Primary Prevention of Smoking Effects
This is the simplest method. This prevention is by never starting to smoke. Of every 3 young smokers, only 1 will eventually quit, and of the remaining two, one will die from the long-term health consequences. 3 out of 5 who take their first puff become lifelong smokers and over 2,000 children become smokers in the USA daily. Since most smokers begin smoking before the age of 18, educating the young is the best primary prevention strategy.
Secondary Prevention of Smoking Effects
Once a person is a smoker, prevention is by stopping the addiction which is fueled by genetics and a craving for the reward neurotransmitter dopamine. The genetics connection doesn’t prevent quitting but must makes it more difficult.
Prevention of smoking’s effects by quitting uses these strategies:
- Quitting abruptly and totally, and when it fails, do it daily.
- Quit with your household. You will likely fail if your spouse, parents, or siblings under your roof also smoke. A smoking cessation pact will improve the chances of success while providing a support group.
- Use medications to address the craving for dopamine, such as Chantix. This makes more sense than nicotine-containing patches or gum, which still give a patient that to which he or she is addicted.
- Refuse to attend or, if attending, leave any social event or gathering at which you feel you may be smoking by the end of it. Alcohol-related celebrations and activities are particularly risky.