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2012

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SORRY!  SMOKING PROHIBITED!!!!

Thomas3.20.2010

QUIT MEANS ZERO!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 30, 2012

More than half of smokers who still light up every day believe they have quit, according to a poll.

Some 51 per cent do not consider themselves smokers even though they have a cigarette every day.

However, the survey by Co-operative Pharmacy, revealed more than half (57 per cent) of smokers keep their habit a secret from family and friends, and most often from their partner.

 

 

When smokers sneak out for a cigarette, they are most likely to say they are going to the shop, to see a friend or to walk the dog.

According to the NHS, just one cigarette a day increases your chance of developing coronary heart disease by 30 per cent.

Plus a study from the National Health Screening Service in Oslo, Norway, found 'light' smokers were three times more likely to die of lung cancer than non smokers.

Cigarettes now cost close to £7 for a packet of 20, which means smoking just one cigarette a day costs more than £125 a year.

The survey of 2,000 smokers found around 80 per cent of smokers want to quit although a third say they have smoked less since the smoking ban in public places was brought in in 2007. 

 

Around one in 12 are also prevented from smoking in their own home.

 

   

 

Top reasons to quit include preventing a serious illness, saving money and becoming a parent. Some heavy smokers said they would give up only if they became ill.

NHS statistics show that 21 per cent of adults in England smoked cigarettes in 2009, the same as in 2007 and 2008 but lower than the 39 per cent in 1980.

Fiona Caplan-Dean, clinical services manager at the Co-operative Pharmacy, which carried out the survey, said: 'The smoking ban in public places has had a major effect on the health of the nation with a significant number of people giving up, but many smokers now try to keep their habit secret from their partner, children, friends and family.

 

'Light smokers in particular convince themselves that they have quit but still smoke.

'Just smoking one or two cigarettes a day has an impact on health and is detrimental to your skin and appearance.'



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2093753/Smokers-think-theyve-quit-habit-light-twice-day.html#ixzz1kxKamflJ



 

State anti-smoking efforts are losing funding and losing steam, says a new report card from the American Lung Association. About 20 percent of adults still smoke and smoking is the biggest preventable cause of death, killing about 443,000 Americans each year.

Tobacco Wars - USA Today

 

Forty-three states and the District of Columbia earned grades of “F” for funding smoking-prevention programs at less than half the levels the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged in a 2007 report, the lung group said. Smoking costs the U.S. economy almost $193 billion a year in medical expenses and lost productivity, said Charles Connor, the association’s president and chief executive officer.

Tobacco Policies ‘Abysmal’ in US States, Lung Association Says - Bloomberg/BusinessWeek

 

U.S. states’ anti-tobacco efforts in 2011 were “abysmal,” according to the American Lung Association. It said states’ collective spending on anti-smoking programs fell 11 percent to $477 million last year from $534 million in 2010, and only two states raised cigarette taxes, Bloomberg News reported.

Lung Association Slams States’ Anti-Smoking Efforts - HealthDay

 

The ALA’s report says some states are retreating on programs that reduce childhood smoking. Connor says, “We know that most states aren’t doing everything they should to help smokers quit, and as a result, millions of people won’t get the help they need to stop smoking.

 

Most States Get an F for Tobacco Prevention - WebMD

 

Most states, including Maryland, are not doing enough to protect the public from tobacco or prevent related disease, according to the latest assessment from the American Lung Association due out today. In its 10th annual State of Tobacco Control Report Card, the group gave praise to the Obama administration for offering treatments to federal employees, putting graphic pictures on cigarettes packs and advertising its 1-800-QUIT-NOW line. But the group said the tobacco companies are taking advantage of the states’ lax policies by spending billions to market cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products (Cohn, 1/19).

Lung Association Criticizes State Tobacco Policies - Kaiser Health News

It is one of life’s laws that as soon as one door closes another opens. But

 the tragedy is we look at the closed door and disregard the open one. -

Andre  Gide

 

When I first found out that I had Emphysema, it was very hard to imagine a door opening in front of me! My eyes were focused on the door that was being slammed behind me - smoking! The minute I heard the word Emphysema I knew my smoking days were going to have to come to a complete and abrupt halt! In the following days I had my share of fantasies about how wonderful a cigarette would taste, smell, feel - how all my stress would go away - how everything would be alright again if I could just have my fix, -er, friend back! Even knowing that all the above was a lie didn't take away my intense longing for the imaginary past I played with in my mind! I wasn't looking forward to giving up my constant companion! 

Fortunately, I came on this site and began to read not just here but also at whyquit.com and quitsmokingonline.com because I knew that the initial quitting is not my issue - I've done that many times before! But (see how devious the addictive mind works) only for awhile till my cough got a bit better and "my lungs cleared out!" Little did I know that the cough was Chronic Bronchitis and I was well on my way to COPD!!! My real issue even to this day is how not to be lured back into the addiction through Nostalgia! And one guy impressed me more than anybody else! His moniker is The Happy Quitter and his name is James! He doesn't write so often anymore so keep an eye out for him and you'll meet a true EXample! Happy Quitter! You gotta be pulling my leg! We quit because we're more scared to smoke than we are to quit which is scared crazy, right???? James made a breakthrough in my junkie mind and then, not really believing, but as AA says Fake it till you Make it - I filled my mind not with nostalgia but with anticipation! 

Now what on this amazing Planet is there to look forward to when you quit smoking (besides not dying quite so fast, of course!) ??? Well, I kept looking around at other quitters on this site and some did talk about being tough, fighting the good fight, struggling through another day - just what I expected! But A LOT of EXers spoke of FREEDOM and excitement, of amazing changes that were happening to them!Guess who had been here the longest? The folks who weren't talking the fight language but were talking the FREEDOM language - They gave me something to Anticipate! The quit was no longer couched in words of FEAR but of Liberation from Addiction! Abundant Living! Clean, Pure, Fresh, NEW! the NEW ME! Or as my Friend Rose puts it - Metamorphosis! 

 

When I stopped looking at that door behind me with Nostalgia and began looking at the Open Door in front of me with Anticipation then my whole outlook changed! I got it! I got excited about my quit! This was the first and last time that I could look at my Quit with PRIDE and a True sense of Accomplishment! Emphysema closed one door and opened another and the Exers told me to KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE!

Young people, aged 16 to 24, who smoke daily light up more cigarettes in the company of a smoking peer.

Unfortunately, anti-smoking campaigns neglect this effect, says NWO-funded researcher Zeena Harakeh.

Harakeh, a social scientist from Utrecht University, sought to determine what persuades young smokers to light up a cigarette. Her research showed that this group ultimately smokes more cigarettes when they see other young smokers.

“I call this implicit, passive influencing, as it happens without the other person actively offering a cigarette,” explains Harakeh.

Interestingly, young smokers who communicate with a peer online and see this person smoking will smoke more themselves.  “So the effect is there even when they do not smell the cigarette scent of the other,” says Harakeh.

Harakeh notes that in anti-smoking campaigns young people are mostly warned about the explicit, active influence.  However, her research reveals that actively offering young smokers a cigarette had less effect than was previously thought.“It would seem that young people find it easier resist the temptation of a peer offering a cigarette than a peer who is smoking,” says Harakeh.   “Prevention programs completely ignore the passive, implicit influence. More attention should be paid to that.”

Harakeh suggests that young smokers no longer be shown in anti-smoking campaigns. “Merely the image of a young smoker might well cause another young person to light up a cigarette,” she says.

The research is published online in the scientific journals Nicotine and Tobacco Research and Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Patrick Reynolds is the grandson of the late RJ Reynolds, whose company produces cigarette brands Camel, Monarch and Winston. Reynolds says his father's death from emphysema caused by years of smoking is why he's trying to help others through the Foundation for a Smoke Free America.

"I started smoking myself at 17 and quitting was one of the hardest things I ever did. I failed eleven times. Finally got in a program," explains Reynolds.

He's an unlikely advocate for avoiding cigarettes, but his father's death when he was 15 had a profound effect on him.

Although Reynolds says it wasn't until he became an adult that he fully understood the impact.

"I remember him gasping for breath. And they say that you find your calling where you've been hurt the most deeply," he says. "As a Reynolds I have a great platform to make a difference on this issue and for over 20 years I've been fighting for smoking bans, laws limiting smoking in the workplace when they were controversial and now they're not."

 

Reynolds says with mounting evidence showing the dangerous effects of smoking, it's time states use more money generated from cigarette sales for tobacco prevention and cessation. "South Carolina is only spending $5 million dollars a year and they're taking in over $250 million a year in revenue," he adds.

Reynolds would also like to see a greater effort to protect non-smokers, "There's an overwhelming body of scientific proof that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer causes heart disease banning it and protecting non-smokers is just an idea whose time has arrived."

He also answers criticism that attacks on the tobacco industry hurts farmers, "The tobacco companies moved most of the tobacco farming overseas. And they've been paying the slave wages to workers in third world poor nations even in China. And it brought the price of tobacco down to the point where a lot of tobacco farmers are now making the transition to fruit and vegetable production profitably they're planting things now that nourish people and don't poison people."

His message is in line with the non-profit Smoke Free Horry. Pauline Levesque serves as youth coordinator for the group. She's also a former smoker and is now working to educate the community and help other kick the habit, "The message and the hope is that people will take advantage of resources that are available to them the youth that they will not start smoking to be cool and they'll maintain their health throughout their life."

Reynolds makes a special effort to reach out to the youth because, "The tobacco companies know that if they don't get you to start smoking before the age of 19 they're not going to get you as a customer."

You might be wondering if Reynolds is living off "tobacco money." He says he's sold all his shares with the company and adds what little he did inherit he's spent towards his efforts for a tobacco-free America.

Reynolds is speaking tonight at 6pm at an event at Horry Georgetown Technical College in the Burroughs and Chapin Auditorium.

In all, 40 cities have smoking bans in place. Next Monday the City of North Myrtle Beach will have a first reading of a smoking ban. 

Thomas3.20.2010

REALLY?????

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 24, 2012

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"So you are no longer a slave, but a Son, and if a Son, then an Heir through God."   -Gal. 4:7

WOW! I am no longer a slave to my ADDICTION! Not because I am no longer an Addict, but because I claim my God-given heritage to LIVE FREE of my Addiction through God!

Protect Your Quit! Listen to your FREEDOM LOVING Self!

If you butt out now, 15 years from now your chances of dying from a heart attack will be the same as someone who has never smoked. But there are more immediate health benefits.

- Within 20 minutes of becoming smoke-free, your blood pressure returns to normal.

- Within eight hours your carbon monoxide levels drop and the oxygen level in your blood goes back to normal.

- After 48 hours your senses of smell and taste start to improve.

- After three days, all the nicotine that makes smoking addictive has worked its way out of your system.

The worst withdrawal symptoms occur in the first three weeks after you quit smoking.

From three months on, staying smoke-free gets a lot easier.

- Stopping smoking takes commitment and a plan. On a scale of 0 to 10, rate how important it is to you to quit smoking, how confident you are in your ability to quit, and how ready you are to quit.

 

 Track your smoking each day for the next week. Use an elastic band to attach a chart to your cigarette pack and note the following information each time you smoke: the time of day, the activity you're doing at the time, your mood, the strength of your craving for a cigarette on a scale of one to five, and whether smoking that cigarette helped. This helps you become more aware of your smoking addiction. It also identifies which cigarettes you crave least, and will be the easiest to stop smoking as you cut down.

- Find a buddy. A successful ex-smoker or an understanding non-smoker who will provide support, help you create a plan of action, help you deal with cravings and is a good listener will help you remain smoke-free.

- Pick a quit date within the next two weeks. List your motivations for quitting; write down ideas for hobbies, exercise and other activities you can do instead of smoking when the craving hits. Tell family, friends and coworkers about your plan to quit. Start making changes to push smoking out of your life by making your house and car smoke-free, for example. Learn about nicotine-withdrawal symptoms and what is available to help you cope with them.

Take it one day at a time.

Smoking causes a slow death which kills a person by damaging his internal organs one after another. Smokers not just harm themselves, as they also affect their co-workers, family members and others surrounding them by smoking. Passive smoking has now been directly linked with various kinds of cancer. Tobacco use continues to be the leading global cause of preventable death. It kills nearly 6 million people around the world and causes hundreds of billions of dollars of economic damage worldwide each year.The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 84 million people will die of cancer between 2005 and 2015 without intervention. Low-income and medium-income countries are bit harder by cancer than the countries rich in resources. Tobacco in any form such as cigarettes, cigars and pipes are such a harmful thing that everyone should get rid of it. The immediate effects of over 4000 damaging chemicals including tar, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, metal, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and several radioactive elements can cause oral (mouth), throat and lung cancers besides heart diseases and mucous cough.

Right now, a large number of people are addicted to smoking and this ratio is increasing day by day. According to a WHO report, “By the year 2030, mortality from smoking related disease is expected to rise 10 millions and over 70 percent of these deaths will be in the developing countries like  where smoking is rising day by day.”
People, businesses, governments and non-profit organisations will work together on ‘World Cancer Day’ to be observed on February 4 to aware and help the general public learn more about the different types of cancer, how to watch for it, treatments and preventative measures.
The Charter of Paris designated February 4 each year as World Cancer Day. The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is responsible for coordinating World Cancer Day globally. It receives support from various partners and organizations, including the WHO, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and other international bodies. The UICC organised the first World Cancer Day in 2006.According to the WHO report on “The Global Tobacco Epidemic”, Warning about the Dangers of Tobacco 2011”, most of these deaths occur in low-and middle-income countries, and this disparity is expected to widen further over the next several decades. If current trend continues, tobacco will kill more than 8 million people worldwide each year by 2030, with 80 percent of these premature deaths among people living in low and middle-income countries. Over the course of the 21st century, tobacco use could kill a billion people or more, unless urgent action is not taken. The WHO reports that tobacco use is the second highest cause of deaths globally after hypertension and is currently responsible for killing one in ten adults worldwide.

The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about routinely such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer. It is not because of the fact that it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development.  

Tobacco use is not limited to cigarette smoking. Other common forms of tobacco include water-pipe tobacco (sheesha in modern form), chewing tobacco and snuff. Over one-third of smokers are reported to use tobacco in other forms. 

 Quitting tobacco use, which include both smoking and tobacco-chewing, could result in increase in the average lifespan. The oncologists claimed that oral cancer is the most common disease among tobacco users. Other causes including occupational hazards, pollution, obesity, inadequate intake of fruit and vegetables and too much exposure could also result in causing other cancers. 

Oral cancer is particularly dangerous because in its early stages it may not be noticed by the patient, as it can frequently prosper without producing pain or symptoms they might readily recognise, and because it has a high risk of producing second, primary tumours. Oral cancer is any abnormal growth and spread of cells in the mouth or oral cavity, including lips, tongue, inside of the lips and cheeks, hard palate (roof of the mouth), floor of the mouth (under the tongue), back of the throat, gums and teeth.Oral cancers are diagnosed very late (Stage III and IV) in third world countries leading to dismal prognosis. It needs not whether the patient is educated or not but awareness about the symptom is the key to prevent this deadly diseases. Cancer can be treated in three ways: surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. 

Surgery is the art, practice or work of treating tumor by operative procedures. Chemotherapy is the treatment with drugs that kill cancer cells or make them less active. Radiotherapy is the use of high energy radiation to treat cancer. Out of these three techniques radiotherapy is the cheapest and most curative and palliative ways for various types of cancer. Usually combined therapy is mostly implemented in certain types and stages of cancer.There was an immediate need for creating public and professional awareness regarding the early signs and symptoms of oral cancer so that patient present early and medical professionals diagnose oral cancers early. Excessive smoking and usage of gutka in particular was the main cause of oral cancer and the thousands of units preparing the substance used in it must be exposed and banned. Gutkais a preparation of crushed areca nut (also called betel nut),tobaccocatechuparaffinlime and sweet or savory flavorings.It is consumed much like chewing tobacco. It is manufactured in India and exported to a few other countries.

The oncologist also warned against the chewing of chalia imported from India, saying this too was a very dangerous habit. He pointed out that by the time patients come to a hospital, it is too late as they have already contracted oral cancer. He also stressed on the imposition of this ban all across the country, adding that the spitting out of Gutka was also causing environmental pollution.Talking about the signs and symptoms of oral cancer, he said sores in the mouth that do not heal within 2 weeks, dark red or white patches in the mouth, lumps located on the lips, tongue or neck, bleeding in the mouth, and sore throat and difficulty with swallowing are the symptoms of mouth cancer. There are many factors that can increase risk of developing oral cancer. If patient is over 40, he has Human Papillomavirus (HPV), uses tobacco products, especially if combined with high alcohol consumption, regularly drink a lot of alcohol, are the few of main causes of oral cancer or risk factors.

