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Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 31, 2014

Between Mike and JoJo and Smoked Out I have nothing to say EXcept

PLEASE Protect your Quit as if your LIFE depends on it -

Because IT DOES!

Anybody have a Kleenex handy?

(Medical Xpress)—It's no easy task to quit smoking and the lure of an e-cigarette, which claims to mimic the smoking experience without the harmful chemicals, seems a dream come true for many smokers. But with no FDA regulations, that dream could quickly turn into a nightmare, said Philip McAndrew, MD, Loyola University Health System physician and smoking-cessation expert. The truth is that little is known about the chemicals e-cigarette smokers are inhaling and the increase in the number of adolescents smoking.


"In our culture we have this idea that something new is something better no matter how little we know about it or how little it's regulated," McAndrew said. "There is no clear evidence that e-cigarettes help with smoking cessation and the lack of FDA regulation has led to the use of at least 19 harmful chemicals in the devices, some that are cancer-causing carcinogens."

The e-cigarettes contain nicotine, but also a high concentration of propylene glycol, which is a hazard if inhaled. This chemical is what provides the "smoke." There is no research on the effects the chemical has on the lungs when inhaled at this concentration. What is known is that The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health lists propylene glycol as an inhalant risk and recommends immediate fresh air if the chemical is inhaled.

"E-cigarettes are really a wolf in sheep's clothing. People think it's a safe alternative to cigarettes, but the reality is we don't know. There are so many important safety questions we don't have answers to. We don't know who is producing them, exactly what chemicals are in them, if the construction of the devices are safe and the effects these chemicals can have on a person's health," McAndrew said.

The City of Chicago's recent ban on e-cigarettes use is similar to the ban on regular cigarettes and requires retailers to keep electronic cigarettes behind the counter like traditional cigarettes. McAndrew believes this is a good start, but more needs to be done with regulations.

"We were seeing a decline in the number of adolescents smoking, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the number of middle school and high school students who have tried e-cigarettes doubled in a year. This is a tremendous health risk. The kids see them as a cool, new tech device, but what they really are is an inroad to a nicotine addiction," McAndrew said.

McAndrew also doesn't see them as an effective tool for smoking cessation.

"I am a firm believer in methods that have been proven effective to help people quit smoking such as oral medication, nicotine replacement that is regulated and counseling. That triad has the best percentage of not only helping people to quit but to stay that way," McAndrew said. "E-cigarettes do not separate the nicotine from the oral fixation, which is extremely important when a person is trying to stop smoking."



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 30, 2014

If you’re like me, I used to take lots of Vitamin supplements to “make up” for abusing my body by smoking! I did so especially out of an anxiety about cotracting Cancer! Come to find out that I might have done more harm than good!

The Harvard School of Public Health reports that taking antioxident supplements while smoking can actually feed precancerous and cancerous cells! Antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium, vitamins A, C, and E are meant to protect the body from disease by preventing cell damage caused by molecules known as free radicals. These radicals can damage almost anything inside the cell including DNA, which can lead to cancer. However, high-dose supplements of antioxidants may be linked to health risks, and could interact with some medicines. The protection they initially intend to provide can backfire in those who already have cancerous or precancerous cells. The antioxidants harm rather than help the cancer patients by accelerating the progression of the disease.

Typically, when the body detects cellular DNA damage that can lead to cancer, it releases a tumor-suppressing protein — p53. The antioxidants not only destroy free radicals, but also suppress the release of p53. By reducing the DNA damage, the antioxidant actually helps the cancer cells escape detection.

the antioxidant supplement — acetylcysteine, a.k.a. N.A.C.  — is commonly used to improve breathing in patients with COPD. Most patients with COPD are current of former smokers. They stress people carrying small undiagnosed tumors in their lungs should avoid taking extra antioxidants. If you have lung cancer, or if you have an increased risk of developing lung cancer, then taking extra antioxidants may be harmful and it could speed up the growth of a tumor.

Researchers also found a higher incident of lung cancer among men who received beta-carotene compared to those who did not. These men were smokers who took daily supplements of this antioxidant for five to eight years that were found more likely to die from lung cancer or heart disease.

Some of the effects of antioxidants backfire. The human body’s ability to create its own antioxidants and adding antioxidant supplements could defeat the body’s ability to fight cancer and disease. 

Whether antioxidants have a good or bad effect on cancer risk in healthy individuals remains to be known. Scientific data has encouraged and also err on the side of caution when it comes to antioxidant supplements. The belief that antioxidants may “cure” or “prevent” cancer and other diseases is being put into question in a lot of studies.


A Work in Progress!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 29, 2014

YES! Even nearly 4 years into my quit journey I'm still evolving for the better! Not that it's been totally positive along the way! The last two Months have been full of personal angst, depression and health scares! I went on Zoloft and that caused drug related colitis which led to a whole series of not very fun tests, hours of sleepless worry, and of course, didn't help my depression much! LOL! But because I had built so many wonderful quit smoking tools, amongst them stress management tools, I came through it all like a trooper! The good news, no more Zoloft! No more colitis! Less stress and worry! AND the colonoscopy caught a precancerous polyp! 

TODAY I am celebrating my health and well being more than ever! Everything isn't perfect by a long shot! I still hate Winter! I still get nostalgic for Mexico! I still have COPD, of course! But what I'm looking at is the fact that "No matter how sick I am, as long as I'm alive, there is more right with me than wrong with me!" 

LIFE is GOOD! Addiction FREE Abundant LIFE is SUPER! TODAY is a Great Day because I live Smoke FREE!

'Even 50 years after the first surgeon general's report on smoking and health, we're still finding out new ways that tobacco kills and maims people," Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently told me. "It's astonishing how bad it is." 

