You may think that this post is off topic but I do not! When we quit smoking, we like all Addicts find out that we’ve been avoiding much about ourselves by using. Becoming an EX means that we have to “live life on life’s terms” as my EXcellent Friend Diane Joy reminds us! So here are some new coping skills that will help us transition from Active Addict to Authentic Self while maintaining Happiness as well as Health because afer all, what is Health without Happiness?
When I DECIDED to put down the cigs, little did I know that I wasn't just stopping a bad habit, I was STARTING something NEW and Surprising!
I was thinking I loved cigarettes but they were killing me. Still, Quitting is about giving up, sacrificing, depriving myself the one luxury (or vice) I have allowed myself to enjoy! Right? WRONG! SURPRISE!
As I struggled to fight the Mental Battle of Addiction I discovered FREEDOM - I am FREE to be the ME that my Creator intended me to be! I gave up absolutely NOTHING of Importance and Gained - Well, EVERYTHING ABUNDANT and BEAUTIFUL about Self-RESPECT and Self-LOVE that can only lead to HAPPINESS, JOY, and FUN!
Do I live in a Pink Cloud? I don't BELIEVE that - I FEEL - Passionately - sadness, anger, desire,fear as well as happiness, love, joy, ALL MY FEELINGS that were numbed by my addiction and hidden under a SMOKE CLOUD! So which do I prefer? A pink cloud or a smoke cloud? If this is a pink cloud - I'll TAKE IT!
What I DO KNOW - it's REAL LIVING! My name is Thomas and I have 1440 Smoke FREE DAYS of NEW LIFE!
We don't have to be ready to make a change to actually make a change. Think of all the ways you have used this as an excuse to procrastinate on one thing or another.
For example, I'm just not ready to clean my closets. First, I don't have the boxes and bags needed to accomplish this task (and, yes, I am aware that these are available in a variety of stores, large and small, for a small price, so no need to remind me). Second, I just don't feel mentally ready to deal with the chaos, the mess, the sorting and deciding what to keep and what to toss and, frankly, until I am, there's just no point in doing it.
Is this working at all? My Wife says it's nonsense!
Whenever we talk about making a lifestyle change, there's an implication that you have to be Ready to Change or maybe that you should be READY TO CHANGE. I guess I've always believed that, that we're supposed to be ready to make a change in order to quit smoking, but what scientists have discovered is that your willingness doesn't always predict how successful you’ll be in getting started or even how well you'll stick to a program.
In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, EXperts spent some time debunking myths about obesity, one presumption being that we must be ready to change. But, after looking at five weight loss trials with almost 4,000 participants, they found that people lost weight regardless of readiness.
They make an interesting point, suggesting that, "...people voluntarily choosing to enter weight-loss programs are, by definition, at least minimally ready to engage in the behaviors required to lose weight." And if you are reading this, then you are minimally aware that smoking doesn’t fit into your lifestyle as well as it used to and are ready to engage in behaviors required to free yourself from Nicotine Addiction.
I think a lot of us use this as an EXcuse to procrastinate. “I’ll quit some day, I’m just not ready to go on that diet or start exercising or quit smoking. I just don't feel ready to organize the closets and take out the garbage.
The fact is, we can start exercising or changing our diet or planning our quit smoking program or...ahem...clean out the closets whether we're ready or not. We'll get the same results and, often, the action comes before the desire. In fact, just taking a small action - Taking that walk, eating that apple, logging into BecomeanEX, buying those boxes and trash bags is an act of willingness, isn't it?
What do you think? Do you use 'readiness to change' as an EXcuse to procrastinate a change you need to make or a task you should do?
Over the last year, Kansas Poison Control received two dozen calls about e-cigarette poisoning; almost half of those cases were children.
E-cig liquids come in hundreds of flavors including bubblegum, peach and gummy bear. Many of which are appealing to children.
“Children of toddling ages are very curious and want to look at everything, smell everything, taste everything,” Tama Sawyer said, Director of Poison Control at KU Medical Center.
Sawyer said if kids get into the e-liquid and drink enough, it could be fatal.
“Generally they vomit so quickly they would get rid of most of what they had in their stomach but they would still need to be seen in an emergency room because we don't know if they got it all up or not,” she said.
Kansas area hospitals received 24 cases of e-cigarette poisoning in 2013, 11 of those were children.
Many e-cigarette users said these alternatives helped their health and ended their smoky odor, but people often don't realize how much nicotine they're inhaling.
Dr. Brian Barash specializes in addiction in children. He's most concerned about the accessibility of e-cigs.
“If you walk into a shopping mall or a movie theater, there have been many reports about schools; these kids have e-cigarettes in their hands,” Dr. Barash said.
He’s also concerned about how easy it is for children to hide the fact that they use them.
“Because kids are probably using these things right under our very noses,” he said.
"We inhabit ourselves without valuing ourselves, unable to see that here,
now, this very moment is sacred; but once it's gone its value is
incontestable." --Joyce Carol Oates
Hello, fellow Exers and wannabes! When was the last time you thought about that Breath that you're taking right now and remembered to Thank your Creator that you were given that chance? Now is a Good Time! Take a nice long breath all the way down into your belly, purse your lips and very sloooowly exhale! As you exhale just think in your mind Thank You Father for this Breath of Life! We are so fortunate to have the Gift of LIFE! It's our responsibility to guard and Protect that Gift! We do that each and every day that we DECIDE to live Smoke FREE!!! We honor Our Creator by choosing to live the way He intends for us to be - Addiction FREE! That's how Valuable YOU and I are to Him! Choose Breath not Death! Just for today live Smoke FREE with GRATITUDE!
Here’s a sobering statistic about the tobacco epidemic –a battle many Americans think is already won: If we continue at current smoking rates, 5.6 million children alive today will ultimately die prematurely from smoking. That’s one in 13 kids gone too early due to an entirely preventable cause. That is unacceptable.
That’s why we are asking every American to join our efforts to make the next generation tobacco-free.
Today, we are at a crossroads. In the past 50 years, we’ve more than cut the adult smoking rate in half from nearly 43% down to 18%, and we've reduced 12th grade students' smoking rate to 16% in 2013 from a high of 38% in 1976. Yet nearly 500,000 Americans die of smoking-related disease each year. What’s more, the tobacco epidemic costs us nearly $300 billion in productivity and direct medical costs annually. I believe a tobacco-free generation is within our reach, but it will take commitment from across the spectrum – from federal, state and local governments, but also from businesses, educators, the entertainment industry and beyond.
Already, we are seeing leadership from the private sector. This month, CVS, the second largest pharmacy chain in the country announced it will no longer sell tobacco products. In doing so, CVS it is at once reducing access to these harmful products and helping to make smoking less attractive.
We know that consumers, especially children, are influenced by pro-smoking messages when they shop in stores that sell tobacco products. This includes the display of cigarettes behind the register known as the “power wall.” For young people, “power walls” help shape cigarette brand awareness and the sense that smoking is normal and accepted.
In multiple ways, CVS’s decision will have impact. I applaud this private sector health leader for taking an important new step to curtail tobacco use. I hope that other retailers will take up this pro-health mantle.
The stakes are high. Each day, more than 3,200 youth under age 18 in the United States try their first cigarette, and another 700 kids under age 18 who’ve been occasional smokers become daily smokers. I am thrilled that earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration launched its first national tobacco education campaign,TheRealCost.gov. The campaign is targeting on-the-cusp youth: the 12 to 17 year old kids who are open to smoking or have experimented with cigarettes, but are not regular smokers.
But creating a tobacco-free generation cannot start and end with our youngest citizens: working toward this goal begins in the present, and reaching adult smokers is essential.
In that light, I’m very pleased the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has started the third season of their impactful Tips From Former Smokers campaign. The 2012 Tips series alone prompted an estimated 1.6 million smokers to try to quit, resulting in more than 200,000 additional calls to 1-800-QUIT-NOW, and helped at least 100,000 smokers quit for good.
I am inspired by the ongoing work that is necessary to drastically reduce smoking rates in our country. Whether it’s other retailers following CVS’ lead, more colleges and universities joining the 2,000 schools that are part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative (tobaccofreecampus.org), or movie studios taking tobacco use and imagery out of youth-rated films, I encourage new partners to help us stop the cycle of sickness, disability and death caused by tobacco. Victory will require bold action. What will you do to help make the next generation tobacco-free?
Thank You, my Dear EX-Family, for giving me the lift I need to see through the pain. Yes, I did many things over the years to myself that if I could have the wisdom of a mature adult I would not have done. However, God in His Mercy also gives us opportunities that come from our mistakes beginning with the opportunity to learn and grow. We have to seize the opportunity and it will transform into a miracle. For me, that’s what you, my BecomeanEX Family is – a miracle.
Because of all of you and the people before you, some of whom have been reclaimed my Our Maker, I have been able to free myself from slavery. Because of you, I have been able to halt the damage of a progressive lung disease. Because of you I have listened and learned to so much daily wisdom about LIFE itself! Because of you I have been able to share my worst pain and my deepest joys along with a bit of info, support and advice. Because of you I have more purpose in life. That is the miracle for those of us who have eyes to see and ears to hear the Glory of the Almighty in His everlasting LOVE for us!
Next time I doubt I will go back again to those beautiful scriptures Matthew 6:25-34
Do Not Worry
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I will go back to that beautiful tribute from Ecclesiastes 3:
A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
I will be at Peace with myself and with my friends, yes, but also with my enemies! For I know that “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered!” And yet, HE LOVES ME unconditionally!
How do I see through the "You did this to yourself" line? Somebody threw that at me and it struck me to the core! I can't seem to shake it off! Any suggestions?
Have you noticed that some of us seem to have a smoother time getting through those first challenging weeks of our Quit Journey? Often they’re the folks on the true Quit Journey for LIFE! I call this mind set Quititude!
Quititude doesn’t just come naturally – it’s a learned behavior! That’s good news! If I can learn it, I can acquire it! Some of us learn at different rates or in different ways but we all have the ability to learn!
Here are some suggestions that might help you with your quititude:
As often as possible throughout your day, take a moment to celebrate an activity or a thought related to your new smoke FREE status such as, " I love how delicious my food is tasting," "I love how wonderful the air is smelling," "I love the compliments and support I get from the people in my life," or "I love this brand new day of smoke FREE living." These sincere reflections of appreciation immediately will bring you into perfect alignment with the Creator of your Being and enhance your Values.
When you acknowledge these gifts and EXpress your Appreciation for Smoke FREEDOM, you will begin to change energetically, and it will influence every aspect of your Quit Journey. By practicing Quititude, you begin to have a relationship with the true essence of who you are and everyone who is within your sphere will benefit from your appreciation, even the naysayers! As you accept support graciously, more support comes your way!