Bzzzzzz

Bzzzzzz

 

Bzzzzzz 

Thomas is not available right now, and if you leave a message he won't get back to you!!!!

I'm too busy counting my Blessings because I'm an Exer!!!

Fill your mind with Positive Thoughts and there won't be time to listen to those lying whispers!

If I can do it you can too!

It isn't a bit harder for you than it is for any one of us, we just changed our perspective!!!

 



Thomas3.20.2010

Did you know....?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 23, 2012

According to a study by U.S. scientists, all it takes is a few minutes – not years – of puffing on a cigarette to cause genetic damage linked to cancer, The Daily Mail reported.

"The effect is so fast that it's equivalent to injecting the substance directly into the bloodstream," the researchers said in findings described as a "stark warning" to the millions of people who smoke out there.

The lead researcher, Dr. Stephen Hecht from the University of Minnesota, and his colleagues followed 12 volunteers and tracked certain pollutants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are a group of chemicals that are formed during the burning of coal, oil, gas, wood or other substances such as tobacco and charred meats.

Hecht zeroed-in on one pollutant in particular called phenanthrene, and found that it quickly formed a toxic substance in the blood that is known to “trash DNA, causing mutations that can cause cancer."

"The smokers developed maximum levels of the substance in a time frame that surprised even the researchers: just 15-30 minutes after the volunteers finished smoking," the study said. "These results are significant because PAH diol epoxides react readily with DNA, induce mutations, and are considered to be ultimate carcinogens of multiple PAH in cigarette smoke."

The study, which appears in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, was funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Studies show that for every eight smokers that die due to tobacco use one non-smoker also dies due to the effects of passive smoking or environmental tobacco smoke. Consistent cases of diseases occurring due to second-hand smoking and alarming statistics call for remedial measures to be taken against second-hand smoking. One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke is to avoid exposure whenever possible by ensuring that your environment is 100% smoke-free.

What is second hand smoking?

Second-hand smoke (SHS), sometimes also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is tobacco smoke inhaled by persons other than the intended 'active' smoker. It occurs when tobacco smoke permeates any environment, causing its inhalation by people within that environment.

Some startling facts about Second-Hand Smoke

Separate or ventilated smoking areas do not protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke can spread from a smoking area to a non-smoking area, even if the doors between the two areas are closed and even if ventilation is provided.

Second-hand smoke is the smoke that fills restaurants, offices or other enclosed spaces when people burn tobacco products such as cigarettes, beedis and water pipes. Everyone is exposed to its harmful effects.
According to global statistics published by the WHO, second-hand smoke causes 600,000 premature deaths per year. There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer.

 

Hazards and ill-effects of SHS

Breathing secondhand smoke for even a short time can have immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system. Nonsmoking adults who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work have a 25% to 30% increased risk of developing heart disease and a 20% to 30% increased risk of developing lung cancer. In adults, second-hand smoke causes serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease and lung cancer.

Babies of nonsmoking women who are exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy are at risk of experiencing a small reduction in birth weight. In infants and children, secondhand smoke exposure causes sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth. According to the global statistics released by the WHO, about 40% of all children are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke at home and almost 31% of the deaths attributable to second-hand smoke occur in children.

How to curb the adverse effects and have a healthier lifestyle?

Studies have suggested that there is "no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke".

There is a need for education and awareness of the general public through discussions and seminars so that non-smokers can protect their own health. They need to be made aware of their right to smoke-free air and the strict legislations that ban smoking in public places.Smokers should also be more respectful of non-smokers and should restrict their smoking habits especially around children. Better still smokers should attempt to kick the butt for their own health and for the health of their family. A complete dose of Nicotine Replacement Therapy products for up to 12 weeks can help the smoker break free from his addiction and embrace a healthier life. Smokers are advised to visit a smoking cessation expert to seek details on Nicotine Replacement Therapy like nicotine chewing gum and devise a quit smoking plan.

They were given the dreaded diagnosis of lung cancer. They knew smoking may have caused it. Yet five months later, more than a third were still puffing away.

That’s the finding of a new study to determine how many patients kick the habit — and which ones continue to light up even though it can interfere with treatment.

“It’s an addiction,” said lead researcher Elyse Park, a psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. “I don’t think everyone is able to quit cold turkey.”

Her team, following more than 5,000 patients, found 39% of lung cancer patients were smokers when they were diagnosed. Five months later, the figure dropped to 14%.

The study, published Monday by the American Cancer Society, said 14% of colon cancer patients were smokers when the tumors were found, and more than half still were after five months.

The results didn’t surprise Louise Bruno, 51, a breast-cancer survivor working her way through a pack a day under the “No Smoking” sign outside Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan last week.

 

She remembered quitting for a few months when she was diagnosed — and also the clusters of smokers who would huddle outside the hospital when she was being treated there four years ago.

“They were hooked up to every type of machine, and they were still smoking,” the Staten Island resident said. “It’s a crazy sight .

.. It scares the hell out of me, but you still light that cigarette ...

My throat hurts me in the morning and I’ll think, ‘I have throat cancer.’ And I’ll light another cigarette.”

Park said most patients try to quit and fail — sometimes because there are other smokers at home or because they’re using the wrong smoking-cessation method.

“Some people are fatalistic,” she said of those patients who figure they’re going to die and there’s no point in quitting.

But Dr. Benjamin Levy, a lung cancer specialist, said it’s important that patients stop because smoking can make chemotherapy and radiation less effective and surgery more risky

Outside Sloan-Kettering, bladder cancer survivor Bob Greenberg, 67, who had his last cigarette five years ago, said it was shocking people would continue to smoke after getting the worst news of their life.

“That’s what caused my cancer — smoking,” he said. “People are pretty stupid.”



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/study-one-third-lung-cancer-patients-continue-smoke-article-1.1010044#ixzz1kFv4xDIZ




There are a lot of "reasons" popping up these days for why some of us did not keep our promises to ourselves and protect our quits. Among them two of the more sympathetic ones I've seen lately are Mental and Physical Disabilities. So I'd like to kindly address these issues today.

Let's start with physical disabilities. Some of these, ironically, are smoking related disabilities! Smoke Related Disabilities deprive not just you but your entire family of income as well as the significant medical cost! The underlying cause of about two-thirds of disabilities is non-communicable disease such as cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer.  Women over 45 who have smoked within the last 20 years are at very high risk of developing P. A. D. Peripheral Artery Disease causes serious discomfort, even disability and is closely related to atherosclerosis. Whether your disability is smoke related or not, it makes your quit journey more challenging because folks can't use exercise to get dopamine and relieve stress; speaking of stress, these folks have way more stress than some others of us; immobility means more tiredness and loneliness - 2 of the HALT warning signs for craving; these folks can't look forward to feeling so fabulously as somebody who doesn't have these illnesses - better, yes - fabulous, less likely! At the same time, it's just that much more important that you make the commitment and make it happen! Just because you have one disability doesn't protect you from getting another one, like COPD!!! Then you will really be in BIG TROUBLE!  it's very important that if you have a disability to not smoke or if you are smoking, to quit smoking TODAY! The risk you are taking with Quality and Quantity of LIFE is cut short by your addiction! This is one thing that YOU CAN do for yourself! Quit Smoking TODAY! We're here to help! We have many Great Quitters who also have disabilities and can relate to your struggles! Reach Out! Never Give Up!

Then there are mental disabilities.

A study done by The Harvard School of Public Health reported that Americans with mental illness are nearly twice as likely to smoke cigarettes as people with no mental illness.  People with diagnosable mental illness comprise nearly 45% of the total tobacco market in the United States.  Nearly 1/3 of smokers with mental illness were able to quit smoking.  If they refrained from using alcohol and drugs, they had a cessation rate equal to people without mental illness.

Mental illness in this instance was defined as one of the following: major depression, bipolar disorder, agoraphobia, social and simple phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, alcohol abuse and dependence, antisocial personality, conduct disorder, non-affective psychosis (including schizophrenia).So you can see the people in the study were at varying degress of severity in their illness.

Smoking has been shown to interfere with successful outcome in the naturalistic treatment of Bipolar patients, for example.Nicotine dependence has also been found to be a risk factor for depressive symptoms, as reported in a recent article in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

In addition to these direct effects on mental health, smoking is also a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease when combined with the presence of any three of the five primary risk factors that constitute the metabolic syndrome. (These five factors are: increased waist circumference, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, increased triglycerides, and insulin resistance or elevated fasting blood glucose.) Cardiovascular disease co-occurs with mental illness at a high rate and is one of the major causes of decreased life expectancy in those with inadequately treated illness.

Because smoking is a powerful risk factor for comorbid illnesses such as heart attack and stroke and is itself associated with a poor clinical outcome in the treatment of mental illness, every effort should be made to help patients with smoking cessation.  If you suffer from any of these disorders, do not think that quitting is impossible.You are not alone here! Reach out! Speak up! The life you save is your own! Yes it's harder but it IS doable! We CAN help!

Just in case you think I don't know what I'm saying, I have COPD, PTSD and Depression and yes, I know what it's like! My name is Thomas and I have 22 Months Smoke FREE! YOU CAN, TOO!

In the 1999 movie, The Insider, Russell Crowe starred as Jeff Wigand, a former tobacco industry researcher for Brown & Williams, who dares to reveal the dangers of nicotine to Berkeley-based 60 Minutes producer Lowell Bergman.

This week, Berkeley-grad Charles Evans Jr.,'s Addiction Incorporated hits the Big Screen to tell a parallel story of Philip Morris researcher Victor DeNoble, the whistleblower whose revelations triggered the Congressional hearings and class action lawsuits that forever tarred the reputation of Big Tobacco. Addiction Incorporated is a prodigious historical documentary bursting with brilliant interviews with key players from every level of the scientific-media-political-corporate playing field. Addition Inc., reveals the nearly untouchable power of large immoral corporations and demonstrates the ability of committed individuals to insist on justice, even when confronted with the most daunting of odds. Archival footage of historic Congressional hearings is expertly edited into the flowing storyline and, where archival footage is nonexistent or inadequate, the filmmakers have invested generously in "recreations" — including an astonishing scene in a commercial passenger plane when passengers were still allowed to cloud the cabin with billows of cigarette smoke. In this beautifully polished documentary (Evans' directorial debut), DeNoble comes across as an incredibly engaging guy with the natural charisma of a movie star. DeNoble also turns out to be a very smart fellow, indeed. Fresh out of college, Phillip Morris sought him out. With all the intrigue of the CIA recruiting a potential double-agent, DeNoble was picked up in a limousine, flown to an expensive hotel and treated to an expensive meal by a mysterious corporate agent who began the conversation with: "First let me tell you about yourself." He then rattled off the names more than 20 members of DeNoble's family and provided detailed information on the personal background of each individual. "I had no idea how he discovered all that information," DeNoble recalls. But he was impressed. 

Philip Morris (PM) was looking for a bright young scientist to head a covert research project. Despite repeated public denials that nicotine was addictive, PM knew the chemical was not only habit-forming but that it was causing smokers to die prematurely from lung and heart disease. 

DeNoble's assignment was to find a replacement for nicotine — a chemical that was just as addictive but without nicotine's lethal side effects. It was never a humanitarian decision. PM was simply facing the fact that addicted smokers would buy more cigarettes if they lived longer. There was profit in extending the customers' longevity. DeNoble was hired to conduct animal experiments in a secret lab hidden even from fellow PM staff. Working with rats, DeNoble discovered how to administer nicotine at the same levels that human smokers were subjected to. (In its first half, Addiction Incorporatedfeatures several long patches of beautifully rendered — and somewhat creepy — animations of rats that slowly evolve into images of humans dragging rat-like tales behind them.) 

DeNoble initially undertook his research in the spirit of altruism. He saw his role as producing a product that, while addictive, was healthier and would save lives. 

DeNoble proved that rats (whose brains are remarkable similar to humans in this regard) could be trained to push a trigger that released pleasurable doses of nicotine. Once addicted, the rats would push the lever up to 90 times a day! But when DeNoble asked to publish these findings in a scientific journal, PM refused. 

Then DeNoble had an insight that would transform the cigarette industry — at least as far as PM was concerned. What if, DeNoble wondered, there were other chemicals in tobacco that also contributed to the addictive response in smokers? He began to experiment with the scores of chemicals lurking in the leaves until he hit upon one called acetaldehyde. When he introduced acetaldehyde to his rats, he discovered that the chemical was twice as addictive as nicotine — and it did not have the harmful side effects. 

This was the Holy Grail and it should have been the crowning achievement of DeNoble's work. But DeNoble tried one more experiment. When he fed his rats a mixture of nicotine and acetaldehyde he observed that the combo turned the rats from "lazy addicts" into "active addicts" whose craving for a cigarette high more than doubled! 

Faced with this discovery, PM's top ranks had a moral dilemma: (1) Swap acetaldehyde for nicotine to produce a mildly addictive product that wouldn't kill smokers or (2) Promote a new product that would be just as deadly but twice as addictive. Being tobacco company officials, they quickly chose profits over body counts and DeNoble's secret discovery gave PM a decisive competitive edge over the rest of the industry. 

While PM's advertizing promoted its cigarettes as a "lifestyle" choice identified with cowboys and the great outdoors, PM's executives clearly understood that their business model had devolved into a simple matter of selling an addictive drug. Eventually, when a series of New Jersey lawsuits threaten to put PM's research center under the spotlight, company lawyers recommended that DeNoble's research not even be acknowledged. Of particular concern was a research paper entitled "Nicotine as a Positive Reinforcer in Rats" that was to have been presented at a session of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1983. 

"They told me I had to withdraw the paper," DeNoble recalls with disbelief. "What do you mean? I said. I grew up in the 60s. We protested everything and I'm used to resisting authority." If he challenged his bosses at PM, DeNoble realized, "they could ruin my career. But, if I didn't resist them, what's my career worth?" 

So DeNoble showed up at the APA meeting's poster session and stood defiantly before ablank poster. Since the title of the paper had already been published in the program, people looked at the blank poster and were able "to put two-and-two together." 

PM President Shep Pollack soon dropped by DeNoble's lab and, in the presence of an attorney, demanded to see the rats desperately pawing the nicotine lever. "Does this mean nicotine is addictive?" Pollack asked. Before DeNoble could respond, Pollack's lawyer lunged forward and shouted: "Don't answer the question!" DeNoble and his research team were "called upstairs" and told their research was no longer needed — "Go downstairs and kill your rats. These studies will stop. Turn over your keys. This lab is closed." 

It would be many years before the story reached the desks of the ABC investigative reporters looking into the nicotine question. But, after years of research, the reporters were dumbfounded to be suddenly told their investigation would never air. "No one is interested in this story," the higher-ups informed them. 

That all changed when FDA Commissioner David A. Kessler announced an investigation into the health issues of tobacco smoking. "Smoke Screen," ABC's Day One exposé, aired on February 24, 1994. 

Addiction Inc. offers revealing interviews with 20 of the key players in the extended drama — researchers, politicians, lawyers and even some former tobacco company executives. Recalling the ABC broadcast, PM General Counsel and Senior VP Steve Parrish tells the camera: "It was devastating. Our stock took a huge hit…. Regulators were calling for hearings." Rep. Henry Waxman, the relentless chair of the subcommittee hearings on tobacco safety, recalls how, at the time, no one had a clue that PM was intentionally manipulating nicotine levels to increase addiction. The industry had insisted nicotine was included only for "flavor and taste." Looking back, Waxman has high praise for DeNoble: "Victor DeNoble was the first whistleblower…. he was the first one." 

The revelation that the industry knew nicotine was addictive — and had relied on that knowledge to stoke sales — changed the debate on tobacco. It was no longer just a health question: cigarette companies were now revealed as having the same moral standards as back-alley drug dealers. 

PM responded to the ABC expose by filing a $10 billion "libel" lawsuit against the network. Eventually — to the chagrin of the network's investigative reporting team — ABC offered a public "apology" to Philip Morris for airing the program. 

But it was too late. Congressional hearings were underway and, under the glare of publicity, PM was forced to agree to let DeNoble testify about what he knew. ABC reporters would subsequently get a call from a source who delivered "the Rosetta Stone of the tobacco industry" — internal documents going back to the 1940s proving the companies knew about nicotine's addictive properties. Their euphoria was short-lived, however. ABC lawyers showed up to confiscate the documents and order the reporters to destroy their notes. Pulitzer-Prizewinning reporter Walt Bogdanich bitterly recalls being told: "There is no news organization in this world that will touch these documents, report on them, put them in the paper or put them on the air." 

The ABC reporters then did something extraordinary (and professionally very difficult): they put their source in contact with a competing news organization — the New York Times. The Times went on to produce a blockbuster series that began with a story headlined: "Cigarette Makers Debated the Risks They Denied." 

Soon, all seven industry officials who had sworn under oath that nicotine was not addictive, had resigned, retired or quietly vanished from the scene. 

