We all know that the use of this type of product is not good for us. But to help your client understand the harm in smoking or using tobacco products, you may have to rely on the intellectual wellness aspect of your coaching model to influence behavior change.
Dangers of Nicotine
Smoking and cigarettes contain nicotine, carbon monoxide, other poisonous gases, tars, and chemical additives for taste and flavor.
More specifically, nicotine increases LDL while lowering HDL cholesterol values. Nicotine also causes blood platelets to stick or aggregate, increasing the likelihood of arterial spasms.
Nicotine also increases the oxygen demands of the heart muscle. Using nicotine also constricts blood vessels and produces cardiac dysrhythmias or irregular heart rates.
Dealing with Smoking Cessation
The challenge before the coach is to help the client to quit.
Smoking cessation can be a very difficult behavior to manage. This might be due, in part, to the fact that quitting tobacco or smoking involves simultaneously breaking the addiction to nicotine and psychological dependence your client has on its use.
Again, this involves a behavior change as we seek to effectively handle both the social and situational stimulus that results in the behavior in our clients who smoke.
Gaining Weight When Quitting Tobacco
Complicating the effort to quit among women especially is the fear of putting on excess weight.
65% of those who quit using nicotine or tobacco products will gain weight, however, the physiological adjustments that are occurring typically account for about 10 pounds of weight gained.
The other additional weight is purely physiological systems stabilizing.
In fact, weight gain is most likely due to changes or shifts in metabolism, a possible slight increase in appetite, and slower transit time of food while in the digestive system.
Weight gain more than 10 pounds is probably caused by eating patterns that have been changed, instead of physiology.
Sometimes it is useful to encourage your client by explaining the benefits of quitting a cigarette or tobacco habit. The timeline for these benefits to be realized can range from 20 minutes up until years ahead.
Benefits of Quitting Cigarettes or Tobacco
- Blood pressure and heart rates decrease, and the temperature of hands and feet returns to normal in 20 minutes
- The risk for a sudden heart attack decreases in the first 24 hours
- The risk for coronary artery disease declines by 50% after one year
- Circulation improves and lung function increases up to 30% within two weeks to three months of quitting
- Lung Cancer risk decreases by 50% after 5 years and coronary heart disease risk recovers to that of a never — smoker after 5 years
- Lung cancer death rate is similar to that of a never — smoker after 10 years
Nicotine is an addictive drug, regardless of how it is ingested. Its effects on the user are similar, whether it is inhaled or absorbed through tissues, as in dipping or chewing tobacco.
If your client smokes, cessation efforts should be a priority in your behavior change strategies.
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