By living with an awareness of Quititude, you are open to appreciating the element of Love in all things beginning with your Divine Source and yourself. As it touches every area of your life, it cultivates well-being and happiness, and when expressed around others, it brings about an increased level of peace, optimism, confidence and empathy. Quititude is not only a great virtue for successful addiction recovery, but the person who exhibits Quititude will benefit many people around them.
How do you cultivate a sense of appreciation every day? Just by saying the words “Thank You” out loud, you fortify and grow more Quititude! Work at practicing and remembering to give thanks and gratitude as often as possible and even plan it into your daily routine. Every morning, before getting out of bed, Thank God for another Smoke FREE Day! While going about preparations for the day send out an intentional thought of Gratitude for Recovery. Let the Universe know that you are grateful and appreciative for letting you have another opportunity to learn, understand and perhaps influence another person and hopefully change a life for the better.
How can you grow by incorporating Quititude into your daily agenda? First, it enables you to acknowledge the positive aspects of your quit, whether it is clean living, health or even opportunities to view something from a different point of view. It can assist you in putting things in perspective. When you have a negative thought such as "I really wish I could smoke right now," Quititude can spin that thought into "I am happy that I don’t have to smoke in order to deal with life on life’s terms." Whenever you look at quitting as hard and difficult, instead think of it as exciting and challenging. Start to perceive obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow, and change and improve.
When you emanate an attitude of Quititude, it is the same vibration as the energy of Love. When you practice a mindset of appreciation, you will let go of doubt and fear and live in the presence of everything that feels right and good. The act of giving thanks will make you feel good, and this feeling is your soul's way of letting you know that Abundant Smoke FREE Living is how you really are meant to live. As you live with Quittitude, your view of the World and yourself will completely change and your circumstances, situations and relationships are forever altered.
When you practice Quititude, you see everything in your life as a miracle and you become aware of how many opportunities and possibilities are before you. You look at the things that are rich and positive instead of poor and fearful. It strengthens your body, mind and soul, and you will begin to attract those situations and people into your life that are also positive and soul-enriching.
Look around you today and acknowledge everything about Living Smoke FREE for which you are grateful. And give Thanks to the Almighty!
Medscape spoke with Mitch Zeller, JD, Director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products:
Medscape: Can you speak a little more about electronic cigarettes? E-cig use by students in grades 6-12 has essentially doubled in the past few years, and there are many unanswered questions regarding their safety. Can you speak specifically about concerns regarding the use of e-cigs by teens and, for that matter, adults? Are there specific plans to address their use?
Mr. Zeller: The reality is that the marketplace for e-cigarettes today is what I would call the Wild, Wild West. We do not regulate them, but we have announced our intention to create that regulatory framework. Until we do, we need to monitor the behaviors that are going on in the marketplace and better understand the products, and we are funding a lot of research to get a better handle on the safety and the toxicity profile of these cigarettes. We want to answer 2 fundamental questions about behavior: Who is using e-cigarettes, and how are they being used?
What is going on with currently addicted adult smokers of conventional cigarettes? Are they completely switching to e-cigarettes, or are they engaging in what we call "dual use" -- continuing to smoke some combusting cigarettes while also using e-cigarettes? If that dual-use behavior is going on, does that mean that addicted adult smokers who might otherwise have been more motivated to quit are losing that motivation, because now they can use e-cigarettes as a bridge to get from their last burning cigarette to their next burning cigarette?
We have a lot of questions about the products and behavior at the population level. We're funding the research to try to get those answers. The bottom line is that we do not currently regulate e-cigarettes, but as I mentioned, we have submitted proposed regulations. This is all as a result of a court decision, so let me provide a little more historical context and then put it in terms of the statutory definition.
In 2009, the FDA took an enforcement action against e-cigarettes and tried to prohibit the import of e-cigarettes from abroad on the grounds that they were unapproved drugs and devices -- unapproved nicotine delivery products. One of the importers sued the FDA and actually won in both the Federal District Court and the Federal Court of Appeals.
Here is what the court ruled. It sounds a little counterintuitive, but when you understand the definition of a tobacco product, hopefully it will make some sense. The court ruled that as long as an e-cigarette product is not making a therapeutic or cessation claim, which would put it squarely under the drug and device laws of our statute, the only way that that FDA can regulate e-cigarettes is under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Here's the counterintuitive part: E-cigarettes do not contain any tobacco, so how could 2 courts rule that that is the only way that the FDA could regulate them?
They ruled that way because of the definition of a tobacco product under the law. The definition is, basically, anything that is made of or -- and here are the key words -- derived from tobacco. And it turns out that all of the nicotine in e-cigarettes is derived from the tobacco plant. The companies are not manufacturing or synthesizing nicotine. They are deriving nicotine in the same way that nicotine-replacement therapy products come up with nicotine.
It's on that basis that the courts ruled. And the FDA has announced the intention to create the regulatory framework under the tobacco authorities to regulate the manufacture, sale, and distribution of e-cigarettes.
ATLANTA (CBSMiami/AP) — Health officials have begun to call “end game” on cigarette-smoking in America.
They have long wished for a cigarette-free America, but shied away from calling for smoking rates to fall to zero or near zero by any particular year. The power of tobacco companies and popularity of their products made such a goal seem like a pipe dream.
But a confluence of changes has recently prompted public health leaders to start throwing around phrases like “endgame” and “tobacco-free generation.” Now, they talk about the slowly-declining adult smoking rate dropping to 10 percent in the next decade and to 5 percent or lower by 2050.
Acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak last month released a 980-page report on smoking that pushed for stepped-up tobacco-control measures. His news conference was an unusually animated showing of anti-smoking bravado, with Lushniak nearly yelling, repeatedly, “Enough is enough!”
“I can’t accept that we’re just allowing these numbers to trickle down,” he said, in a recent interview with the AP. “We believe we have the public health tools to get us to the zero level.”
This is not the first time a federal health official has spoken so boldly. In 1984, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop called for a “smoke-free society” by the year 2000. However, Koop — a bold talker on many issues — didn’t offer specifics on how to achieve such a goal.
“What’s different today is that we have policies and programs that have been proven to drive down tobacco use,” said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “We couldn’t say that in 1984.”
Among the things that have changed:
—Cigarette taxes have increased around the country, making smokes more expensive. Though prices vary from state to state, on average a pack of cigarettes that would have sold for about $1.75 20 years ago would cost more than triple that now.
—Laws banning smoking in restaurants, bars and workplaces have popped up all over the country. Airline flights have long been off-limits for smoking.
—Polls show that cigarette smoking is no longer considered normal behavior, and is now less popular among teens than marijuana.
—Federal officials are increasingly aggressive about anti-smoking advertising. The Food and Drug Administration launched a new youth tobacco prevention campaign last week. At about the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention debuted a third, $60-million round of its successful anti-tobacco ad campaign — this one featuring poignant, deathbed images of a woman featured in earlier ads.
—Tobacco companies, once considered impervious to legal attack, have suffered some huge defeats in court. Perhaps the biggest was the 1998 settlement of a case brought by more than 40 states demanding compensation for the costs of treating smoking-related illnesses. Big Tobacco agreed to pay about $200 billion and curtail marketing of cigarettes to youths.
—Retailing of cigarettes is changing, too. CVS Caremark, the nation’s second-largest pharmacy chain, announced last week it will stop selling tobacco products at its more than 7,600 drugstores. The company said it made the decision in a bid to focus more on providing health care, but medical and public health leaders predicted pressure will increase on companies like Walgreen Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to follow suit.
“I do think, in another few years, that pharmacies selling cigarettes will look as anachronistic” as old cigarette ads featuring physician endorsements look today, said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.
These developments have made many in public health dream bigger. It’s caused Myers’ organization and others to recently tout the goal of bringing the adult smoking rate down to 10 percent by 2024, from the current 18 percent. That would mean dropping it at twice the speed it declined over the last 10 years.
The bigger goal is to reduce U.S. smoking-related deaths to fewer than 10,000, from the current level of 480,000. But even if smoking rates dropped to zero immediately, it would take decades to see that benefit, since smoking-triggered cancers can take decades to develop.
But while some experts and advocates are swinging for the fences, others are more pessimistic. They say the key to reaching such goals is not simply more taxes and more local smoking bans, but action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate smoking.
A 2009 federal law gave the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products. The law barred FDA from outright blocking the sale of cigarettes, but the agency was free to take such pivotal steps as prohibiting the use of appealing menthol flavoring in cigarettes and requiring cigarette makers to ratchet down the amount of addictive nicotine in each smoke.
But nearly five years after gaining power over cigarettes, FDA has yet to even propose such regulations. Agency officials say they’re working on it.
Many believe FDA’s delay is driven by defense preparations for an anticipated battery of legal and political challenges.
A spokesman for Altria Group Inc., the maker of Marlboro, said the company supports FDA exercising its regulatory authority over tobacco products. But as a whole, the industry has tended to fight regulation. Some of the nation’s largest tobacco companies — though not Altria — sued to stop FDA-proposed graphic warning labels on cigarette packs. A federal court blocked the ads.
“The industry makes money as long as they can delay regulation,” said Kenneth Warner, a University of Michigan public health professor who is a leading authority on smoking and health.
Warner and Michigan colleague David Mendez estimate that, barring any major new tobacco control victories, the adult smoking rate will drop from its current 18 percent only to about 12 percent by 2050. If health officials do make huge strides, the rate could drop as low as 6 percent, they think.
But Lushniak said zero. Will that ever happen?
Some experts doubt it. As long as cigarettes and other combustible tobacco products are legal, it’s likely some people will smoke them. Efforts to prohibit them are likely to fail, they say. (Remember Prohibition?)
“It’s hard to do a ban on cigarettes because you’re taking something away from people they have and are using. Once you have something, you hold tight,” said Richard Daynard, a Northeastern University law professor who focuses on tobacco issues.
Better, he said, to bar people from having a product in the first place. He is intrigued by legal efforts in Singapore and a handful of other countries to ban sales of tobacco to anyone born after a certain year — 2000, say. That would be constitutional, he said. The question is: Would our culture accept it?
Probably not, said Ruth Malone, editor-in-chief of the scientific journal Tobacco Control.
“In our culture, we tend to think we have a right to things even if they’re terrible for us,” she said.
A growing number of experts believe the most promising option is to get people to switch voluntarily to something else, like electronic cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that provide users with aerosol puffs that typically contain nicotine, and sometimes flavorings like fruit, mint or chocolate. They’ve often been described as a less dangerous alternative to regular cigarettes. But there are few studies exploring exactly what chemicals are in them, and in what concentrations, and whether those levels are harmful.
They’re controversial: Some experts believe that at a time when cigarette smoking has finally become passe in popular culture, e-cigarettes may re-glamorize puffing away in public places. Cigarette sales could surge.
“It could go in either direction,” said John Seffrin, the American Cancer Society’s chief executive officer.