Up until that point, the tobacco industry had taken smug pride in the fact that it had never lost a lawsuit. A class-action lawyer named Wendell Gauthier changed that when Victor DeNoble became his expert witness. Gauthier's Castano et al. v. American Tobacco lawsuit for compensatory damages was filed in nearly every state in the Union. On the ropes, Big Tobacco decided to cut its losses by "reaching out" to the State Attorneys General. The final settlement of the Castano lawsuit involved huge financial payments by Big Tobacco but no federal regulation of the industry. 

DeNoble saw through the smoke and bluntly told the Washington press corps that he was personally opposed to the settlement. 

Shortly after that outburst, DeNoble recalls, a tobacco industry rep offered him a job: "$5,000 a day for the next six months." Recalling the conversation before Evans' camera, DeNoble gleefully repeats his reply: "You pricks can't buy me!" 

In 1996, US Attorney General Janet Reno prosecuted the tobacco industry for "fraud and deceit" using the government's RICO statutes and won the biggest lawsuit in the history of the Justice Department. The DOJ's withering condemnation of the industry was upheld by the Supreme Court, officially putting Big Tobacco in the ranks of organized crime's most notorious drug peddlers. On June 22, 2009, President Barack Obama signed legislation giving the government the power to act against tobacco companies that endanger the public health and giving the FDA the power to demand non-addictive products. 

After 30 years of work, DeNoble now says he no longer believes it is possible to make "a safe cigarette." Today he is constantly on the road, crisscrossing the country to talk to students about the dangers of tobacco addiction. The closing scenes of Addition Incorporated are filled with close-ups of children's faces as they listen to DeNoble's warnings. Is heart-wrenching. You will pray for these children and curse the well-paid executives who profit from their addition. It is both ironic and fitting that DeNoble's work is funded by money from the tobacco company settlement, which requires funding anti-tobacco health education in all 50 states. 

Every day 3,000 kids become smokers and 1,000 will eventually die from the effects of tobacco smoke. DeNoble claims that he takes his message to about 300,000 kids each year. Thanks to Addiction Incorporated, he will now reach many more. 

TUESDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- They may look and smell a lot like candy, but dissolvable, smokeless tobacco products aren't for kids. The safety and risks of "dissolvables" are the subject of a three-day U.S. Food and Drug Administration meeting this week.

"Dissolvables" are flavored mints, strips and sticks of smokeless tobacco. These products are not stop-smoking aids. Instead, they are designed to allow people to satisfy their cravings for nicotine in places where smoking is banned.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. is test marketing Camel Orbs, Camel Strips and Camel Sticks in two cities, and Star Scientific Inc., is marketing two other dissolvable tobacco products, Ariva and Stonewall. Many public health advocates are concerned about the risks these products pose to children and teens, namely possible addiction and nicotine poisoning.

"If you wanted to design a product that would appeal to youth and addict younger adolescents and adults to nicotine, this would be it," said Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, a pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "These products are designed to look like a candy and addict the user permanently."Teens can pop these products without any of the telltale signs of smoking cigarettes or the mess associated with snus, which are teabag-like pouches placed between the upper lip and gun. Before long, he said, they're addicted.

Another worry is accidental ingestion, resulting in nicotine poisoning. An April 2010 study in the journal Pediatrics showed that smokeless tobacco products are the second most common cause of nicotine poisoning in children, after cigarettes.

"If children are already ingesting cigarettes, we cannot doubt that they will ingest dissolvable tobacco that is specifically designed to taste good," Winickoff said. "Just because they smell like chocolate or mint and look safe, they contain nicotine and are potentially harmful for adolescents and could start a lifetime of nicotine addiction. Parents of young children need to be aware that these products have the potential to cause a serious overdose."

Mild symptoms of nicotine poisoning include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and headaches. Severe nicotine poisoning can lead to involuntary twitching, muscle paralysis, heart palpitations, seizures or death.One milligram (mg) of nicotine can cause vomiting and diarrhea in a small child, according to the study. The Camel dissolvables contain between 0.6 mg and 3.1 mg of nicotine, depending on the product. Smokers inhale about 1 mg of nicotine in a typical cigarette.

When the Pediatrics study was released, Orbs manufacturer R.J. Reynolds stated that it had taken steps to prevent accidental ingestion of Camel dissolvable tobacco products by youth, including child-resistant packaging and educating poison control centers about the products and possible effects of accidental ingestion.

"The bottom line: Tobacco products, along with many other types of goods, need to be kept out of the hands of children," the statement concluded.

Now all eyes are on the FDA. The 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act gives the agency authority over the manufacture, distribution and marketing of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. Winickoff said he hopes the FDA will do whatever it can to keep these products away from children and teens.

"We could consider capping the amount of nicotine in each piece so you could eliminate or drastically reduce potential to cause a fatal nicotine overdose if the entire package was consumed," he saidOther pediatricians and public health advocates raise similar fears about these products.

"You can sneak them into a classroom," said Dr. Lee Beers, a pediatrician at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. "This increases the potential for early tobacco adoption and increasing levels of addiction. There doesn't really seem to be any reason to have tobacco in a format that is much more easily ingestible and with quite a few downsides, particularly when think about children and adolescents. Children can and will get into anything even if the packages are childproof," she said.

Dr. Thomas Glynn, director of cancer science and trends at the American Cancer Society, said there are many unknowns about dissolvable tobacco products. "At this point, we don't know the full range of what is in them," he said. "I don't see any potential in these dissolvable products other than to keep people smoking."

More information

Visit the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to learn more about the risks of smoking and dissolvable tobacco products.



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Smoking is a major public health issue and quitting is the single most important thing smokers can do to improve their health.  In the 2012 edition of the prestigious Annual Review of Public Health, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have reviewed the landscape of smoking cessation over the past 20 years.  During this time period, there have been improvements in pharmaceutical medications to aid cessation, and free telephone cessation coaching has become available in every state.  However, recent trends in smoking cessation are troubling to tobacco control researchers.

“For the past decade, attempts to quit smoking have increased, but the proportion of people who become successful quitters has gone down” said John P. Pierce, PhD, professor of Family and Preventive Medicine and director of Population Sciences at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.  “Widespread dissemination of cessation services has not led to an increase in the probability that a quit attempt will be successful." The problem does not appear to be with the cessation services themselves. “Randomized trials continue to demonstrate that innovations in cessation assistance, such as the new text-to-quit service, increase success rates among smokers motivated to be part of clinical studies,” said Sharon Cummins, PhD, director of Evaluation with the California Smokers Helpline and a co-author on the study.  “Indeed, one study showed that heavier smokers are much more likely to quit successfully when a doctor actively monitors the quit attempt, pharmaceutical aids are used, and the smoker receives multiple coaching calls from a quitline service”.

                                  
 Tobacco Cessation graph
The number of people who quit smoking successfully has stalled in the United States at every age.

However, recent evidence suggests that part of the problem may lie in how cessation aids are marketed by pharmaceutical companies:  many such ads suggest that quitting smoking may be as simple as putting on a patch.  It appears that younger smokers in particular are now more likely to underestimate the amount of work needed in order to quit smoking successfully. 

 

Traditionally, the majority of smokers who quit successfully have done so without assistance, and recent data suggests that this has not changed.  However, current national policy discourages unassisted quitting, advising clinicians to make sure smokers who want to quit do so with pharmaceutical assistance.  This policy may undermine smokers’ belief in their ability to quit on their own.Pierce and colleagues noted that some of the earliest texts in psychology – written more than 100 years ago – include chapters on breaking habits such as smoking.  In 1890, William James laid out a series of maxims that were widely recognized then and that still hold true today:  smokers need to make a strong resolution to change; they need to act quickly on that resolution; they will be more successful if they make a personal commitment to another to be successful; and finally, it is important to understand the danger of having even a single cigarette during a quit attempt.

The researchers suggest that policy makers join those in academia for a serious review of tobacco cessation policy.

In addition to Pierce, the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center research team included Sharon E. Cummins, PhD, Martha M. White, Aimee Humphrey and Karen Messer, PhD.
  
Funding support for this study was provided by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP). 

  

When I was smoking, stress kept my nerves tight as a live wire - always in fight/flight mode! Now I am feeling stress in a very different way!  Each episode is important but I don't anticipate it with a constant vigilance and I don't fiddle with it afterwards trying to decide if I could have done things better!  Que sera sera (for those who never heard of Doris Day it means whatever will be will be!)  and what's done is done!I learned what I could from that event and move on!  I believe that this has to do with smoking!  I remember getting up and checking my cig supply, getting off work and figuring if I have enough for tomorrow, etc, - always in a state of anticipation.  When I was smoking that "dealing with stress"  cig, I was toying with how I could deal with things differently.   It's sort of jumping into the future or living in the past and somehow missing the present.  Dealing with stress in the present makes it a lot less burdensome and MORE EFFECTIVE!

Thomas3.20.2010

Tommy Goes Viral!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 17, 2012

For Tommy Piver, 59, the combination of pricier cigarettes and looming health insurance penalties finally motivated the two-pack-a-day smoker to give up the habit he'd started at age 13. Increased taxes had caused the price of a pack of cigarettes at the gas station near his home in Naples, Fla., to double within a year, to $5. Then he got a notice that his insurance carrier was going to triple the health insurance premium for smokers and reduce the amount it covered for all sorts of care from 90% to 70%.

"Kicking and screaming," Piver quit on Jan. 1, 2010. About a week later, he saw a television ad for an online stop-smoking program developed by Legacy, a nonprofit created under the settlement between the states and the tobacco industry. Piver joined the free EX program and hasn't had a cigarette in two years.

As Americans, it is an instinctive reaction to feel that limitations on personal choices violate our rights. This sort of knee-jerk response isn’t necessarily bad; it defines us as a nation of individuals who deeply believe in freedom, and who question and/or fight any entity that seeks to take that freedom away.

But we often forget that such freedom is not unlimited, for it comes with a very important and often unrecognized caveat. We have a right to do what we choose, however we choose to do it, as long as our own actions do not infringe upon the rights of others. In general, we have freedom of choice. But we could not legally choose to assault another person, for instance, because such an action violates the rights of the other individual.

This issue comes into play when dealing with smoking in public areas, an issue that has recently been addressed on this campus. The previous sentence probably elicited that same instinctive rejection as discussed above, but smoking is an activity that, when done in the presence of others who are not willingly involved, is a violation of peoples’ rights.Smoking is not a healthy habit. This is a universally accepted truth, as is the fact that even secondhand smoke is harmful. The byproduct of one individual’s choice to smoke contains a host of harmful substances unrecognizable and unpronounceable to most people outside of the chemistry department. Among other things, exposure to these chemicals can cause heart disease, lung cancer, low birth weights, a host of other lung illnesses and even eventually death.

When one person walking in a public area lights up, their secondhand smoke invariably reaches the lungs of a bystander. This individual has just unwillingly inhaled a poison that was produced by the smoker. This is a small yet common occurrence. It happens every day, with no noticeable health detriments for most individuals. But inhalation of secondhand smoke has a cumulative effect. The results may not appear in a year, or even 10. Many individuals will never experience serious health effects as a direct result of secondhand smoke, but that does not mean they have not been harmed.

Secondhand smoke is a violation of individuals’ right to their own health. It is a series of small, almost unnoticeable assaults on others’ well-being. And, despite their minuteness, are still violations of individual rights.If someone were walking in a public place, spraying a can containing a chemical that would not cause immediate damage, but was nevertheless a poison, they would be arrested. And we would think nothing of this arrest unless we were applauding it. Smoking in public areas is tantamount to the previous action. And while smoking is an activity that has been ingrained into our culture, its social acceptability does not make this analogy any less true.

I have nothing against individuals who smoke. I believe strongly in personal freedom. What one person chooses to do with their own body is their business, and if some individuals are not bothered by secondhand smoke, and willingly choose to be around individuals who are smoking, that is also a personal choice. But The University of Alabama contains thousands of people who do not want to smoke, who do not want to inhale secondhand smoke, and who do not want to walk around campus perpetually holding their breaths.

The activity of smoking in public should not be condoned, because it violates the balance between personal rights and the rights of others. Yes, an individual has the freedom to harm his or her own body, but that individual does not have the right to force similar harm upon another.Colleges and even entire states throughout the nation have recognized this. It is time that The University does as well. Smoking in public areas should be disallowed. At the very least, the University could designate specific areas that are the only public places people are allowed to light up, as these places could be avoided by those who do not want to inhale secondhand smoke.

Smokers have a right to smoke. But all non-smokers have just as much of a right to their health. Banning or controlling smoking in public areas would then be an act of protecting rights rather than violating them. It is time such action is taken.

Those who choose to smoke could still do so on private property and those who choose not to could walk around campus confident that their well-being is not being undermined. One person’s rights end where another person’s rights start. Or, as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court more colorfully put it, “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”

Have you ever gone back to the way earlier blogs and just read for a while to see how things have changed? Well, I have! I was looking for the formula of WHY? Why do some people make it from the very beginning? Why do some people become chronic restarters? Why do some people restart several times and then find the missing element and from that point on are sailing free? Is it genetics, or gender, or life circumstances or support systems or NRTs or "stress"? Why this person succeeds with "ease" and that person battles for their life has kept me searching for answers. Well, I think I've got it but don't take my word for it  - take a look for yourself! Over and over again people say, "Get educated, Read, Read, Read!" Some folks take that advice and some don't and yes, those who do their homework do have better success, by far! So why did she read and he just trudge along slogging it out? Why did she read and nothing changed while he read the same material and reported a life-altering WOW! moment? Lots of questions, right? But it comes down to a fundamental ATTITUDE that makes the difference! If you believe that smoking cessation is an EVENT then you soon become impatient waiting for things to "get back to normal!" Some folks do manage to stay quit for a considerable time but their attitude is brittle - they could still relapse remarkably easily! Others can't stand the "not normal" and just give in and relapse back into their comfort zone!  Then there are those who even before they quit smoking realize that they are choosing a life altering way of life! They are looking at not an event but at a LIFE JOURNEY - the path of abundant addiction FREE living! They recognize the quit as a choice that you don't just make once but that you dedicate yourself to each and every day! They are open to a NEW NORMAL! There is no going back - ever! They welcome these changes and collateral changes that come with it - whatever they might be! They know that they will evolve and mature in ways they could never have anticipated! And they say, YES! That's where I want to go! I don't see the entire staircase, but I accept the direction as life affirming! I will take the next step up - the simple decision that I won't smoke TODAY ! Just for today I pledge N.O.P.E. no matter what and  I'll do whatever it takes to maintain my quit because I respect myself! Tomorrow is another day! The key to SUCCESS is within you but you must realize that you will change! Your relationships will change! Your PERSPECTIVE will change! Your future choices will change! And it's all for the BEST!

Thomas3.20.2010

Words of Wisdom!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 16, 2012

Faith is taking the first step, even if you don't see the whole staircase!!! - Martin Luther King, Jr.

The United States of America was built by a diverse group of people. The strength, resilience, and richness of the United States of America are based on the diversity of its citizens. Everyone is equal in worth, and is entitled to the same privileges and opportunities regardless of their age, national origin, disability, gender, or race. Each of us has our own unique background and talents.

Diversity creates a Community that is enriched with people from different cultures and that have different experiences, lifestyles, backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas. A diverse Community:

      
  • recognizes and values talent.
  •   
  • eliminates barriers and ensures that all members are treated fairly and have the chance to reach their maximum potential.
  •   
  • encourages the exchange of ideas which not only broadens the scope of problem solving, but also improves the possibility that the problems will be solved.

Ours is a Diverse Community and that's an integral aspect of what makes it so effective in achieving SUCCESS!!! We don't always see eye to eye but we have RESPECT for each other! Each contact I have with a new member is based on my own experience. I bring to the table my diagnosis of COPD (even when I don't mention it!), my SUCCESS, my personality! It can hardly be otherwise. It's for the Newbie to take what is useful to them and leave the rest from all the comments and advice they receive! I've seen many, many, members come and go, some drifting in and out. Time online is a commodity and although I wish I could be there for each newbie, there just aren't enough hours in a day! I most often center on folks with COPD and then on other members who I feel are open to the Fantastic Change which is necessary to become a true EX. That's because my quits in the past have been for Months even Years but not sincere! I was just borrowing time, "cleaning out my lungs so I can smoke some more!" So I know the difference! I Know that's just not good enough! You bring your own talents, experience and personality to your Comments! Each of us contributes something that may help that individual make the ultimate decision - to live addiction FREE! I would like to remind you so you don't get depressed that as you see folks come and go, remember that you have no idea how many mustard seeds you are planting on the way! Maybe that person will come back later or maybe somebody else read that Comment to So-and-So and took it to heart! I think we'd all be surprised at how many people are lurking, reading everything but choose to remain out of the limelight! Finally, contribute what you have and respect that other contributor, too! We all make this Community a Great Place to be and most important SUCCESSFUL!

