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Are You Ready To Quit Smoking?

What causes it? 

Addiction to smoking is actually caused by the body’s addiction to the primary ingredient in cigarette smoke, known as nicotine. Nicotine causes an addiction to smoking in three ways.


First, small amounts of nicotine make a person feel pleasant and satisfied, causing the person to want to smoke even more. Secondly, nicotine affects the mood and behavior of a smoker by altering chemicals in the brain. 


After inhaling, the nicotine releases endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and other opiate peptides at a high rate. When it falls it will trigger the "cravings". The body normally releases these natural chemicals on a time clock and when we become addicted to smoking this natural release ceases and the body becomes dependent on the cigarette to trigger these chemicals.


Lastly, and often most importantly, withdrawal symptoms, such as nervousness, headaches, irritability, and difficulty sleeping, occur when a person refrains from smoking for a given period of time (usually about 24 hours).

Preparing to Quit Smoking 


  • Set a quit date so that you can prepare yourself for the day that you decide to quit smoking. It may be helpful to choose a date that has special meaning to you or a family member—for example, a birthday, anniversary, or special holiday. Mark that date on your calendar and inform family and friends of your quit date so they can help you prepare. 

  • Give yourself about two weeks prior to quitting so that you have enough time to both mentally and physically prepare to quit smoking. During this time: Prepare your environment for no smoking. Throw away any cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays that you have. Clean anything that smells like smoke (clothing, sheets, furniture, and your car). 

  • Take into consideration any previous attempts to quit and what went wrong. When you begin your next quit attempt, avoid things that did not help you quit before. Modification of techniques you tried on the previous attempt may be needed. 

  • As your quit date approaches cut back on one cigarette and push your first cigarette 30 minutes later each day. 

  • Make a list of activities and situations that trigger your need for a cigarette and what you will need to do in order to avoid these triggers. For example, if you always smoke a cigarette in the morning while reading the newspaper, prepare to read the newspaper at a different time of the day or in a different room where you do not normally smoke. If you smoke during your break at work, take a walk outside or around the building instead or get to know people in your workplace that do not smoke. 

  • Join a smoking cessation support group. Many hospitals and community centers organize smoking cessation support groups. These groups are helpful to discuss your smoking cessation with others who are going through the same difficult and life-changing process as you. Other members of the group may have useful tips on how to successfully quit smoking. Having a support system—whether through a community group or family members and friends—is important and many times needed to help you successfully quit. 

  • Consider household members who smoke—encourage complete refraining from smoking while you are present. Better yet, encourage other household members to join you in your smoking cessation efforts—it may be easier to quit if other household members are also trying to quit. 

  • Enlist the support of your family and friends. Inform them that this if going to be a difficult process for both yourself and them. Ask them to help you avoid your cravings and situations that trigger your cravings. They may know triggers to smoking that you have that you never realized existed.

What To Do During the Quitting Process

Achieving smoking cessation is a huge accomplishment. Reward yourself when you do not smoke. For each week of no smoking, buy yourself something that makes you happy. Take yourself out to a nice dinner or to a movie. 

  • Save the money you would have spent on cigarettes in a jar. Use the money to reward yourself (over time the money saved on cigarettes can add up to hundred or even thousands of dollars—enough to go on a vacation or buy something nice). This will help you to realize how much money you spend on your smoking addiction.

  • The 4 D’s: drink water, do something to avoid smoking, deep breathing to relax and decrease stress-induced smoking, delay smoking until something better comes along to do. 

  • Limit alcohol, coffee, sugars, and red meat intake. These make cigarettes taste better and avoidance of them can help to prevent the craving for a cigarette. Do drink milk, water, and eat vegetables and fruits. These help to deter cigarette cravings by making them taste worse.

  •  When you feel the need to smoke—hit the gym, take a walk, go for a run, or do some form of physical exercise. It gives you a rush of energy that may replace the nicotine craving. Additionally, exercise improves your overall health. Exercise! Exercise!

  • Chew on a straw or a piece of licorice. Many smokers need the hand-to-mouth connection involved in cigarette smoking. The straw or licorice can help replace this sensory need. 

  • For those who smoke menthol cigarettes for the taste, try peppermint or hard candy to replace the flavoring.

Why should you quit?

The US Surgeon General’s Report of 1990 detailed a timeline as to how cessation from nicotine improves a person’s health status. While this report is somewhat dated, it still holds true today.

Cigarette smoke contains many compounds that are harmful to the body. Tar in the smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 60 that have been shown to cause cancer. Smoking causes approximately 90% of all lung cancers. Other chemicals in the smoke cause lung and heart disease.

  • A nonsmoker sitting behind a smoker in a bar for two hours breathes in the equivalent of four cigarettes.

  • 20 minutes after the last cigarette: heart rate drops 

  • 12 hours after the last cigarette: the carbon monoxide level in the blood drops back to normal

  • 2 weeks to 3 months after the last cigarette: circulation improves and lung function increases 

  • 1-9 months after the last cigarette: coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) begin to function normally again, increasing the ability to clean out the lungs and thus reduce the risk for lung infection 

  • 1 year after the last cigarette: the risk of heart disease is decreased in half compared to a smoker's risk 

  • 5 years after the last cigarette: risk of having a stroke is the same as a person who never smoked 

  • 10 years after the last cigarette: lung cancer death rate is about half of a smoker's. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease as well 

  • 15 years after the last cigarette: the risk of heart disease is the same as a person who never smoked

Helping Yourself 

Plan! Plan! Plan! Planning is a key component in successfully quitting smoking. Because quitting smoking is such a difficult task to accomplish, you must be both mentally and physically prepared to go through the process of smoking cessation. Many of the techniques mentioned must be implemented before and maintained throughout your smoking cessation process. 

Dow Chiropractic is here to help with the physical demands by eliminating the pain and discomfort from the withdrawal. Our Laser Therapy spikes the increase in the natural chemicals spoken above and keeps them high to help with the symptoms of withdrawal. 


After 72 hours your SUCCESS rate increases because it takes approximately 24-48 hours for the therapy to maximize its effects.

Contact us TODAY to schedule your appointment!


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