But if the FDA can ratchet down nicotine in conventional cigarettes to levels below what’s in e-cigarettes, perhaps everyone who clings to smoking will switch to the higher-nicotine new products. That could achieve the end of smoking, at least of combustible, carcinogen-filled cigarettes — or so the thinking goes.
In the past, “the country really wasn’t ready” to walk away from cigarettes,” Daynard said. “I think the country’s ready now.”
Data from popular smoking cessation app shows patterns on when smokers try to quit
The wide popularity of New Year’s resolutions suggests that people like tying personal change to a calendar event.
It seems we feel a new year is a good time for a new us, but do we feel similarly about a new month or a new week?
Evidence from 83,969 users who downloaded Smoke Free – Quit Smoking Now, between February 27th and 2nd December 2013 suggests that we do.
Smoke Free is a smoking cessation app that prompts users to complete a diary of their cravings over the past 24 hours. In addition, half the downloaders are randomly assigned to an experimental condition where each day for 31 days they are challenged to complete a mission designed to help them fall out of love with smoking, manage their cravings and recast themselves as a proud non-smoker. As such, it may be the first randomized control trial of smoking cessation performed with an app.
Looking at the aggregated data, we found several surprising insights that we share here in the hopes that we can guide others in the effective development of apps promoting healthy behavior change.
One interesting insight was when users tend to set their quit dates. Quit dates were most frequently set for the start of the week, with more set on a Monday than on a Friday and Saturday combined. The effect is even more pronounced when looking at quit dates throughout the month; more than double were set for the 1st than for any other day.
However, this doesn’t mean the 1st is also the most popular day of download, as the data also reveals that people are much more likely to seek out the app after they’ve begun their quit attempt. More than a quarter set a quit date up to seven days in the past compared with only 9% who set one up to seven days in the future. In total, 42% of people said their quit date was prior to the download date and only 15% said they were yet to start.
Whether this is because people don’t want an app to help with change preparation (as opposed to executing the change) or whether it’s that they don’t expect an app to serve this purpose is uncertain. It may also be that individuals are not aware of available tools, something which that may suggest that healthcare professionals are not making app recommendations.
What’s more clear is the value they find after this point, with a large number of the reviews on the iTunes store talking positively about the calculators indicating money saved, cigarettes not smoked and health improvements made. If we assume that patients are in theaction stage rather than in a preparation or contemplative stage, then apps should be tailored to that frame of mind. Perhaps apps that focus on giving people a sense of progress could help people maintain the kinds of lifestyle changes that smoking cessation, weight loss, exercise uptake and alcohol reduction entail.
Again, these are some of our observations as we look to continue to improve Smoke Free – Quit Smoking Now. Please share your own findings, observations, and thoughts below – learning from the experiences of others can help guide the development of better apps that drive healthy behaviour change for our patients.
Stressed out, bored or simply craving that nicotine fix – smoking is usually a solution to all of these problems. But did you know that in order to beat that boredom you are slipping down the unending crevasse of death. How you ask? Here is what smoking does to your health and eventually causes cancer, right from when you light up to when you exhale.
Your first drag:
1. Whether you light your cigarette using a matchstick or a lighter, the first puff is the most damaging. The smoke emitted from the match and the cigarette form a strong cocktail that can leave the mucous lining in your nose damaged.
2. Apart from that the heat from the cigarette affects the skin on your face and most importantly around your nose and mouth. The heat causes your lips to darken, leads to wrinkles and the appearance of age spots. Another reason for darkening of a smokers lips is the fact that the tar in the cigarette tends to adhere to the lips, soon staining them.
3. Not to mention the constant pouting and sucking that one has to do in order to take a puff also leads to what is known as a smoker’s pout. Where when you pout you will see the appearance of fine lines around the lips – something that does not happen in non-smokers.
What the smoke does to the insides of your mouth:
4. When the smoke is inside your mouth, the tar starts to coat the enamel of your teeth, discolouring them.
5. The heat from the smoke also damages the cells in and around your mouth, and in some cases leading to a change in their DNA – causing mutations. Once inside the mouth the tar and other chemicals affect all parts of your oral cavity.
6. The chemicals present in a cigarette are numerous and they form a coat your tongue, palate and the inside of your cheeks. It deadens your taste buds, hyperactivates your salivary glands and eventually blocks them, leading to a lack of saliva in your mouth. That is also one of the reasons smokers need a drink of water after a smoke.
7. The tar and chemicals also coat the roof of your mouth, leading to a condition called the ‘smoker’s palate’ where the roof of your mouth gets coated with a whitish residue with small red spots protruding from it. These protrusions are actually the opening of ducts of glands present on the palate.
8. Smoking also kills the good bacteria within your mouth, giving way to bad breath and a condition called oral thrush.
9. It also leads to gum disease, discolours your gums – turning them black, leads to cavities and causes oral cancer. This is mainly because the heat combined with the chemicals in smoke tend to damage cells leading to mutations and change in their DNA. This change may affect either their mechanism of multiplying in a uniform manner or the one that stops their multiplication.
10. Smoking also affects your olfactory system (nose) leading an eventual loss in your ability to smell.
When the smoke enters your throat:
11. Once you start to inhale the smoke, it first hits the back of your mouth or the beginning of your throat, this place is packed with blood vessels that immediately contract. It also affects the mucosal cells lining this part of your throat, eventually deadening them. This can lead to infections, excessive dryness and irritation. One of the commonest complaints a smoker has is that they feel an itchy sensation at the back of their mouth. This is due to the irritation and dryness of this region.
12. Once the smoke travels lower down your throat it causes irritation and in some people the need to cough. According to experts the formaldehyde and acrolein abundantly present in cigarettes are primary reasons for throat irritation smokers experience.
13. Apart from that cigarette smoke also causes changes in one’s voice. Commonly seen as hoarseness of the voice, it is mainly because of the effect the chemicals have on the vocal chords. Another reason for this is the constant clearing of one’s throat, commonly seen in smokers.
14. Smoking can also cause throat cancer. This is because the constant irritation of the lining of the throat combined with the erosion and damage of the cells lining the throat leads to a change in the way the cells form and regenerate.
When it enters your trachea or wind pipe:
15. Trachea is the pipe that leads to your lungs. It is lined with tiny hair like processes (called cilia) that help throw out any foreign objects. These cilia get damaged by the smoke of cigarettes and tend to function less optimally. It also leads to itchiness in the trachea leading to what is called the smoker’s cough.
16. Smoking can also lead to irritation of the larynx and laryngitis (infection of the larynx)
It also affects your oesophagus:
17. Smoking affects your food pipe as well. The chemicals and heat from the smoke tend to affect your oesophageal sphincter muscle. This is the muscle responsible for keeping the contents and acids in your stomach from rising back up into your throat. The weakening of this muscle is one of the main reasons for GERD (Gastro oesophageal reflux disease), acidity, ulcers and other stomach ailments.
When it enters your bronchus and alveoli:
18. This where the cigarette smoke does the most damage, that is slow, progressive and deadly. Cigarette smoke attacks the cleaning mechanism of the respiratory system that is guided by cilia and mucous. The cilia moves the mucous that has trapped foreign object like dust, bacteria etc and throws it out of the body. In a smoker these cilia tend to get paralysed and eventually die. Smoking also causes an increase in the amount of mucous produced, and since the cilia can no more function and throw out the mucous, a person develops a smoker’s cough.
19. Apart from that the cells along the bronchioles get damaged and tend to multiply abnormally. These cells cause the hardening of the outer surface of the bronchioles and leads to lesser ability to exchange gas with the microscopic air sacs (called alveoli) present around them. Eventually these air sacs burst and lead to what is known as emphysema. A common condition seen in long-term smokers.
20. Smoking also leads to a buildup of tar within the bronchioles. This coupled with the thickening of its walls leads to breathlessness, wheezing, fatigue and in some cases dizziness.
21. Cigarette smoke also contains carbon monoxide. This is a potentially lethal gas since it attaches to the haeme (iron) part of your blood and does not allow it to carry oxygen to other organs. Inhaling too much of this gas can kill you. In cigarette smoke carbon monoxide leads to lack of oxygen in the body, which eventually effects all your organs. It not only sets off the roller coaster of events leading to cancer it also starts the process of eventual decay of your organs — starting from your mouth to your brain, kidneys, liver, digestive system and blood.
When you exhale:
22. When you exhale the entire process is repeated and all the chemical, smoke, tar etc deposited along your airway is doubled.
23. Apart from all the damage it causes on your body, smoking also leads to various other problems like cardiovascular disease due to plaque formation, constriction of blood vessels leading to vascular disorders.
24. Smoking also causes loss of bone density leading to conditions like osteoarthritis, loss of teeth and joint paints.
25. It also affects your skin by reducing the effects of antioxidants in your body by releasing free radicals, depleting collagen below your skin and causing wrinkles, oedoema and stains your fingers and nails.
So, the next time you light up that cigarette, think about what your body goes through to support your habit.
If you have smoked more than 100 sickerettes in your lifetime (and who hasn't?) PLEASE tell your Doctor that you need a Spirometry Test!
Clinicians may be missing the chance to diagnose early-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the vast majority of cases, investigators suggest.
A retrospective review of data on nearly 39,000 patients seen by general practitioners and specialists in the United Kingdom showed that in the 5 years immediately before a diagnosis of COPD, 85% of patients had symptoms, examination findings, or test results that may have heralded early signs of COPD, say Rupert C.M. Jones, MD, from Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry in the United Kingdom, and colleagues.
"We suggest that a case-finding approach should be modified to include: all patients older than 40 years with a diagnosis of asthma and who currently smoke; all smokers older than 40 years who have a lower respiratory prescribing event; and follow-up of existing recommendations for smokers aged older than 40 years with any respiratory symptoms, especially if they are male," the investigators write.
Although the study, published online February 13 in Lancet Respiratory Medicine, looked only at patients treated in the United Kingdom, the findings are likely applicable to the United States, according to Professor Chris van Weel, MD, PhD. Dr van Weel, who wrote an accompanying editorial, holds joint appointments at the Australian National University in Canberra and Raboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
"The under-diagnosis of COPD is a universal problem in most, if not all, countries in the world," Dr. van Weel told Medscape Medical News. "The paper of Jones highlights the diagnostic problem: symptoms are initially insidious and may fluctuate over time. And from my earlier research, it is also clear that patients 'adapt' their daily activities (less physical activities) and therefore may underplay or even become unaware of their symptoms."
He notes that that the problem is not an easy one to solve because the early symptoms of COPD may get lost against the background of comorbidities and differential diagnoses.
"The physician, and in particular the family physician in primary care, has to pay attention to other possible diseases that might cause these symptoms: pneumonia, heart failure, lung cancer. The 'low key symptoms' and the need of applying a broad diagnostic scope together cause what Jones and his colleagues called the 'missed opportunities' to diagnose COPD," Dr. van Weel noted.
