unique employer plan
- Holistic program, integrating whole-person wellness – the effectiveness of recovery is due to its individual reframing characteristic – is applicable for recovery from alcohol or other drug addiction