According to the World Health Organization, all types of tobacco smoking are dangerous—whether from cigarettes, cigars, water pipes, smokeless tobacco, or other types.
However, smoking is still a prevalent addiction worldwide, with 1.3 billion smokers. With billions of smokers, over 8 million deaths are attributed to smoking.
More than 7 million of these cases are due to first-hand smoking while about 1.2 million are due to second-hand smoke.
According to 2015 statistics in the Philippines, 40% of the male population and 8.2% of the female population smoked leading to 10 deaths every hour. This constituted 15.9 million tobacco users aged 15 years and older.
Specifically, over 70,000 Filipinos die each year due to tobacco-related illnesses, including lung cancer and heart disease due to second-hand smoke.
What causes smoking addiction?
Nicotine in tobacco is what makes people addicted to smoking.
According to a survey, more than 70% want to quit the habit. But this is easier said than done. Some people manage to stop immediately while others go through a long period of recovery. The success rate is only 5-10% of regular smokers.
If you’re one of the few people attempting to stop smoking, you need to prepare yourself to go through nicotine withdrawal.
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms
Since each person is unique, each smoker will also go through different nicotine withdrawal symptoms. One of the most common is feeling restless and always wanting to fill the time with smoking.
Some of the most common discomforts you may feel include:
- Nicotine cravings – longing to smoke is the most common and longest-lasting symptom.
- Depression – long periods of sadness
- Sleep issues – insomnia; increased dreaming
- Emotional instability – Anxiety, irritability, anger, or frustration; constant mood swings
- Behavioral issues – unable to think clearly and concentrate; always restless and jumpy
- Physical problems – slower heart rate; weight gain or increase in hunger; dizziness; headaches; salivating
The symptoms may be isolated and can occur without warning. Most of the time, though, you will experience multiple symptoms at the same time.