In the United States, where there are frequent breaks in the continuity of care, the problem of tracing the missed opportunities identified by Jones et al is likely more acute than in either the United Kingdom or the Netherlands, where primary care practitioners more closely manage and coordinate patient care, he added.
The investigators agree: "For health-care systems outside of the UK that are less focused on primary care—eg, in the USA—implemention of mechanisms to enable clinical information to be shared with family doctors is essential if diagnosis of COPD is to improve," they write.
20 Years Before
The investigators combed through records of 38,859 patients aged 40 years and older, treated in the United Kingdom from 1990 through 2009, who had a coded diagnosis of COPD in their primary care records and for whom there were a minimum of 3 years of continuous practice data for COPD and records of at least 2 prescriptions issued since the diagnosis.
They found that clinicians missed opportunities for diagnosis in 32,900 (85%) of the patients in the 5 years immediately preceding the diagnosis of COPD. They defined a missed opportunity as a consultation for lower respiratory tract problems, lower respiratory tract consultations resulting in a prescription for antibiotics or oral steroids, or chest radiography not leading to a COPD diagnosis.
In addition, both primary care practitioners and specialists missed the diagnostic boat in each of four 5-year spans in the 20 years before a COPD diagnosis. For example, among 379 patients diagnosed in secondary care, 25 (6.6%) had 1 or more hospital admissions in the 5 years before diagnosis compared with 457 of 38,480 (1.2%) diagnosed in primary care ( P < .0001).
Women were more likely to be underdiagnosed than men, receiving fewer chest radiographs in the year before diagnosis and having more hospitalizations within the 2 years immediately preceding a COPD diagnosis, the authors found.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —A growing number of teenagers are smoking a highly potent form of marijuana – virtually undetected – with no smell and no way for anyone to know they’re breaking the law.
And the trend could be causing an increasing number of explosions in the Sacramento area, including the one of a Rancho Cordova apartment complex in January.
“The whole building had to be evacuated and basically rendered dangerous,” said Sgt. Lisa Bowman, of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies believe a drug lab was set up in the bathroom to make a more potent form of marijuana known as hash oil, honey oil, dabs or earwax.
It contains 75 percent THC, the chemical that induces the high.
But what’s now getting the attention of law enforcement is how teenagers are ingesting this pot.
“It doesn’t really have a smell to it. Obviously, if you’re holding (the smoke) in, there’s no way to tell. People just don’t know. You can do it … and no one will really notice,” one teenager told KCRA 3. He did not want to be identified.
The teen said he smoked e-cigarettes – also known as “vape pens” or “trippy sticks” – and used the homemade hash oil he got from friends.
“It got to the point where people were making it a lot more," he said. "And then you were ‘dabbing’ a lot more, in bigger quantity."
What’s concerning isn’t just how much the e-cigarettes resemble pens, but also how easy it is to fill the removable cartridges with hash oil.
“This is how it is with the adolescent culture of drug use," said Jon Daily, a drug addiction specialist with Recovery Happens Counseling Services. "They’re always creating something new that is under the radar. New terms, new slang, new ways of using it.
“We don’t know who is going to have a psychotic break. We just know there’s a lot of it going on."
He continued, “patients are smoking it, and then losing control. They're hearing things. They're seeing things. They actually go to their caregivers and say, ‘I think I'm going crazy. I need help.'"
Yet, it’s nearly impossible to catch users.
“It’s completely odorless," Bowman said. "It doesn’t have an odor that would normally alert me as a law enforcement officer that there’s marijuana."
Although minors can’t purchase e-cigarettes at places like Walgreens or head shops (which sell them to adults), the sticks are easy to get online.
Assemblymember Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, introduced a bill weeks ago that would ban the Internet sales of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to Californians.
Businesses would be exempt.
“It makes sense to me to do what we can to protect our young people and make sure they don’t get introduced to this habit, this addiction," Dickinson told KCRA 3.
[My Son told me about this yesterday and I looked it up - Thomas]
Smoking Cessation EXpert Lou Ryan:
Ryan believes the ultimate solution is to approach the problem differently. “There’s no doubt it’s time for us to end our nation’s smoking epidemic,” says Ryan, “But if we want to win that battle we need to first understand that physical nicotine addiction is not the main issue. If it was, nicotine replacement therapy wouldn’t have such dismal success rates.” To make his point, Ryan references a 2010 Penn State study that documents the success rate for nicotine replacement therapy at just six percent. “The real culprit in tobacco addiction is literally in the mind—a specific thought process that creates the urge to smoke. The underlying issues can be a bit complex, but let me explain in simple terms.”
“A smoker was not born a smoker,” continues Ryan. “They actually taught themselves to become a smoker by repeating their smoking ritual over and over again. By doing that, and without even realizing it, they embedded in their subconscious mind a powerful emotionally-charged thought process related to smoking. And now every time that thought process is triggered – perhaps in a moment of stress or boredom, perhaps by a drink or the smell of a cigarette – it creates the urge to smoke.”
“But that’s not where it ends,” Ryan adds. “The more the smoker fights the urge to smoke, the more powerful it becomes. It keeps coming back again and again, stronger and stronger each time, until eventually it becomes so intense that it’s impossible to resist. It sweeps over their entire being, completely overwhelming them to the point that they just have to light up—no matter how strong their willpower is. That’s why most smokers find it impossible to ‘stay quit’ even if they are on nicotine replacement therapy.”
Ryan says that more than three decades of feedback from former smokers have convinced him that focusing on changing the cognitive process is by far the most effective approach to smoking cessation. “That’s because when it’s done correctly it fixes the root of the problem. The result is sustained behavior change from within, without the need for willpower.” Study data support Ryan’s viewpoint. As shown in the Penn State study, most smoking cessation treatments have less than a 10 percent success rate. By comparison, Cognitive Behavior Therapeutic approaches come in at 38 percent – almost four times higher.
Retrain your Brain and you gain your FREEDOM!
Survey shows Americans need a refresher course on heart health
Is there a specific gene that helps determine your risk for heart disease? What are the signs and symptoms of a heart problem? Does fish oil help prevent heart disease?
If you find yourself baffled by these questions, you’re not alone. A recent survey conducted by the Cleveland Clinic found that many Americans are misinformed when it comes to heart health and, as a result, aren’t taking the steps necessary to guard off future heart problems. Health Day reports on the survey results:
Although 64 percent of Americans have heart disease or know someone who does, 70 percent of Americans are unaware of all the symptoms of the condition, the researchers found. Less than a third were able to identify unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances and jaw pain as a few of the possible signs of heart disease.
Meanwhile, Americans also have their vitamin facts wrong. Although there are no vitamins that can promote heart health, the survey found that 44 percent of Americans think vitamins can lower cholesterol and 61 percent wrongly believe that vitamins or supplements can help prevent heart disease.
Even fish oil supplements do little to prevent heart disease, the researchers said. Still, 55 percent of Americans believe taking the recommended daily dose of fish oil can ward off the condition. The researchers also cautioned that seafood could be just as high in cholesterol as red meat. The survey showed, however, that only 45 percent of Americans are aware of this.
Americans are also not up to speed on sources of sodium. When it comes to salt, about 32 percent of people wrongly believe that cheese is the biggest culprit, the survey found. Just 24 percent of Americans were aware that bread products typically have a higher salt content.
The survey also showed that almost 60 percent of Americans think there is a heart disease gene that helps determine their risk for the condition. Scientists have not yet identified any such gene.
In recognition of February being American Heart Health Month, Stanford Hospital & Clinics is issuing weekly challenges to help you take the first steps toward a lifetime of better heart health. Visit the hospital’s website and Facebook page or follow @StanfordHosp on Twitter to learn more about heart disease and ways to keep your heart healthy.
Read this and take the quiz to test your heart knowledge!
As you age, your body undergoes many different changes. Many people believe feeling more short of breath is a normal sign of aging, but according to The Lung Association, it isn’t. If you experience shortness of breath, it could be a warning sign of an underlying health condition. The fact is you could be experiencing life with emphysema and not even know it yet. Here’s more on the topic from The Lung Association.
In addition to shortness of breath, other indicators that you’re living life with emphysema include:
• Wheezing breaths
• A barrel-shaped chest
• Fatigue and tiredness
• Unexplained weight loss
If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible. Ask for a spirometry test, which measures how well you move air in and out of your lungs. This is the main test used to diagnosis emphysema and other lung diseases.
It may take some time to adapt to the thought of life with emphysema, but rest assured that many people live for many long, healthy years after being diagnosed. The severity and progression of your disease is likely to be smaller if you:
• Received an early diagnosis
• Quit smoking right away
• Receive the right medical care and treatment
• Have no other serious health problems
Keep in mind that life with emphysema is about more than simply experiencing symptoms of the disease. As it progresses, it can cause other complications, such as:
• Recurring respiratory infections, including the flu, common cold and pneumonia
• High blood pressure in the lungs that can lead to a condition called pulmonary hypertension
• A strained and enlarged right heart, which can lead to heart failure
Being diagnosed with emphysema is not all doom and gloom. The best ways to control your symptoms and reduce complications is to learn ways to enjoy a happy and productive life with emphysema, despite the limitations it presents.
"It is possible to fail in many ways...while to succeed is possible only in one way" - Aristotle
We're here to show you how to succeed with smoking cessation. Everything you need to know is right here for FREE!
When you get tired of trying to prove that there's another way, come back and listen, learn and participate. The door is always open!
TODAY is a Great Day to LIVE Smoke FREE!
Scientists from the Roswell Cancer Park Institute in Buffalo, NY, have announced the findings of two studies respectively looking at evidence on "thirdhand" exposure to nicotine from e-cigarettes and the accuracy of e-cigarette product labels.
Scientists from the Roswell Cancer Park Institute in Buffalo, NY, have
announced the findings of two studies respectively looking at evidence on
"thirdhand" exposure to nicotine from e-cigarettes and the accuracy of
e-cigarette product labels.
Sales of e-cigarettes ("electronic cigarettes") - where nicotine and other
cigarette-associated substances are inhaled in a vapor through a
battery-operated device - have doubled each year since 2008 in the US.
E-cigarettes are not currently regulated by the US Food and Drug
Over the past couple of years, various studies have analyzed to what extent
e-cigarettes may or may not be harmful to both the smoker and other people.
Medical News Today reported on a 2012 study finding that, although
e-cigarettes contribute less to indoor air pollution than traditional
tobacco cigarettes, they are "not entirely emission-free," and so bystanders
may be exposed to the released vapor.
That study also criticized the labeling of e-cigarettes, commenting that the
inadequate or vague information on the content of the products made it
difficult for smokers to know the potential dangers of the contained
E-cigarettes and thirdhand smoke risk Examining the issue of bystanders'
exposure to nicotine from e-cigarettes, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute
(RCPI) researchers studied the extent to which e-cigarettes left a nicotine
residue on indoor surfaces. This residue is often referred to as "thirdhand
To do this, the scientists vaporized the contents of three different brands
of e-cigarette inside a special chamber. The floors, walls, windows, wood
and metal surfaces of the chamber were then individually checked for
In three out of four of these experiments, the researchers found varying but
significant increases in nicotine residue, with the floor and windows of the
chamber retaining the highest amounts of residue.
