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2014
Thomas3.20.2010

Happy Birthday, Dale!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 May 31, 2014

And on World No Tobacco Day!

Did the World Health Organization consult with you before setting the date for their event?

WNTD2014

Tobacco kills more people than drugs, alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, homicides and suicides combined, But it isn’t just about the numbers of loved ones we’ve lost – it is also about illnesses, disability and reduced quality of life due to smoking.

CDC official said reducing smoking worldwide by 20 to 25 percent could translate to 100 million premature deaths by 2020. But If the current trends of smoking continue, approximately 8 million people worldwide will die each year from tobacco use by 2030.

The theme for 2014: Raise Tobacco Tax: Lower Death and Disease!

World No Tobacco Day 2014

http://www.who.int/campaigns/no-tobacco-day/2014/en/

Happy Birthday to Dale Jones and a BIG THank You for all you do to help set us FREE from Nicotine Addiction!

May your days be Blessed with Health and Happiness!

Former Miss Universe Rachael Finch gets a 'make-under' in campaign showing how smoking cigarettes can destroy beauty 

Dramatic difference: a makeup artist showed what Rachael would look like if she was a smoker as part of a n anti-smoking campaign

We're used to seeing former Miss Universe Australia Rachael Finch looking picture perfect. 

But a snap of the star uploaded to Instagram on Thursday shocked fans when it showed the 25-year-old looking tired, haggard and drawn, compared to her usual polished self. 

But Rachael's dramatic 'make-under' wasn't permanent- her look was the work of makeup artists in an effort to show the effects smoking can have on one's appearance.



Meant to highlight just how much damage cigarettes can do, a usually flawless Rachael was seen with frayed hair, wrinkles and greying skin. 

The Your Future Is Not Pretty campaign aims to deter women from smoking by showing how the habit affects their looks, estimating cigarette toxins accelerate ageing by ten to twenty years.



Speaking to the Brisbane Times, Rachael, who was specifically selected for The Queensland Health campaign, said: 'Even if they dismiss the long-term health risks, I doubt any young woman would continue to light up if they knew just how much every single puff instantly deteriorates their beauty.' 

Even one causes instant damage to a smoker’s hair, nails and skin.

Rachel joined Queensland Minister for Health Lawrence Springborg at the launch, where members of the public could have the special effects ‘make under’ showing their appearance in 20 years’ time, as if they had smoked. 

Cigarettes can instantly damage hair and nails and reduce the supply of collagen, a substance vital for skin firmness. 

It can also cause sagging of the eyelids, under-eye bags and even breast sagging. 

The serious health implications also include the early onset of menopause in women.



'Research tells us that physical appearance is the main driver for young women to contemplate giving up smoking,' said Mr Springborg who together with the model launched the $1.5 million anti-smoking campaign.

'This is why this campaign aims to show women the negative effects on their appearance if they continue to smoke.'

Posting the shots of her before and after on her Instagram page, Rachael wrote: 'A confronting shoot today showing physical effects smoking can have! Proud to be standing behind the 'Your future is not pretty' campaign for QLD Health'.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2642520/The-future-not-pretty-Former-Miss-Universe-Rachael-Finch-gets-make-campaign-showing-smoking-cigarettes-destroy-beauty.html

 

Well, we've cleaned and sorted, We've donated and thrown away. We've gifted and packed. Now we're ready to make our move to our new abode! 8~))

Everything feels new and strange after 8 Years  living in this apartment! Some memories are wonderful and we'll carry those with us and some memories (such as our pesky smoking neighbors) are dreadful and we'll be glad to let go of them!

It's like that when you move - And when you begin a NEW Smoke FREE Lifestyle! When I quit smoking, I couldn't wait to get the smoke smell out of my clothes and house! I stopped hanging out with the same people with whom all I had in common was our sick Addiction! I was just ready to move on with my Life and Wife and leave the smoky past behind me! 

That's what this feels like! No more smoky stairwells and parking lots to walk through just to get to my car. No more forcing my Wife to take out the trash because I can't stand the smoke all around the trash bin. No more disgusting cigarette butts in front of my front door! And most importantly, no more second hand smoke to put up with because "smokers have housing rights, too!" Yes, they have housing rights! And I have breathing rights!

Now, I can live comfortably in and around my own home! I'm so ready to say goodbye to apartment living and enjoy my new smoke FREE place!

And next week I can get back to a New Normal! I remember the New Normal I had to find when I quit smoking! It took awhile to get my bearings and feel comfortable with all of the changes. It might take awhile for me to get used to my New Home! But it will happen! And soon I will be more comfortable with my new surroundings than with my old ones! It happens! You just have to give it some time! After all of those Years of living in one place, of course, it will feel strange at first and after all of those Years of smoking, no doubt, it takes some time to get used to smoke FREE Living!

A New Start!

That's what you're launching into! So, do your sorting and cleaning, do your separating old from new and get ready for a true adventure! 

You're really going to LOVE Smoke FREE Living - given time!

Thomas3.20.2010

World No Tobacco Day!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 May 27, 2014

It's coming up soon! May 31, 2014 has been proclaimed World No Tobacco Day by the World Health Organization! Events and promotions for anti-smoking will be happening throughout the World! Looking forward to sharing the findings in the hopes that we all can live smoke FREE!

