Everybody knows that smoking is bad for you. The negative health effects have been drilled into our heads since we were children. But still, if you are a smoker, one day you picked up a cigarette anyway and now five, 10, 15 years later you just can’t stop.
And every time you pick one up you know the damage that you’re doing. You’ve heard the statistics and you’ve seen graphic commercials. You already know that smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability and death and that up to 90% of lung cancer diagnoses in the U.S. are due to cigarette smoke.
You know all this, and yet you still may want to light up — so let's try another tactic.
Remember that when you smoke, you aren’t just harming yourself. There’s that whole secondhand smoke thing that is a real thing whether you believe it or not. Every year there are an estimated 38,000 deaths that can be attributed to secondhand smoke. Still want to take a drag?
When a person takes a puff, the nicotine enters the bloodstream and then stimulates the adrenal gland. This produces epinephrine and when the nicotine hits the brain, the brain produces dopamine, which is our brain's “reward and pleasure neurotransmitter."
So when someone tries to quit smoking, they no longer get that rush from when the brain released dopamine. This can lead to irritability, anxiety and even depression. This makes the person look for the pleasure in something else.
In order to replace the pleasure, people often turn to junk food. There is some proof that sugar can curb nicotine cravings, but that just replaces one bad habit with another bad habit. Your cravings for sugar can cause you to gain weight and can lead to other health problems if you keep using junk food as a crutch.
Others try to kick their habit by smoking electronic cigarettes. Some believe that they help curb nicotine cravings but there is no scientific proof that they do. It is also still unclear as to what long-term effects they can have on your body later down the road.
What if there was another another substance that can help you quit that is much healthier for you? Would you try it? You may have even already tried this substance before. You may even have it in your kitchen cabinet right now.
Stevia can help you reduce nicotine cravings by mimicking the effects of sugar. So it acts just as sugar would, but because it is an herb it is much better for you. Unlike sugar, Stevia has no negative side effects on the body and stevia is also safe for hypoglycemics and diabetics.
To use stevia as a suppressant, all you have to do is put a drop or two onto your tongue as soon as you feel a craving. The stevia will hit your bloodstream and then produce dopamine the same way a cigarette would. Sound too good to be true?
You can use the powder or the liquid stevia. The liquid is slightly healthier and has no calories or carbs and the powder contains five calories and one gram of carbohydrates. If you want to really go all natural, you can even chew on the actual stevia leaf.
Any way that you use stevia is much healthier than using sugar. Just one packet of Sugar In The Raw has 20 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrates. So skip the candy bar and drop a few liquid drops on your tongue next time you’re jonesing for a cigarette.
Just a disclaimer: While some people swear by stevia and claim that is is responsible for helping them quit, there is no actual scientific proof. [Editor's note: Let's repeat that so we don't get slammed in the comment section, shall we? There is no scientific proof.] Some critics believe that it can be more of a placebo effect than anything. But it can’t hurt to just try it.
So, what have you got to lose if you try it yourself? Stevia may be exactly what you’ve been looking for! And if it doesn’t work just know that stevia can help prevent cavities, can calm an upset stomach and can even enhance your memory!