How accurate is the product labeling of e-cigarettes? The second study from
the RCPI team assessed how accurate the product labeling of e-cigarettes is.
The researchers analyzed the contents of 32 e-cigarette refill solutions and
compared their findings with the claims made by the product manufacturers in
their labeling information.
e-cigarettes and refill packs
In e-cigarettes, nicotine and other substances are inhaled in a vapor
through a battery-operated device.
They found that the nicotine concentration of 1 in 4 products differed by
more than 20% from what the amounts advertised on their labels. Nicotine was
also found in some refill solutions that were labeled as being
"Research conducted by Roswell Park scientists provides a valuable
contribution and insight into the content and marketing of e-cigarettes,"
says Andrew Hyland, PhD, chair of RPCI's Department of Health Behavior.
"This science can inform health policy organizations as they determine
e-cigarette regulations, which can and should include smoke-free policies
and standards for accurate labeling," he adds.
"The public health community agrees that more scientific inquiry is needed
to understand the potential health impact of e-cigarettes," adds Dr. Maciej
Goniewicz, who presented the findings of both studies at the annual meeting
of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco on February 8th, 2014.
Dr. Goniewicz adds:
"These studies add to the growing body of scientific evidence that will help
to define and delineate a product that is broadly used indoors and is
advertised and sold without restrictions."
Smoking changes us, and those changes happen gradually, over a long period of time. In fact, the personality shifts we experience due to nicotine addiction are so subtle; most of us don't realize our cigarettes are responsible for them.
Anxiety is a common problem among smokers. I had my fair share of it throughout the last few years I smoked. I thought my tension was the result of my increased pressures and responsibilities. I thought it was a "natural" part of aging, in fact. It wasn't until I quit smoking that I began to understand just how much addiction had influenced my belief in myself and self-esteem.
Nicotine addiction taught me a lot of things, none of them good. It taught me to avoid dealing with life by hiding behind a smoke screen. When something stressful happened, what did I do? I lit a cigarette so I could think it over, of course. By the end of the cigarette, I often decided to let go of whatever it was, which sometimes was not a good choice. Smoking taught me to avoid, and avoidance breeds tension. I was teaching myself to settle for less by not dealing with life head on.
Smoking taught me that I was weak. I felt powerless to quit. As much as I hated smoking, I thought I couldn't live without my cigarettes. And there was that nagging worry in the back of my mind that I was killing myself, one cigarette at a time. I was in a constant state of subtle turmoil. It was such an awful way to live, but I settled for it for a long time. Nicotine addiction does that to a person.
The blinders finally came off and I quit smoking. Why? The tension in my life created by smoking had become unbearable. That's what it took for me to quit and to stick with the recovery process until I was free. And so I began my journey to freedom.
That journey has taught me a boatload of lessons, some of them hard, but worthwhile nonetheless. One that stands out at the top of the list sounds simple, but the impact on our lives if we take it to heart is profound. It is this:
Smoking is a way of settling for so much less than you deserve. It's self-destructive behavior that tends to trickle to other areas of your life. Once you quit smoking, positive changes start to happen.
When I smoked, it didn't seem to make much difference whether I was exercising and eating a healthy diet or not. I knew I was poisoning myself 20 times a day. Now, making the most of what I have by living healthfully has become a positive focus in my life. I won't settle for less.
Relationships have shifted somewhat as well...some have been let go and others I nurture more. As a smoker, I tolerated more than was good for me at times, but not anymore. Life is too short, and I just won't settle for less.
Quit meters show us the amount of life saved, but they can't properly indicate the quality of life saved. You have to read between the lines of your quit meter to see that one, but it is there, and it's one of the best benefits of quitting. It's proof of a new way of living...of not settling for less.
Smoking cessation brings the value of our lives into sharp focus. It has given me the tools and the belief in myself to make changes successfully in any area of my life that I choose.
One day at a time...it works. Persistence and patience and time -- they're your path to a smoke free future and a better way of life.
When we realize that we are dealing with an addiction, we have opened our eyes to the quit journey!
Quiting is more than just not smoking - it is recovery from addiction! Recovery means the process of reclaiming something lost! So what did we lose when we got hooked on nicotine? I would surmise that we lost our true God-given Selves!
No pill, patch, e-cig, or other device can give that back to us! Only we can get that back by going to the source of our being - Our Creator! We must forgive ourselves and ask HIS forgiveness for the sacrifices we have made for the sake of our drug - Nicotine!
I sacrificed my body, my mind, my spirit, my soul to a dried up dead leaf wrapped in paper and dipped in thousands of deadly chemicals! One by one, I have to reclaim each of these!
That takes time! I didn't just wake up one day and say, "I think I'll forfeit all that makes me special to an addictive substance!" NO! It took time - little by little giving up more and more of myself! And I won't get all of that back overnight, either!
I need to be diligent, careful, focused, determined! And I need to be PATIENT! In the end, I will be recovering/reclaiming LIFE ITSELF!
So what if I'm grumpy for a few days! What's at stake is ME! And my Family and True Friends can only want that for me and more than willingly put up with my rascibility!
The GIFT is Abundantly Truthful Living! I can't let myself settle for anything less!
It's time to let go of the past and put on a NEW PERSPECTIVE! This quit will be different because you know you are not being deprived of anything of importance! You are not sacrificing - you are gaining! You are reclaiming YOURSELF - that person that your Creator intends for you to be - Addiction FREE! You are FREE to make a BETTER CHOICE!
We didn't get addicted with the first cigarette that we smoked so which one was it? The 100th, the 237th? Who knows - at some point we crossed the line and forfeited our right to choose to smoke or not to smoke - it became an addict's necessity.
That's why the quit has everything to do with reclaiming my choice. Did I choose to smoke that last cigarette or was I compelled to feed my addiction? Obviously, I had NO CHOICE AT ALL! I DID make a choice on March 20th, 2010 that I would not smoke that day NO MATTER WHAT! On March 21st I made an equally binding choice. Today, the 1422nd day of my quit I chose N.O.P.E.(Not One Puff Ever) and N.E.F. (Never Ever Forget)
By recognizing my choice about smoking or living FREE - Nicotine Addiction FREE, I honor the POWER of CHOICE. I have made other important choices, too, such as changing careers, nutrition and exercise. I have a saying that if you think you don't have a choice - well then, YOU DON'T! Making that life changing choice to live Smoke FREE helped me see those other choices that benefit my Health and Happiness because I learned something fundamental from my quit journey!Namely, I have the Right and the Responsibility to CHOOSE MY ATTITUDE, to choose my words, even my thoughts and feelings, and especially my ACTIONS!!!
I've heard folks argue that "This is me!" when they carry on with negative attitude and behavior. "I am respecting who I am." Well, I say, I have a choice to make. I can honor who I was yesterday and yet CHOOSE to feel better about myself, the world, and life in general TODAY!!! If I was disgruntled and resentful or depressed and pessimistic yesterday - fine, that was me yesterday! But it doesn't have to continue to be me TODAY! I DO have a choice!
I choose to LIVE LIFE ABUNDANTLY! I choose to see all the beauty and ugliness but to FOCUS on the Beauty! I choose to feel sad, angry, lonely, happy, playful, fascination, etc... but embrace the Happy! I choose to spend my energy on folks who wish to see me flourish and grow and accept my wish that they do the same. I choose to be constructive not destructive when I deal with challenges. I choose to count my blessings not dwell on my losses. I have that CHOICE because I am FREE - FREE of my Addiction - FREE to be ME - the ME that I believe my Creator expects me to be - THRIVING, GROWING, JOYOUS, APPRECIATIVE of this Gift of Life!
So with this 1422nd cigarette not smoked I CHOOSE TODAY to Pledge N.O.P.E. and N.E.F. and I will RESPECT myself enough to HONOR that decision NO MATTER WHAT! I CHOOSE to PROTECT my ability to CHOOSE! I hope you do the same!
I LOVE MY CHOICE!
If you are tired of trying out all the conventional methods to quit smoking but have been unsuccessful, check out some of the news ways, they might help you out.
Ways as easy as this
1. Break your hands: This will work unless your body is too flexible to allow you to smoke by holding cigarettes with fingers of your feet, most probably you will not smoke for a month due to plastered hands.
And it’s a well established fact that if you continue following a routine for a month, it becomes a habit. Therefore, by the time your plaster is removed, chances are high that you would be a non smoker.
2. Add few drops of chloroform in your cigarette: This trick is very effective for chain smokers. Each time you try to smoke a cigarette, you will fall asleep for at least for 4-5 hours.
This will introduce a healthy interval between smoking sessions, which will eventually demote you from a chain smoker to normal smoker category. Increase the quantity of chloroform if you want bigger demotion.
3. Chain yourself to your office chair: This for office-goers who are habituated of taking a break after each hour just to smoke. Chain yourself to your office chair as soon as you reach the office and give the keys to your boss. Keep a bottle nearby, just in case you need to pee.
If you have rigorous working hours as that of software engineers, it will bring down your cigarette consumption substantially.
4. Quit coffee: If you are a coffee addict, and want to quit smoking, quit the coffee first. For this kind of smoking addicts, coffee and cigarette complement each other, and one is incomplete without the other. Once you are done with coffee, you will quit smoking automatically.
5. Get bad memories associated with smoking: Getting into problem on regular basis due to your smoking habit might force your to quit it permanently. Getting fined more often by smoking in no-smoking zone, or trying to burn down your bed accidentally while you are drunk are some of the things you could try and associate your smoking with.
6. Live with your parents: This suggestion is based on a survey conducted by a magazine on 1000 young working professionals and students who live away from their parents. All the survey participants accepted a sharp fall in number of cigarette smoked per day, when they visited their parents. Fear of getting exposed that they were smoker, was the main reason behind this drop.
7. ‘Slap me, if I am smoking’ – get it tattooed on your forehead: This will give anybody freedom to slap you, in case they find you smoking. Fear of getting slapped will certainly stop you from smoking around your office, with friends, and at other public places.
8. Increase your smoking rate and try to get asthma as fast as possible: Once you come to know that your are suffering from asthma or any other such lung disease because of your smoking habit, you will quit it as if it’s a child’s play.
9. Realize that smoking causes corruption: Higher taxes are levied every year on cigarettes and tobacco based products. Remember that every time you smoke a cigarette, you give money to the government. And most probably that money is being siphoned off in some scam. Therefore, smoking causes corruption. Quit smoking to help the government get rid of corruption. If you smoke, you are corrupt.