Judith Currie saved enough money by quitting to buy a new car. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach

QUITTING smoking takes drive but Judith Currie is proof it is worth going the extra mile.

 

 

As a smoker for 20 years, Judith went from zero to 30 a day after taking up the habit when she was just 14.

The addiction took over her life – and finances.

In that time, the price of a pack shot up from £1.65 in 1990 to today’s average of £7.72.

Her costly crutch was setting her back about £10 a day when she quit in 2010 – money she has since saved to buy her dream car.

It took just eight months to raise the funds needed for her Golf convertible – and she has also spent cigarette savings on new clothes and a trip to Ireland.

She said: “It is incredible both the financial saving and the realisation of how much you actually spent on it. Each Budget, you’d just accept that cigarettes had gone up, it’s not a deterrent.

“But because cigarettes had gone up so much in the time I was smoking up until when I gave up, it was a massive saving.

“If you’re a smoker, you’ll always find the money for cigarettes and for me it was to the cost of food sometimes. It acts as an appetite suppressant so I wouldn’t necessarily want food when you have a cigarette.

“Giving up has allowed me to do so many new things, like buying the convertible I’d always wanted, even in the Edinburgh weather.”

The 38-year-old, of Craigentinny, successfully took the plunge after being diagnosed with emphysema – which has left her lungs at 50 per cent capacity.

She spent two days on nicotine patches and had individual therapy, before group sessions, with smoking cessation specialists.

Judith said she is now feeling physically and mentally fitter than she has for decades.

“My health is so much better, unfortunately the damage has been done to my lung function, but it’s scary as I’d say this is probably the healthiest I’ve been for more than 20 years.

“It’s a lovely feeling, it’s such a warmth and a sense of achievement. I don’t think people understand what a massive accomplishment it is to give up. Quitting smoking is the single best thing I’ve ever done in my life. It has been a catalyst for my self-confidence and a real turning point for me.

“I think about six months ago, I noticed the price again. Some might think it was a smug smile but it was more a ‘thank God I don’t buy them any more’.”

Judith, who now works with the smoking cessation programme, is helping record numbers of people give up and cut the annual 1800 death toll still further in a bid to make a Smoke Free Lothian.

ASH Scotland chief executive Sheila Duffy said there were many benefits to quitting.

She said: “A 20-a-day smoker can save over £2500 a year by quitting. And with smoking rates concentrated amongst poorer communities, reducing the smoking rate provides a targeted way of putting money directly into the pockets of those who need it most while tackling one of the main causes of health inequality. Using the tax system to increase the price of cigarettes has proved to be an effective way to encourage people to quit smoking, although the harm caused by smoking still costs Scotland £100 million a year more than the tax revenue it generates.”

Thomas3.20.2010

Dare to Watch!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 May 26, 2014

Effects Of Smoking: Scientists Demonstrate The Incredible Damage Just 60 Cigarettes Can Do To Your Lungs

Every smoker knows their habit is not doing their health any favours.

But many make themselves feel better by convincing themselves they are just light, social smokers.

Now, there is bad news for these people - a shocking new video has revealed the horrific damage just 60 cigarettes can do to a person’s lungs.



 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2637327/Horrific-video-shows-smoking-REALLY-does-lungs-just-60-cigarettes-help-kick-habit-good.html

SAN DIEGO -- In laboratory studies, e-cigarette vapors appeared to increase the aggressiveness of dangerous bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), researchers reported here

MRSA resistance to neutrophil killing was doubled with vapor from low nicotine content e-cigarettes (P<0.05) or tripled (P<0.05) when exposed to high nicotine level e-cigarette vapor, said Laura Crotty Alexander, MD, of the University of California San Diego and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System.

She presented the research at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society.

"Regular cigarette smoke we all hate because it causes so many bad things and we were really hopeful that e-cigarettes would be a safer alternative," Crotty Alexander told MedPage Today. "However it is very hard to advise our patients in this era where we don't know the effects of e-cigarette smoking," she said.

She said that, while her work was done in the laboratory setting, other researchers are examining possible connections to human illness. Since MRSA generally colonizes in the nasopharynx, inhaled vapors would likely affect the bacteria.

What she did find in her experiments was that "the virulence of MRSA is increased by e-cigarette exposure." Crotty Alexander explained that e-cigarette vapors induce MRSA to produce acids as a defense mechanism within the first 3 hours of exposure, similar to the organisms' mechanism for defending against nitric oxide -- one of the components of innate immune responses to infection.

"Moreover, e-cigarette vapor exposure up-regulates MRSA biofilm formation, consistent with boosting virulence," she reported in her poster presentation. "In cellular killing assays, e-cigarette vapor-MRSA are able to avoid killing by both macrophages and neutrophils. This is due to e-cigarette vapor induced changes in surface charge, acid secretion, and biofilm formation."

To conduct the e-cigarette vapor experiments, the researchers grew MRSA in culture with vapor concentrations similar to inhalers on the market. They tested first for biochemical changes in the culture known to promote pathogen virulence and then introduced epithelial cell- and alveolar macrophage-killing assays.