 

Everybody enjoy this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and remember that we live in the Greatest Country in the World because we left that WELCOME sign out for our ancestors! We pool our resources and we EXtend a helping hand. A great place to find folks in need of that hand is in the FORUMS! Maybe you can make another Friend there Today!

Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe. - Gail Devers

 

O.K. So you've "tried" to quit several times and you "always" made it so many hours or so many days and then.... failure! So you convinced yourself that you will probably die a Smoker! Well, you might! But only if you DECIDE to! You certainly don't "have to!" So put that thought behind you! It comes from your addictive mind ( often referred to here as the NicoDemon!) Your Addictive Mind is part of YOU and knows you intimately! LOL! But what it doesn't know is that you CAN change! You CAN LIVE ADDICTION FREE!!!

 

But you can't just do what you've done before and expect different results! So ask yourself, seriously, what are you going to do differently! One of the main things I did was to admit that I need help! So I came here and read what the folks here were saying! I listened to the people who had established a good solid quit! They told me to read about Nicotine Addiction so I READ! They told me to talk about my quit, don't keep it a secret! SO I TOLD EVERYBODY - EVEN STRANGERS! They told me to take it one day at a time - SO I PLEDGED on a daily basis I, Thomas, promise myself that NO MATTER WHAT I will not smoke for this day! Just for today I will LIVE Smoke FREE! If something comes up that I have to face I won't ask "Can I smoke, now?" I'll ask, "What can I do instead?" But I will not smoke even one little puff! I will RESPECT myself enough to HONOR my DECISION for the next 24 hours under ALL CIRCUMSTANCES!If I need help thinking with my determined Quitter's mind then I'll come here and BLOG before I blow my Quit but I won't give up or give in!

 

Today I CELEBRATE 668 Smoke FREE Days! It was no "easier" for me than for you! I have had many challenges, especially at first! But I NEVER GIVE UP! I Believe in ME! I work hard at my Quit! And that means giving myself permission to make ME my First Priority at all times! I can't do anything for anybody if I can't take care of ME FIRST!LOVE YOURSELF! You deserve to LIVE Smoke FREE!

Adele, known for her hit songs like Rolling in the Deep, has no plans to quit smoking, even though she recently underwent throat surgery to restore her voice. What kind of repercussions might she suffer down the road?

According to a report from PerezHilton.com, the singer was spotted lighting up a cigarette immediately following dinner in a Florida restaurant recently. This can't be something she's doing with a doctor's blessing.

No, it's most definitely not. In fact, her doctor insisted that smoking after her recent surgeryListening to Adele with da boys was quite dangerous. It ups her risk of serious infection and reduces her ability to heal. It can also cause more raspiness and a lower voice than she had before.

Wouldn't you think that Adele—being an absolutely amazing singer—would want to do everything within her power to save her voice? It's her livelihood—her claim to fame! Why would she ever risk losing this incredible gift she's been given?

"I gave up smoking for two months. It was f—ing grim. I had laryngitis about a week before the album came out and it was so frightening. I stopped smoking, drinking, eating or drinking citrus, spicy foods and caffeine. It was so f—ing boring.... My voice was better when I wasn't smoking. Within a week I noticed it had changed, but I'd rather my voice be a bit s-t so I can have a f—ing laugh," she says.

Clearly Adele is taking not only her career, but her very life in her hands by not heeding her doctor's warning. Her surgery to remove a benign polyp should have been more than enough of a wake up call. What if the next polyp isn't benign?

Thomas3.20.2010

COURAGE!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 12, 2012

Courage to start and willingness to keep everlasting at it are the requisites for success.   Alonzo Newton Benn

 

One day at a time - N.O.P.E.!

I have found that the greatest help in meeting any problem  with
decency and self-respect and whatever courage is demanded, is to  know
where you yourself stand. That is, to have in words what you  believe
and are acting from. William Faulkner (1897-1962) American  Writer

 

Today while rummaging around in my nearly endless supply of affirmations for the Positive Affirmations for Success! Group I came across this jewel which reminds me of one reason why this site works! By supporting others in an effective way I had to crystalize how I stand on the issue of Nicotine Addiction. Every time I write a Blog, especially from the heart, I am putting into words more clearly than ever what worked for me and  the blind alleys I found and how I worked my way out of them. By explaining myself articulately, I was not only explaining to my audience but more to the point I was explaining to myself! Each time I did this, it heightened my resolve and gave me the courage to take the nEXt step forward. There's no affirmation that works better than the one you incorporated into your own belief system and made it yours! This whole process is about rewiring our addictive brains with new messages of HOPE for Healthy FREE Living! Today I have chosen this affirmation - tomorrow I will decide on another! It really helps me get through each day!That's why the more you participate the easier and surer your Quit whether you Blog, comment, write within your group or visit people's pages! Get involved for your own sake! The person you help most is yourself! 

The push to squeeze smokers out of public places is getting stronger, with restaurants and malls moving them out of their buildings. Now some businesses are taking it a step further.

 

For years, Virginia's Bon Secours hospitals have banned smoking on hospital grounds. Now they are banning smokers entirely, even people who only smoke in the privacy of their own home.

 

The company is no longer hiring anyone whose urine sample tests positive for nicotine.

Smoke Out Policy

 

Bon Secours' Employee Well Coordinator Amy Cutter said the change in policy is in keeping with the company's image.

 

"As a healthcare institution, we believe in supporting good health and being good healthcare models to each other, the patients, and the community," she explained.

 

Current employees who smoke can still keep their jobs, but are strongly encouraged to quit.

 

The hospital system, which employs some 12,000 workers, joined the Cleveland Clinic and other healthcare power houses across the country that snuff-out any job applicants who smoke. 

 

That attitude is moving beyond the medical industry.

 

For instance, Wheeler Interests, a Virginia Beach shopping center company, employs about 35 people. But smokers need not apply.

  
   Jon Wheeler instituted the anti-smoker policy five years ago mainly because smokers wasted valuable work time. 
  
     
  
   "People would leave the office - five minutes taking down the elevator, five minutes outside smoking, five minutes coming back up on the elevator," Wheeler said. 
  
     
  
   "Of course when they came back into the office space they smelled like smoke, they were doing that eight, nine, ten times a day," he said. 
  
     
  
    Better Business Practice
  
     
  
   Wheeler realized he couldn't afford to risk driving-away clients. 
  
     
  
   "We have a lot of shopping centers," he explained. "And when our folks go out into the field, our associates, and they're going to other people's businesses, which is like their homes, they'd walk in, they'd smell like smoke." 
  
     
  
   Victoria Paul used to be one of those associates. Today she is smoke-free, thanks to the company's policy and the encouragement to quit. 
  
     
  
   "The delivery was in a supportive fashion," she recalled. "And the pressure was probably brought on by myself, knowing that you're one of the only ones that's doing it." 
  
     
  
   "It's not good for you, it's not good for the business, it's not good for the company," she said. 
  
     
  
    Smokers Ban Legal?
  
     
  
   But is it legal for an employer to refuse to even consider an applicant simply because they smoke, even if they only do it on their own time? 
  
     
  
   Yes, according to Regent University Law professor Bruce N. Cameron. 
  
     
  
   Cameron said smoking is not a federally protected class against discrimination. 
  
     
  
   "There are a number of federal laws that protect you against discrimination, and they protect you against discrimination in two areas," he explained. 
  
     
  
   "Basically what we call immutable characteristics, things that you can't change no matter how hard you try, and those areas where the government has decided the employee's choice is more important than the employer's choice," he said. 
  
     
  
   Those areas include race, age, gender, disability, and religion. However, while federal law doesn't protect smokers, state and local laws can. 
  
     
  
    A Costly Habit
  
     
  
   Smoking is also costly in many ways. Most employers pay employees' health care, and according to federal estimates, a smoker costs about $3,000 a year more than their non-smoking counterpart. 
  
     
  
   Plus, smoking is the single most preventable cause of death and disease. 
  
   Dr. I. Phillip Snider, a physician who specializes in internal medicine within Virginia's Bon Secours Healthcare System, said smoking impacts every organ in the body. 
  
     
  
   "Heart disease is the number one thing," he said. "Lung disease is very common, it's not necessarily lung cancer, but the breathing, the C-O-P-D, makes asthma a lot worse, makes allergies a lot worse." 
  
     
  
   "And one thing that's interesting is, it actually increases your chances for bladder cancer and throat cancer and skin cancer, not just the cancer of the lungs," Snider continued. 
  
   A Slippery Slope? 
  
     
  
   So if employers can discriminate against smokers, what's next? 
  
     
  
   Obesity comes in as the second most preventable cause of disease, and it's costly, as well. An obese employee costs a company, on average, $2,000 a year more than their normal-weight counterpart. 
  
     
  
   Professor Cameron pointed out that employers can, and do, discriminate in many areas. 
  
     
  
   "An employer could discriminate on the basis of an employee's weight, they could discriminate on the basis of an employee's exercise routine, they could discriminate on an employee's education," he said. "In fact they do it all the time." 
  With unemployment already high, the job market is competitive. Those seeking employment may find added incentive to kick a bad habit, knowing it may keep them from getting a job.

Researchers have identified traces of nicotine inside a 1,300-year-old Mayan flask, confirming the vessel's ancient use and providing the earliest chemical evidence of tobacco in Maya culture.

There's been ample evidence from textual and pictorial sources that the Maya smoked tobacco. For example, at Mexico's Palenque archaeological site, one of the carved stone panels at the Temple of the Cross shows a man smoking what appears to be an ornate pipe.

Other evidence suggests that the Maya and other ancient Mesoamerican cultures smoked tobacco either in pipes or in cigar-type bundles. The sacred text of the Quiche Maya, the Popol Vuh, says the story's two heroes were once required to keep their cigars lit all night in a cave of darkness — but fooled the people of the underworld by putting fireflies on the ends of their cigars instead. Spaniards who came in contact with the Maya in the 16th century reported seeing the natives puffing on cigars.

This week's research, published in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, is the first to link tobacco's active ingredient with a vessel labeled as containing the goods, according to Dmitri Zagorevski, a biochemist at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Jennifer Loughmiller-Newman, an archaeologist at the University of Albany in New York.

 

Zagorevski and Loughmiller-Newman analyzed samples taken from a Mayan flask that was made in Mexico's southern Campeche state and became part of the Library of Congress' Kislak Collection. The flask has been dated to around the year 700, during the Late Classic Maya period (A.D. 600-900). It is marked with Mayan hieroglyphs reading "y-otoot 'u-may," which is translated as "the house of its/his/her tobacco."

The researchers detected traces of nicotine in the samples using gas-chromatography mass spectrometry and liquid-chromatography mass spectrometry. That confirmed that the flask actually housed someone's tobacco.

"Investigation of food items consumed by ancient people offers insight into the traditions and customs of a particular civilization," Loughmiller-Newman explained in a news release. "Textual evidence written on pottery is often an indicator of contents or of an intended purpose; however, actual usage of a container could be altered or falsely represented."

She and Zagorevski said chemical analysis has been used only once before to confirm the contents of a Mayan vessel labeled with hieroglyphics. That case, reported more than 20 years ago, involved the confirmation that a vessel contained cacao through the detection of caffeine and an alkaloid known as theobromine.

The researchers said recovering food residues for analysis is a "very difficult task" for several reasons, including the fact that ancient vessels may contain other substances in addition to the stuff being sought. For example, most of the Kislak Collection's flasks were filled with reddish iron oxide for burial rituals, making it harder to determine what the vessels originally held.

"Our study provides rare evidence of the intended use of an ancient container," Zagorevski said in the news release, issued today. "Mass spectrometry has proven to be an invaluable method of analysis of organic residues in archaeological artifacts. This discovery is not only significant to understanding Mayan hieroglyphics, but an important archaeological application of chemical detection." 

Extra credit: This research was originally due for public release on Thursday, but the embargo was lifted after the news release popped up on The Tree of Life blog as part of a protest by UC-Davis biologist Jonathan Eisen against "press release spam." The episode has sparked a discussion of press embargoes on Ivan Oransky'sEmbargo Watch. Meanwhile, Loughmiller-Newman and Zagorevski have promised to get back to me with additional comments on the research, and I'll add those comments to this posting as they come in.

 

Update for 8 p.m. ET: Loughmiller-Newman tells me that the tobacco in the flask might not have been used for smoking. "It's a very small container," she said. "My guess is that it would have been used for treatment of bug bites, or to ward off snakes, or perhaps as a snuff."

She explained that the Maya used tobacco in its powdered form as a snake repellent ("It 'burns' them on their body beneath their scales") and to combat botfly larvae ("One way to suffocate the larvae and keep them from growing is to put powdered tobacco on ths skin"). The powder could also be snorted like snuff, or added to alcoholic drinks for an extra kick.

"This was very strong tobacco, much stronger than it is today," she said. "Nicotiana rustica was nearly hallucinogenic."

I have been on this quit journey for 662 days and I still learn each and every day more about Myself, and about the ENEMY and about Addiction! There's a reason that I started smoking at 30 years of age - I made a self-destructive choice because I had a desire to fill an empty space in my soul so I literally filled it with smoke! Take away the smoke and the Hole remained! It was time for me to stop looking for an easy way out and to actually go through the process of healing! 

 

I remember the emptiness I felt when I first stopped smoking! It was ...sadness, ...ah, loneliness,...I don't know maybe ... boredom!  I want to understand the feeling that we often label as "craving" because we don't know how else to describe that feeling. You may have heard of H.A.L.T. It stands for Hungry, Angry,Lonely, Tired and tells us of warning signs of when we might be tempted.

I've come to the point of thinking of filling the hole. Something is missing and my brain automatically says "cigarette" but that is the addiction talking. Since cigarettes are no longer an option for me no matter what - well, then what is missing? Am I hungry, thirsty, tired? Does my BODY need something to feel more comfortable and cared for? Am I lonely, angry, frustrated, depressed? Do my emotions need attention? Am I spiritually depleted from the harsh living that we all have to endure? Maybe I need time with my GOD so I can reinforce my love and trust in Him! Very often I find one or more of these factors contributing to my feeling of emptiness. 

When I fill the hole with good food, rest, exercise for the body, with support from my friends to talk out my emotions, and with God time in my daily life then the emptiness ceases to exist and my brain stops even groping for that thing which is not a cigarette but we would use a cigarette to feel better!

Next time you think you want a cigarette - maybe you can ask yourself - What is it I really need? After all, when you put out the smoke - the hole is still there! When you fill the hole you FEEL WHOLE!

Happy abundant living everyone! Thank you for your friendship and support! Enjoy your NEW Smoke FREE LIVING! It's a WHOLESOME Adventure! Now, I'm going to find my healing wholesome solution for today.....

A program that helped low-income Massachusetts residents stop smoking saved three dollars for every dollar spent. That’s the conclusion of a study from George Washington University published online today in the journal PLoS One.

“While we have always known that helping people quit smoking is an investment in their health, this study shows that our efforts are also a sound financial investment for the Commonwealth,” said Governor Deval Patrick in a statement. “This represents another positive outcome of health reform in Massachusetts.”

The state’s 2006 health coverage law added a smoking cessation benefit for Medicaid and let members chose from any FDA approved option.  The state promoted the program on the radio and in bus ads.

George Washington University researchers found that members who quit saved three times the cost of the program in fewer heart-related hospitalizations after just over one year.  The study does not take into account the benefits of avoiding cancer or other long term smoking related illnesses.

Lois Keithly, who directs the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program, says the study proves prevention programs save money.

“These findings are so strong that they should serve as an encouragement for all the insurance plans to provide a generous cessation benefit and promote the benefit so that smokers know that it exists,” she said.

Keithly adds that 10% of health care spending in Massachusetts is on smoking-related diseases and that smoking kills 8,000 residents a year.

This study has some added weight because it’s one of just a few that conclude that the state’s landmark health care law is making people healthier and saving money.  To date there has been a lot of speculation, but very little proof.

Smokers who count on nicotine patches or gum to help them quit may want to reconsider: A new study finds that these and other nicotine replacement products aren't effective at preventing former smokers from relapsing in real-world conditions.

Among 787 adults who had quit smoking within the previous two years, nearly a third reported having returned to using cigarettes, according to a study published online Monday by the journal Tobacco Control. Those who had used nicotine patches, gum, inhalers or nasal sprays were just as likely to relapse as those who had quit without them, researchers fromHarvard University and the University of Massachusetts found.

The findings run counter to the results of several randomized clinical trials conducted before the Food and Drug Administration gave the thumbs-up to these nicotine replacement products in the 1990s. In those trials, volunteers using such products were up to three times more likely to kick the smoking habit.

