The health effects of cigarette smoking are far-reaching; it is detrimental to all body organs and tissues. Not only does smoking affect the health being of oneself, it can also result in daily financial cost and expose one’s family to harmful smoking chemicals. For those reasons, almost all cigarette smokers aim to quit smoking. Whereas smoking cessation can improve a person’s health, it can also cause other problems such as increased appetite and high levels of stress.
Smoking cessation affects humans’ normal eating process as well as their taste of foodstuff (Stadler et al., 2014). In most cases, those who quit smoking experience strong desires of eating more amount of food than usual, especially in the first three months after stopping smoking. According to Skov-Ettrup et al., (2017), the reason for experiencing unusual appetite is because these people use food as a coping mechanism for boredom. Some people do not only tend to overeat after quitting smoking, they also develop craving for other things and mostly. According to Torre et al., (2015), if they are not careful, they may even become addicted to these new behaviors. For individuals who smoke as a way of socializing, quitting may lead them to developing feeling of loneliness. They tend to find solace in food as coping mechanism for their reduced participation in social activities.
After quitting smoking, individuals must expect to experience withdrawal symptoms of varying severities. Several people report that they undergo stressful experience, as they try to give up the previous behavior; the desire to smoke even one cigarette is so strong such that they worry about becoming smokers again. Because of the high levels of nicotine content in cigarettes, it may take several years before the resumption of the normal body functioning. Researchers have established that a sudden reduction of nicotine levels in the body results in an increase in anxiety and irritability (Skov-Ettrup et al., 2017). Consequently, current smokers may refrain from quitting the habit if they expect to experience post-cessation stress. The stress may also result from the weakening social bonds among other smoking friends.
Smoking cessation has numerous health benefits, including low prevalence of lung, heart and eye problems. Smoking thickens the arteries, which in turn, can expose smokers to the risks developing serious health complications such as atherosclerosis and cardiac arrest. In case a smoker quits the behavior, he or she may take several years before the risks become less serious. Smoking can also damage the lung tissues, which is one of the reasons behind why most smokers develop respiratory difficulties or even cancer. Smoking cessation is the best way of minimizing respiratory problems and lung cancer (Torre et al., 2015).
Increased appetite and high stress levels are some of the main negative side effects of smoking cessation. Individuals who stop smoking tend to eat more amount of food to compensate for that craving for smoking “just one cigarette”. In addition, they may feel lonely since they try avoiding being in the company of their previous smoking-friends. On a positive note, individuals who quit smoking can benefit from being healthy. In order to stop smoking, it would be important to seek the help of professional therapist. They do not only prepare the smokers to go through the various stages of quitting smoking and corresponding challenges, they also treat and advise them.