Crotty Alexander suggested that one possible contribution to the increased virulence of MRSA was the rapid change in pH induced by e-cigarette vapor. Exposure changed the pH from 7.4 up to 8.4, making the environment very alkalotic for both bacterial and mammalian cells. This alkalosis stresses the cells, giving them a danger signal, leading to activation of defense mechanisms. The bacteria make their surface more positively charged, to avoid binding by the lethal antimicrobial peptides produced by human innate immune cells. The bacteria also form thicker biofilms, increasing their stickiness and making MRSA less vulnerable to chemical and cellular attack.

These changes make MRSA more virulent. However, when MRSA is exposed to regular cigarette smoke, their virulence is even greater. Cigarette smoke induces surface charge changes 10-fold greater than that of e-cigarette exposure, she said.

"So from our laboratory finding showing that its effects on bacteria aren't as severe as those caused by regular cigarette smoke, e-cigarette vapor still is not benign, and it is making these bacteria more aggressive," she said.

She said that, to her knowledge, her group is the first to study the relationship between e-cigarette vapors and microbial virulence.

"As healthcare professionals, we are always being asked by patients, 'Would this be better for me?'" Crotty Alexander said. "In the case of smoking e-cigarettes, I hated not having an answer. Our research shows that e-cigarettes are probably not safe to use. They might not be as bad as regular cigarette smoke, but nothing we are reporting supports the safe use of them."

Other investigators are studying effects of e-cigarette vapors on mechanisms that could lead to cancerous changes in airway cells.

http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/ATS/45935

Thomas3.20.2010

No Easy Way Out

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 May 16, 2014

A Stressed-Out Student’s Take on Kicking the Habit

Amanda Rhoades
May 14, 2014

It has been one month, 15 days and 10 hours since I had my last cigarette. According to the app on my phone, I’ve saved $75.91 since then by not inhaling 1.735 grams of tar into my lungs. This equates to about 217 cigarettes that I would have smoked at my normal rate (which was five per day at a cost of $7 a pack) over the last six weeks.

Smoking cessation apps are popular among those trying to kick the habit, but that doesn’t mean they’re effective tools for everyone. The information is supposed to be helpful, but to me it just downplays my smoking addiction and makes me wonder whether the damage from cigarettes on my body is great enough to warrant quitting. To an addict like myself, 200 cigarettes over six weeks seem reasonable.

What I do find useful when quitting is doing a Google image search for “effects of cigarette smoke” every time I have a craving, or knowing the health benefits that are experienced as they occur. Did you know that 24 hours after you kick the habit, your risk of a sudden heart attack decreases?

Like most millennials, I expect instant gratification or I lose interest almost immediately. Hitting constant markers of success — like senses of taste and smell returning to normal, followed by increased lung function — are the only thing that remind me I’m doing something good. And I need that. It feels like winning a video game where after short periods of time I’m unlocking these new achievements. If it weren’t for this app on my phone constantly telling me that my body is getting healthier, I probably wouldn’t notice. This opens up all kinds of questions about the western world, technology, and if one of these things puts us more or less in touch with ourselves — but I’ll save that for a more qualified authority on the matter.

My experience is that it is easy to forget to care for your body when you’re constantly balancing work and school while trying to maintain some sort of life any place in between. A cigarette can be an excuse for a 10-minute break that we otherwise might not be able to give ourselves. For me, it became a crutch that hindered the development of healthier methods of stress relief. Nonsmokers could take a deep breath and remain calm in the face of a hectic situation, but I had to remove myself and pollute my body for 10 minutes before I could be rational. In an increasingly anti-smoking world, this just wasn’t a good way to live. Never mind the argument against smoking that we’ve all heard before. If you grew up in the 1990s like I did, you’ve become numb to warnings. Cigarettes cause cancer, make breathing more difficult, smell bad, yellow teeth and all that, but what is truly problematic about it is that needing to smoke has become an inconvenience in a time when smoking isn’t allowed in any public space.

Young adults everywhere have bought into the electronic cigarette craze to cope with anti-smoking legislation, and it makes sense. E-cigarettes don’t have the same pungent, lingering smell, they are easily hidden, and offer more options for customization such as flavors and nicotine levels. I even have a friend who successfully used e-cigs to gradually lower her nicotine levels until she was no longer dependent on the chemical, and was able to quit smoking entirely — but she is a rare exception. Other smokers, such as myself, see the e-cigarette as a solution to not having to go outside or break from whatever they’re doing to get a fix. Rather than pop outside for a quick smoke break, we can now puff away inside all day while writing essays at home.

What is particularly concerning about the e-cigarette craze is how little we know about their long-term effects. They’re still delivering an extremely addictive substance, now at potentially a higher rate, through a device that has been on the market for only a few years. There are no long-term studies on the health effects of e-cigarettes and there are currently no regulations by the Food and Drug Administration on e-cigarettes. Even if there were FDA regulations on what e-cigs were allowed to contain, most of them are made in China where there is even less concern for public health than there is in the United States.

According to the University of California, San Francisco’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, there are 10 chemicals found in e-cig vapor so far that are known to cause cancer and reproductive harm. These chemicals have been identified as causing harm to both the smoker and secondhand smokers. Contrary to popular belief, e-cigarettes do not deliver pure nicotine the same way cessation aids such as patches or gum would, and that is why organizations that help smokers kick the habit don’t recommend using them.

