Do you know that there is no such thing as a safe cigarette or a safe level of smoking? Many smokers deceive themselves into thinking that smoking less won’t harm them. However, the best bet remains the same – it is to quit smoking ASAP.
You must have heard countless times that smoking is bad for your health, but this does not stop you from smoking now does it. This is because, it’s not that easy. Nicotine dependence cannot be just seen as a bad habit. It is actually a physiological and psychological addiction. It is a chronic disease that comes with multiple complications.
Many patients go through phases where they stop smoking, but pick it up again. That is where nurses can help. They can be quite good at giving you the ongoing support through counseling. They can help you if you have started to quit or already have quit smoking.
Four Stages of Quitting Smoking
Every smoker does not feel the same way about smoking. While some are on their way to a healthier lifestyle, others are not so keen on giving up smoking altogether. The good news is that nurses can help you, no matter how you feel about smoking. Have a look at these four stages, where nurses can make a difference:
Here, you are not seriously thinking about quitting. You know there are health hazards but you are not giving it a serious thought. Nurses normally call it a ‘pre-contemplation’ stage.
At this stage, you give some thought to the positives and negatives of quitting smoking. You might not want to give up on smoking, but the negative effects start worrying you. This is usually known as the ‘contemplation’ stage.
The third stage is a lot more significant, as here you start intending to quit smoking. You not only intend to quit smoking, but you also start taking action. Being an encouraging state, it is called the ‘action’ stage.
You might be expecting that the last stage is the best stage for a smoker. They can actually quit smoking here. However, easier said than done, it’s not that simple. It’s either the ‘maintenance’ or the ‘relapse’ stage. You either stay off smoking for good or return to it.
How Can Nurses Help?
Nurses are trained to help people quit smoking. They acquire proper training through traditional schools or with online nursing programs. Nurses normally find people who are in the first two stages, where they are not quite ready to quit, or they need an intervention to consider quitting. But you can seek help at just about any stage.
If quitting feels impossible for you, get in touch with a nurse, and you will have a pretty good chance at quitting. Nurses can help you overcome smoking by following a tested procedure:
• They make up your mind in quitting and help you set a date. They define certain procedures and follow up to check your progress.
• They interview you about situations where you are tempted to smoke and discuss ways you can avoid these situations.
• If you have concerns about quitting like gaining weight, nurses can also effectively address your concerns.
• Nurses can also be quite a help when coping with withdrawal symptoms. They can guide you on how to manage symptoms, such as restlessness or lack of concentration.
• They may also give you a nicotine replacement therapy, and guide you in how to make use of nicotine gums and patches effectively.
• They follow up regularly and extend support so you don’t go off track.
Quitting smoking is teamwork, when you seek help from a nurse. You are not alone in your struggle, you have someone to buck you up, and encourage you every step of the way. Whether, it’s the smoking habit you want to change, or overcome nicotine addiction caused by cigarettes, remember nurses are in your corner.
Kim Lee is an online education and career reporter in college and has been working as a freelance writer for Myway Education.