It’s Never too Late! Smoking Cessation Tips for Older Adults
For a long time, smoking wasn’t considered a dangerous habit. Marketed as cool, the tobacco industry was promoting smoking through television, radio programs, newspapers—basically any medium you could think of.
However, we now have a complete report released by the World Health Organization that goes into detail about the systematic corporate deceit they practiced; how the industry knew that nicotine and tobacco were immensely addictive and dangerous due to their carcinogenic nature but kept on advertising it anyway.
And while the global population understands that now, the damage is done.
America’s Health Rankings reported that there are around 4.2 million smokers in the US who are over the age of 65. And 8.7 percent of these people smoke each day. Many of them understand that smoking damages almost every organ in your body and causes a number of diseases. But old habits die hard. And when that old habit is something as addicting as smoking, it can be almost impossible to let go of it altogether, but only almost!
How to Quit Smoking as a senior
If a senior loved one or you are thinking of quitting your smoking habit, here are some things you can do to get started on the right track:
Try Nicotine Patches or Products
Easily available and useful, nicotine gum or patches deliver very small doses of nicotine into your system through your skin, thus feeding your cravings just enough. Typically, your doctor will reduce your doses as you go so you can wean off them completely.
Opt for Prescription Medicine
There are actually prescription medications that you can take to treat your smoking habit. But like any allopathic medication, it will have side effects; never take anything without your doctor’s written permission.
Take it Nice and Easy
Going cold turkey works for some people, but if you’re used to smoking multiple packs a day, you’ll need to prepare yourself for bouts of cravings and the ensuing symptoms of withdrawal that’ll follow. Your patience and strength will be tested, but if you take things slowly and try getting to smoking once or twice in the morning, then in the afternoon, then at night, you’ll slowly start seeing the difference it can make in your health and energy levels.
Find a Companion
This is something we’ve seen a lot at AvantGarde Senior Living in Beverly Hills, CA. Often, one of our older residents will pair up with a friend or family member to quit smoking over time. Similar to how you go to the gym with a friend who encourages healthy living, having someone on the same journey as you will truly help since you’ll hold each other accountable.
The phrase “smoking can be hazardous to your health” is not an empty warning. Smoking causes 1 in every 5 deaths in the U.S. each year. It can cause lung disease, cancer, heart disease, respiratory problems, diabetes, eye diseases and osteoporosis and a number of other illnesses as well.
For your own sake and that of those who love you, take the right steps toward rehabilitation!