I remember inhaling significantly harder from an e-cig than I ever did with a normal cigarette because I couldn’t feel anything. All I ever got from it was a constant headache, and a light cough. It occurred to me that if I couldn’t feel what inhaling this chemical cocktail was doing to my body, then I had no way of knowing when to stop. This was concerning enough to deter me from further use, but other users persist.

According to a New York Times article published in March, reports of nicotine overdose have been on the rise, which reflects the trending e-cigarette use in the United States. I had no idea you could overdose on nicotine, but when you’re dealing with a toxic, concentrated liquid substance, accidents are bound to happen. Someone even injected nicotine to commit suicide in 2011, so even if you were inhaling the drug in its purest form, it could still put you at risk.

The New York Times reported that: “Nationwide, the number of cases linked to e-liquids jumped to 1,351 in 2013, a 300 percent increase from 2012, and the number is on pace to double this year, according to information from the National Poison Data System. Of the cases in 2013, 365 were referred to hospitals, triple the previous year’s number.”

It’s really quite simple — there are no easy ways out of nicotine addiction. I’m sorry, but there isn’t a healthier alternative and at some point all of us smokers do need to suck it up and just quit. It’s not about trying to live longer and sometimes its not even about being a health-nut, its just about functioning. When you age the effects of smoking — even if it’s just on the weekends, at shows in bars with your friends — become more noticeable. When I was 21 years old, I rode a bike everywhere and could hike all day at 10,000 feet above sea level, and still smoke while doing it. I was a kid with a lot of energy and a lust for life, but smoking over time drains that from you. As we age, our bodies react differently, and suddenly the dependency I developed when I was young became less of a commodity I enjoyed and more of a requirement for functioning. I am a firm believer that it is healthy to question any substance we feel we cannot live without, and that is what I was doing when I made the choice to quit smoking. It has made me a stronger person to push through the cravings and learn how to live differently.

This is my third attempt at quitting smoking, which makes me an expert. I can quit cold turkey for exactly nine months, until something like a break-up or finals makes me miss my old friend, nicotine. So this time I tried something different. I joined a cessation group called Commune Wednesdays. The idea is simple: 15 young people have a weekly meeting in a bar to help each other quit smoking in an environment that makes them want to smoke. That way, they can break that association. Free nicotine replacement therapy is provided to those who want it, along with support from professionals. Oh yeah, we also get paid since this is part of a research study. For every week we breathe a lower level of carbon monoxide into a device called a Smokerlyzer, we get additional money. This provides even more of that instant gratification I love so much, along with cash incentives.

Commune Wednesdays have done a few things for me that have made this round of fighting nicotine addiction feel like it is my last. The group has provided a wealth of knowledge and resources that I didn’t have before. They’ve also provided a sense of community, where I feel inspired to stay strong because I don’t want any of my new friends to give up either. We rely on each other and can talk about the challenges or setbacks without fear of judgment — and that is really key to winning this battle against the tobacco industry. It shouldn’t be a fight to get students, or your friends or family members or anyone else to stop smoking because it is gross. It should be a problem we look at as a community and try to figure out what we can do to overcome it.

http://www.sdcitytimes.com/legend/2014/05/14/no-easy-way-out-a-stressed-out-students-take-on-kicking-the-habit/

Thomas3.20.2010

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 May 16, 2014

image

There are so many great new members who have finally made the CHOICE to stop smoking! :-}

WELCOME!

 I hope you all take the time to put a bit of profile info on your page so we can get to know you and thus be better able to help you!

Please everybody remember that when you type a message on your own message board, you're message will probably get lost because nobody can see you! You can message other members by clicking on their name or avatar!

 There are also a variety of groups that you can join for more specific needs, for instance I am a member of Positive Affirmations for Success. You can join as many groups as you like!

 Please use the BLOGS as much as you feel like it - nobody here gets bored with the subject!!!!!

Also, there's virtually always somebody around 24/7 and calls for help get very fast responses - so if you have the urge to slip or cheat - PLEASE BLOG about it First!!!! At least give yourself the chance to be talked out of it!

 Stay Positive not tentative and READ, READ, READ!!!

My name is Thomas and I have 1518 Smoke FREE Days ( that's more than 4 Years, folks!) If I can do this You can too! I have not smoked 15,174 cigs and guess what?

 I REALLY DON'T MISS IT ONE BIT! 

ECIGARETTE

I could go on and on about e cigarettes but I want you, sincere member of our BecomeanEX Community to know the truth with your own eyes! So I have brought back this infoblog for this one subject. My wish is that folks who are using e cigarettes or contemplating their use for smoking cessation will read the articles I’ve included. Then if you still are determined to use e cigarettes you will be doing so at your own informed risk!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/14/e-cigarette-studies_n_5319225.html

Let’s take these issues one at a time:

1.      Some youth have their first taste of nicotine via e-cigarettes.

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/e-cigarette-makers-going-after-youth-report-finds-n94166

http://www.bringmethenews.com/2014/05/13/e-cigarettes-a-gateway-drug-for-nicotine-addiction-new-research-finds/

2.     Nicotine absorption varies too much between brands.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/24/business/selling-a-poison-by-the-barrel-liquid-nicotine-for-e-cigarettes.html

http://www.jwatch.org/fw108737/2014/04/18/e-cigarette-injuries-rise?query=pfw

http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm225210.htm

“FDA found that cartridges labeled as containing no nicotine contained nicotine and that three different electronic cigarette cartridges with the same label emitted a markedly different amount of nicotine with each puff.”