If none of these work, then pay attention to what we're saying here and learn how you can succeed for LIFE!
Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snow flake
— M.B. Ray
I like Living Smoke FREE!
I like getting up and stretching, going for the coffee pot and putzing through my morning routine with my Wife without having to rush outside for that morning Fix! When I get out of the shower, I smell fresh and clean and I have confidence that it will last all day instead of smelling like an ashtray! When I brush my teeth I see them white, my tongue pink, my breath fresh.
I love doing my EXercises without worrying about my workout buddies smelling smoke on me or wondering why I sneak out in the middle of my workout time to stand in shame outside around the corner and hopefully out of sight!
I love visiting elderly and very young relatives as well as picking up a cat for a lap sit or petting a dog without worrying about doing them harm with the third hand smoke that clinged to my clothes, hair, hands, even my face!
I like mealtime because I really truly taste my food for the first time in years. I have real conversations with my meal partners, be they family, friends, or coworkers. I can easily focus on the moment instead of having my mind hijacked by my next after-dinner fix.
I enjoy my alone time with true mindfulness. Mindfulness isn't something that an Addictive Mind can actually EXperience for long - they have to get back to their addiction - soon!
I enjoy my together time with folks - when I leave them after a nice visit, it's a genuine see you soon not motivated by having to get back to my precious!
I feel great at work because I focus on my work while I'm there - not my next break! I relax on my break because I don't have to eat in 15 minutes "so I'll have time to step outside!" I relate well with people in a direct nonaddictive way! I deal with problems rather than smoke them away. I have much more patience for challenges and use determination and focus to get through tough situations. I clock out satisfied that I gave my best every minute of the shift.
I like getting ready for bed and prayer and meditation time when I reflect on my day, on my loved ones and prayer list friends, when I converse with my Creator! I do it with honest integrity, with a sense of accomplishment, with the certainty that living
Smoke FREE is the only way for me to BE!
Shared Grief is half the Sorrow
but Happiness when shared is Doubled!
Life often brings us to a crossroads of choices and it can be confusing as to where to turn. Somewhere along the way I have turned down many a blind alley and wound up in a few ditches. I think that's human.
But then there came a time when I read and took in what M. Scott Peck was actually communicating in his book, The Road Less Traveled. I've read and reread at different times the message but it seemed to apply to other luckier people not to me until I realized that he wasn't writing this book for the fortunate - you know the type who get upset when they break a fingernail!
Tommy 4 years ago came here to this Community and captured what we are all about and why we are successful in quitting smoking! Smoking is destructive and we do it to ourselves so even if we didn't set out to do it or even recognize what we were doing we had actually been self-destructive which destroys our self esteem!
When a cigarette is our Best Friend then people aren't, are they? But when we quit, we have to reintegrate into the human Community and Tommy calls that sincere, caring give and receive relationship "Collateral Kindness"! It isn't just a nice little bonus of quitting successfully-it's a requirement of learning how to become that Ex-Smoker we aim to be.
We learn to share our grief, not with a dead leaf wrapped in paper and dipped in 4000+ deadly chemicals but with real life flesh and blood human beings (YOU and ME!) We also learn to spread our JOY not just about our Milestones and Triumphs of beating the Addiction that lives in us but in all aspects of living - of how Happily we CAN live if we DECIDE to!
Before we know it we find ourselves being kinder to Family members, Coworkers, the Clerk at the grocery store, even folks who are not so kind to us! But going through life Addiction FREE and Happy doesn't mean that our days are always without grief - it just means that we are more open to Compassion both in the giving and reception so that we know that when Life gets painful - and it will, at times- we know that we are not alone and lonely with our killer cigarettes as our only comfort!
The more you give- the more you receive! Let's be there for each other because that's what works about this Community!
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! i call it Quititude!
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!
David L. Katz, MD, MPH, director, Yale University Prevention Research Center and president-elect, American College of Lifestyle Medicine
"Tobacco is a pernicious scourge, and needs to be banished from the human experience. We clearly need to deal constructively with established tobacco addiction, but it is time to put cigarettes out of the reach of kids altogether so no child ever again gets hooked."
It’s no surprise, then, that recent studies have suggested that the early signs of COPD are that people are less physically active or become very out of breath when they exercise. But what about smokers who don’t have COPD? Does smoking affect their ability to exercise? Or is the relationship between smoking and exercise more complicated than that? For example, do smokers simply ‘feel’ less like exercising?One of the many ways smoking causes harm is by damaging thelungs and causing lung disease. For example, about 9 in 10 people who have a serious lung disease called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are, or have been, heavy smokers.
This study compared 60 smokers with no breathing problems with 50 people who didn’t smoke and who were of a similar age, sex, and physique. All the people in the study wore a machine called a step-counter (a pedometer). It recorded how many steps they took over six days. This was used as a measure of how physically active they were.
The researchers also tested how well people’s lungs were working, and how far they could walk in six minutes on a treadmill. Finally, the people in the study completed a questionnaire about their health and quality of life.
People who smoked walked fewer steps in an average day (7,923) than people who didn’t smoke (9,553). The researchers say the fact that smokers were less physically active could be explained by their other findings. People who smoked weren’t able to breathe as well, and weren’t able to walk as far in the six-minute walk test. Smokers were also less motivated to exercise than people who didn’t smoke.
People who smoked had a poorer quality of life and were more likely to have anxietyor depression than people who didn’t smoke. However, the researchers couldn’t say what may have come first - whether people became depressed or anxious because they smoked, or if they smoked because of their anxiety.
Both smokers and non-smokers who weren’t physically active (who took less than 8,000 steps a day) could walk about the same distance in six minutes on a treadmill. But people who smoked felt more tired at the end of the test.
This study used some reliable methods. Using pedometers to measure people’s average amount of physical activity is generally more reliable than using questionnaires. And testing how well people’s lungs worked is more accurate than relying only on asking people how out of breath they feel. But we can’t draw too many conclusions about the effects of smoking from such a small study.
The researchers say this is the first study to find that people who smoke are less physically active than people who don’t smoke even before they develop lung problems or lung diseases. The results suggest that even smokers who don’t have lung diseases like COPD may already have some lung damage that reduces their ability to exercise. Then there is the question of motivation: it may be that some people smoke because they are unhappy or anxious, and that makes them less likely to exercise. A small study like this one can’t answer all these questions, but it does raise some interesting ones.
If you would like help to stop smoking, your doctor or practice nurse will be happyto help.
More information is coming out daily about the hazards of e cigarettes as the FDA decides if and how to regulate the industry. The newest releases explain how ultra fine particles of tin, copper, nickel, and silicates (a form of glass) are inhaled directly into the lungs not only by the person vaping but the bystander as well.
Silicosis is a disease leading to COPD that has a history with construction workers (from insulation) and manucurists (from fake finger nail coatings.) The microscopically small pieces of glass are inhaled into the lungs and make tiny tears in the alveoli of the lung tissue. Air leaks out of the lungs and symptoms include severe disabling shortness of breath, cough, weakness, and weight loss, often leading to death.
Inhaled metals can not just tear holes in your lungs, (as if that weren't enough!) they also travel through the blood stream to vital organs and damage everything in their wake! Check out Metal fume fever, for example.
E cigarettes may actually turn out to be even more risky than Sickerettes!
Have you "tried your best to fight the craves and can't seem to win?" Are you sitting there scratching your head about what went wrong and feeling like you can "never win?" I'll tell you something I learned Thanks to the Elders who helped me launch the adventure of my lifetime - Smoke FREE Living!
I came here like most of us not knowing anything about Nicotine Addiction and was told to read and I did! It really helped but there was this guy who I thought was goofy (Thank Goodness I now know that he was spot on!) His name is James and his moniker is the Happy Quitter! ....Say what? what's there to be happy about? Strong, yes! Determined, yes! Stubborn, fierce, a fighter! But happy??? As I thought about it, something really clicked and the light bulb came on!
I had been fighting the Nico-Demon with willpower! What could be more effective than that? But I was missing the essential...The Nico-Demon is ME!!!!!
So when I was fighting myself, how could I win without losing??? And guess what, the loser had been the part that wanted to be FREE! You can't be FREE when you're fighting!!!!
This fellow James had something - something I really, really wanted! he was not just Quit - He was Happy being Quit!
So how do you handle the craves if you don't fight??? What do you do instead?
There's a fellow here named Tommy who repeatedly told me to use Focus and Determination. Could I combine these 2 great pieces of advice? Think about Focus for a minute....
When you focus with determination instead of fighting with determination, the whole picture changes! I had changed my perspective! The Nico-demon became more blurry, less important and the object of my Focus increased in POWER - the POWER to WIN! And what was that very important object of my FOCUS?
KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE! FREEDOM!
FREEDOM from the Chains of Addiction!
FREEDOM to be the ME that my Creator made me to be!
FREEDOM from pain, suffering, illness, devastation!
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize and ignore the Nico-Demon - but don't fight Him because HE IS ME! Just Focus on the Prize! Will He scream for attention? Oh yea! But when you ignore Him long enough, He loses energy - your Energy is on your Prize! And He gets weaker....and weaker...and weaker...and becomes a little bitty gnat that once in a great while bugs you but you easily have the POWER to swat Him back into His place ...so tiny! So worthless!
AND YOU WIN!
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for those suffering from COPD, Asthma, Emphysema and other respiratory diseases.
How do we vanquish our fears and fight our personal demons successfully? Should we fight them at all?
It certainly takes spiritual fortitude to face your fears and battle your demons but is warring the best way to victory?
Whether you believe in literal demons who breathe fire from hades or not, you most likely face personal demons that seem just as formidable as if they were in third-dimensional form. Among those energies / collective thought form entities that can appear overwhelming and bigger than we are stands fear, doubt, worry, shame, guilt and rage.
I've learned I can almost gauge my ability to transmute and evolve as a spiritual being on any level, by how often I am facing personal demons.
How you choose to approach fighting demons says a lot about the path you are choosing as spiritual being as well. Though it may feel as if there really is only one way to victory, there are different ways of healing and transforming.
One of the most overlooked ways to work through our fears is through those who challenge us. Those who push our buttons the most may also prove to be our best spiritual teachers.
Acceptance as a Warrior Approach:
Another way of fighting our demons without fighting lies in the way of accepting what is and releasing resistance to the present moment.
Note that starting with nonresistance and acceptance was not my way initially.
Accepting my reality, when that reality was painful and undesirable seemed the last thing I'd ever do, for a long time.
Acceptance and non-resistance as a way to overcome fears and face personal demons seemed to be admitting that a wrong situation was ok. It took a while for me to realize that wasn't what was being said at all in embracing the present moment with self-responsibility.
The idea of accepting the presence of a situation within which I was suffering or accepting the presence of a person whose actions resulted in pain for me, seemed to be a type of defeat that would leave me helpless and forever vulnerable.
