Quitting smoking in 2020 - this is how it works with good intentions

Quitting smoking in 2020 - this is how it works with good intentions

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Experts give tips: put good resolutions for 2020 into practice

With the start of the new year, many Germans want to do more for the environment and climate protection and of course for their own health. However, many often find it difficult to implement the good intentions. Experts explain here how the projects can be successfully implemented.

Moving more, eating healthier, relieving stress and finally quitting smoking: Although many people have good intentions for the New Year, unfortunately the implementation often does not work so well. Experts from the University Hospital Freiburg give some tips on how important resolutions can be put into practice.

Do more for climate protection and health

A representative Forsa survey with more than 2,000 respondents on behalf of DAK-Gesundheit showed that the Germans want to do more for the environment and climate protection in the new year.

In addition, the New Year's resolutions on German health topics are traditionally strongly represented. Less stress, more exercise and finally quitting smoking are common desires.

The health insurance company wrote in a message that 64 percent of those questioned said they wanted to avoid or reduce stress, 56 percent want to exercise more or exercise, 53 percent plan to eat healthier, 36 percent want to lose weight, 15 percent take it before drinking less alcohol and eleven percent want to quit smoking.

But implementing the plans is often difficult. Some simple tips and assistance from experts from the University Hospital Freiburg can help with the implementation.

Set small, concrete goals

"Set yourself small, concrete goals. Then the implementation will be much better, ”explains Prof. Dr. Claas Lahmann, Medical Director of the Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at the University Hospital Freiburg in a message. "It is important that you stand behind the resolutions yourself and know why you want to change."

Reduce stress

Stress reduction is at the top of the list of resolutions for 2020. "If stress becomes chronic, it is unhealthy for our body," says the psychosomatic expert Claas Lahmann. Signs of a chronic stress reaction can include back, head and neck pain, gastrointestinal problems and sleep disorders.

There are different ways of dealing with stress: "Sufficient sleep, a healthy diet and regular exercise: a lot is already done with it," says Lahmann. Relaxation methods such as progressive muscle relaxation (progressive muscle relaxation), yoga or meditation are also very effective.

“The exercises help to get involved in situations without evaluating them. This is not the way to create stress, ”explains Lahmann. Social contacts and joint ventures can also support this.

If the stress is chronic, it can be helpful to seek professional support. “Psychotherapy can help many patients overcome their state of exhaustion and combat stress,” explains Lahmann.

Quitting smoking reduces numerous health risks

Those who want to quit smoking know the reasons very well: stopping smoking significantly reduces the risk of diseases such as cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

But even if, according to the DAK, eleven percent intend to quit smoking in 2020, permanently refraining from smoking is a difficult process for many smokers, which usually requires several attempts.

"Without aids, the risk of relapse for heavy smokers is 97 percent," says oncologist Dr. Jens Leifert, head of the START study at the Freiburg Tumor Center - CCCF of the Freiburg University Hospital.

In the large-scale study, the doctor and his team are currently investigating whether smokers benefit more from nine-day in-patient smoking cessation or from six-week outpatient therapy. Nationwide, subjects are still being sought for the study.

"Both inpatient and outpatient smoking cessation are very effective," says Leifert, who has successfully weaned smokers for many years.

The e-cigarette can also be helpful here, says the oncologist. "However, due to the possible risk of lung damage and also recently reported deaths, we do not generally recommend the use of e-cigarettes," said Leifert.

Professional advice can clarify this and also significantly increase the success rate of stopping smoking. The doctor also warns of another problem: “E-cigarettes contain substances whose health risk is not yet sufficiently known. Current studies show the first signs of long-term damage such as asthma or chronic bronchitis. "

Germans don't move enough

Exercise not only helps against stress and smoking cessation, but is known to be a key to better health overall. With 56 percent of all Germans, according to the DAK, more than one in two intends to exercise more in the future. But according to studies, just four out of ten people in Germany move enough.

"This is a new sad low point in a trend that has lasted for years," explains Prof. Peter Deibert, medical director of the Institute for Exercise and Occupational Medicine at the University Hospital Freiburg.

A lack of exercise increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, dementia and some cancers.

"The positive effect of sport and exercise is undisputed and almost everyone has it in their own hands to exercise enough," says Deibert. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exercising for at least 75 minutes a week to make you sweat, or doing light, moderate exercise for at least 150 minutes a week.

"It is important that you do not overwhelm yourself at the beginning and slowly increase," says the movement doctor. Untrained people over the age of 40 who want to do sports again should have their family doctor checked in advance. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Freiburg University Hospital: Reduce stress, quit smoking, more exercise: How to get started in 2020 (retrieval: 01.01.2020), Freiburg University Hospital
  • DAK-Gesundheit: DAK study: The Germans are planning to do this for the new year, (accessed: 01.01.2020), DAK-Gesundheit

Video: This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Smoking Tobacco (May 2022).


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