3.      Just because particulate matter from e-cigarettes isn't well studied, doesn't mean it's safe.

http://www.medicaldaily.com/e-cigarette-vapor-particles-are-comparable-cigarette-smoke-so-are-they-really-safer-281142

http://www.empr.com/e-cigarettes-may-cause-worsen-acute-respiratory-disease/article/346121/

http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/news/2014/05/16/roswell-park-research-e-cigarettes-produce-toxic.html

http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/E-cigarette-study-Health-benefits-lacking-5472738.php

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/272425.php

http://healthland.time.com/2013/12/13/smoke-from-e-cigs-still-poses-some-second-hand-risk/

http://www.sci-tech-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=032000OE5KXS

4.     So far, e-cigarette use is not associated with the successful quitting of conventional cigarettes.

http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Official-e-cigarettes-don-t-help-5472755.php

http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2014/04/24-ecigarette-smoking-healthcare-sanghavi

http://uptownmagazine.com/2014/05/e-cigarettes-continue-go-smoke/

5.     Major tobacco companies have acquired or produced their own e-cigarette products.

http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2013/11/18/big-tobacco-begins-its-takeover-of-the-e-cigarette-market/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dont-let-big-tobacco-hook-a-new-generation-on-nicotine-with-alluring-ads-for-e-cigarettes/2014/04/16/1acd08b2-c5a3-11e3-bf7a-be01a9b69cf1_story.html

So, why do you want to quit smoking?

-          Health

-          Addiction

-          Social acceptance

-          FREEDOM????

FORGETABOUTIT!!!!!

image

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! 

image

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!!!!!

image

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....

image

 

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?

 image

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! 

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AND YOU WIN!

Thomas3.20.2010

Answer to Our Prayers!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 May 14, 2014

Saturday I told the Community about my need for an appropriate apartment for My Wife and I. Well, yesterday we signed a contract! 

Thank You everybody for praying for us - your prayers were heard!

We found a 2 bedroom townhouse in a 4 plex. More mature working couples (not students) live there. It has more space than our current apt and the rent is actually more affordable! 
 

We're very happy and very grateful! 

Now, for the actual cleaning, organizing, boxing, moving - well, you know! After 8 years residency in one place, the clutter does tend to take over here and there!

By June 1 we'll have a new home and my lungs will have a new lease on life - literally! 

NO SMOKING! Keep them away from your face!

Thomas3.20.2010

Grammar in the Blogs!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 May 12, 2014

We don’t give a gosh darn dang how you write your Blog, Folks!

Write in slang (just no cuss words, PLEASE!)

Run-on sentences are just fine.

Fragments and incomplete sentences

Misspelled words – so what?!

CAPITOLS! If that’s how you feel!

If you’re tech savvy, you can change your font ( I’m not!) I barely know what font is!

JUST WRITE! Often,,,even several times a day if that tickles your fancy!

This ain’t no English Class – for crying out loud!

We’re here for one reason only – to learn together to Quit Smoking!

As long as that’s yur sincerely bottom line goal – we want you to share as much as you find useful to your Quit Journey and/or Ours!

No judgement here! WRITE!

A general medical practitioner at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Dr. Mena Ewhrubjakcor, has called on people to avoid exposure to tobacco in any form.

Ewhrubjakcor said, non-smokers who expose themselves to active smokers are at higher risk than the passive smokers.

He said, “tobacco is one of those substances in form of a drug, some smoke it, and some sniff it. There’s what we call passive and active smoking. Those who consume it are active smokers while those who are around people who smoke it and inhale the smoke are passive smokers but passive smoking is even more dangerous than active smoking and that’s what most people don’t know.

"Those that are around people that smoke it are at higher risk of the effects of tobacco than those who smoke it directly. Tobacco has effect on the respiratory system particularly.

"There is what is called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), an irreversible reduction in the caliber of respiratory airways to the extent that the person will start experiencing difficulty in breathing. Tobacco also contributes to some other brain disorder which we cannot say is the direct cause of it but it prompts it.”

He further said “for those who are addicted should stop smoking, there’s microcline chewing gum that they can chew to win over addiction and reduce the huge to smoke.”

According to WHO, tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally and is currently responsible for 10 per cent of adult deaths worldwide.

Tobacco kills nearly 6 million people every year, of which more than 600 000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. Approximately one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco, accounting for one 10 adult deaths. Up to half of current users will eventually die of a tobacco – related disease.

The global tobacco epidemic will kill more than 8 million people every year by 2030. More than 80 per cent of these preventable deaths will be among people living in low-and middle-income countries, WHO said.
As the world mark the World No Tobacco Day come May 31, WHO and partners call on countries to raise taxes on tobacco so as to reduce tobacco consumption and save lives.

http://www.dailytimes.com.ng/article/passive-smokers-higher-health-risk-active-smokers

Thomas3.20.2010

What happened?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 May 10, 2014

Folks have been asking me  why the less than normal activity here at BecomeanEX after 4 Years plus of nearly daily blogging. 

