‘Cigarette abstinence hurts’, says Tonico Pereira; how to deal with symptoms? – 06/17/2022

In May, actor Tonico Pereira, 73, was hospitalized to treat tracheobronchitis, an inflammation that affects the trachea and bronchi. He spent 10 days in a hospital in Rio de Janeiro and recently returned to activities.

Because of the problem, he had to stop smoking (and would still need to stay away from cigarettes). In an interview with Whothe actor said that this is the hardest part.

“Cigarette abstinence is what hurts me. I smoked a lot, a lot”, said Tonico, who managed to stay without cigarettes in the hospital and, after discharge, reduced his consumption. “But I still haven’t gotten to zero.”

effects of abstinence

And, in fact, only those who have tried to quit smoking know how difficult it is to face these “negative emotions” responsible for different physical and psychological effects.

“Cigarette abstinence lasts for a short time, around two or three days. However, along with it comes craving, a very strong impulse to smoke”, says Eduardo Perin, a psychiatrist at Unifesp (Federal University of São Paulo) and specialist in cognitive-behavioral therapy at the Anxiety Clinic of the Hospital das Clínicas da USP (University of São Paulo).

Nicotine withdrawal can generate different effects, such as:

  • Headache;
  • Anxiety and irritation;
  • Excessive sweating of the hands;
  • tremors;
  • Change in bowel habits and sleep (insomnia or hypersomnia);
  • compulsive hunger;
  • Difficulty concentrating on tasks;
  • Apathy;
  • Depression.

According to Marcus Yu Bin Pai, doctor of science from USP and researcher at the Department of Neurology at Hospital das Clínicas, physical symptoms tend to last for a shorter time.

“When a smoker starts a smoking cessation plan, they experience a harrowing experience of nicotine withdrawal and recovery symptoms in the first few weeks. Physical symptoms may disappear in a few days, but psychological symptoms can last for many months.”

5 Ways to Control Nerves During Withdrawal

  • Opt for a gradual “weaning”
  • Seek medical treatment
  • Share and ask for help
  • Seek distractions and exercise
  • Avoid triggers such as alcohol

Do you want to quit smoking? See tips

The support of friends and family is essential in the treatment. These people need to understand the smoker’s moment, understand that he will get more irritated, but that it is a phase and it will pass. They should be more patient and reinforce that they are on the side to help, support, listen more than talk, welcome, avoid criticizing, demanding and implicating the person for any reason.

“At this stage, it’s important to get distracted and focus on cigarettes, do physical exercise and try to do activities that hold attention, such as reading or crafts”, says Carolina Salimpulmonologist and member of the Tobacco Support Group of the ACCamargo Cancer centerin Sao Paulo.

According to experts, one of the tips to deal with the uncontrollable urge to smoke is to set up a kind of “kit fissure” with sugar-free candies and gum and dried fruit. This can help to produce a flavor and give you the feeling that you have something in your mouth.

Changing the environment, taking a walk and taking a shower are also good strategies to change focus.

According to Jairo Bouer, psychiatrist and columnist for Live wellfew people are able to stop smoking on their own and many need some kind of medical support and resources to be able to stop smoking.

“If you started smoking again in these first few weeks, don’t see it as a defeat or failure, it can happen, it’s part of the process. Don’t despair if you didn’t succeed, reorganize yourself and leave for a new attempt”, he advises.

Smoking cessation is a slow and difficult process. Many smokers want to quit, have tried and unfortunately have not been successful. In such cases, it is best to seek professional help.

There are drug treatments that fight both chemical and psychological dependence, explains the pulmonologist.

* With information from reports published on 05/04/2021 and 08/25/2021.

About Hrishikesh Bhardwaj

Tv specialist. Falls down a lot. Typical troublemaker. Hipster-friendly advocate. Food fan.

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