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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What health risks are associated with smoking addiction?

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  • Jennifer Grant

    Psychologist

    New practice opened Feb 2018. Seewebsite www.coffspsychneuro.com.au I'm passionate about working with people from all walks of life to help them create a more vital, … View Profile

    You’ve been very specific in your question, asking about the risks associated with “smoking addiction” rather than just the health risks associated with smoking. The health risks of smoking are well known so I wont repeat them here.
    The health risks of “addiction” – whether it’s to smoking cigarettes, using alcohol or other substances, prescription medication, gambling or sex – depend on the consequences of actions taken to feed the addiction. When we’re busy seeking out or using our preferred substance, we preclude other potentially health promoting behaviours. Time spent smoking is time that could be spent engaged in physical activity, eating nourishingly, breathing clean air, sleeping or meditating, all of which are health promoting behaviours. Money spent on smoking is money that could be spent on housing, healthcare, education, transport, sport or recreational activities. Mental energy spent on seeking out smokes, finding places where smoking is permitted, thinking about smoking is mental energy that could be used listening, learning, growing. The emotional price of addiction is paid in guilt, shame, regret, perhaps anger and frustration. The alternative is health-promoting emotion-enhancing experiences of joy, non-judgment, empathy and compassion.
    Perhaps you could ask yourself: what am I giving up for my addiction? What I am avoiding by being addicted? That might be the answer to your question.

  • Jeremy Barbouttis

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist, Sex Therapist

    Jeremy is an expert in Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, Sex Therapy, Relationships & Addictions. Jeremy is a Clinical Supervisor with the Australian Hypnotherapists Association.Specialisations: Stop Smoking Hypnosis, … View Profile

    In answering this question, you might think of smoking in these terms - if you have smoked for a considerable time period and get sick, then it will be a pretty safe bet that smoking has something to do with it. The same goes for dying.

    Another way of looking at smoking is this: there are many things we can do that are bad for your health, but smoking is diabolical and in fact evil. It is a slow acting poison. Cigarettes contain about 4500 poisons. There should be no surprise if a smoker gets heart disease, cancer, emphasyma, has a stroke, has a foot or leg removed and so on. If you continued to poison your dog, you would expect them to get sick and die. Well, the same goes for smoking. If you smoke, don't plan to have a long life.

    However, the worst health risks from smoking addiction are suffering and regret. If you smoke, when it finally catches up with you, and that could be in your early 30s, then you have to face how your decision to smoke shortened your life and/or left you maimed. How long will you suffer before finally dying? Suffering really is a horrible health consequence - whatever that suffering entails.

    My advice is to get help to stop smoking now.

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