First, I want you to know that my health is fine for now, PRAISE the LORD!

But I have to find an apartment in a very tight housing market. I live in a College town with less than 1% vacancy. They call Fort Collins the Choice City! Nice!...until you have to move! 

So I spend hours a day on craigslist and followups and still no luck! I have irons in the fire but openings iterally fill within hours of being listed. 

I sometimes wish it was like HGTV - look at three places and choose the best of the 3! If we did that here we'd wind up homeless! 

Move in dates could be June 1 or July 1 whichever works since I've already spoken to the landlord about early move out penalties. We've lived there 8 years (a very long time in a College town) so he's ready to make it affordable to leave a Month early!

I humbly ask for prayers from our Community recognizing that this is a very minor problem compared to health issues and Family issues suffered by so many here! 

Meanwhile if you don't see me much for the next weeks know that you are always in my thoughts and prayers. May our Creator support you in your endeavors to find FREEDOM from Nicotine Addiction!

Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers! God Bless You in the Best Job in the World!

Love and Hugs!

I'm absolutely fascinated by the Blogs I've seen these last few days! I hear people talking about how they "can't" because it's just "too hard!"

I can't help but remember my first days of my quit journey more than 1500 days ago!

I had just been diagnosed with a chronic progressive illness that's incurable. My life expectancy just went waaaaaay down with one little word. What's more I was convinced that my Quality of Life would really be looooow. In other words, don't expect much from life except pain, suffering, and early death.

Talk about STRESS! Please Newbie, don't tell me about stress!!!! And do you know the worst part of it? The personal knowledge that I had done this to myself......with yes, smoking!

So I was diagnosed with COPD/Emphysema on March 14 and had my last puff March 19! That's all the preparation time I gave myself! Not weeks.....not Months....not NRTs.....not chantix.... just one tool you folks would be smart to use - KNOWLEDGE!

So where did I acquire this knowledge so fast? Right here at BecomeanEX. I didn't join to fool around with slips and relapses. I didn't come here with an "I already know it all" ATTITUDE! I didn't come here with a line about how we are all different and nobody understands me!!!!

I came here to be included in the 6% who SUCCEED in their first year of quitting!!! I came here to listen to those who had already achieved what I wanted! I didn't blame them for being too harsh! I listened!

Because they had something that I not only wanted - but something I needed!I had a clear cut choice: QUIT or DIE!!! Simple! I humbly asked questions and accepted advice. I did my homework without hesitation! I made friends and exposed my ADDICTIVE SELF to these EXers with integrity and honesty! I let that smoke cloud of distorted thinking lift because FIRST and most important - I kept them away from my face!!!! So my issue was never to smoke or not to smoke!!! My issue was "What do I do instead?" 

Folks, do you really want to wait until you have a smoke related illness before you quit? Or worse, continue to smoke knowing that you are literally killing yourself????Are you even aware that HALF of all smokers will DIE of smoke related illness?????

Or do you want to pay attention and follow the road map that has been put right in front of you and shows you each and every step to take if you really want to be in the 6%?

No excuses! Keep them away from your face and listen!

And, by the way, so far anyway, my Quality of Life is better than ever - but only because I quit smoking!!!!

Electronic cigarettes appear to be safer than ordinary cigarettes for one simple — and simply obvious — reason: people don’t light up and smoke them.

With the e-cigarettes, there is no burning tobacco to produce myriad new chemicals, including some 60 carcinogens.

But new research suggests that, even without a match, some popular e-cigarettes get so hot that they, too, can produce a handful of the carcinogens found in cigarettes and at similar levels.

A study to be published this month in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research found that the high-power e-cigarettes known as tank systems produce formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, along with the nicotine-laced vapor that their users inhale. The toxin is formed when liquid nicotine and other e-cigarette ingredients are subjected to high temperatures, according to the study. A second study that is being prepared for submission to the same journal points to similar findings.

The long-term effects of inhaling nicotine vapor are unclear, but there is no evidence to date that it causes cancer or heart disease as cigarette smokingdoes. Indeed, many researchers agree that e-cigarettes will turn out to be much safer than conventional cigarettes, an idea that e-cigarette companies have made much of in their advertising.

The website for Janty, a company that manufactures popular tank systems, says the benefits of e-cigarettes include having “no toxins associated with tobacco smoking.”

Nonetheless, the new research suggests how potential health risks are emerging as the multibillion-dollar e-cigarette business rapidly evolves, and how regulators are already struggling to keep pace. While the Food and Drug Administration last month proposed sweeping new rules that for the first time would extend its authority to e-cigarettes, theF.D.A. has focused largely on what goes into these products — currently, an unregulated brew of chemicals and flavorings — rather than on what comes out of them, as wispy plumes of flavored vapor.

The proposed rules give the F.D.A. the power to regulate ingredients, not emissions, although the agency said it could consider such regulations in the future. Even so, some experts contend that the current approach is akin to examining the health risks associated with tobacco leaves rather than with cigarette smoke.

“Looking at ingredients is one thing, and very important,” said Maciej L. Goniewicz, who led the first study, which is scheduled to be published on May 15. “But to have a comprehensive picture, you have to look at the vapor.”