Frieden and public health specialists everywhere are seeking better ways to help the 44 million Americans who still smoke to quit and to keep young people from getting hooked on cigarettes. 

"Fewer than 2 percent of doctors smoke. Why can't we get to that rate in society as a whole?" he wondered. 

One reason: Smoking rates are highest among the poor, poorly educated and people with mental illness, populations hard to reach with educational messages and quit-smoking aids. 

But when I mentioned to Frieden, a former New York City health commissioner, that the city's streets are filled with young adult smokers who appear to be well-educated and well-dressed, he said television seems to have had an outsize influence. 

Focus groups of girls in New York private schools have suggested a "Sex in the City" effect, he said: Girls think smoking makes them look sexy. In the past two years, middle-aged men, too, have begun smoking in increasing numbers after a half-century decline. Dr. Frieden cited "Mad Men," the popular TV series featuring admen in the early 1960s, when more than half of U.S. men smoked. 

Frieden said that an anti-smoking effort begun in 2008 by the World Health Organization "can make a huge difference in curbing smoking, and we should fully implement what we know works." 

The program is called Mpower: 

•M stands for monitoring tobacco use and the effectiveness of prevention programs. 

• P for protecting people from secondhand smoke. Half the country still lacks laws mandating smoke-free public places. About half of children from nonsmoking households have metabolites of tobacco in their blood, Frieden said. 

•O for offering help to the 70 percent of smokers who say they would like to quit. Medical aids for quitting smoking, which can triple the likelihood of success, should become available, without a copay, to many more people under the Affordable Care Act, Frieden said. 

• W for warning about smoking hazards through larger and more graphic messages on cigarette packs and paid advertising on radio and television. 

• E for enforcing bans on tobacco marketing, advertising, promotion and sponsorships. Smoking is freely depicted in movies and popular TV shows. 

• R for raising taxes, which studies have shown is the single most effective way to reduce smoking in the population, especially among teens. 

President Barack Obama has proposed an additional 94-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes, which would yield $80 billion to fund universal prekindergarten. 

"A higher cigarette tax is not a regressive tax, because it would help poor people even more than the well-to-do," Frieden noted. 

Smokers ready to quit can choose from among a cornucopia of aids as wide-ranging as nicotine substitutes, low-dose antidepressants, hypnosis and acupuncture. While none by itself has a high rate of success, different methods have proved effective for different people. Many former smokers required several attempts before they managed to quit for good. 

But quitting smoking does not necessarily require assistance. As two public health specialists, Andrea L. Smith and Simon Chapman at the University of Sydney in Australia, have pointed out, "The vast majority of quitters do so unaided." 

A Gallup Poll conducted last year in the United States found that "only 8 percent of ex-smokers attributed their success to (nicotine replacement therapy) patches, gum or prescribed drugs," these experts noted. "In contrast, 48 percent attributed their success to quitting 'cold turkey' and 8 percent to willpower, commitment or 'mind over matter.' " 

They added, "For many smokers, having a reason to quit (a why) was more important than having a method to quit (a how)." 

For my husband, who smoked a pack a day for 50 years, the "why" was his distress at seeing two beautiful young nieces smoking; he made a pact with them to quit if they would, and he followed through. 

Techniques that can help people trying to quit when troubled by the urge to smoke include waiting 10 minutes and distracting yourself; avoiding situations you associate with smoking, at least until you have become a committed ex-smoker; using stress reducers such as physical activity, yoga, deep breathing, muscle relaxation and self-hypnosis; seeking moral support from a nonsmoking friend, family member or online stop-smoking program; and oral distractions such as chewing sugarless gum or raw vegetables. 

Electronic cigarettes are being promoted by some as a way to resist the real thing. E-cigarettes contain liquid nicotine that is heated to produce a vapor, not smoke. More than 200 brands are now on the market; they combine nicotine with flavorings like chocolate and tobacco. 

But their contents are not regulated, and their long-term safety has not been established. In one study, 30 percent were found to produce known carcinogens. Frieden said that while e-cigarettes "have the potential to help some people quit," the method would backfire "if it gets kids to start smoking, gets smokers who would have quit to continue to smoke, gets ex-smokers to go back to smoking, or re-glamorizes smoking." 

Nearly 2 million children in U.S. middle and high schools have already used e-cigarettes, Frieden said. In an editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal last year, Dr. Matthew B. Stanbrook, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, suggested that fruit-flavored e-cigarettes and endorsements by movie stars could lure teens who would not otherwise smoke into acquiring a nicotine habit. 

A survey in 2011 of 75,643 South Korean youths in Grades 7 through 12 by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, revealed that 4 of 5 e-cigarette users also smoked tobacco. It could happen here: Stanton A. Glantz, the study's senior author and a professor of medicine at the university, described e-cigarettes as "a new route to nicotine addiction for kids." 


Never Ever Forget!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 28, 2014

Today I chose my theme from a saying that was introduced by Live4theDash! If you all don't know him, well, keep your eyes open - he drops by from time to time and really knows how to inspire a solid quit!

Never Ever Forget!

So why did I choose this one of so many inspiring slogans? Because for me this is the most important slogan of my quit! You see, I have "quit" many times before! But N.E.F. guarantees that this is THE QUIT!


Let me start out by the first sickerette I remember smoking with my buddies (not the guys in the picture, but coulda been - we were just like these fellas!) I was 5 years old and yes, I got caught! My punishment was to smoke one after another until I threw up! YUK! (Sorry Ladies!) So did it work? Heck, NO! We snuck them from our parents and went out something like that movie Lean on Me! Great Movie, folks! That WAS my growing up thing! So that's how I got started! N.E.F.!

As I grew older I was on the anti-smoking - "You'll get Cancer" Club until about High School when they told us marijuana was one step short of being a heroin addict! That's when I decided that Medical "Evidence" doesn't mean Doo-doo! If they can lie about MJ they could be lying about tobacco, too, right? N.E.F.