But the latest results are in line with other studies that have found little — if any — benefit from the products when used by smokers in real life. In some cases, studies have found that people who use products like nicotine patches and gums are more likely to relapse than their counterparts who go cold turkey.

"This may indicate that some heavily dependent smokers perceive NRT [nicotine replacement therapy] as a sort of 'magic' pill, and, upon realizing it is not, they find themselves without support in their quitting efforts, doomed to failure," the researchers wrote.

The new study examined former smokers three times over a five-year period. At the midpoint of the study, 30.6% of recent quitters had gone back to smoking. By the end, 31.3% had relapsed.

American smokers spend more than $1.5 billion on nicotine gum, patches and related products each year, according to the study. Much of that comes from public health programs, which are facing further rounds of budget cuts. Policymakers ought to rethink their willingness to pay for nicotine replacement therapy, the researchers wrote, and consider shifting that money to initiatives aimed at discouraging smoking in general, such as anti-smoking campaigns and efforts to raise tobacco taxes.

But GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, which makes Nicorette, Nicoderm, Commit lozenges and other smoking cessation products, said that would be premature. The company noted that most of the adults in the study who used nicotine replacement products didn't use them for the recommended eight weeks. Had those people followed directions, they might have had more success.

"Hundreds of clinical trials involving more than 35,000 participants and extensive consumer use for more than 20 years have proven both the efficacy and safety of NRT when used as directed," the company said in a statement. "NRT products have helped millions of smokers quit by gradually weaning them off of their tobacco addiction and is recommended as a first-line therapy for quitting."

I would like to see people tell me what your tools in your Quit Smoking Tool Box are. Mine is a virtual tool box but I understand others actually have a 3D tool box. Either or both are GREAT! So here are my favorite tools in my tool box:

 

http://www.whyquit.com

 


http://quitsmokingonline.com/

Allen Carr's book - "The Easy Way To Stop Smoking" - free download - http://joga.365.lt/Allen-Carr_Easy-Way-To-Stop- Smoking_Download-free-PDF-EBook

 

My list of why I want to quit

My list of why I want to smoke (it's all crossed off now! LOL!)

My list of why I don't want to quit (Also, completely scratched out!)

My list of why I don't want to smoke

My list of folks who I can trsut to support me (now in the dozens)

My list of folks I know would like to take me down (They gave up a while ago!)

My list of Positive Affirmations to rely on daily

My list of meditations and visualizations that help me to relax and regain focus

My water bottle, juice, gum, hard candy, medicine ball,veggie plate

My list of exercises that bring out the dopamine

MOST IMPORTANT: My daily pledge kept right by my bed and recited with voice before my feet even touch the ground:

 

I, Thomas, pledge that just for today I will not smoke even so much as one little puff under any circumstances for any reason! I will respect myself enough to honor this pledge NO MATTER WHAT! N.O.P.E.!!! 

 

So what's in your tool box?

A new study shows that 13 percent of smokers don't tell their doctor that they smoke, likely because they fear the social stigma that comes with being a cigarette-smoker.

"There has been a significant shift in the social climate around tobacco and smoking in our country in recent years as people recognize the health consequences of tobacco and secondhand smoke," Chery, G. Healton, Dr. PH, president and CEO of Legacy, the health organization that conducted the study, said in a statement.

"As an unintended result of higher prices of cigarettes, increased measures to ban smoking in public places, and create smoke-free workplaces, many smokers may feel marginalized and less compelled to discuss smoking with their physicians and other providers," Healton said.

MyHealthNewsDaily reported that two-thirds of people who didn't tell their doctor about their smoking said they didn't do so because they didn't want to be lectured about their habit.

The study also showed that only about 25 percent of smokers in the study asked their doctor or health-care provider for help to quit smoking the last time they tried to stop.

The survey included 3,146 adults in the United States who were former or current smokers.

"The doctor has to ask about smoking history," Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, told MyHealthNewsDaily. "And if the patient doesn't tell the truth, "you can often smell it on their clothes or their breath, and so you have to confront them."

 

A study published in 2008 in The Cochrane Library shows that doctors who actually take the time to talk to their patients about their smoking help to increase the patient's chance of quitting. A news release reported that an unassisted quit rate for smokers is 2 to 3 percent, but if a doctor intervenes, the quit rate can be increased by an additional 1 to 3 percent.

"To a non-clinician, these results may seem underwhelming, but [they] are really quite significant when you consider how many people who smoke see a physician every year -- about 80 percent -- and how many more of them would quit if all doctors advised them to do so at every visit," Abigail Halperin, M.D., who was not involved in this study, said in a statement.

Heard of COPD? It is time to be warned against it, as COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is expected to become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030, as per World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates.

Already, 4 to 8 per cent of all people aged over 40 are expected to have COPD. But it is largely undiagnosed, until irreparable damage has already been done. In fact, doctors estimate that over 25 per cent of people with clinically significant COPD are unaware that they have the disease. 

PERMANENT DAMAGE

COPD is a condition in which the lungs get permanently damaged and the airways narrowed down and clogged with mucus, making it difficult for people to breathe, eventually leading to respiratory failure and death, if there is no timely medical intervention. It is a condition different from asthma, but often confused with asthma because of superficial similarities.

While active smoking is the main cause of COPD, passive smokers, and people exposed to smoke and fumes from vehicles, industry and the burning of biomass fuel are also susceptible. “Now, researchers are of the opinion that even third-hand smoke — tobacco smoke in the room, even after the smoker has finished the cigarette and left the room, can be dangerous,” suggests Dr. S. Gayathri, consultant pulmonologist. The ban on smoking scenes in films, smoking in public places, and sale of tobacco products near schools and colleges has helped check smoking and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). “Most of us are conditioned by the environment we live in. It does make a difference”, says Dr. Raj B. Singh, director, Chest Foundation of India and head, Respiratory Medicine, Apollo Hospitals. But while people associate smoking and ETS with the risk of cancer, it is still not associated with the risk it poses for COPD.

 

UNRECOGNISED

A persistent cough with phlegm? Coughing that increases with seasonal changes? Shortness of breath that becomes worse even with mild activity? A sense of tightness in the chest? Wheezing? Fatigue? Do you come down with respiratory infections repeatedly? Well, any one of these, or all of them could be symptoms of COPD.

Unfortunately, people don't think of medical intervention when they encounter these symptoms. “They dismiss them as smoker's cough that has to be lived with, or imagine that aging has made breathing more difficult for them,” says Dr. Madhu. What they don't realise is, all along, irreversible damage is being done to their lungs. And worse, the damage is progressive, meaning that once initiated, the damage continues. The symptoms of COPD develop slowly, which makes it difficult to recognise. Physicians test for COPD by spirometry, a simple lung function test that involves blowing out as hard as possible into a small machine.

COPD is a morbid condition that can impede even day-to-day activities such as conversation, climbing stairs or cooking. “COPD can lead to complications such as blood pressure, right heart failure because of reduced oxygen supply, arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, chronic lung diseases, pneumonia, wasting of muscles and osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) due to use of ineffective steroids and the inactivity forced upon the person with COPD,” informs Dr. Singh.

COPD has no cure. But some relief from the symptoms and progressive deterioration of the lungs is possible. The foremost thing is to quit smoking, at least now. “This slows down the lung damage,” says Dr. Madhu. It is also crucial to avoid very cold air, ETS, polluted air, fumes and dust. Use of inhalers to open the airways and medication to reduce lung inflammation as prescribed by a pulmonologist will help. Pulmonary rehabilitation in the form of breathing exercises can help increase lung capacity. Regular, mild exercise as directed by the physician and a healthy diet will help combat complications. Surgery may be an option in some cases. In case of acute breathlessness, seek emergency medical help immediately.

 

Symptoms of COPD

* A persistent cough with phlegm

* Coughing that increases with seasonal changes

* Shortness of breath that may become worse even with mild activity

* A sense of tightness in the chest

* Wheezing

* Fatigue

* Repeated respiratory infections

http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/metroplus/article2783040.ece

A recent study conducted by Rachel Huxley of the University of Minnesota, published in The Lancet Medical Journal, revealed that even though women tend to smoke fewer cigarettes than their male counterparts, they are at a 25% greater risk of smoking related health conditions.

Biologically, women are more vulnerable to the hazards of active and passive smoking. Let's look at the reasons behind this phenomenon...

Pregnant women and smoking: Smoking a cigarette is like smoking a cocktail of drugs and poisons, which are extremely harmful for the unborn baby. It reduces the oxygen in the body, and increases the risk of miscarriages. Smoking like a chimney can also reduce pregnant women's chances of getting pregnant again. It can increase the risk of birth defects in babies or the babies are three times more likely to be still born or die within the first week if born to smokers.

Infertility and smoking: Medical experts suggest that smoking can have an adverse impact on fertility in women. When compared to non-smokers, smoking women are 30% more likely to take time in conceiving a child. As a matter of fact, active smoking by either of the partners in the relationship is more harmful for the unborn baby, when compared to passive smoking.

Breast cancer and smoking: A study conducted by Stephanie Land of the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health on 13,388 women revealed that smoking women are at a higher risk of breast cancer when compared to their non-smoking counterparts. The studyHeart diseases and smoking: According to a study from the University of Minnesota andJohns Hopkins University because of gender-based biologic differences between men and women, women who smoke are 25% more likely to develop potentially fatal diseases such as heart disease. The study suggests that, "Women may extract more carcinogens, or cancer-causing substances, and toxins from each cigarette compared to men." But the good news here is that women who plan to quit smoking can slash their risk of coronary heart disease by half within the first year.

  
   


Other health risks for women: Apart from risks of infertility and breast cancer, smoking can also lead to lung cancer in women. One of the major causes of respiratory problems, smoking can lead to plaque build up or clots in the blood vessels of the legs (peripheral artery disease). Smoking women are also at a greater risk of osteoporosis. It is also linked with going throughmenopause at an early age when compared to non-smokers.

Is light smoking also harmful for women? Yes, even light smoking is harmful for women as it poses a host of health problems. It is believed that as few as 1 to 4 cigarettes a day can increase your risk of suffering from a heart attack or in some unfortunate cases, dying from heart disease.

Read more Personal Health, Diet & Fitness stories on www.healthmeup.com

  

Washington: Tobacco firm Phillip Morris underplayed the dangers from cigarette additives, including menthol, masking toxicity levels and increasing chances of heart, cancer and other diseases for smokers.

Researchers from University of California San Francisco (UCSF) said that they have found that hundreds of additives, including menthol, should be eliminated from cigarettes on public health grounds.

"When we conducted our own analysis by studying additives per cigarette-following Philip Morris` original protocol-we found that 15 carcinogenic chemicals increased by 20 percent or more," said senior author Stanton A. Glantz, director of the Centre for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the UCSF.

In the independent study, Glantz and team reassessed data from Philip Morris` `Project MIX,` which detailed chemical analyses of smoke and animal toxicology studies of 333 cigarette additives. Philip Morris is the largest tobacco company in the US.

Researchers also found after obtaining evidence that additives increased toxicity, that tobacco scientists adjusted the protocol for presenting their results in a way that obscured these increases.

Additionally, in the independent study, the researchers discovered the reason behind Philip Morris` failure to identify many toxic effects in animal studies: its studies were too small.

Researchers used documents made public as a result of litigation against the tobacco industry. The documents are available to the public through UCSF`s Legacy Tobacco Documents Library.

A survey of more than 1,000 Yahoo! users reveals interesting data about how people view social smoking, how social smoking affects relationships and dating decisions, and how users view the danger smoking presents to their health.

According to the shine.yahoo.com survey, 57% of men and 71% of women perceive smoking to be "very uncool." A sentiment widely shared across all gender and age groups.

Smoking is on the decline among younger participants, with 61% of respondent's ages 18-34 saying they have NEVER smoked.

Smoking could be hurting your love life:

-- Over one-half (58%) of women and most men (49%) said they would NOT date a smoker

-- Women are more likely to be secretive about smoking with 32% saying they never smoke around their significant other

 

Are we kidding ourselves about smoking?

-- Only 28% of smokers admit to being addicted and dependent on cigarettes

-- A majority (72%) of smokers across both genders and all age groups claim "I choose when I smoke and can go without at any time"

Social Smoking: I only smoke when I drink:

-- Social smoking is more prevalent amongst the younger generation with 41% of participants ages 18-34 saying they only smoke occasionally and typically only in a social setting

-- The reason behind social smoking for those ages 18-34 appears to be the belief that smoking "enhances" the drinking experience. 56% of those surveyed ages 18-34 said they smoke when drinking because "I like the extra buzz it gives me"

-- Social smokers appear to smoke in moderation, with 65% saying they consume 1 or 2 cigarettes while they are out

-- Women are slightly more prepared for social smoking with 36% saying they will actively buy cigarettes in advance of a social situation

-- Women are somewhat more likely than men to believe social smoking poses a risk to their health; 76% of women said that all smoking poses an equal risk to health compared to 42% of men

 Men vs. Women - Barriers against full time smoking:

-- Health risks deter both men and women from full time smoking with 63% of men and 59% of women claiming concerns about the health risks as the top barrier against being a regular smoker

-- The cost of smoking is a secondary concern for men, with 50% of men saying that smoking is too expensive to be a full time habit

-- Women on the other hand claim the smell of cigarettes as the top secondary concern with 50% of women claiming smoking is gross and they do not want to smell like cigarettes

 

Get the facts from the center of Disease Control:

http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/tobaccosmoke/report/full_report.pdf

ONE CIGARETTE could be your killerette! Today is a Great Day to LIVE Smoke FREE!

Thomas3.20.2010

Beating the Odds!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 6, 2012

"What's wrong with the occasional cigarette as long as your lungs don't look like down town L.A.? After all, a cigarette once in a while can't be all bad - it may be a vice but it's a legal vice and it doesn't hurt anybody - at least not like alcohol or drugs! besides nobody's perfect! Look, I just smoke a pack a week! Yea, I know about Cancer and such, but surely that's people who smoked 2 or 3 packs for 40 or 50 years not me! Heck, I was over 30 when I started smoking and I've quit now and then just to give my body a break, so I'll be O.K. Everything in moderation ain't all that bad! "
That was me talking 2 years ago, completely confident that I had successfully dodged the silver bullet by carefully playing the odds! I would be the last person on Earth to get sick from smoking-related illness! But guess what? I was wrong! Boy, was I ever wrong! Holy Smokes!!! ( pun intended)


When I woke up that beautiful Spring morning with a fever of 102 there is absolutely no way I would have predicted the path that my life was about to take! That trip to the Emergency Room (it would have to be on a Sunday!) changed my life forever! I, Thomas, was diagnosed not just with a lung infection but with Emphysema!!! The guy who was so careful to beat the odds just lost the game of poker and there's no going back! Emphysema is chronic, permanent, and progressive! Most likely, although only Our Creator knows for sure, it will be my cause of Death! How does a young (relatively) healthy (usually) active fella like me get Emphysema, for crying out loud?
What I didn't know was way more than what I did know about Emphysema and COPD!!! Oh, I'd seen the pictures of the happy retired folks puttering around in their gardens or playing with their grandkids because they were smart enough to take Advair or Spiriva! That's about it! My Grandma who lived in another State died of Emphysema when she was in her nineties but we all have to die of something, don't we? Eventually! But heck, I was 52 and had never really been sick much at all my entire adult life! I worked 60 to 80 hours a week and never thought anything of it - hard physical labor, not a desk job!


Here are some facts that I have since learned about COPD: it is an auto-immune illness. it doesn't care if you are 20 or 80 years old! It doesn't care if you smoke 2 or 3 cigs a day or 2 or 3 packs! Just one cigarette will trigger your body's defense mechanism and there you have it! About half of the folks who have COPD don't even know it! Meanwhile the damage that they are doing to their lungs can NEVER be repaired! Your body creates all kinds of mucus in your lungs and bronchials that is a perfect breeding ground for any kind of bacteria or virus you cross paths with like pneumonia! Every time you get a lung infection a bit more irreparable damage will have been done and your condition deteriorates. Because your lungs don't work so well you can inhale fairly well, but you can't exhale so well at all. What people exhale is Carbon Dioxide - you know, poison! That CO2 stays in your system and makes your whole body in a constant state of being poisoned! Because your body wants Oxygen and not CO2 your heart overworks itself trying to get enough Oxygen to where it's needed. Eventually, the heart deforms itself from working overtime! Then you have Congestive Heart Failure! Don't forget, you're still getting those lung infections from time to time! The toxins make your limbs feel like wet spaghetti so that such things as getting dressed or washing dishes become monumental tasks! When you cross a room you huff and puff like the Big Bad Wolf! And know you can't even blow out a candle - let alone blow down a house! This is my reality! Oh you remember that part about not hurting anybody but myself? What do you suppose my Family and Loved Ones are feeling knowing that I did this to myself?