Both studies focused on tank systems, fast-growing members of the e-cigarette family. Unlike disposable e-cigarettes, which tend to mimic the look and feel of conventional smokes, tank systems tend to be larger devices heated with batteries that can vary in voltage, often resembling fountain pens or small flashlights. Users fill them with liquid nicotine, or e-liquid, and the devices are powerful enough to vaporize that fluid quickly, producing thick plumes and a big nicotine kick.

Dr. Goniewicz, an assistant professor of oncology at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, said people using the systems “want more nicotine, but the problem is they’re also getting more toxicants.”

Complicating the issue is that the tank systems are made by a variety of manufacturers, many overseas, and then sometimes tinkered with and modified by retail shops or users. Still, e-cigarette makers should be measuring emissions, said Josh Rabinowitz, chief scientist at NJoy, a maker of more traditional e-cigarettes, not tank systems.

“We don’t just evaluate the purity of what goes in, but also the purity of the emitted vapor because that’s what the user is exposed to,” said Dr. Rabinowitz. He said NJoy had significantly lower levels of formaldehyde than regular cigarettes.

Like Dr. Goniewicz’s study, which has been subjected to peer review, the second study also centered on the impact of increased heat generated by the systems. In that study, the focus was on how people use the devices to create more — and more potent — vapor. Rather than fill their tank systems with e-liquid, experienced users often trickle drops of the fluid directly onto the device’s heating element, a practice known as “dripping.”

But with dripping, the e-liquid heats with such intensity that formaldehyde and related toxins “approach the concentration in cigarettes,” said Dr. Alan Shihadeh, a project director at the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for the Study of Tobacco Products and an associate professor of mechanical engineering at American University in Beirut, who led the research.

Both studies point to the same phenomenon: Intense heat can change the composition of e-liquids, creating new chemicals. Importantly, the researchers said, the chemical reactions apply not only to the liquid nicotine, but also to two other crucial ingredients in most e-liquids: vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol.

Precisely what level of heat causes the reaction is difficult to pinpoint. The Roswell research found, generally, that when battery voltage increased to 4.8 volts from 3.2 volts, toxin levels increased markedly.

“This finding suggests that in certain conditions, E.C.s might expose their users to the same or even higher levels of carcinogenic formaldehyde as tobacco smoke,” the Roswell study says.

Both studies examined only a handful of carcinogens. Traditional cigarettes, by contrast, create thousands of chemicals and dozens of carcinogens, according to Prue Talbot, professor of cell biology at the University of California, Riverside. E-cigarettes do not tend to generate enough heat to create combustion, which is a big reason that many public health officials and researchers predict they will prove less harmful than cigarettes.

“If I was in a torture chamber and you said I had to puff on something, I’d choose an e-cigarette over a regular cigarette,” Dr. Shihadeh said. “But if you said I could choose an e-cigarette or clean air, I’d definitely choose clean air.”

He added: “And I definitely wouldn’t drip.”

Whatever the health effects of the new systems, they are exploding in popularity and reshaping the market, according to a report issued in March by Bonnie Herzog, a tobacco-industry analyst for Wells Fargo Securities. In 2013, Ms. Herzog projected domestic sales of e-cigarettes at $1.7 billion a year but, based on surveys with makers and marketers of e-cigarettes, she now expects “in excess of $2 billion.”

Demand for tank systems, Ms. Herzog wrote, is “accelerating” and “undeniably a key growth driver.” She estimated that the new systems now represent 35 percent of the market, but they are growing twice as fast as the previous models.

Experts say tank systems appeal to young people who like products that can be customized with flavors and power, and are comfortable with fast-changing technology.

At Sky City Vapor in San Diego, the owner, Chris Hayek, said consumers clearly are gravitating toward the more powerful systems and away from the “ciga-likes.”

“The ones shaped like a cigarette, that style doesn’t do it for them,” Mr. Hayek said. “It’s not harsh, it doesn’t produce as much vapor.” He said that only about 5 percent of his customers are regular “drippers” but that the trend in the industry is toward tank systems that produce large amounts of strong vapor.

Some health data seems promising for e-cigarette users, such as a previous study led by the researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. That research, published in 2012 in the journal Tobacco Control, found that the level of some toxic substances in 12 e-cigarette brands was significantly lower than in cigarette smoke. However, Dr. Goniewicz said that the technology is moving so quickly that many of the products tested are outdated — and some are no longer even on the market.

“Technology is way ahead of the science,” Dr. Shihadeh concurred. “We’re creating this stuff, and we don’t understand the implications.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/business/some-e-cigarettes-deliver-a-puff-of-carcinogens.html

The last few days I've been reading about some N.O.P.E.-ers who have been playing around with the idea of e cigarettes. We are Addicts! Having that "just one" thought is totally a part of the Quit Journey! And what do we do with such thoughts? WE KICK THEM TO THE CURB! Fast!

But now e cig is sneaking back into our Addictive Minds! BIG Tobacco and lots of publicity and death money are convincing the public that e cigs are "harm reduction!" BOLOGNA!

We have to N.O.P.E. them just like we do sickerettes because we have made a decision to live NIOCOTINE FREE! The next stage from buying the 0% Nicotine cartridges is buying the low Nicotine ones and then... It's a slippery slope! 

Lock those doors People!