Still, I am the exact opposite of a gambler! The idea of losing so much as $1 on a lottery ticket seems like such a "pena!" - such a shame! So me being the thinker that I am, I came up with a "fail/safe" plan: I can smoke from time to time and quit from time to time and keep myself safe from Cancer and Lung Damage! And that's exactly what I did! I was a super-expert on cold turkey! N.E.F.

So, when my Doctor told me I had chronic bronchitis some 15 years ago, I marked it up to having pneumonia 2 years in a row - it couldn't possibly be the smokes - I have the fail/safe plan! Right? N.E.F.


March 14, 2010 The day I will NEVER EVER FORGET! Sunday morning and I have a fever of 102 degrees! At the Hospital I hear the words burnt forever in my brain - Emphysema/ COPD! How is that possible? Because COPD is an auto-immune disease! It cares not what deals you made - how old you are or how much you smoked! ONE SICKERETTE is ONE TOO MANY! And my life changed in the most amazing and exciting way possible! I discovered my Ex Family and MY TRUE ADDICTION-FREE SELF!

I no longer had a "reason" to give up my quit! This would be THE QUIT! The one and only FOREVER QUIT! Because Smoking is not an option for me anymore NO MATTER WHAT! N.E.F.

If GOD grants me 10 or even 20 more years of LIFE I will still be saying N.E.F. because my LIFE depends on it - and so does yours! God Bless You All and


When the challenges are great, so are the rewards. If the journey is long, there is much value to be gained in making it.

When people criticize what you’re doing, it means you’re making a difference. When you keep encountering obstacles, it means you’re moving forward.

Just because you experience life’s difficulties is not a reason to be dismayed. Keep in mind that the more solidly you’re making progress the more resistance you’ll feel.

Feel the resistance, and realize that the very fact you’re feeling it push against you means you’re pushing forward through it. Feel the palpable sense of progress, and keep going.

Just on the other side of challenge is achievement. Just on the other side of the obstacle you’re facing is your next step on the path forward.

Persist through one challenge, and another, and another. You’ll emerge as a much stronger person, having created great new value in your world.

— Ralph Marston


Smokers often look for excuses to not give up smoking. The fact is, there may be a 100 reasons to quit smoking, but in order to feel good about themselves smokers chose to focus on the 5 valid reasons they might have to continue smoking. Often, these valid reasons are not even true and in this post we’ll bust some of the common myths about quitting smoking. 

1. Quitting smoking will make me gain weight

A new study has revealed that quitting smoking may not result in a person putting on weight. The study, conducted by University of Otago, followed the progress of about 1000 people born in Dunedin in 1972-1973 and measured their smoking habits and weight regularly from the age of 15 to 38, reported. According to the findings, both male and female quitters were likely to gain about 5 kilograms more than those who carried on smoking, but their weight returned to the same level as those who had never smoked.

The study also found that being a smoker did not prevent long-term weight gain, and all the groups in the study put on weight as they aged, regardless of their smoking status. Head researcher Lindsay Robertson said that a previous study had suggested people might gain large amounts of weight after quitting, but these studies were unreliable. The study was published in the Nicotine and Tobacco Research journal. 

2. No one else is getting harmed by my smoking

You might think that all the toxic smoke of the cigarettes is going into your lungs only, but you are wrong. According to some estimates, a waiter working in a smoky bar inhales the same amount of toxic smoke as a smoker who smokes 10 cigarettes a day. Read more about the 5 Ds that can start you on your path to smoking.

3. I can quit whenever I want!

In terms of addictive potential, nicotine is as addictive as some hard drugs. Which means that once you’re hooked, it’s extremely difficult to quit. It becomes such an integral part of your life that only when you decide to quit cold turkey that you realise how dependent you’ve become to cigarettes. 

4. I smoke just 3-5 cigarettes a day which is fine

While you may think that as compared to people who smoke 10-15 cigarettes a day, smoking 3-5 is way safer. However, this notion too is a myth. There is no safe-range for smoking. According to a Norweigian study, male smokers who smoked just 3-5 cigarettes a day were three times more likely to get lung cancer than non-smokers. Also, people who smoke less tend to take in larger puffs and exhale lesser making them more susceptible  to the toxic elements present in cigarettes. Read about the different ways in which you can quit smoking.

5. I am going to die any way! It’s better that I do it young

Some cigarette companies glorify smoking as a young man’s indulgence. But, this notion is wrong as smoking does not just kill you it also brings down the quality of your life. Your bones lose their density, your skin becomes worse, you could suffer from bad breath and erectile dysfunction might hit you earlier than expected. In short, smoking speeds up your ageing process. Yes, you are going to die any way but wouldn’t you like to live whatever years you have in good health? Read more about the dangerous chemicals present in a cigarette.

6. I am helping the economy by smoking tobacco

A lot of people working for the tobacco industry cite the number of people employed because of tobacco, amount of tax collected by the government, etc. and while these numbers might be true, they paint only half the picture. Tobacco is also the reason behind many families losing their breadwinner causing them much distress. Also, it can make employees feel lethargic and fatigued at work resulting in diminished returns for a company. Even though, your smoking habit may not be causing any such harm it is wrong to justify the sale of tobacco using such logic.


