Hormone Levels and Smoking — What You Can Do to Stop Smoking for Good!

Written by Dr. White, Published on August 1st, 2018

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Smoking can have profound and disastrous effects on your health and wellness. Even with the increasing stigma surrounded by smoking cigarettes, it's still a widespread habit because it's so easy to get addicted and so hard to quit! Smoking leads to a significant increase in the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, oral cancer, and throat cancer, and it is also one of the leading causes of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).

Smoking also has an impact on your body's ability to maintain Hormone Balance, leading to further symptoms which diminish your quality of life. For one, Smoking increases levels of Cortisol in the bloodstream. Cortisol is one of the body's central stress hormones, responsible for dealing with immediate, acute stress. Cortisol Levels are supposed to fall once the threat has passed. Chronically High Cortisol Levels lead to issues such as weight gain, diminished sex drive, insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and reduced immune capacity.

While smoking doesn't have a significant impact on HGH Levels and may have a mildly positive effect on Testosterone Levels in the short term, the health impacts of smoking suppress the benefits of healthy Testosterone and Growth Hormone Levels.

Steps That You Can Take to Quit Smoking!

While it's incredibly difficult to quit smoking, it's not impossible. Men and women across America have learned what it's like to be smoke-free and you can too! While smoking does have cumulative effects, your long-term risks associated with your habit decline with every passing year! Even if you've been smoking for 20, 30 years or more, it still pays to quit smoking.

Make a Plan to Quit Smoking

While sometimes the Cold Turkey method can be successful, your odds of success will increase dramatically if you develop a plan to quit smoking before your initial Quit Date. When you consider your strategy, one of the most important things to consider is what makes you want to smoke.

Everyone that smokes has specific triggers that make them crave a cigarette. Make a list of the aspects of your day-to-day life that you associate with smoking — the moods, places, situations, times, and even the people that make you itch for a cigarette. As with any physical or psychological addiction, there are different categories of trigger that impact your desire:

Pattern-Oriented Smoking Triggers – Among the biggest factors which influence your ability to quit smoking are your general habits. Many people smoke because they associate cigarettes with an activity such as a smoke break, couch surfing session, car ride, or alcoholic beverage. It's important to consider which actions make you want to smoke the most so you can consciously acknowledge these associations, the most important step to breaking that connection.

Social Smoking Triggers – Humans are social animals, and when we partake in a habit, we are more likely to act on that habit in the presence of others that participate in the same activities. Think about the times and places where you're around other people that smoke, or at places where you enjoy smoking the most. Think deeply about whether you want to dissociate yourself from some of these places, or at least limit your exposure so that you can sustain the willpower to quit for good!

Also, remember that bad habits tend to cluster together. If you're a drinker, consider the places where alcohol will be present and be wary of the fact that drinking impairs inhibition, making it harder to break the habit!

Emotional Smoking Triggers – While there's no way to rule over our emotions completely, smoking can be triggered by our feelings, both positive and negative, and it's vital to recognize that fact.

Smokers tend to light up more when they are stressed and anxious. It's important to remember to keep cool and keep your hands off the smokes when time gets tough. It may seem difficult at first, but resistance leads to strength and by finding alternative ways to cope you make it easier to deal with those stressors.

If loneliness or boredom are major triggers, relief may be as simple as a phone call to a friend. Also, switching good habits for bad can be an avenue toward success. Pick up a hobby or take advantage of the psychological effects of exercise to entertain your brain and focus on the positive!

Withdrawal Triggers – Smoking is one of the most physically addictive habits that there is, and you'll have to prepare yourself for the physiological cravings associated with quitting. Even the scent of a cigarette can wreak havoc on your will-power.

It's also common to get caught up in the motions of smoking. To stave off cravings and minimize the psychological effects of the desire, you can drink water, chew gum, or just otherwise occupy your mind. Allow other actions to fill the space where smoking once took residence in your life.

What to Do Before You Quit Smoking!

After you've taken stock of why you smoke, you can take steps to safeguard yourself from the temptation of smoking. Get rid of all your lighters, matches, cigarettes, and mementos to your habit. Don't even consider trading one tobacco product for another. Cigars, Chewing Tobacco, and Cigarettes all come with their own inherent risks, so you're not doing your body any good, and it doesn't make it easier to quit tobacco and nicotine altogether in the future.

You should also integrate rewards into your strategy for positive motivation. Go out for a nice dinner after a month without a cigarette. Maybe you can plan a trip after six months smoke-free. Just think about what drives you and motivates you and build your reward-structure from there!

Take Advantage of Support Groups, Friends, and Family — Don't Give Up!

Remember that you're not in it alone! Don't be afraid to lean on your close family and friends to maintain your willpower in the best and worst of times. Also, try to find out who else has quit or wants to stop and build a bond with them. There are also support groups out there where you can link up with other people in your community that want to quit smoking! The most critical and important thing to remember is that quitting is a process. Though you want to quit for good, don't let a slip-up ruin your enthusiasm! Just keep up the faith and keep grinding and the odds are high that you'll kick the habit!

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