By Angie Edward

If you’re a smoker, you’ll want to think twice about your habit when a deadly respiratory virus comes your way.  Viruses of this nature affect the lungs, and if yours are congested or smoke damaged, they’ll be ill-prepared to cope.  Countless medical studies have provided data that backs up this claim: smokers fare far worse than non-smokers when battling a respiratory virus.

The good news is a smoker’s lungs will automatically start to repair themselves after smoking ceases, so if you stop now, you’ll improve your chances for a full recovery from respiratory viruses.  Breaking the habit is easier said than done, but this insight and these proactive tips will help you.

Think of the benefits for your family
Should you and your loved ones come down with a respiratory virus, you’ll want to get back on your feet as soon as possible so you can tend to the others.  But the more you smoke, the slower your recovery will be.  It’s possible your relatives would have to look after you and deal with the complications if your lungs are clogged up from the start.  Consider that when you reach for your next cigarette and it might help you resist.  Keep in mind that the smoke you emit poses a risk to those around you as they battle the virus too.  If you’re still tempted to smoke, consider that cigarettes cost money, and when people close to you are sick, medicines are the first priority on a shopping list.

Put your cigarettes out of reach
However much you may wish to drop the smoking habit, it can be extremely hard to do when cigarettes are within reach.  But if they’re locked away in a strongbox at the back of a shelf in a far corner of your home, you’ll be less tempted.  Make an inconvenient home for your cigarette stash, and if you still can’t trust yourself not to access them, give them to a house mate or neighbor to hold until the virus risk is over.

Take up a hobby to ease the cravings
When your mind is occupied you’re less tempted to smoke, so choose a new hobby for yourself.  It could be anything from a new sport to a tedious craft.  Many people like to look into their family histories, and others enjoy learning a language or musical instrument.  The more absorbed you become in your project, the less you’ll crave cigarettes.  Depending on the activity, you may not be able to smoke anyway.  Try doing so while performing gymnastics or blowing a trumpet, it’s not easy.

Consider quitting cigarettes as part of an all-round health drive
Staying strong in body and mind is integral to surviving a major virus outbreak.  Whether you catch the disease or not, you’ll need mental and physical resilience to ride out the challenges it poses to you and your family.  Fill your lungs with air instead of smoke as part of a comprehensive coping strategy.  Other steps could include a balanced diet, increased exercise and more sleep.  This broader health drive will incentivize you to drop the smoking habit, and make it an obstacle in your path to a healthier life.  Lead by example and you’ll inspire other smokers to turn their habit around too.

If you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to give up smoking, the threat of a respiratory virus could be the incentive you need.  If you have no intention of stopping or reducing the habit, you might think differently when facing an influx of a contagious virus.  Quit now to be best prepared, and empower yourself with this wisdom to succeed in defeating potential viruses. 

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