Finding Our New Normal

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 27, 2014
  We don't recover from Nicotine Addiction by smoking cessation alone. We recover by creating a   New   Normal where it is easier to maintain our smobriety. If we don't create a new lifestyle, then all the factors that kept us in our addiction will eventually catch up with us again.
  We don't have to change everything in our lives. But there are some behaviors that have been getting in our way, and they will continue to get you into trouble until you let them go. The more you try to hold onto your old life in recovery, the less well you will do.
  Here are the three most common things that people need to change in order to achieve recovery. 
   Change Our Environment
  Thnk in terms of
       -   People 
            - People who we smoked with or who are related to our smoking. 
            - People who we have conflicts with, and who make us want to smoke. 
            - People who we celebrated or relaxed with by smoking.
            - People who encouraged us to smoke either directly or indirectly.
       -   Places
            - Places where we used to smoke. 
            - Places where we bought our sickerettes.
        -   Things
         Things that remind us of our smoking such as:
            - ashtrays.
            - lighters. 
            - other smoking paraphernalia.
             - alcohol use especially in excess.
   How can we avoid high-risk situations? Of course, we can't always avoid these situations. But if we're aware of them, they won't catch us off guard, and we can prevent little cravings from turning into major urges. 
   Little Changes we can make make a BIG difference such as 
             - taking better care of ourselves. 
             - eating a healthier lunch so we're not as hungry at the end of the day. 
             - participating at BecomeanEX so that we don't feel isolated 
             - helping others boosts our confidence and our commitment in our own quits. 
             - learning how to relax so that we can let go of our anger and resentments.  
             - developing better sleep habits so that we're less tired. 
   Remember    H.A.L.T. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.) 
   Recovery isn't about one big change. It's about lots of little changes. Avoiding those high-risk situations helps us create our New Normal so that it's easier not to smoke. 
   Make a list of your high-risk situations. Addiction is sneaky. Sometimes we won't see our high-risk situations until we're right in the middle of one. That's why it's important that we learn to look for them. Make a list of your high-risk situations and to keep it with you. Go over the list with us so that we can spot any situations that you might have missed. Make the list and keep it with you. Some day that list may save your life. 
     Learn to Relax 
    There are only a few "reasons" why people smoke:   
              - to escape.   
              - to relax.    
              - to reward ourselves.  
     In other words, people smoke to relieve tension or stress.  
    The first rule of recovery is that we must change our lives. What do you need to change? We need to change the way we relieve tension. Everyone needs to escape, relax, and reward themselves. Those are essential coping skills for a happy life. But smokers don't know how to do those things without smoking.  
    If you manage to stop smoking for a while, but don't learn how to relax, your tension will build until you'll have to relapse just to escape again. Tension and the inability to relax are the most common causes of relapse. Relaxation has changed my life. There is only one reason why people don't relax – because they think they're too busy to relax. It goes something like this, "I know it makes sense, but I've got so many other things I have to do."  
    Ask yourself how much time you spent on smoking. If you add up all the time it takes to buy your sickerettes, smoke them, deal with its consequences, and plan your next relapse, you'll realize that relaxing for twenty to forty minutes a day is a bargain.  
    Relaxation is not an optional part of recovery. It's essential to recovery. There are many ways to relax. They range from simple techniques like going for a walk, to more structured techniques like meditation. Meditation is an important part of that mix because the simple techniques don't always work. If you're under a lot of stress, you may need something more reliable like meditation. Use any of these techniques, or any combination. But do something everyday to relax, escape, reward yourself, and turn off the chatter in your mind. Numerous studies have proven that relaxation reduces Nicotine Addiction relapse.  
      Be Honest  
     An addiction requires lying. Most of us had to lie or deceive about buying our sickerettes, smoking them , hiding its consequences (especially to ourselves) , and planning our next relapse. An addiction is full of lying. By the time we've developed an addiction, lying comes easily to us. After a while we get so good at lying that we end up lying to ourselves. That's why we often don't know who we really are or what we believe in. We have long ago forfeited our values to our addiction.   
     The other problem with lying is that we couldn't like ourselves when we lied. we couldn't look ourselves in the mirror. Lying traps us in our addiction. The more we lie, the less we like ourselves, which makes us want to escape, which leads to more smoking and more lying.   
     Nothing changes, if nothing changes. Ask yourself this: will more lying, more isolating, and more of the same make us feel better? Nothing changes if nothing changes. If we don't change our lifestyle, then why would this time be any different? We  need to create a new life where it's easier to not smoke.   
     Recovery requires complete honesty. We must be one-hundred percent completely honest with the people who are our supports: our Family, our Friends, our doctors, our Community at becomeanEX. If we can't be completely honest with them, we can't do well in recovery.   
     When we're completely honest we don't give our addiction room to hide. When we lie we leave the door open to relapse. That's why we insist on quit days meaning not one puff ever!   
      Honesty won't come naturally in the beginning. We've spent so much time learning how to lie that telling the truth, no matter how good it is for us, won't feel natural. We'll have to practice telling the truth a few hundred times before it comes a little easier. In the beginning, you may even have to stop yourself as you're telling a story, and say, "now that I think about it, it was more like this..."    
       The Chance to Change Our Lives   
      Our addiction has given us the opportunity to change our lives. Changing our lives is what makes recovery both difficult and rewarding. Recovery is difficult because all change is difficult, even good change. Recovery is rewarding because we get the chance to change our lives any way that we decide to. Most people sleepwalk through life. They don't think about who they are or what they want to be, and then one day they wake up and wonder why they aren't happy.    
      If you use this opportunity for change, you'll look back and think of your addiction as one of the best things that ever happened to you. People in recovery often describe themselves as grateful addicts. Why would someone be grateful to have an addiction? Because our addiction helped us find an inner peace and tranquility that most people crave. Recovery can help us become the person that Our Creator wants us to be.    

Ex-Marlboro Man Dies

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 27, 2014


from smoking-related disease

Eric Lawson, who portrayed the rugged Marlboro man in cigarette ads during the late 1970s, has died. He was 72.

Lawson died Jan. 10 at his home in San Luis Obispo of respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, his wife, Susan Lawson said Sunday.


