The path to quitting: the change begins

Once you have made the decision to quit nicotine use, you are at the planning stage on your path to quitting.

  • What will motivate and help you to quit smoking or using nicotine products?
  • Write a list of the negative effects of nicotine products on your health.
  • Do you want to quit to get pregnant or for the sake of your kids?
  • Will you actually give up anything by quitting nicotine use?
  • How can you change your daily routines and habits that involve nicotine products?
  • What small changes can you make to get started?
  • Write down your nicotine use habits to better reflect on your emotional and social dependencies. This makes it easier to find solutions that suit you.
  • Think about things you can do when the cravings start.
  • Tell your family and friends about your decision to quit. Go to them for support.
  • Do not buy any more nicotine products. Get rid of your smoking equipment.
  • Set your quitting date.

Quitting smoking is a decision you will not regret.

The effect of nicotine products on physical fitness

Nicotine products always have a negative effect on physical fitness, regardless of whether you are an occasional or regular smoker or snus user.

Nicotine, carbon monoxide, tar and other toxic chemicals put a strain on the heart and cause narrowing of the blood vessels. Carbon monoxide binds to haemoglobin in the blood and hinders the flow of oxygen to the heart. The heart tries to make up for the lack of oxygen by beating even faster, which, in turn, consumes even more oxygen. When the muscles do not receive enough oxygen, they get tired easily.

Nicotine temporarily increases blood pressure and heart rate. This puts more strain on the heart, and the pulse gets quicker. Nicotine causes the arteries of the muscles to narrow, which weakens blood flow in the muscles and increases the risk of being injured when exercising.

Tar irritates the bronchi. This results in mucus production and coughing, which make breathing more difficult. A smoker’s lungs are in a state of constant irritation and strain. Coughing often develops into chronic bronchitis.

Snus causes cavities and inflammation of the gums and mouth. The use of snus has also been found to slow down recovery.