Now, do you still want that occasional cigarette? You still think it won't happen to you? Do you know that people die of smoke related illnesses in their TEENS? Check out Brian's Story at www.whyquit.com! Do you know that one single cigarette can not only trigger COPD it can cause a life-altering Stroke? Do you know that one single cigarette can change your DNA permanently setting you up for Cancer? ONE CIGARETTE! Do you believe it? I am testimonial that in this business you can't beat the Odds - the Odds can beat YOU - down! Forever! Get Smart! Be honest, at least with yourself! Smoking KILLS! Every time you light a cig you are committing the little suicide! You are spitting on the Gift of LIFE that your Creator bestowed on you! Enough is enough! Stop playing the Odds! TODAY is the Right Day to become Smoke FREE for LIFE!

Those who give up cigarettes may see some of their financial obligations go up in smoke.Some of the benefits are immediate: with higher taxes and fees on cigarettes pushing the cost per pack upwards of $10 in some states, a pack-a-day smoker could expect to save almost $5,000 in a year. But over the long-term, experts say quitting can cut life insurance premiums nearly in half, and also generate cash incentives of $500 or more from insurers and employers. Similar savings can be had for losing weight or getting fit, but those can vary based on your progress. Smoking status is easier to classify. "It's generally pretty black or white [on forms]: you're a smoker or you're a nonsmoker," says Steven Weisbart, chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute. That means former smokers can often get the same great prices as people who have never smoked.

 

Of course, quitting isn't an easy resolution to stick to. A study by Nicorette released last year found that the average smoker takes five years and seven attempts to kick the habit for good. Smokers struggling to quit may be swayed by these additional ways to trade ash for cash.

Life insurance

A smoker who quits could eventually see his or her premiums drop 10% to 40%, depending on age and overall health, says Kieran Mullins, vice president of underwriting for MetLife. The key word there: eventually. Most insurers require that a person not have smoked for at least a year to obtain non-smoker status, says Weisbart. It's not uncommon for insurers to require terms of at least two years, either -- and former smokers appealing for a revised policy should expect to provide blood and urine samples, as well as undergo a full physical, to prove their case.

Health insurance

Former smokers who purchase health insurance independently could see their premiums drop by roughly 30% after at least six months of quitting, says Weisbart. Those who get health insurance through an employer may also see preferential rates -- according to consulting firm Aon Hewitt, 6% of employers impose a penalty for smokers. Wal-Mart, for example, announced last fall that starting in 2012, employees who smoke could face annual penalties of $260 to $2,340 on their health insurance.

 

Health costs

The American Cancer Society estimates that smokers start to see improved health within 20 minutes, when heart rate and blood pressure drop. By five years out, they have the same risk for stroke or cervical cancer as that of a lifelong non-smoker, and have cut their risk in half for coronary heart disease and cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder. "The healthier you are, the less likely you are to end up in the doctor's office," says Tom Harte, a vice president for the National Association for Health Underwriters. That's valuable as more employers move to high-deductible health insurance plans, he says. Lower medical bills means fewer out-of-pocket costs toward plan deductibles, which now often top $1,000. It can also let consumers roll over more funds in such plans' associated health savings accounts, which put pre-tax dollars toward qualified medical expenses.

Homeowners insurance

Nonsmokers may be eligible for a discount of roughly 5% on their policy. "Certainly houses burn down because people smoke, but I can't imagine that actuarially it's significant," says Scott Simmonds, a Saco, Maine-based insurance consultant. "I think it's mostly a marketing ploy." Unlike with health and life policies, insurers usually take an applicant's word as proof of their non-smoking status, he says, which means even a recent non-smoker could claim the deal.

Auto insurance

It's not as common a perk, but some auto insurers also offer a 5% discount to non-smokers, Simmonds says. The theory: without a lit cigarette in hand, nonsmokers have one less distraction to take a hand off the wheel or their eyes off the road.

 

Employer incentives

A number of insurance companies and employers offer cash and discounts to quit smoking, says Harte. Arizona, for example, will reimburse state employees for up to $500 in smoking cessation medications, including gum and patches. But there's often fine print. In Aon Hewitt's latest employer survey, 3% offer some financial incentives for participating in a tobacco cessation program -- but two-thirds of those only hand over the cash for those who stay smoke-free. Public relations firm Edelman, for example, pays a $2,000 bonus in its quit-tobacco challenge for employees after they stay smoke-free for six months. To keep it, they must stay smoke-free for another six months thereafter.

In years past it was common for tobacco smoke to fill the air of restaurants, places of business and most public spaces. As recently as 1991, 88 percent of American non-smokers experienced measurable exposure to second-hand smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Today, smoking is banned in most businesses and public venues, but health officials still are seeing new cases of ailments attributed to second-hand smoke exposure, especially among children.

Andy Ward, a local nurse practitioner, said it is all too common to see young children suffering respiratory and other ailments directly linked to family members’ smoking.

“I see it every day,” he said. “Smoking and obesity are the two biggest problems facing health care in our state today, and I see second-hand smoke as an issue I need to address every time it comes in.”

According to the CDC and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), long-term exposure to second-hand smoke can cause a variety of health problems, including heart disease, nasal sinus cancer, respiratory infections, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

The CDC estimates second-hand smoke causes 46,000 heart disease deaths and 3,400 lung cancer deaths among American non-smokers each year.

As restrictions on smoking in public places tighten, the statistics on second-hand smoke ailments are shifting toward children, who often are unable to control their environment.

In addition to the long-term effects of second-hand smoke exposure, the CDC lists a number of ailments that can affect children after relatively short periods of exposure to second-hand smoke. Those effects include: ear infections; more frequent and severe asthma attacks; respiratory symptoms, including coughing, sneezing and shortness of breath; respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia; and a greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Despite the risks, the CDC estimates nearly 54 percent of young children are exposed to second-hand smoke on a regular basis, and more than 18 percent of American children live with an adult who smokes inside the home.

Andy Ward regularly sees two to four cases each week of children whose illnesses can be attributed to second-hand smoke exposure.

“Second-hand smoke exposure is one of the bigger factors affecting kids coming in with recurring respiratory infections and ear infections,” he said. “You see less incidence of it today than in the past but it’s continuing. We’re still seeing new cases come in and probably always will, unless something drastic changes.”

He said the best way to avoid the risks of second-hand smoke is to not be around people while they’re smoking, but that’s not always an option for kids.

“We’d recommend they just cut their exposure as much as possible, but that’s hard when the smoker is a family member living in the household. And for kids, they usually don’t have a choice about who’s smoking around them if it’s a family member.”

He, like other health professionals, discusses the risks of smoking and second-hand smoke with tobacco users, but the information isn’t always well-received.

“I think you’re doing them a disservice if you don’t address it with them, and even if they don’t accept what you’re telling them, you’ve still planted the seed,” he said. “And, that seed may not go anywhere, but all you can do is give them the information.”

Despite the abundance of information regarding the risks of second-hand smoke exposure, Andy Ward said there still are many smokers who refuse to believe it poses a threat to their loved ones.

“I have guys who will come in, sit right here and say ‘There’s no problem with my smoking at all,’ or ‘My dad smoked around me all the time and I turned out all right,’ so there’s definitely still some resistance out there,” he said.

He attributed that reluctance to the power nicotine holds over its users.

“When nicotine gets its hooks into you, it’s an incredibly powerful drug, probably as powerful as cocaine, and sometimes you don’t care how or who you’re affecting or why ... you’re just satisfying that addiction,” Andy Ward said.

As a former smoker, he has first-hand experience with the power of nicotine, the struggle to quit smoking, and the fact that, ultimately, you can free yourself from nicotine addiction.

“I used to smoke, so I know how hard it is to quit,” he said, “but I can also look people in the eye and say ‘I know it’s possible to quit.’”

Kelly Ward, a respiratory therapist at Integris Bass Baptist Health Center, also said nicotine addiction can lead adults to ignore the health effects of smoking and second-hand smoke.

“I think most people know already ... people aren’t stupid, but nicotine is an incredibly powerful drug,” she said. “Sometimes you can get through to people with the information if you present it in the right way, but I think most people know already.”

What many smokers don’t know, she said, is they can cause health problems in children under their care even if they don’t smoke in their presence.

She said third-hand smoke, smoke and chemicals transferred through contact with a smoker’s clothing, skin or hair, or by a smoker breathing on a child, poses a real threat to young kids.

“You’re inhaling that smoke, it gets into the pores of your skin and you sweat it out, it’s in your hair and clothing, and when you pick up a child or just hold them close, they can absorb that or inhale it,” she said. “People get exposure to tobacco smoke that way also, especially young children who are being picked up and held by smokers.”

Kelly Ward said young children and people suffering from breathing ailments such as COPD particularly are susceptible to third-hand smoke.

“Kids’ airways aren’t fully developed until they’re 4 or 5 years old, so it definitely can affect them,” she said.

And, for people suffering from COPD or other chronic respiratory ailments, simply sitting near someone who smokes heavily or who has smoked recently can exacerbate symptoms.

elly Ward said the best thing a smoker can do for their own health, and the health of those around them, is to quit smoking.

“You’ve got to be willing to quit, you have to want to quit, and you have to surround yourself with people who have the same goals you do,” she said.

For those ready and willing to kick the tobacco habit, Kelly Ward said the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, 800-QUIT-NOW, is an “excellent resource,” with “about a 50 percent success rate.”

“People just need to know there’s help available,” she said. “And there are people out there who want to help them and are rooting for them.”

Reuters Health) - The electronic cigarettes marketed as a safer alternative to the real thing produce immediate changes in users' airways, a small study suggests.

Researchers in Greece saw changes in the lung function of healthy smokers who puffed on an e-cigarette for just five minutes -- although it's not clear what the long-term result of those responses might be in regular e-cigarette users, the team reports in the journal Chest.

"E-cigarettes" are battery-powered devices that allow users to inhale a vaporized liquid nicotine solution instead of tobacco smoke. They were designed as a way for smokers to get their nicotine fix without exposing themselves, or other people, to the toxins in tobacco smoke.

But some scientists, including officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), warn that too many questions remain about the safety of these products.

"This is the first evidence that just one (e-cigarette) use can have acute physiologic effects," said lead researcher Constantine I. Vardavas, of the Center for Global Tobacco Control at the Harvard School of Public Health.

For the new study, Vardavas and colleagues in Athens had 30 healthy smokers puff on an e-cigarette to see how it affected their airways.

 

The researchers found that after five minutes, users showed signs of airway constriction -- as measured by several types of breathing tests -- and of inflammation.

It is not known whether that short-term response could translate into health effects in the long run, including lung diseases like emphysema.

"More studies on the long-term effects are needed," Vardavas told Reuters Health.

But, he noted, if e-cigarettes trigger airway effects after just a few minutes, that raises concerns about repeated use of the products over time.

"There are claims that e-cigarettes have no health effects," Vardavas said. "But that's not correct."

An industry spokesperson defended the products.

"This is a product that eliminates second-hand and third-hand smoke," said Ray Story, CEO of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association.

Third-hand smoke refers to the toxic particles that remain on smokers' clothes, furniture and other surfaces long after second-hand smoke has cleared.

"We already know e-cigarettes are much safer than the conventional cigarette," Story said, "because you're not burning it, and you don't have the five or six thousand ingredients in cigarettes, which are mostly dangerous chemicals."

Story said that e-cigarettes contain only five main ingredients: nicotine, water, propylene glycol, glycerol and flavoring.

"These ingredients are all FDA-approved," Story said.

 

But the FDA says on its website that "e-cigarettes may contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to humans, and may contain other ingredients that may not be safe."

Indeed, the FDA and the e-cigarette industry have had a rocky relationship.

In 2010, the agency sent warnings to five makers of e-cigarettes for marketing them illegally as stop-smoking aids. The FDA also tried to regulate e-cigarettes as drugs -- and thereby block their importation into the U.S. -- but a U.S. court ruled that the FDA could only regulate the devices as tobacco products.

Vardavas said it's not clear why e-cigarettes increased airway constriction in this study. But when they had 10 of the study participants use "control" devices -- e-cigarettes that had the cartridges removed -- they did not see the same airway effects.

So one or more ingredients in the e-cigarette may be responsible, but it's not known which they are, Vardavas said.

The study was partly funded by the Hellenic Cancer Society in Greece. The researchers report no financial conflicts of interest.

It's possible, according to Vardavas, that if people used e-cigarettes as a temporary "bridge" to quitting smoking, any short-term effects of the products would be outweighed by the long-term health benefits.

But no one knows if e-cigarettes actually do help smokers kick the habit.

"If you're trying to quit," Vardavas advised, "stick to the methods that are known to work."

Those, he noted, include nicotine patches and gum, prescription medications like bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix), and counseling.

All high achievers plan their work and work their plan, for they are keenly aware that "luck" is most often being prepared to take advantage of a situation.

 

Hello, Everybody, especially you Newbies! I want to speak directly to you this morning, folks! As we see dozens of people coming through our doors this time of year, We have learned to read those who will be here a Month, 6 Months, even a Year from now! Satistically we're speaking of approximately 6%! But I want to make it clear! This process called Quitting is not a crap shoot! Smoking is but quitting is not! With smoking you have a better chance at Russian Roulette than you do at surviving without a smoking related illness. For those who smoke lifelong the odds become 50/50! But with quitting it's all about your ATTITUDE!  It has nothing to do with "luck" - it has to do with being prepared!So many times one thinks it is a question of will-power! Again, not so! Do you win a sports title, an election, a business adventure, a scholarship through willpower alone? NO! You prepare!

 

Most of us coming here have an inkling that quitting smoking is hard. We've been told that we'll need not just one but multiple NRTS and prescriptions in order to survive the quitting process. They make it sound like an operation or curing an illness!Quitting is neither! Quitting is a lifetime journey based on a daily decision that you make for and to yourself!It starts with the understanhding that I didn't "quit March 14, 2010" - I launched my quit journey! I packed my paraphernalia, cleaned my house, cleaned my mind, washed inside and out (remember the Bible where Jesus speaks of whitewashed tombs?) and left behind my addictive lifestyle while beginning my ADDICTION FREE LIFESTYLE! To this day I might decide to end my journey and buy a pack of sickerettes! By the end of the day I could be a full blown ADDICT all over again! I DECIDE! It has nothing to do with stress! It has nothing to do with luck! It has to do with a simple suicidal decision!

 

So did you ever begin a journey such as assuming a new job or moving out of the country without research? I think the intelligent person can see that it wouldn't be the sensible thing to do! Same here! You can just jump into this thing blindly or you can acquire KNOWLEDGE of Nicotine Addiction! Who do you suppose is "luckier?" Acquire knowledge! We'll even map it out for you:

 

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Thomas3.20.2010-blog/2012/01/03/nicotine-addiction-101

 

http://www.whyquit.com
http://quitsmokingonline.com/
Allen Carr's book - "The Easy Way To Stop Smoking" - free download - http://joga.365.lt/Allen-Carr_Easy-Way-To-Stop- Smoking_Download-free-PDF-EBook

 

 

You can decide to read these or not. AND you can DECIDE to Quit just for today! One day! 24 hours! If you've been cutting back then you're almost there already! So make a commitment to yourself! 

 

I, Thomas, pledge that just for today I will not take so much as one little puff under any circumstances for any reason! I will respect myself enough to honor this pledge NO MATTER WHAT! N.O.P.E. Not One Puff Ever!

 

Then what happens when push comes to shove? That's where preparation comes in! You will reframe the question! No longer may you ask "should I, could I, would I smoke if....." because the answer is simply NO! Ask yourself this: "What can I do instead?" We'll even help you answer the question:

 

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Maggie_quit_8-1-2010-blog/2011/06/10/things-to-do-instead-of-smoking

 

You see, we're here to help because every single one of us was EXactly where you are now and we want you to CHOOSE BREATH NOT DEATH but the DECISION is Yours and your alone!

So you think that the only reason to quit is worry about what your body is going through! One of the biggest surprises for me was to realize just how EXtraordinarily my Life changed for the better! I first wrote this Blog on Day 100 of my Quit and it only has improved since then! 100 days - that's a bit over 3 Months after years and years of self-abuse by means of ADDICTION! Amazing! When things get tough - Keep your Eyes on the PRIZE!

 

These are some of the Gifts that come to mind as I CELEBRATE my QUIT:

(1) I feel more SELF-CONFIDENT because I made a choice to change my self-destructive behavior and followed through.

(2) I feel more HONEST because I am not evading truthfulness about the consequences in order to support my Smoking Addiction.

(3) I feel more SELF-RESPECT because I made a decision to QUIT SMOKING and honored that decision.

(4) I feel more SECURE because I no longer have that constant battle "I want to smoke"vs"I don't want to smoke."

(5) I feel more OPTIMISTIC because I no longer attack stress with another cigarette, I attack it with a constructive plan of action.

