Are You Headed for a Relapse?

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Most smokers who decide to quit ultimately start again. But what exactly triggers the relapse and how can you fight it? Find out how close you could be to falling off the wagon in our smoker's quiz.

True or False: Children who live in households with a parent who smokes are more likely to smoke themselves.

True. Children who have at least one parent who is a smoker during their childhood are more likely to smoke than children in a smoker-free home. But that risk goes away if the parent or parents quit smoking before the child becomes a teenager.

Advertisement

Secondhand smoke results in approximately how many lung cancer deaths in the United States each year?

Approximately 3,000 people die of lung cancer related to secondhand smoking in a given year, along with a whopping 46,000 who die from secondhand smoke related heart disease. Those who live in a household with a smoker are most susceptible.

Advertisement

How much money could the typical smoker save in one year on the cost of cigarettes alone if he quits smoking?

Assuming he smokes an average of one pack a day at the cost of $4.50 per pack, a typical smoker can save more than $1,600 a year if he quits smoking. Add other unforeseen costs of smoking like increased health insurance premiums, and smoking is one expensive habit.

Advertisement

After the withdrawal period, smokers typically relapse because of contact with "triggers." What are triggers?

A trigger can be a place, person or situation that a particular smoker closely associates with cigarettes. Anything from drinking coffee, spending time at a favorite bar or a rough day at work can be a smoking trigger.

Advertisement

Smokers can save money on insurance premiums simply by stopping smoking. Which type of insurance does NOT offer cheaper rates to non-smokers?

Health and life insurance providers offer discounts to non-smokers because of the increased health risks and likely early death associated with smoking. Even homeowner's insurers offer a small discount to non-smokers due to the decreased risk of fire. Car insurers don't charge more or less either way.

Advertisement

How long do the physical withdrawal symptoms resulting from quitting smoking usually last?

Nicotine doesn't stay in the body long, so the physical withdrawal symptoms from nicotine last about one to two weeks. However, even one cigarette during the withdrawal period can make a smoker's withdrawal period last longer, and can make the symptoms more severe.

Advertisement

Which of the following physical changes can smokers expect to see within a few weeks of quitting?

As the blood vessels in the skin return to normal, ex-smokers will start to notice that their skin is more elastic and less prone to wrinkling after just a few weeks. Some wrinkles may disappear completely, while others will look less severe because of the improved skin health.

Advertisement

How soon after their last cigarette do most smokers typically relapse?

Smokers usually relapse within the first three months of quitting, when physical withdrawal symptoms are still strong, or smoking is still fresh on their minds. Smoking triggers are also more tempting early on.

Advertisement

True or False: Successfully quitting smoking improves your taste for foods and your sense of smell.

True. Scientists are still not completely sure why smoking decreases sense of smell and taste, but possible explanations include less oxygen in the blood vessels of the nose, and a flattening of the taste buds caused by exposure to smoke.

Advertisement

After what period of time will an ex-smoker's risk of contracting lung cancer be the same as someone who has never smoked?

The former smoker's risk of lung cancer is the same as a lifelong non-smoker after 10 smoke-free years. The risk is cut in half after five years of not smoking.

Advertisement

What percentage of smokers who try to quit eventually relapse?

Nearly 90 percent of smokers who try to quit will eventually relapse. That extremely high rate is the result of the addictive nature of the nicotine in cigarettes.

Advertisement

What is a good way for smokers to handle the need to have something in their mouths?

Chewing on something healthy like carrot sticks can be a good way to curb the very strong physical urge a lot of smokers have to put something in their mouth. Other healthy foods like raisins or nuts are good alternatives, but sugary foods should be avoided because of weight gain problems many smokers experience after quitting.

Advertisement

Which of the following is NOT a symptom of physical withdrawal?

Many smokers actually experience increases in appetite during physical withdrawal, not decreases. Nicotine is an appetite suppressant, so former smokers often have cravings for foods high in fats and sugars. Nausea, sadness and difficulty concentrating are all common withdrawal symptoms.

Advertisement

True or False: After slipping up and smoking one cigarette, it's okay to smoke more cigarettes, as long as you start quitting again the next day.

False. Every cigarette that an ex-smoker smokes can bring back withdrawal symptoms and make that person much less likely to quit. The best strategy is to recommit to quitting immediately after any slip up.

Advertisement

How long does the typical nicotine craving last during the physical withdrawal period?

The extremely strong physical cravings that ex-smokers experience during the withdrawal phase typically only last a few minutes, although they may feel like they last much longer. After the withdrawal period, cravings are mostly mental, not physical.

Advertisement

The nicotine found in cigarettes is extremely addictive. How long does it take for the physiological effects of the drug begin to wear off?

Nicotine's effect on the brain begins decreasing only 20 minutes after smoking a cigarette. It typically takes more than two cigarettes for a craving to be satiated. These factors combined explain why smokers smoke regularly throughout the day.

Advertisement

True or False: Cigarette smoking decreases the amount of oxygen in the blood, leading to an increased risk of heart disease.

The carbon monoxide in cigarettes is one of the factors that leads to heart disease for regular smokers. It reduces oxygen in the blood, which requires the heart to work harder to oxygenate the body's vital organs. Eventually, this results in a decrease in overall heart health.

Advertisement

What is Nicotine Replacement Therapy?

Popular NRT options include gums, lozenges, inhalers, patches and nasal sprays that contain a small amount of nicotine (well below the amount found in cigarettes). NRT can decrease cravings and lessen physical symptoms during the withdrawal period, the most difficult stage of the quitting process.

Advertisement

True or False: If a certain person, place or situation reminds you of smoking, you should avoid it at all costs after quitting.

False. The only way to break the association between cigarettes and a favorite bar or an ex-smoking buddy is to expose yourself to those things without cigarettes. However, it might be a good idea to wait until physical withdrawal symptoms end before inviting temptation.

Advertisement

Which of the following is a common "trigger" for many smokers?

Drinking alcohol or coffee are some of the most common triggers that make ex-smokers consider giving up their attempt to quit. Other common triggers include talking on the phone, having a rough day at work or driving.

Advertisement

Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!