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The Great American Smokeout: Another Chance to Kick the Habit

Smoking is an addiction. But it’s much more than, say, being addicted to the news after Election Day 2020. You might not have been able to rip yourself away from the TV earlier this month, but there was probably nothing directly physiological going on. In contrast, breathing in nicotine and other chemicals affects the brain.

Smoking floods the area of the brain that’s responsible for pleasant feelings. You can’t stop because, well, it feels good. The effect soon wears off, however. You get edgy and uncomfortable. You soon find yourself reaching for another cigarette or vape.

The reason to quit that you may not know 

You already know that smoking is bad for your heart and lungs. We at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center want to point out how damaging it is to your feet as well. Smoking greatly increases the risk of neuropathy — a lack of feeling — in your feet. It narrows your blood vessels so blood has a hard time traveling to your feet. Your lower limbs are starved of oxygen. They tire easily. Foot injuries are slow to heal and can lead to gangrene and amputation.

Recommit to quitting smoking

 Renew your commitment to quitting – for your overall health and your feet. Here are some concrete ways to give it up for good:

  1. Formally decide to quit. Write down your reasons. Tell everyone about your decision.
  2. Pick a day to quit. Why not make it November 19, 2020 – The Great American Smokeout?
  3. Talk to your doctor. They can recommend the best methods for you, including prescription medications, nicotine replacement therapy, or behavioral therapy.
  4. Identify and avoid triggers such as drinking alcohol or being around other smokers or smoking supplies.
  5. Get support. Talk to a therapist, perhaps one who specializes in smoking cessation. Join a stop-smoking support group. Surround yourself with friends and family who support your decision to quit.

You can do it. These are only some of the ways to get you there. For more support in your decision to quit, see your doctor or contact board-certified podiatrist Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM. Call our office in Centreville (Fairfax County), Virginia, at (703) 996-3000 or contact us online for an appointment.

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