Lawson was an actor with bit parts on such TV shows as "Baretta" and "The Streets of San Francisco" when he was hired to appear in print Marlboro ads from 1978 to 1981. His other credits include "Charlie's Angels," "Dynasty" and "Baywatch." His wife said injuries sustained on the set of a Western film ended his career in 1997.


A smoker since age 14, Lawson later appeared in an anti-smoking commercial that parodied the Marlboro man and an "Entertainment Tonight" segment to discuss the negative effects of smoking. Susan said her husband was proud of the interview, even though he was smoking at the time and continued the habit until he was diagnosed with COPD.


"He knew the cigarettes had a hold on him," she said. "He knew, yet he still couldn't stop."


A few actors and models who pitched Marlboro brand cigarettes have died of smoking-related diseases. They include David Millar, who died of emphysema in 1987, and David McLean, who died of lung cancer in 1995.


Lawson was also survived by six children, 18 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 25, 2014

Bible Scenes 1.0


The greatest gift you will ever receive is the gift of loving  and

believing in yourself. Guard this gift with your life. It is the  only

thing that will ever truly be  yours.            Tiffany Loren Rowe



Believe in yourself and know that you have within you the POWER to decide to quit for one day, TODAY! Then respect yourself enough to honor that decision for the next 24 hours! Love yourself enough to be stronger than that dead leaf wrapped in paper and dipped in 4000+ deadly chemicals! You are a Creature of the Almighty and He has good judgment, that cig is a creation of man and well, not all men make wise decisions but you CAN! Love yourself, trust yourself, Believe in YOU! Choose Breath not Death! N.O.P.E. Not One Puff Ever just for TODAY NO MATTER WHAT! It IS possible!

In today’s Society, we are taught that Self-Criticism will motivate us to change. If we don’t criticise ourselves we will be self indulgent and lazy! And that Explains our failure to quit smoking! We can beat up on ourselves like nobody else because we know ourselves better than anybody! I don’t have to tell you the about the Voice or the Message – we are all intimately in relationship with our Self Critic!

But is it true that we will change better, faster, more successfully by judging our own lives? NeoroScience says definitively – NO! Self Criticism sets us up as both the attacked and the attacker and registers in the reptilian part of our Nervous system. It stimulates Cortisol and Adrenaline, the “fight/flight” hormones. But the one Person we can’t run away from is Myself! The result is Stress which leads to more Self-Criticism and more sense of Failure and eventually Depression! Self Criticism undermines Motivation!

A healthy alternative to Self-Criticism is Self-Compassion! Self Compassion releases Oxytocin and Opiates, the feel good hormones, into the nervous system and Cortisol declines. These hormones are released when we feel warmth, gentle touch, and soft vocalizations. When we feel safe and comforted we are in the optimal mind state to do our Best!

Self Compassion has 3 main components:

(1)Self Kindness – saying things to ourselves that we would say to our good friends.

Would you tell your Best Friend, “You’ve quit umpteen times! You’ll never get it right! You’re going to die a smoker!” or would you say, “Of course, you can quit! Never give up! It isn’t easy but I know you can do this and I’ll support you 100%!” ???

(2) Common Humanity – not how am I different from others, but how am I the same as others. All humans are imperfect.

“If I can’t quit perfectly, then I can’t quit at all! I’m just so different from everybody else! Nobody understands me!” vs. “We are all Addicts and have an Addict mentality in common! I’m not alone! These people know what it’s like to fight the Addiction and WIN! If they can do it so can I!”

(3) Mindfulness – accept the fact that we are suffering so that we can  give ourselves compassion.

“I have been my own Worst Enemy instead of my own Best Friend! No wonder I feel tired and defeated and afraid! I need to stop picking on me and be nice!”

Sometimes we are so busy criticising ourselves, we don’t even realize how much that hurts!

Be compassionate to yourself! There is nothing Selfish or Self Centered in being Kind to ME! Actually the nicer you are to yourself, the nicer you will be to those around you! It’s the generous thing to do!

Active smokers have a 30% to 40% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with nonsmokers, according to new data published in the Surgeon General's 50-year anniversary report on smoking.

The Health Consequences of Smoking — 50 Years of Progressannounced at the White House last Friday by current acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak, MD, MPH, highlights diabetes as one of several new diseases causally linked to smoking.

While the 2010 Surgeon General's report on smoking had discussed associations between smoking and impaired glycemic control, the development of diabetes, and diabetic complications, it was not clearly established at that time that any link was independent of other factors, such as physical inactivity and poor diet.

But newer studies have controlled for those and other confounders and have also demonstrated a dose-response relationship, as well as a reduction in diabetes risk following smoking cessation. So now, the Surgeon General report concludes: "The evidence is sufficient to infer that cigarette smoking is a cause of diabetes.

"The link between smoking and diabetes is really interesting," Serena Tonstad, MD, PhD, MPH, professor at the School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, California, told Medscape Medical News.

Dr. Tonstad stressed that the lack of attention paid to smoking cessation in clinical encounters with patients who have diabetes or prediabetes is "a major concern."

"I believe that most of the consultation time goes to blood sugar regulation, medications, and diet. These findings from the report underscore the importance of giving attention to smoking cessation also. There are unfortunately very few data regarding smoking cessation in persons with diabetes," she noted.

Epidemiologic and Biological Evidence

The new report includes a meta-analysis, which updates a 2007 systemic review by adding a further 24 studies. All were prospective cohort studies, and none included individuals who already had diabetes at baseline. In all, the meta-analysis included over 3.9 million subjects, of whom 140,813 subsequently developed diabetes.

The various studies adjusted for many potential confounders, including age, body mass index, physical activity, diet, alcohol consumption, family history of diabetes, gender, race/ethnicity, and educational level.