Seeking to avoid feeling weak and vulnerable, I fought against this idea of surrender into what is. I fought it for a long, long, tedious time.
In other words, I fought against not fighting my personal demons. The need to resist them was stronger than my ability to see another way; the fear of not resisting them was stronger than the faith of having support to walk thru them.
I guess I may have kept fighting except for a situation that so completely slammed me that I had nothing left with which to battle anything.
I collapsed, because I had no choice.
I surrendered out of lack of energy to do anything else.
In the stillness that followed, nothing happened for what seemed an eternity but was only 3 months in linear time. I was not yet surrendered completely; my mind had gone numb as a defense mechanism of the ego.
When my soul decided that's enough of that, the situation and pain and person came rushing back into awareness and I had a choice to make.
This time, I did something different - nothing. Instead of raising back up to do battle, I simply recognized that I owned this situation. I had called these people to me and chosen to co-create this situation. Realizing this, I realized something else ....
I had to stand and fight in the only way that really ever works. I had to let the situation be what it was, let each person be who they were, and still be who I was, in it.
At that moment, I finally understood that the only way to stop this situation from recurring was to fully get it. Know my part in it. Be with the effects of it til I realized what it was in me that drew it.
I realized that fighting demons outside myself would never work. The reality was that my personal demons originated with me and could only really be conquered on the inner ground of my consciousness.
I often hear people saying here to claim their own quit but don't concern yourself with Family Members or Roommates! And I cringe! Here's why:
Exposure to surfaces and objects that have been saturated in cigarette smoke, labeled as “third-hand smoke,” is just as deadly as smoking the cigarette itself.
A new study from the University of California, Riverside finds that the third-hand smoke that has soaked into the surfaces, objects and environment around people becomes increasingly toxic over time. Third-hand smoke is defined as the second-hand smoke that is allowed to settle on objects in any environment. Non-smoking children, co-workers, spouses and friends of smokers breathe in such carcinogens left in rooms exposed to smokers.
“We studied, on mice, the effects of third-hand smoke on several organ systems under conditions that simulated third-hand smoke exposure of humans,” Manuela Martins-Green, a professor of cell biology who led the study, said in a statement to UCR Today. “We found significant damage occurs in the liver and lung. Wounds in these mice took longer to heal. Further, these mice displayed hyperactivity.”
The researchers note that smoking tobacco remains a worldwide cause of serious health threats for smokers and nonsmokers alike, affected approximately 1.5 billion people globally.
The study published in the journal PLOS ONE finds that third-hand smoke persists in houses, hotel rooms and other living spaces long after smokers move out. The mice exposed to third-hand smoke in the lab showed variations in multiple organ systems and excreted levels of a tobacco-specific carcinogen similar to children exposed to secondhand smoke. Wounds healed more slowly and the liver was negatively impacted.
“The latter data, combined with emerging associated behavioral problems in children exposed to second- and third-hand smoke suggests that with prolonged exposure, they may be at significant risk for developing more severe neurological disorders,” Martins-Green told UCR Today.
Contamination of surfaces in smokers’ homes exposed the mice to nicotine levels consistent with smoking itself.
“More recently we have found that exposure to third-hand smoke results in changes that can lead to type II diabetes even when the person is not obese,” Martins-Green said. “There is still much to learn about the specific mechanisms by which cigarette smoke residues harm nonsmokers, but that there is such an effect is now clear. Children in environments where smoking is, or has been allowed, are at significant risk for suffering from multiple short-term and longer health problems, many of which may not manifest fully until later in life.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Cigarette smoking causes an estimated 440,000 deaths each year in the U.S., which is about one-in-five deaths. The CDC notes that smoking causes more deaths annually than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries and firearm-related incidents.
CDC data shows that exposure to secondhand smoke has “immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and can cause coronary heart disease.” Secondhand smoke causes an estimated 46,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year in the United States among nonsmokers.
Past research has shown that older children whose parents smoke get sick more often, their lungs grow less and wheezing, coughing are more common in children who breathe secondhand smoke.
Who am I really? What type of person lingers under that smoke cloud of Addiction? I feel so remote from my Values! I believe in Family and yet my Addiction came first! I believe in my Creator yet I willingly destroyed his creation! I believe in myself yet I compromised, even lost, my identity to sickerettes!
It's not enough to clarify my values - I need to connect with them on a regular basis. I need to know what's important in my heart and to remind myself often. And I need to make sure my goals are in line with those values. Doing this will provide me with motivation, inspiration, and meaning.
If you're remote from your values, it's all too easy to lose heart, give up, or get sidetracked. The more remote you are from your deepest values, the more your goals seem pointless, meaningless, or insignificant. Obviously, this doesn't do much for motivation.
The solution? Connect with your values. Write them down. Read them through and change them as required. Share them with someone you trust. Reread them on a regular basis First thing in the morning, mentally go over them. At thhe end of the week, take a few minutes to check in with yourself and ask: "How true have I been to my values?"
Then commit to not be perfect, but to do your best to live by who you truy wish to become! The momentum will be in the right direction, even if you occassionally (and you will!) take a step or two backwards! Become the person you are meant to BE!
As for me, I'm a work in progress! But I will never quit giving it my BEST!
WASHINGTON -- Cutting the nicotine content of tobacco products and greater restrictions on sales, "including bans on entire categories of tobacco products" are just two of the strategies for an "endgame" to stop all tobacco use suggested in a federal report released Friday.
It's time for more aggressive tobacco control in a drive toward eradication of tobacco use, the Surgeon General and other public health officials urged Friday, noting further health effects that can be causally linked to smoking.
The report, marking the 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General's first report on the health effects of tobacco smoke, added diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, colorectal cancer, and other ailments to the already long list of the ill effects of tobacco use.
"It is time to commit to ending the tobacco epidemic once and for all, and it shouldn't take another 50 years," Howard Koh, MD, MPH, assistant secretary for health of the Department of Health and Human Services, said at a press conference at the White House.
Banning tobacco entirely should be discussed on a societal level, acting Surgeon General Boris D. Lushniak, MD, MPH, suggested at the press conference.
"We need to have that discussion," he told reporters. "But until we do ... the reality of the situation is we need to use the tobacco control tools we have available and ramp up, because at the end of the day if we are shooting for that tobacco-free generation, it is attainable using the tools we have."
The report also called for raising excise taxes on cigarettes, extending indoor smoking bans to 100% of the population, and extending smoking cessation as a standard of care to all smokers in primary or specialty care.
Raising the cost of tobacco products is another suggested strategy. "We know that increasing the cost of cigarettes is one of the most powerful interventions we can make to prevent smoking and reduce prevalence," Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, noted in a foreword to the report.
The federal excise tax should nearly double this year, rising an additional 94 cents from the current $1.01 per pack of cigarettes. Those extra funds would largely go toward early childhood education and health, she explained at the press conference.
Other actions recommended in the report while endgame strategies remain under development included:
States and localities collect roughly $80 per person per year in Master Settlement funds and tobacco taxes, but spend less than $1.50 per person per year of that money on tobacco control compared with the $12 per person per year or more recommended by the CDC, noted the director of that agency, Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH.
That $12 level of expenditure is far less than what the tobacco industry spends on marketing and is "not a lot to ask for what is the leading preventable cause of death in this country," he said at the press conference.
Physician and health advocacy organizations cheered the report.
The American Cancer Society called the tobacco endgame it lays out "both possible and necessary."
The report "reinforces that the detrimental effects of smoking are severe and continue to prove more harmful than we originally thought," American College of Cardiology presidentJohn G. Harold, MD, noted in a release from that organization.
The American Lung Association argued for strong action based on the additional health effects outlined in the report. "The White House must empower the FDA to aggressively implement the Tobacco Control Act to regulate all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and cigars," its president, Harold P. Wimmer, said in a prepared statement. "FDA also must move forward with product standards that will reduce death and disease caused by smoking, such as prohibiting menthol cigarettes."
The report stopped short of making any actionable recommendations on electronic cigarettes and "flavored little cigars" that have yet to be brought under FDA jurisdiction.
"Of all the accomplishments of the 20th century, historians rank the 1964 Surgeon General's report as one of the seminal public health achievements of our time," Lushniak concluded in his introduction to the report. "Armed with both science and resolve, we can continue to honor the legacy of the report by completing the work it began in the last century."
“CIGARETTE smoking is a health hazard of sufficient importance in the United States to warrant appropriate remedial action.” It was 50 years ago this month that America’s surgeon-general sounded that warning, marking the beginning of the end of cigarette manufacturing—and of smoking itself—as a respectable activity. Some 20m Americans have died from the habit since then. But advertising restrictions, smoking bans and stigma have had their effect: the proportion of American adults who smoke has dropped from 43% to 18%; smoking rates among teenagers are at a record low. In many other countries the trends are similar.
The current surgeon-general, Boris Lushniak, marked the half-century with a report on January 17th, declaring smoking even deadlier than previously thought. He added diabetes, colorectal cancer and other ailments to the list of ills it causes, and promised “end-game strategies” to stamp out cigarettes altogether.
Were that to happen America’s three big tobacco firms, Altria, Reynolds and Lorillard, could be snuffed out, too. Public-health officials plot the same fate for multinationals that supply other markets. The hit list includes Philip Morris International (PMI), which along with Altria makes Marlboro, the top-selling global brand; Japan Tobacco; and British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco of Britain.
They are a hardy bunch, unlikely to be spooked. But the methods they have used to withstand a half-century of battering by regulators may be losing potency. In the rich world, where the economy is sluggish, smokers are trading down to cheaper puffs. The regulatory climate in developing countries is becoming more hostile. New technologies such as e-cigarettes promise to deliver nicotine less riskily. Big tobacco firms may master them, but it would be a radical shift, akin to converting the car industry from internal-combustion engines to battery power. David Adelman of Morgan Stanley, an investment bank, does not “see anything that’s upending the conventional tobacco business model.” But the model needs tweaking.
Some reasons for Mr Adelman’s confidence are sound. Advertising bans and the industry’s pariah status deter would-be competitors. When cigarette-makers raise prices, smokers cough up. Global consumption keeps rising, thanks largely to population growth in poorer countries. The cigarette giants pamper investors with big dividends and share buy-backs; they have flocked to tobacco shares (see chart).
But the going is getting tougher. This month health officials in China, home to more smokers than any other country, called for a ban on smoking in public places. That would mainly affect state-owned China Tobacco, which has a near-monopoly. But multinationals’ shares wobbled anyway: the proposed crackdown could portend tighter regulation elsewhere. Britain’s government, after some wavering, may now go ahead and copy Australia’s requirement for cigarettes to be sold in ugly, scary “plain packs”.