N.O.P.E. means N.O.P.E.!

Think of how far that's gotten you and the many Blessings it has bestowed on you!

Although the number of studies involving mind and body research for smoking cessation is small, results of a recent review suggest that yoga and meditation-based therapies may help people quit the habit. The review of the literature was funded by NCCAM and published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

The authors reviewed 14 clinical trials to assess the effect of mind and body practices on smoking cessation and to explore future directions for research on these approaches for nicotine addiction. Of the 14, 3 studies applied yoga, 3 used breathing techniques, and 8 focused on meditation. Among the findings:

      
  • Five studies reported smoking abstinence rates of 21 percent to 56 percent following treatment.
  •   
  • Six studies examined the effects of mind and body approaches on cigarette cravings and desire to smoke and found reductions in both.
  •   
  • Two studies reported 20-percent and 26-percent decreases in the number of cigarettes smoked per day.
  •   
  • Although there were differences in the outcome measures and study quality, all 14 studies demonstrated some positive results related to smoking cessation.

The authors noted that due to the scarcity and limitations of the research available, larger and more rigorous studies are needed to determine if yoga and meditation are efficacious as aids for smoking cessation. They also noted the need for the future directions in mind and body research to include clinical trials with objective measures of yoga and meditation practice, adequate control conditions, and standardized outcomes.

If you want to know how Big Tobacco is doing across the industry, just look at convenience store sales. This report indicates that although sickerette sales are dropping, smokeless tobacco sales are rising at the same rate. 

Smokeless Tobacco Growing at Twice the Rate of Cigarettes' Decline

Convenience store sales volumes see some relief from last year

[ By keeping poor suckers addicted with different Nicotine Delivery Systems! – Thomas]

NEW YORK -- Cigarette-category volumes in convenience stores were down 2.8% during the four-week period ended April 12, according to a research report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. This sales decrease follows a 2.2% drop in the prior four-week period and laps 4.0% decline in April 2013.

Citing Nielsen, total U.S.-convenience data, the analysts reported that in the most recent period:

§  Philip Morris USA's c-store cigarette volume declined 2.8 %.

§  R.J. Reynolds Tobacco’s volume fell 2.8%.

§  Lorillard’s volume decreased 0.9%.

Volume share for Philip Morris and RJR held steady at 53.5% and 26.9% respectively; Lorillard share rose 0.2% to 13.0%.

Cigarette-per-pack prices were up 1% in April. Average prices for the category, Philip Morris $6.14, RJR $6.26 and Lorillard $6.44 per pack.

Meanwhile, smokeless-tobacco volumes (including moist smokeless tobacco or “MST,” chew and all other smokeless tobacco products) increased +6.4% in April, below year-to-date trends of 7.3% growth and lapping a 5.7% increase a year ago.

"In MST only, we estimate that Philip Morris/U.S. Tobacco’s volumes rose +2.2% in the latest four-week period, slowing from the prior four weeks’ rise of 3% and lapping a 6.6% gain a year ago," the analysts wrote.

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 If you are trying to quit smoking one method to incorporate is to do new, exciting “self-expanding” activities that can help with nicotine craving. This is the take-home message from a new study published online in PLOS ONE by a team of researchers including Arthur Aron, PhD, a Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at Stony Brook University.

 

Dr. Aron and colleagues based their study’s conclusions on a neuroimaging study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning that measures brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow. The fMRI scanning, completed at Stony Brook University, looked at the brains of nicotine-deprived smokers who engaged in a series of two-player cooperative games with their relationship partners during the actual time of the scanning.

 

The team of researchers, from Stony Brook University, Idaho State University, the American Cancer Society, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Georgia and Brown University, report what they discovered in the paper, “An fMRI study of nicotine-deprived smokers’ reactivity to smoking cues during novel/exciting activity.”

 

“Our study reveals for the first time using brain imaging that engaging in exciting or what we call ‘self-expanding’ activities, such as puzzle-solving, games, or hobbies with one’s partner, appears to reduce craving for nicotine,” said Dr. Aron. “The self-expansion activities yielded significantly greater activation in a major reward region of the brain, which is associated with addictive behaviors, than did non-expanding conditions. This suggests such activities may be a major new route to help people reduce the desire to smoke.”

 

Dr. Aron and lead author Xiaomeng Xu, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Idaho State University, explained that because engaging in self-expanding activities clearly stimulates the same pathways in the brain that are activated by nicotine – as revealed by the fMRI study – self-expanding activities such as games could potentially substitute for the reward the brain receives from nicotine.

In the study, the team tested their theory with the use of fMRI during the cooperative game playing. The games were randomized between expanding and non-expanding activities. The study’s expanding games offered new choices and more targets for study participants and were significantly more exciting.

The researchers believe that future research could focus on specific aspects of the self-expanding activities that produce this effect, as well as test the use of self-expansion activities in clinical interventions for smoking cessation.

 

Dr. Aron added, “In addition to the importance of this work for smoking cessation, this was also the first brain-imaging study to demonstrate the rewarding effects of doing specifically self-expanding activities with one’s romantic partner, an effect shown in many behavioral studies to be very beneficial to relationships, but now supported by brain research.”

http://www.newswise.com/articles/want-to-quit-smoking-new-study-says-try-self-expanding-activities