Compared with nonsmokers, the smokers had a pooled risk ratio for developing type 2 diabetes of 1.37. Stronger associations were seen in studies that used blood glucose measures to assess the presence of diabetes, rather than in those that relied on patient or physician reports.

A dose-response analysis provides further proof of direct causation. Compared with never-smokers, the relative risk for developing diabetes increased with smoking intensity from 1.14 for former smokers to 1.25 for light smokers (0 – 19 or 0 – 15 cigarettes/day in the various studies) to 1.54 for heavy smokers (> 15 or > 20), all statistically significant.

A third line of evidence for causation comes from 4 studies on smoking cessation. One review found improved insulin sensitivity among individuals who quit smoking, despite weight gain. Another large study found that the risk of incident type 2 diabetes among those who quit smoking actually increased in the short term but fell to that of never-smokers by 12 years after cessation, while another found that the risk fell to that of never-smokers after 5 years for women and 10 years for men.

Due to "limited evidence," however, the report does not discuss the effects of passive smoking on diabetes or the adverse effects of smoking on the development of diabetic complications.

But the new Surgeon General's report does provide several possible biologic mechanisms for the causal connection between smoking cigarettes and the development of type 2 diabetes. For one, smoking promotes central obesity, a well-established risk factor for insulin resistance and diabetes. This effect may be related to higher cortisol concentrations and the differential effect of smoking on sex hormones, the data indicate.

Smoking also increases inflammatory markers and oxidative stress, both implicated in the development of insulin resistance and abnormal glucose metabolism.

And both human and animal studies have found functional nicotinic receptors on pancreatic islet and beta cells. Nicotine could, at least in part, reduce the release of insulin via islet-cell receptors. Animal studies also suggest that prenatal or neonatal exposure to nicotine can cause beta-cell dysfunction and apoptosis, according to the report.

"The Most Powerful of All Lifestyle Interventions"

"Smoking-cessation advice takes just a few minutes but is the most powerful of all lifestyle interventions," Dr. Tonstad, who is also head physician at the department of endocrinology, morbid obesity, and preventive medicine, preventive cardiology section, Oslo University Hospital, Norway, told Medscape Medical News.

But fear of weight gain is often a barrier for both patients and physicians, she noted. "I have heard physicians say, 'Let's get diabetes and weight under control before attacking smoking.' Most patients want to do that too. Both physicians and patients are afraid of weight gain. Certainly there are a few pounds of weight gain with cessation, but a focus on exercise and not eating carbs during that period could help."

Dr. Tonstad, who was not involved in writing the new Surgeon General's report but whose work is cited in it, is currently conducting a study in Norway to investigate which diet works best to prevent weight gain among smokers.

She also stresses that physicians should always offer pharmacological assistance to patients who smoke, "as it doubles or triples the chances of success on a given quit attempt."

Although there is virtually no literature on the use of pharmacologic antismoking treatments specifically in people with diabetes or prediabetes, Dr. Tonstad says there are "no major problems" with the currently available ones. Nicotine-replacement therapy by gum, patch, pill, or other forms is effective. Buproprion also works, although there is a caution in the label regarding patients on insulin or other glucose-lowering medications.

She told Medscape Medical News that, in her opinion, varenicline (Chantix, Pfizer) is the most efficacious of the smoking-cessation drugs, with no contraindications for people with diabetes. She is due to present results of a Pfizer-funded study on its efficacy specifically in patients with diabetes at the upcoming meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

She added this final additional advice for doctors trying to counsel patients to quit smoking: "Reassure the patient that even though a small weight gain can occur, still it is advantageous to stop. Try to personalize the message by pointing out specific risk factors that improve, such as insulin sensitivity, risk of heart attack, risk of stroke." And importantly, "Follow-up should be arranged, even if just a telephone call to the office nurse," she concludes.

I can't change the past and the future is simply a series of "Nows!"

Just for TODAY I pledge not to smoke for any reason under any circumstances! I will respect myself enough to honor this decison for the next 24 hours NO MATTER WHAT! 

Keep stacking those days -one at a time!

The Good Parts of Nicotine Addiction

The reason people stick with addiction is that addictions aren’t all bad at least in the beginning before we have forfeited our desire to choose. Sickerettes  helped me escape from the boredom of everyday life. They helped me to feel 'cool',' rebelious', 'independent'. They gave me a sense of belonging to a social group of edgy 'in your face' friends. They often remind me of happy times in the past and relationships I’ve formed with friends and family over the years. I joined my smoking friends so that I could be included. Over time, I got used to enjoying these pleasant qualities. Then I wound up spending a lot of time with my smoking buddies when all I really shared with some of these folks was Addiction! But instead of using sickerettes to enjoy life, I used them to escape from it and that's the EXact point where Nicotine Addiction became destructive.

The Cycle of Escapism

Everyone feels the desire to escape. No matter how good you have it, there are times when, instead of dealing with problems, you’d rather pretend they don’t exist. I turned to sickerettes because they allowed me to postpone, to numb, even to forget. They gave me a pleasurable sensation that seemed to push problems out of my mind and I related this escapism with "stress relief." The downfall of this solution is that it’s only temporary. The feeling wears off and the problems remain, often made worse by my indulgence and avoidance of real solutions to my problems. Once again faced with those problems, the natural reaction was to escape again.This is the cycle of escapism. I felt pain each time I faced reality, so I used Nicotine to escape, which only increased my pain, making me more desperate to escape. Each time around it took more sickerettes to escape, increasing my dependency on Addiction. Once I got caught in the whirlpool of escapism, it  felt impossible to get out.