(6) I feel more SPIRITUAL because when I called upon my higher power for assistance I felt his/her response.

(7) I feel more DECISIVE because I saw how I can set a goal and accomplish it one day at a time each and every day.

(8) I feel more SELF-AWARE because I sense days or situations of weakness and have a winning back up plan to protect my QUIT.

(9) I feel more INTEGRATED because when my body said "I need...." my mind and spirit responded affirmatively.

(10) I feel more JOY as I experience COLLATERAL KINDNESS and CELEBRATE each and every daily VICTORY over my Smoking Addiction with my BecomeanEx friends!  THANK YOU for CELEBRATING with me!!!!!!

 “Everyday in every way I am getting better and better” by the French psychologist Emile Coué.

 

 

Does the way we see ourselves effect how we speak or does how we speak effect the way we see ourselves? Yes and yes.  It's called psycho linguistics!  It is proving that when you change your mind, your brain becomes neurologically wired in a different way.  Like cussing - people who cuss see themselves differently than people who don't.  People who no longer cuss actually change how they think of themselves. That's just one example of how language changes our brains.  The need to  smoke exists only in the mind.  When we say craving or "i crave a cig" it brings back all kinds of brain connections both mental and physical.  To break the cycle we have to break the language pattern.  If i no longer say "crave"  the energy of that word is taken away.  So I had an inkling or a fuzzy moment or a drat but I don't say  that four (yea I know I can't count) letter word!  I don't say try ( another miscounted 4 letter word) or slip or luck.  They cease to be in my vocabulary and cease to have power!  

Now I put a substitution in place.  It's called an affirmation!  An affirmation is a thought that I choose to make a belief. N.O.P.E. is an affirmation. I choose health and life is an affirmation.  I don't do that anymore is an affirmation. Don't feed the monster is an affirmation.   When I read an affirmation I am engaging my eyes and brain.  When I hear an affirmation I am engaging my ears, my eyes and my brain.  When I read an affirmation out loud I am using many organs ( eyes, ears, throat, mouth etc) and my brain - a VERY effective way to rewire an unspoken thought!  Every day when I get up the first thing I do is read WITH MY VOICE the message next to my bed -- I, Thomas, pledge to myself to NOT ONE PUFF EVER NO MATTER WHAT beginning with today!  I credit this to having very few drats a day and of much less intensity than they might have been!  Today I don't remember even one drat moment!  I also see much more of the positive side of the QUIT than I might have because I BELIEVE I am having a positive quit (Why? Affirmations say that it's true!)   I absolutely know that this quit is for life because I KNOW that SMOKING IS NOT AN OPTION! There is no -  but...If you don't think this helps just give it a try for one day - for 1 day I'll try Thomas' crazy idea!  I'm sure that you will find that it makes a difference!  It sure won't make things worse!  

 

Along these lines I'm starting a new Group which is based on Affirmations!It's called Positive Affirmations for Success! If you have an Affirmation, Scripture Verse, Inspirational saying, please join my group and post your contributions. That way newbies have a single place where they can make their sticky notes and 3X5 cards that will begin the process of changing their Addictive Perspective!


Nicotine is the tobacco plant's natural protection from being eaten by insects. Its widespread use as a farm crop insecticide is now being blamed for killing honey bees. A super toxin, drop for drop it is more lethal than strychnine or diamondback rattlesnake venom and three times deadlier than arsenic. Yet amazingly, by chance, this natural insecticide's chemical signature is so similar to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine that once inside the brain it fits a host of chemical locks permitting it direct and indirect control over the flow of more than 200 neuro-chemicals, most importantly dopamine.

What Are Dopamine Pathways?

 

                                  
Brain dopamine pathways
     
      Brain dopamine pathways    

What is dopamine? It's hard to understand nicotine addiction, or any form of drug addiction for that matter, without a basic understanding of the brain's primary motivation neurotransmitter, dopamine. The brain's dopamine pathways serve as a built-in teacher. It uses a desire, yearning or wanting sensation to get our attention when it wants to pound home a survival lesson necessary to keep us humans alive and thriving.

 

Have you ever wondered why it's so hard to go without eating, to actually starve yourself to death, or for that matter, to die of thirst? Why do we seek acceptance by our peers, want companionship, and desire a mate or sexual relations? Why do we feel anxiety when bored and an "aaah" sense of relief when we complete a task?

Remember the very first time your parents praised you for keeping your coloring between the lines? Remember the "aaah" sensation? That was dopamine, the satisfaction of your wanting to succeed. The deep inner primitive brain (the limbic mind) is hard-wired, via dopamine pathways, to keep us drinking liquids, fed, together (there's "safety in numbers"), while achieving and reproducing.

When we feel hunger our dopamine pathways are being stimulated, teasing us with anticipation "wanting" for food. If kept waiting, the anticipation may build into urges or even full-blown craves. Each bite we eat further stimulates dopamine flow until stomach peptides at last tell the brain we're full and wanting becomes satisfied.

But our brain doesn't stop with simply creating and satisfying wanting associated with species survival events such as eating, drinking liquids, bonding, nurturing, accomplishment and sex. It makes sure that we don't forget them, that in the future we pay close attention to these activities.

The brain associates and records how each particular wanting was satisfied in the most durable, high-definition memory the mind may be capable of generating. It does so by hard-wiring dopamine pathway neuro-transmissions into our conscious memory banks (the prefrontal cortex), where each is linked to the event that satisfied dopamine pathway wanting, hunger and yearning.

 

Drug Addiction's Common Thread

Now ponder this. What would happen if, by chance, an external chemical existed that once introduced into the bloodstream was small enough to pass and cross through the blood/brain barrier (a protective filter), and once inside the brain were somehow able to activate and turn on our mind's dopamine pathway circuitry? Could that chemical hijack the mind's priorities teacher? If so, how long would it take before continuing chemical use resulted in the person becoming totally yet falsely convinced that using more of the chemical was as important as eating food?

The nicotine dependency feeding cycleHunger for food, hunger for nicotine. Food craves, nicotine craves. "Aaah" wanting satisfaction while taking bites, "aaah" wanting satisfaction while replenishing nicotine reserves. Welcome to the addict's world of nicotine normal, a world built on lies. For if we don't eat food we die, while if we stop using nicotine we thrive.

Clearly, I've vastly oversimplified an extremely complicated topic. While dopamine pathway stimulation is the common thread between chemical addictions (including cocaine, heroin, meth, nicotine and alcoholism), my simplified explanation does not explain why users initially continue using the drug prior to a growing pile of dopamine pathway high-definition use memories begging them to use more. Nor does it explain why most regular nicotine users get hooked but not all, or why quitting is often accompanied by withdrawal symptoms.

Although enhanced dopamine flow is associated with all chemical addictions, each chemical differs in how it triggers or enhances stimulation, how long stimulation lasts, and each chemical's ability to produce a different "high" sensation by interacting with other neuro-chemicals and pathways.

Aside from enhancing dopamine flow, nicotine is a legal central nervous system stimulant that activates the body's fight or flight response. This results in an alert stimulated high, which allows us nicotine addicts to feel different or even superior to illegal drug addicts who fill the world's prisons. This despite the fact that this year addiction to smoking nicotine is expected to kill 17 times as many Americans as all illegal drugs combined.

While nicotine stimulates the nervous system, alcohol has the opposite effect in actually depressing it and slowing normal brain function. Heroin's dopamine stimulation is accompanied by an endorphine high, resulting in a short yet intense numbing or analgesic effect. Cocaine's high is a sense of stimulated euphoria associated with delaying normal clean-up (re-uptake) of multiple neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin and nor-adrenaline), while methamphetamine is the maximum speed stimulant.Again, the common thread between each of these addictions is that the brain's dopamine pathways were taken hostage and left the drug addict totally yet falsely convinced that continuing drug use was important to their survival, that their drug gave them their edge, helped them cope and that life without it would be horrible.

What we nicotine addicts could not see was that our beliefs and thinking about that next fix were unworthy of belief. Once hooked it was too late. Dopamine pathway generated pay-attention memories were so vivid and durable that they quickly buried all remaining memory of life without nicotine. Gone were our pre-addiction memories of the calm, quiet and beauty of the mind we once called home.

It's why getting off of drugs is so difficult. It's why half of the smokers we see each day will eventually smoke themselves to death. While their friends and loved ones scream the insanity of their continued self-destruction, their brain dopamine pathways scream even louder that continuing drug use is as important as life itself. Who should they believe, their limbic mind's begging for that next fix, or the outside world's begging for them to stop?Nicotine Dependency a Mental Illness and Permanent Disease

College student holds sign declaring addicted to smoking nicotineI'm sorry but there's simply no nice way to say this. Nicotine dependency, like alcoholism, is a real mental illness and disease. While able to fully and comfortably arrest our chemical addiction, there is no cure. It's permanent. Like alcoholism there's just one rule. Once we're free, just one, using just once and we have to go back. You see, it isn't a matter of how much willpower we have, but how the brain's priorities teacher teaches, how nerve and memory cell highways that recorded years of nicotine feedings have left each of us wired for relapse.

So why are some people social smokers able to take it or leave it, while the rest of us got hooked? Referred to as "chippers," they probably account for less than 10% of all smokers. Jealous? If so and still using don't worry, it's normal. That's what enslaved brains tend to dream about, to want to become like them, to control what for us is uncontrollable.

Being immune to addiction is believed to at least in part be related to genetics. But with up to 90% of daily users hooked solid, spending millions studying nicotine dependency genetics is almost laughable. Before feeling too sorry for yourself, imagine what it's like to be an alcoholic and forced to watch roughly 90% of drinkers do something that you yourself cannot, to turn and walk away. We only have to watch the 10% who are chippers.

Then again, we were each once chippers too, at least for our first couple of cigarettes or oral tobacco uses. There was no urge, desire, crave, hunger or wanting for those first couple of smokes. Nicotine stimulated our nervous system without our brain begging us to come back and do it again. There was no dopamine "aaah" relief sensation, as nothing was missing and nothing in need of replenishment. But that was about to change. Most of us became hooked while children or teens. What none of us knew prior to that first hit of nicotine was how extremely addictive smoking it was. Roughly 26% of us started losing control over continued smoking after just 3 to 4 cigarettes, rising to 44% after smoking 5 to 9.

What we didn't then know was that within ten seconds of that very first puff, that up to 50% of our brain's dopamine pathway acetylcholine receptors would become occupied by nicotine, or that prior to finishing that first cigarette that nicotine would saturate almost all of them.

 

Nicotinic receptor saturationNo one told us that once saturated, that continued smoking would cause our receptors to become de-sensitized, which would somehow cause our brain to grow or activate millions of extra receptors, a process known as up-regulation.

Every two hours the amount of nicotine remaining in our bloodstream declined by half (known as nicotine's elimination half-life). At some point in the process, continued stimulation, de-sensitization and up-regulation left our brain wanting and begging for more. An addiction was born as our brain was now wired to function with gradually increasing amounts of nicotineNot only does nicotine stimulate the release of dopamine within ten seconds of a puff, smoking it suppresses MAO, a dopamine clean-up enzyme. Suppressing MAO allows wanting's satisfaction to linger far longer than a natural release, such as the short lived sensations felt when eating food or quenching thirst.

Battling nicotine dependencyOne cigarette per day, then two, then three, the longer we smoked nicotine, the more receptors that became saturated and desensitized, the more grown, and the more nicotine needed to satisfy resulting "want" for replenishment.

As America's leading drug addiction expert puts it, the NIDA's Dr. Nora Volkow, drug addiction is a disease where brain changes translate into an inability to control drug intake. These drug induced brain modifications then signal the brain with a message that's equivalent to "when you are starving," the signal to "seek food and eat it," that the drug is "necessary to survival," that dopamine pathways ensure "long-lasting memory of salient events."

Our priorities hijacked, our mental disorder having left us totally convinced that that next nicotine fix is as important as life itself, where do we turn once we awaken and realize that we've been fooled?

The Good News

The good news is that it's all a lie, that drug addiction is about living a lie. It's hard work being an actively feeding drug addict, and comfortable Yes you canagain being you. The good news is that knowledge is power, that we can each grow smarter than our addiction is strong, that full recovery is entirely do-able for all. In fact, today there are more ex-smokers in the U.S. than smokers.

While the first few days may feel like an emotional train wreck, beyond them, with each passing day the challenges grow fewer, generally less intense and shorter in duration. Recovery leads to a calm and quiet mind where addiction chatter and wanting gradually fade into rarity, where the ex-user begins going days, weeks or even months without once wanting for nicotine.

Recovery is good, not bad. It needs to be embraced not feared. The good news is that everything done while under nicotine's influence can be done as well or better without it.

"Our brain has tremendous capacity for recovery," says Dr. Volkow. But the addicted person "has to take responsibility that they have a disease."While no cure, there is only one rule that if followed provides a 100% guarantee of success in arresting it -- no nicotine today.

Successful Recovery

Each year, more successful ex-users quit cold turkey than by all other methods combined. Their common thread? No nicotine, just one hour, challenge and day at a time. The common element among all who relapsed? A puff of nicotine.

On a conscious level, roughly 70% of daily smokers want to stop. But few understand how and even fewer appreciate that they're dealing with a permanent priorities disorder and disease of the mind. Instead, they invent justifications and rationalizations to explain why they must smoke that next cigarette.

Subconsciously, you've established nicotine use cues. Those cues trigger urges or craves upon encountering a specific time, place, person, situation or emotion during which you've trained your mind to expect a new supply of nicotine. But the catalyst and foundation for both conscious rationalizations and subconscious conditioning is your underlying chemical dependency.

Trapped between nicotine's two-hour elimination half-life and a gradually escalating need to smoke harder or more, the dependent smoker faces five primary recovery hurdles: (1) appreciation for where they now find themselves, (2) reclaiming their hijacked dopamine pathways, (3) breaking and extinguishing smoking cues, (4) abandoning smoking rationalizations, and (5) relapse prevention.

The Law of Addiction

Most quitting literature suggests that it normally takes multiple failed quitting attempts before the user self-discovers the key to success. What they fail to tell you is the lesson eventually learned, or that it can be learned and mastered during the very first try.

Successful recovery isn't about strength or weakness. It's about a mental disorder where by chance our dopamine pathway receptors have eight times greater attraction to a nicotine molecule than to the receptor's own neurotransmitter. We call it the "Law of Addiction" and it states, "Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance."

Never Take Another PuffRoughly half of relapsing quitters report thinking that they thought they could get away with using just once. The benefit of fully accepting that we have a true chemical dependency and permanent priorities disease can't be overstated. It greatly simplifies recovery's rules while helping protect against relapse.

Key to arresting our disease is obedience to one simple concept, that "one is too many and a thousand never enough." There was always only one rule, no nicotine just one hour, challenge and day at a time.

Navigating Withdrawal and Reclaiming Hijacked Dopamine Pathways

Like clockwork, constantly falling nicotine reserves soon had hostage dopamine pathways generating "want" for more. Sensing that "want" thousands of times per year, how could we not expect to equate quitting The body is nicotine free within 72 hoursto starving ourself to death? Again, the essence of drug addiction is about dependency quickly burying all memory of our pre-dependency self. The first step in coming home and again meeting the real us is emptying the body of nicotine.

It's surprisingly fast too. Cut by half every two hours, our mind and body become 100% nicotine-free within 72 hours of ending all use. Extraction complete, peak withdrawal now behind you, true healing can now begin. While receptor sensitivities are quickly restored, down-regulation of the number of receptors to levels seen in never-users may takeup to 21 days. But within two to three weeks your now arrested dependency is no longer doing the talking. You're beginning to sense the truth about where you've been.It's critical during early withdrawal to not skip meals, especially breakfast. Attempting to do so will likely cause blood sugar levels to plummet, making recovery far more challenging than need be.

As a stimulant, nicotine activates the body's fight or flight response, Drink natural fruit juice during recoveryfeeding the addict instant energy by pumping stored fats and sugars into the bloodstream. It allowed us to skip breakfast and/or lunch without experiencing low blood sugar symptoms such as feeling nervous or jittery, trembling, irritability, anxiousness, anger, confusion, difficulty thinking or an inability to concentrate. Eat little, healthy and often.

Also, heavy caffeine users need to know that (as strange as this sounds), nicotine doubles the rate by which caffeine is eliminated from the bloodstream. One cup of coffee, tea or one cola may now feel like two. While most caffeine users can handle a doubling of intake, consider a modest reduction of up to one-half if feeling anxious or irritable after using caffeine.

If your diet and health permit, drink some form of natural fruit juice for the first three days. Cranberry juice is excellent. It will aid in stabilizing blood sugar while accelerating removal of the alkaloid nicotine from your bloodstream.