Such pleasure-pinching regulation strikes at one of the main ways cigarette companies boost profits: converting smokers to pricier brands. “Premiumisation” is still happening in developing countries, where incomes are rising. But elsewhere smokers are turning to cheaper brands or rolling their own cigarettes. Many smokers will not trade back up once the economy improves, largely because smoking and advertising bans have robbed the habit of its air of glamour. Euromonitor International, a research firm, forecasts that everywhere except in Asia and the Middle East prices will rise less from 2012 to 2017 than they did during the previous five years.
Shane MacGuill of Euromonitor sees in all this “a very serious threat to the long-term health of the tobacco industry.” This is spurring a quest for safer methods of supplying smokers with their nicotine fixes. Most of the hype is about e-cigarettes, which give users a hit of vapour infused with nicotine but none of the other, nastier ingredients of tobacco smoke. In America, the fastest adopter, sales have jumped from nearly nothing five years ago to at least $1 billion in 2013.
At first, it looked as if e-cigarettes might lure smokers from the big tobacco brands to startups such as NJOY. But incumbents have been quick to see the threat. Lorillard acquired Blu, now the biggest American brand, in 2012. Altria and Reynolds are expected to launch e-cig ventures nationwide this year. Imperial recently acquired the e-cigarette operations of Dragonite, a Chinese firm that pioneered the technology. Though not the first movers, tobacco companies have bigger war chests, more knowledge of smokers’ habits and better ties to distributors than the newcomers.
Some pundits reckon Americans will puff more e-cigarettes than normal ones within a decade, but tobacco folk are sceptical. E-cigs account for just 1% of America’s cigarette market. In Europe 7% of smokers had tried “vaping” by 2012 but only 1% kept it up. PMI has higher hopes for a new type of cigarette, which heats tobacco rather than burning it. Such cigarettes could deliver fewer toxins than conventional sticks and more pleasure than mere vapour. PMI says it will invest up to €500m ($677m) in a factory in Italy to make them.
Earlier efforts to hook smokers on heated tobacco flopped, so there is no assurance that PMI’s versions will succeed. And no one knows what sort of restrictions regulators will eventually place on “reduced risk” products, including e-cigarettes.
If they can manage the transition to less harmful smokes, and convince regulators to be sensible, the tobacco giants could keep up the sort of performance that has made their shares such a fine investment over the years. But some analysts are not so sure. Many tobacco firms “are struggling to deliver the consistency of the earnings-per-share model we’ve seen in the past,” says David Hayes of Nomura. If that persists, investors may fall out of love with the industry. A half-century after the surgeon-general’s alarm, they, and incorrigible puffers, are its last remaining friends.
"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 a day 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 4 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 becomeanEX and to protect your Quit - Smoke FREE for LIFE!
We can't help but think of hearts during February so here's an article about Smoking and Heart Disease:
About 20% of all deaths from heart disease in the U.S. are directly related to cigarette smoking. That's because smoking is a major cause of heart attack.
A person's risk of heart attack greatly increases with the number of cigarettes he or she smokes. Smokers continue to increase their risk of heart attack the longer they smoke as well. People who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day have more than twice the risk of heart attack than non-smokers. Women who smoke and also take birth control pills increase several times their risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and peripheral vascular disease.
Cigarette smoke not only affects smokers. When you smoke, the people around you are also at risk for developing health problems, especially children. Environmental tobacco smoke (also called passive smoke or secondhand smoke) affects people who are frequently around smokers. Secondhand smoke can cause chronic respiratory conditions, cancer, and heart disease. It is estimated that around 35,000 nonsmokers die from heart disease each year as a result of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.
The nicotine present in cigarettes (and e cigarettes) causes:
· Decreased oxygen to the heart.
· Increased blood pressure and heart rate.
· Increase in blood clotting.
· Damage to cells that line coronary arteries and other blood vessels.
Now that you know how smoking can be harmful to your health and the health of those around you, here are some ways quitting can be helpful. If you quit smoking, you will:
· Prolong your life.
· Reduce your risk of disease (including heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, lung cancer, throat cancer, emphysema, ulcers, gum disease, and other conditions).
· Feel healthier. After quitting, you won't cough as much, you'll have fewer sore throats, and you will increase your stamina.
· Look better. Quitting can help you prevent face wrinkles, get rid of stained teeth, and improve your skin.
· Improve your sense of taste and smell.
· Save money.
PULMONARY WELLNESS & AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION
OFFER WEBINAR SERIES FOR PEOPLE WITH LUNG DISEASE
(New York City) As part of an effort to reach the hundreds of thousands of
people suffering from lung disease, New York City's Pulmonary Wellness &
Rehabilitation Center in conjunction with the Better Breathers Club of the
American Lung Association, have launched an online patient education
initiative that includes live interactive lectures and town hall style
question and answer sessions in an effort to reach those people that are
homebound or otherwise have no access to these types of wellness or
The Ultimate Pulmonary Wellness Lecture Series is the brainchild of the
Center's Program Director, Dr. Noah Greenspan DPT, CCS, EMT-B, who is a
board-certified Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Clinical Specialist with over
20 years of physical therapy and rehabilitation experience and a member of
the American Lung Association's Leadership Board. Under his direction, the
Center has conducted over 60,000 exercise sessions since its inception in
"When you suffer from a chronic disease, it can be extremely isolating;
physically, emotionally and in many cases, geographically," said Dr.
Greenspan. "Now, we will be able to reach those people that have previously
been out of range for any number of reasons so that they too can receive the
support they need to achieve their highest possible quality of life."
In addition to the Better Breathers Club Meetings, which will take more of a
lecture-style format, there will be two different programming options that
will be based primarily upon questions from the online audience.
The "Easy Breathing" sessions will be geared toward people who are
interested in learning or reviewing the basics of living with lung disease;
things like respiratory anatomy and physiology or what is COPD or IPF.
The "Deeper Breaths" sessions will be geared toward people who have more
experience in managing their disease or who wish to discuss more complex
issues related to managing their disease.
Dr. Greenspan will be holding a Q&A session on Wednesday, February 5th at
7:30 PM EST during which he will review some of the key components from the
first session, "Ultimate Pulmonary Wellness: Your Best 2014 and Beyond".
The next meeting of the Better Breathers Club, "Your Best Breathing
Techniques Ever" will take place at the Center on Wednesday, February 26th
at 6 PM Eastern Standard Time.
For a complete listing of events or to register for upcoming sessions, click
on the WEBINAR button on the Center's website, www.PulmonaryWellness.com.
The century-long epidemic of cigarette smoking has caused an enormous, avoidable public health catastrophe in the United States.
Despite significant progress since the first Surgeon General’s report, issued 50 years ago, smoking remains the single largest cause of preventable disease and death in the United States.
The scientific evidence is incontrovertible: inhaling tobacco smoke, particularly from cigarettes, is deadly. Since the first Surgeon General’s Report in 1964, evidence has linked smoking to diseases of nearly all organs of the body.
Smokers today have a greater risk of developing lung cancer than did smokers in 1964.
For the first time, women are as likely to die as men from many diseases caused by smoking.
Proven tobacco control strategies and programs, in combination with enhanced strategies to rapidly eliminate the use of cigarettes and other combustible, or burned, tobacco products, will help us achieve a society free of tobacco-related death and disease.
"Of all the accomplishments of the 20th century, historians rank the 1964 Surgeon General's report as one of the seminal public health achievements of our time," acting Surgeon General Boris D. Lushniak, MD, MPH concluded in his introduction to the report. "Armed with both science and resolve, we can continue to honor the legacy of the report by completing the work it began in the last century."
“No matter whether you believe in luck or chance, the final decision is from yourself.”
― Stephen Richards
"I want to quit smoking." "I've tried nearly everything." "Why can't I quit?"
If this sounds like you, you're just one step from success but it's a step most smokers miss, a missed realization that contributes to their downfall. It's that knowledge and understanding truly is a quitting method, the empowering self-admission that very few smokers have any insight into nicotine dependency and even less into arresting it.
For example, the "Law of Addiction" is the most important quitting lesson of all. Just one puff of nicotine will result in up to 50% of nicotinic-type brain acetylcholine receptors being occupied by nicotine, creating a powerful dopamine explosion that the mind's pay attention pathways will, in the short term, make nearly impossible to forget. When quitting the quitter isn't battling an entire pack or even a whole cigarette but just that one powerful puff of nicotine that will destroy their hard work and all but guarantee relapse.
Although critical, it's just one lesson among many. How long does it take to reach peak withdrawal, why can getting there feel like an emotional train wreck, how does nicotine feed smokers stored fats and sugars with each puff, what happens if they try skipping meals once nicotine feedings end, and how does nicotine interact with stress, caffeine, or alcohol?
Imagine trying to quit smoking without knowing the ABCs of quitting smoking. As silly as that may sound, it is far more common than you think.
Think about it, what learning takes place by slapping on a nicotine patch, chewing nicotine gum, swallowing a pill or being hypnotized? None, absolutely none. The smoker knows no more about their chemical dependency after relapse than before.
Why fight in darkness and fear when you can turn on the lights?
Nicotine dependency is about the mind's "aaah" wanting relif and anxiety punishment pathways being fooled into believing that that next nicotine fix is every bit as real and important as eating. Like trying to go without food, a region of the brain known as the insula punishes the smoker with urges, craves and anxieties when they go too long without introducing a new supply of nicotine into the bloodstream. As with eating, the brain's dopamine pathways provide them with an "aaah" wanting relief sensation following nicotine replenishment.
Welcome inside the nicotine addict's mind, a place where an endless cycle of chemical beatings and relief from them left us totally yet falsely convinced that nicotine defined who we were, gave us our edge, helped us cope and that life without it would be horrible. Our dependency quickly destroyed all pre-addiction memory of the beauty of going days, weeks and months without once wanting for nicotine. Blinded by anxiety beatings, we could no longer see the beauty beyond.
Those selling quit smoking products actually play and prey upon the nicotine addict's wanting and fears. Their marketing is designed to try and get smokers to believe two falsehoods. They need for you to believe that quitting cold turkey is nearly impossible, to fear your natural quitting instincts. They also want them to believe that most who buy and use their products succeed. Both representations are false.
Far from quitting cold turkey being nearly impossible, as suggested by a July 2013 Gallup Poll, more smokers quit smoking cold turkey each year than by all other methods combined. It found that only a tiny fraction of successful ex-smokers used approved quitting products, just 8 percent. But don't believe this Gallup Poll or the U.S. Surgeon General. Instead, take your own poll.
What GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson do not want known is how utterly horrible their quitting products work in real-world use -- outside of clinical trials.
Research by GlaxoSmithKline consultants published in 2003 found that only 7% of real-world nicotine patch and gum users were still not smoking at 6 months, a 93% failure rate.Pfizerresearch suggests that Chantix and Champix will likely produce real-world failure rates frighteningly close to those of the nicotine patch and gum.
Instead of being afraid of your natural instincts why not educate them? Why allow anxieties born of needless fears to eat away at your dreams, desires and resolve? Your natural instincts know that knowledge and understanding can destroy fear, but are you listening?