Developing Positive Beliefs

The only way I could permanently break the cycle of escapism was to develop a positive perception of reality. When I associated reality with pain, I constantly wanted to escape. It was essential to find happiness in reality that outweighed the suffering caused by its problems. I had to find the things in life that gave me true joy rather than temporary pleasure. These are the actions that built up my belief in a positive reality.Changing my attitude towards reality was easier said than done. When I was accustomed to the cycle of pain and escape, reality felt hopeless. The truth is that reality is neither bad or good, but an equal mix of the two. My attitude is a reflection of the parts that I choose to focus on, hence "The Happy Quitter!"  By fixing my attention on sources of hope and joy, I created positive beliefs and reduced the desire to escape.

Breaking Free of the Past

Perhaps the two most powerful factors influencing my behavior were my actions in the past and my expectations of the people around me. This creates resistance to change. My friends and family members could only judge me by my actions in the past -  my family reluctantly accepted that I would continue to smoke in spite of how they felt about my Addiction and frequently some of my friends had a stake in my addiction as well - take my smoking buddies, for EXample.  They shared my Addiction and we acted as mutual enablers. Many were afraid of losing me–that I'd  start to consider myself superior and decide to abandon them or find that we actually had nothing in common beyond our destructive mutual behavior. By simply quitting I was bringing to their attention the fact of their own Addiction.  These relationships made Addicion Recovery  more difficult because we all need love and acceptance from the people around us. When I was  trying to break out of the old pattern and the people around me weren’t, it might have been  likely that I'd  eventually give up and return to my old ways because of my need for belonging. The best way for me to permanently change my lifestyle  was to surround myself with people I wanted to emulate who  naturally pulled me up to their level - enter BecomeanEX elders! That’s not to say that I  ditched all of my old friends in search of new opportunities but I did sort out those whose companionship was based on more than sickerettes and those who only wanted to share the fix. The truth is that change involved difficult choices. I couldn't remain bound by the past and change for the better at the same time. I certainly couldn’t force other people to change with me. Ultimately, I had to decide which is greater, the fear of loss and the unknown, or the fear of stagnation and perpetual mediocrity as a person and forfeiture of quality and quantity of LIFE!

Creating the Future in the Present

Another mistake I once made was to wait for the future. I had a picture of the “ideal life” I would have liked to live. I invisioned  an “ideal Thomas” I wanted to become. I lived based on the past, waiting for a revelation to make me who I wanted to be. It didn’t work this way. My actions in the present determine my future. The only way to create the future I want is to start living it right now.I have a favorite saying, "The future is simply a series of NOWS!" Once I started living according to the future I want to create, it became easy to spot the behaviors that detracted from it. When I realized that giving up Nicotine Addiction and all it's fantasies was a necessary and inevitable part of creating the life I desire, addiction began to lose it’s power over me. Temporary pleasure and escape didn’t have the same appeal.The more progress I make towards my ideal future, the weaker my desire to escape from reality. Just like the cycle of escapism, the pattern is self-reinforcing. Over time, I have become able to delight in lifestyle choices that are congruent with my vision — that strengthen a positive reality instead of numbing pain. Eventually there was no need or desire to rely on addictions for relief.  Pleasure can be enjoyed for its own sake. Problems can be concretely permanently resolved rather than postponed or avoided. Reality became an EXtraordinary place to BE!



"Sickerette" Childish?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 21, 2014

There's nothing childish about having a chronic progressive incurable smoking related illness! Deadly insecticidal leaves wrapped in paper and dipped in over 4000 chemicals - many deadly in their own right will always be sickerettes for me! Every  #$%&ing time I gasp for breath!

Don't let this happen to you!


Maybe I'm just an eternal optimist - maybe, just maybe, every single time I run toward the football, Lucy will swoop it out of place and I'll fall with a klunck right smack on my back! And maybe just maybe I'll spend hours believing in people more than they even believe in themselves - EXplaining to them patiently once again how I became a 6%er and that they can, too - just to have them come back at me with, "You don't understand! I'm not like you, it's harder for me, I relapsed too many times, I never "tried' to quit before, I smoked more years than you, I'm a closet smoker, I'm a chain smoker,..........I'm different!" And then they swoop that football right out from under me and -klunck/smack - here we go again!

But I just don't give up! I believe! I believe in you, Newbie! i know - even if you are determined to prove me wrong - that if you really want to quit and do your homework, you don't really have to quit 6 - 8 times - you can do it the very first time! 

I know that each of us is an individual with our own personal quit history but it doesn't change the Law of Addiction! The Law of Addiction doesn't even know or care who you are! It's an equal opportunity law, like the Law of Gravity! The Law of Addiction says "Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance." It applies whether you've been hooked for 2 weeks or 50 years and everything in between! It applies to the social smoker just as it does the closet smoker and the chain smoker. It applies to the 15 year old and the 60 year old. It applies to the healthy and the ill, to men and women, straight and gay, religious and atheist, all of us equally! Bottom line - the only way to quit smoking is to Not take One Puff Ever!!!! N.O.P.E.!

N.O.P.E. is not just a mantra - although it is, it's not just a slogan, although it is. N.O.P.E. is a way of LIFE! LIFE is what we're all about - your LIFE! No less! LIFE free from Addiction! LIFE healthy and happy and unhooked from a deadly, albeit legal, EXtremely Addictive Drug! N.O.P.E. is the foootball that you, Lucy, er Newbie hold in your hands - that you jerk away from the successful punt again just to prove that you're Special!


Lucy, YOU ARE SPECIAL! That is the very reason I believe in you and I'll continue to run, klunck and smack myself around trying to prove it to you! Because, maybe, just maybe, one of these days you'll keep that ball lined up and you and I together can SUCCEED!

Never Quit the Quit! I won't quit believing in you!

When you get tired of serial quitting, come back and listen, learn, and participate! Nothing you do any other way will change the Law of Addiction!

 "Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance."

In other words, "Keep 'em away from your face!"