One caution. While we need not give-up any activity except nicotine use, use extreme caution with early alcohol use as it is associated with roughly 50% of all relapses.Extinguishing Use Conditioning

Embrace crave episodes don't fear themEmbrace recovery don't fear it. Why fear a temporary journey of re-adjustment that transports us to a point in time where we're going days, weeks and eventually months without wanting to use nicotine?

Each cue driven crave episode presents an opportunity to extinguish additional conditioning and reclaim another aspect of life. We may have trained our mind to expect nicotine during stressful events, when walking in the back yard, while driving a car, talking on the phone or upon encountering another user. Attempting these activities after stopping may generate a short yet possibly powerful crave episode.

Success in moving beyond each episode awards the new ex-user return of another slice of a nicotine-free life, a surprising sense of calm during crisis, return of their yard, car, phone or friends. But be sure and look at a clock during craves as cessation time distortion can combine with fear or even panic to make a less than 3 minute episode feel much longer.

Research suggests that the average quitter experiences a maximum of 6 crave episodes per day on the third day of recovery, declining to about 1.4 per day by day ten. If each crave is less than 3 minutes and the average quitter experiences a maximum of 6 on their most challenging day, can you handle 18 minutes of challenge?quit smoking crave chartBut what if you're not average or normal. What if, instead, you've created twice as many nicotine use cues as the "average" addict? Can you handle 36 minutes of significant challenge if it means arresting your dependency, improving your mental and physical health and the prospect of a significant increase in life expectancy? Absolutely!

Abandonment of Use Rationalizations

Acceptance that drug addiction is a mental disorder and that we're just as addicted as the alcoholic, heroin or meth addict destroys the need for nicotine use rationalizations. Try this. List your top ten reasons for using. Now go back and cross off all the reasons except the truth, that hijacked pay attention pathways kept us wanting for more.

If a smoker, you didn't continue destroying your body's ability to receive and transport life giving oxygen because you wanted to. You did so because a rising tide of withdrawal anxieties would begin to hurt when you didn't.

Convenience store street cigarette ads in Columbia, South Carolina in 2008Contrary to convenience store tobacco marketing, we did not smoke for flavor or taste. In fact, there are zero taste buds inside human lungs. Contrary to hundreds of store "pleasure" signs, drug addiction isn't about seeking pleasure but about satisfying a brain "wanting" disorder.

Our mind's priorities disorder had most of us convinced that we liked or even loved smoking. But what basis did we have for making honest comparisons? Try hard to recall the calm inside your mind prior to getting hooked, going days, weeks and months without once having an urge or crave to smoke. You can't do it, can you? So what basis exists to make honest comparisons about liking the addicted you more than the free you? It isn't that we liked smoking but that we didn't like what happened when we didn't smoke, the onset of withdrawal.

Most of us convinced ourselves that we smoked to relieve stress when in reality our addiction intensified it. While nicotine is an alkaloid, stress, alcohol and vitamin C are each acid generating events that accelerate elimination of nicotine from the bloodstream. Stressful situations would often induce early withdrawal, forcing immediate nicotine replenishment. Replenishment's temporary silencing of our disease left us falsely convinced that smoking had relieved our stress, when all it had relieved was nicotine's absence and the onset of early withdrawal.Think about it. Once we finished tanking-up with a new supply of nicotine and had satisfied our dependency, the car's tire was still flat, or the bad news was still bad. One of the greatest recovery gifts of all is an amazing sense of calm during crisis, as we're no longer adding nicotine withdrawal atop every stressful event.

Probably the most destructive rationalization of all is pretending that all we suffer from is a nasty little habit, that like using a cuss word now and then, that we can smoke just once now and then after quitting and get away with it.

Why tease yourself? Willpower cannot stop smoked, chewed or sucked nicotine from arriving in the brain. Ask yourself, how many marathon runners have the endurance to run two marathons in a row? While we may walk away from one hit and relapse thinking we've gotten away with it, as sure as the sun rises in the sky our disease will soon be begging for more. We can no more take a hit than an alcoholic can take a sip.

"But now just isn't the right time," you say? Frankly, there will never be a perfect time to arrest mental illness. In fact, planning and putting it off until some future date actually breeds needless anticipation anxieties that diminish the odds of success. As backwards as this sounds, two recent studies, one in the UK and the other in the US, found that unplanned attempts are twice as successful as planned ones. The next few minutes are all within our ability to control and each is entirely do-able.

One concern Dr. Volkow hears is that by teaching users that they have a chemical addiction that's both a mental illness and disease, that some will use it as an excuse for avoiding responsibility in arresting it. But as she notes, does a person who's told that they have cancer or heart disease pretend helplessness, or do they instead fight to save and extend their life?

Nicotine dependency recovery can be the greatest personal awakening we've ever known. Destruction of needless fears allow us to savor the beauty unfolding before us. No longer afraid, we're able to notice our breathing improve and savor the richness delivered by rapidly healing taste buds. We discover that white flour and rain drops have smell. It's a clean, ash-free world where the oil on our skin isn't tar's but ours. Imagine the return of self respect, of being home and residing here on Easy Street with hundreds of millions of comfortable ex-users, of knowing it's a keeper, and never having to quit again.Relapse Prevention

image"One day at a time" is a focus accomplishment skill. Why worry about how much of the mountain is left to climb or how far we could fall when all that matters is our grip upon here and now, the next few minutes? Combining the "Law of Addiction" with a "one day at a time" recovery philosophy is all that's needed to remain free and keep our mind's priorities disease arrested for life.

The greatest unsolved mystery is why after having successfully quit for 5, 10 or even 30 years, that it normally only takes a single lapse in judgment - using on just one occasion - to trigger full and complete relapse. To quote from a study released on May 16, 2011, "Nearly all smokers who lapse experience a full-blown relapse."

What makes our disease permanent? Did years of using somehow burn or etch permanent dependency tracks into our brain? Does new nicotine somehow turn on our addiction switch? Once the brain restores natural receptor counts (down-regulates), is some record kept of how many receptors there once were? Or, does one powerful hit of nicotine simply awaken thousands of old memories of an addict having satisfied "wanting" for more?

Frankly, science doesn't yet know. What it does know is that it's impossible to fail so long as all nicotine remains on the outside. There was always only one rule, no nicotine, just one hour, challenge and day at a time. The next few minutes are yours to command and each is entirely do-able. Baby steps to glory. Yes you can!

In your mind, see and treat that first hit of nicotine as if the survival rate is zero. None of us are stronger than nicotine. But then we don't need to be as it is simply a chemical with an I.Q. of zero. It cannot plot, plan or conspire, and contrary to the teachings of the UK's leading cessation educator (whose lessons are otherwise high quality), there is no demon or monster dwelling within us. Our most effective weapon against nicotine is and always has been our vastly superior intelligence, but only if put to work.Nicotine Replacement Products

The key to nicotine dependency recovery is not in dragging out the up to 72 hours of natural detox by toying for weeks or months with gradual nicotine weaning schemes or other creative means to chemically stimulate brain dopamine circuitry. The nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) industry want smokers to believe that a natural poison is medicine, that its use is therapy, and that it is somehow different from the tobacco plant's nicotine molecule.

Truth is, the pharmaceutical industry buys its nicotiana from the exact same growers as the tobacco industry. They want us to believe that double-blind placebo controlled studies proved that NRT doubles a cold turkey quitter's odds of quitting and that only superheros can quit without it. Truth is, their studies were not blind as claimed, and did not involve quitters who wanted to quit cold turkey. Truth is that once again this year, out here in the real world, that more ex-users will quit cold turkey than all other quitting methods combined.

Here are a few facts that those selling creative nicotine delivery devices would rather you not know:

      
  • Placebo controlled NRT, Zyban, Chantix and NicVax clinical studies were not blind as claimed and thus have no foundation in science. Think about it. You cannot hide the presence or absence of withdrawal from users with significant quitting histories, who have become experts at knowing exactly how withdrawal feels. A 2004 review found that NRT studies suffered from wide-spread blinding failures (May 2004). A 2009 study by the inventor of the nicotine patch found that 4 times as many study participants randomly assigned to wear the placebo nicotine patch correctly determined their group assignment as guessed wrong. Placebo controlled quitting product clinical trials do not measure "efficacy," but frustrations.
  •   
  • A nicotine smoker's natural odds of quitting for six months, entirely on their own, without any products, procedures, education programs, counseling or formal support is roughly 10% (June 2000).
  •   
  • Those using the over-the-counter (OTC) nicotine patch or gum as a stand-alone quitting product have about a 7% chance of quitting smoking for six months (March 2003).
  •   
  • Up to 6.7% of OTC nicotine gum quitters are still chronic users of nicotine gum at six months (November 2003). The math makes you wonder if any gum users actually break free from nicotine while chewing it (May 2004).
  •   
  • 36.6% of all current nicotine gum users are chronic long-term users (May 2004).
  •   
  • Studies suggest that you truly would have to be a superhero to quit while using the nicotine patch if you'd already attempted using it once and relapsed. The only two patch user "recycling" studies ever conducted both show that nearly 100% of second-time nicotine patch users relapse to smoking nicotine within six months (April 1993 and August 1995, see Table 3).
  •   
  • The vast majority of long-term ex-smokers quit entirely on their own without resort to any product, procedure or program of any kind including hypnosis, Zyban, Chantix, Champix, acupuncture, magic herbs, laser therapy, or the nicotine patch, gum, lozenge, spray, or inhaler.
  •   
  • The only long-term competition between the nicotine patch and Chantix/Champix produced a statistical draw in the actual percentage of participants still not smoking at both six months and one year (February 2008). If so, why risk serious injury or death using Chantix or Cham   
          
    • pix? Here in the U.S., as of May 19, 2011 the Food and Drug Administration had received 272 reports of completed suicides by Chantix users, Chantix was ranked first among all prescription drugs in reported deaths (more than twice any other drug), and the total number of U.S. reported adverse drug events of all severity surpassed 35,000, with roughly 10,000 of those being serious, disabling or fatal.
    •     
    • Education, understanding, new skills and some form of ongoing quality support can easily triple your odds of success.
    •     
    • Those who refuse to allow any nicotine back into their bloodstream have 100% odds of remaining nicotine free today! (Today, Tomorrow & Always!).
    •    

    Education Is a Quitting Method

    Is it possible to become so educated and motivated that the deep inner mind no longer sees ending nicotine use as a threat, so much so that the body's emotional fight or flight anxiety alarms hardly ever get sounded? Roughly half of quitters report that recovery was far easier than expected. Is it possible to so embrace coming home that fears evaporate and it feels like a cake-walk?

    Did you know that unplanned attempts, which avoid accumulation of self-induced fears, are up to 2.6 times as effective as planned attempts?

    Why wait! Watch or listen to WhyQuit's free counseling sesssions or grab one of our free quitting ebooks and jump in the pool. The next few minutes are all that matter and each is entirely doable. It may not always be easy but it is simple. There was always only one rule ... no nicotine today!

     

       
        John R. Polito   
    Nicotine Cessation Educator   
    July 4, 2011  
Thomas3.20.2010

But I LOVE Smoking!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 3, 2012

Let's pretend -

 

  

WHAT IF I could just smoke without all the crap that comes along with it ... wouldn't that be awesome!

  

Of course, I would still be an ADDICT!  Otherwise I wouldn't be glorifying some dead leaves wrapped in paper!

  

I'd still be spending some $150.00 a month and here I'm complaining about internet costs!

  

I'd still be losing time to go get my FIX - at least an hour and a half every day!

  

I'd still make the smoke a PRIORITY over my work, my family, my friends, and MYSELF!

  

I'd still stink and have ashes and burn holes in my clothes. car. carpet. ALL OVER my home and EVERYWHERE ELSE I would go!

  

WHAT IF I had never smoked a cigarette in my life - a much better fantasy - if that's your thing!

  

Sorry Folks! I like reality a whole lot better!  I'm a Nicotine Junkie but I am NOT UNHAPPY about that because I choose to live a HAPPY SMOKE FREE LIFE and am a better person because of it!

  

THAT'S REALITY!

   

The majority of smokers do not appreciate the risks of their habit, according to new research from the NHS in England, which has launched a new Smokefree campaign to help smokers quit this New Year.

The NHS commissioned research and consulting organisation YouGov to carry out the research. They surveyed 1,000 smoking adults in England between 8th and 12th December 2011.

The results suggest that more than half of smokers underestimate the damage smoking does to their personal health and finances:

      
  • 53% of smokers underestimate how many people die each year from smoking-related diseases by 70,000 or more (actual figures show that in England, over 80,000 deaths a year are smoking-related).
  •   
  • 58% underestimate how many long-term smokers die early because of their habit (actual figures show half of all long-term smokers die prematurely from a smoking-related disease). The majority of smokers do not appreciate the risks of their habit, according to new research from the NHS in England, which has launched a new Smokefree campaign to help smokers quit this New Year.

    The NHS commissioned research and consulting organisation YouGov to carry out the research. They surveyed 1,000 smoking adults in England between 8th and 12th December 2011.

    The results suggest that more than half of smokers underestimate the damage smoking does to their personal health and finances:
       
          
    • 53% of smokers underestimate how many people die each year from smoking-related diseases by 70,000 or more (actual figures show that in England, over 80,000 deaths a year are smoking-related).
    •     
    • 58% underestimate how many long-term smokers die early because of their habit (actual figures show half of all long-term smokers die prematurely from a smoking-related disease). The survey also revealed other misconceptions that could be preventing smokers from quitting. 

      For instance, over a third said they felt too stressed to quit. Another third said they didn't have the willpower to quit, and the rest said they aren't quitting because they had tried before and failed.

      But, the NHS says these misconceptions go against the reality revealed by research: that smoking causes more stress and anxiety than not smoking. And quitting actually reduces stress.

      For example, Andy Parrott, a psychologist of the University of East London, has published research in the American Psychologist that shows the apparent relaxant effect of smoking is only counteracting the tension and irritability caused by nicotine withdrawal, and that far from acting as an aid for mood control, nicotine dependency appears to increase stress.

      Professor Parrot has also reviewed the evidence surrounding quitting smoking and concludes that quitting reduces stress.There is also evidence that you can raise your chances of quitting successfully by using NHS support, and you can boost your willpower with simple exercises, such as those available in the NHS's new and improved Quit Kit, which will be available from participating pharmacies in England from 1 January. 

      The Quit Kit contains advice and tools put together by experts, smokers and ex-smokers to help smokers quit for good. The kit is free, and you can search for your nearest stockist online at http://smokefree.nhs.uk/.

      Milton said:

      "The new and improved NHS Quit Kit is available in chemists who are working with us across England and will give smokers who want to give up advice, information and tools to help them enjoy a healthier 2012."

      Figures from the NHS show smoking is still the biggest cause of early death and preventable disease in England: bigger than the next six causes put together. The total cost of smoking to the NHS is thought to be in the region of £2.7bn a year.

      Around half of all smokers eventually die because of an illness linked to their habit.
    •    

I'm absolutely fascinated by the Blogs I've seen these last few days! I hear people talking about how they "can't"because it's just "too hard!"I can't help but remember my first days of my quit journey 654 days ago! I had just been diagnosed with a chronic progressice illness that's incurable. My life expectancy just went waaaaaay down with one little word. What's more I was convinced that my Quality of Life would really be looooow. In other words, don't expect much from life except pain, suffering, and early death. Talk about STRESS! Please Newbie, don't tell me about stress!!!! And do you know the worst part of it? The personal knowledge that I had done this to myself......with yes, smoking! So I was diagnosed with COPD/Emphysema on March 14 and had my last puff March 19! That's all the preparation time I gave myself! Not weeks.....not Months....not NRTs.....not chantix.... just one tool you folks would be smart to use - KNOWLEDGE! So where did I acquire this knowledge so fast? Right here at BecomeanEX. I didn't join to fool around with slips and relapses. I didn't come here with an "I already know it all" ATTITUDE! I didn't come here with a line about how we are all different and nobody understands me!!!! I came here to be included in the 6% who SUCCEED in their first year of quitting!!! I came here to listen to those who had already achieved what I wanted! I didn't blame them for being too harsh! I listened! Because they had something that I not only wanted - but something I needed!I had a clear cut choice: QUIT or DIE!!! Simple! I humbly asked questions and accepted advice. I did my homework without hesitation! I made friends and exposed my ADDICTIVE SELF to these EXers with integrity and honesty! I let that smoke cloud of distorted thinking lift because FIRST and most important - I kept them away from my face!!!! So my issue was never to smoke or not to smoke!!! My issue was "What do I do instead?" 

Folks, do you really want to wait until you have a smoke related illness before you quit? Or worse, continue to smoke knowing that you are literally killing yourself????Are you even aware that HALF of all smokers will DIE of smoke related illness????? Or do you want to pay attention and follow the road map that has been put right in front of you and shows you each and every step to take if you really want to be in the 6%? No excuses! Keep them away from your face and listen!