Quitting smoking always pays off, no matter how long or how much you have smoked. You will quickly feel the benefits of quitting. For example, 20 minutes after you have smoked your last cigarette, your blood pressure will begin to reduce. 8 hours in, the amount of nicotine in your system is down by half, and after 24 hours, your lungs will start to purify themselves.
The physical, psychological and social dependency on tobacco products can make quitting difficult, but exactly how easy or difficult it is, is personal. Quitting smoking is a decision you will never regret.
There are many forms of help available for quitting:
- discuss different options with your doctor or your public health nurse.
- Nicotine replacement products may help you quit smoking. Your doctor might also prescribe you medication.
When planning pregnancy
Both the mother and father-to-be should quit smoking or using snuff as soon as they plan to get pregnant. This will increase the likelihood of getting pregnant. The withdrawal symptoms will be easier to handle, and the foetus will get a healthy start in life without tobacco exposure.
If the parents-to-be continue to use tobacco products after the pregnancy has commenced, they should quit as soon as possible during early pregnancy. Nicotine dependency can add to the stress the mother experiences during pregnancy.
A pregnant mother's exposure to passive smoking is detrimental to the health of both the mother and the foetus. For this reason, it is vital that the father-to-be and other people close to the expectant mother are smoke-free.
Nicotine replacement therapy is also a suitable support alternative during pregnancy, as it is a better option than smoking or using snuff. When using replacement therapy products, blood nicotine levels do not rise as high as they do when smoking or using snuff. Short-acting products are recommended for nicotine replacement therapy during pregnancy. Discuss the use of replacement therapy products with a health care professional.
The goal is smoke-free parenthood
Quitting smoking should be a permanent life change. This adds to the health and well-being of the entire family.
If both parents are smokers, the decision to quit is usually easier to keep if both parents quit at the same time. Also other family members and friends should be encouraged to kick the habit. Quitting smoking is a service not only for you, but for all the people close to you.
In a home environment, cigarette smoke is a completely unbridled opponent. Although you cannot see the smoke, its effects are far and wide reaching. They extend from one room to the next and catch up throughout your life.
Cigarette smoke residue can be found on the surface materials, textiles and dust of your home for a long time after you've put out the cigarette.
The surface material residue will later be released back into air, exposing you and your family members to harmful substances and health hazards. This exposure is called third-degree smoking, or third-hand smoke.
DDT, a commonly known pesticide, is just one of the harmful chemicals contained in cigarette smoke.
Too many Finnish children are exposed to cigarette smoke at home. Only a quarter of smoking parents smoke only when their children are not present.
According to studies, smoking is harmful for children even if the adult goes outside to smoke by themselves. The hair and clothes of the adult carry harmful particles contained in cigarette smoke which the child then inhales.
A home where the parents do not smoke sets a good non-smoking example for the children. The children of smokers take up smoking more often than the children of non-smokers.
Passive smoking is always a great risk to the health of children, whether they are exposed to smoke from outdoor or indoor air. Many of us do not know that secondary smoke from a burning cigarette contains even more detrimental substances than the smoke the smoker inhales.
Tobacco smoke lowers the resistance of children to disease. A recurring cycle of infection is more common in the children of smoking parents.
When the parents smoke, it increases the child's risk of developing recurring respiratory tract inflammations and ear infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma and allergies. Exposure to tobacco smoke also impairs the lung function of the child. In addition, smoke irritates the eyes, throat and airways.