I Have a Dream!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 20, 2014



"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." 

As we Celebrate Martin Luther King Day, we celebrate the BEST of ourselves. We reach out for our potential BEST just as he had in his short, enlightened inspiring life! Dr. King was intelligent, yes and he was charismatic but more than that he had Faith in his fellow human being and the dream that dwelled in his mind! While we were smoking, we had a dream that seemed so far fetched - a dream for FREEDOM! We had an inkling of our potential selves, a memory of the FREEDOM we relinquished by taking that first puff and that ever since, most of us for decades was being puffed away with addiction. That simple little thought made us strive for FREEDOM - the FREEDOM to be as Our Creator wishes we would be and knows we can be! Many of us have looked under every crook and cranny our our minds for the means to gain our FREEDOM until we found the PRIZE! A few others were able to find the way more directly. And most of us are still searching but refuse to give up! We each had our own motivations for this quest for FREEDOM but what we had in common is the goal! We were motivated by the fact that "a lie cannot live" and we knew on some level (some more conscious than others) that we were living a lie. 

 To reach that goal takes a lot of human fortitude.  As MLK said, "Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our FREEDOM." Too many people see quitting as an event, just as today's celebration is an event and back to "business as usual" tomorrow! But quitting brings change and change is not inevitable! We must straighten our backs and work our quit journey each and every day. That's a BIG ticket so it can only be done one day at a time, giving just for today commitment, focus, and determination - keeping always our eyes on the prize - FREEDOM and remember these words, "I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars."

Many of us have EXperienced the very personal loss of one or more family member, friend, loved one due to the wicked consequences of smoking related illness. It's absolutely devastating! And some of us have been struck down, debilitated, even left disabled, by smoking related illness. I happen to be one of them. If at times, our voices are shrill, it's because we wish to spare you! We want you to see past the Addictive lie that "smoking is a harmless vice", to know that smoking related illness is very real! But life isn't about not dying - it's about living well! Again, MLK said, "Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!" he said those famous words on April 3, 1963. On the next day, he was assassinated. I won't begin to speak for the other elders who continue to visit this site - I speak for myself alone, but these words perfectly EXpress my thoughts when I come here again and again and do my best to share my DREAM of FREEDOM for all of you, for all people caught up in the lie of Nicotine Addiction!

Yes, folks, this struggle we are in is just as life and death, just as critical to the dignity of living as MLK's! And yes, I gladly give the BEST of myself when I come here and ask, "Wouldn't you like to live in FREEDOM? I, Thomas, have seen the Promised Land and believe that we, as a Community, will get there! Join me! I will walk beside you and together we will go up the mountain called FREEDOM!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m fortunate where I live there is much emphasis placed on the importance of not smoking. It certainly doesn’t mean no one smokes, but in my practice population, the number of parents and caregivers who smoke seems to be decreasing every year. 

And so when I have a parent in the office carrying the smell of smoke, I’m typically caught off guard because again, I’m just not used to it. Most who smoke do already understand the personal hazards in smoking but I think some overlook the true perils of second-hand smoke.

What I typically do is discuss some of the more specific numbers and facts surrounding second-hand smoke hoping that might inspire the individual from rethinking the desire to smoke. Now I realize I might not change things right then and there but I do hope the discussion plants a seed where the parent or caregiver realizes the harm that can come the way of those they live with. 

So for any of my fellow DailyStrength members who smoke or know someone who smokes (which is about everyone else), here are some of the statistics I share:

   - Second-hand smoke consists of approximately 4,000 chemicals with more than 250 known to be toxic or cancer causing. So any time children are exposed to smoke (whether it be from a cigarette, pipe, cigar), they are being exposed to cancer causing agents.   
- Second-hand smoke causes about 3,000 deaths from lung cancer and thousands upon thousands of deaths from heart disease in nonsmoking adults in the U.S. each and every year.   
- Respiratory or breathing issues (particularly with those have asthma), ear infections, colds, and tooth decay all occur more often in children who are exposed to second-hand smoke. 
   - More specifically, the respiratory issues (e.g. wheezing, pneumonia, bronchitis) in the developing child can lead to persistent and life-long lung problems. 
   - Now for the pregnant mother who smokes or who is exposed to smoke during her pregnancy, the health issues to the baby that may follow include miscarriage, a premature delivery and/or smaller than typical size baby at time of delivery. In infancy, there is an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and in the toddler years, learning issues such as ADHD may appear. 
   - Children of smokers are more often themselves to smoke. 
    And the best way to reduce the risk of all of these above-mentioned consequences?    Quit.
   - Dr. Jeremy  

If you have COPD

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 18, 2014

Please refer to my posts from November 2013. November is COPD Awareness Month and I posted copd infoblogs each day of Nov. 2013. Also, feel free to contact me with info, advice, questions, concerns, or just to vent. I will get back to you! You are not alone! 20% of this Community has COPD!

Together we're BETTER!

Young farm workers are falling ill from “green tobacco sickness” while the industry denies it and government lets it happen.

The air was heavy and humid on the morning the three Cuello sisters joined their mother in the tobacco fields. The girls were dressed in jeans and long-sleeve shirts, carried burritos wrapped in aluminum foil, and had no idea what they were getting themselves into. “It was our first real job,” says Neftali, the youngest. She was 12 at the time. The middle sister, Kimberly, was 13. Yesenia was 14.

Their mother wasn’t happy for the company. After growing up in Mexico, she hadn’t crossed the border so that her kids could become farmworkers. But the girls knew their mom was struggling. She had left her husband and was supporting the family on the minimum wage. If her girls worked in the tobacco fields, it would quadruple the family’s summer earnings. “My mom tends to everybody,” Neftali says. This was a chance to repay that debt. 

The sisters trudged into dense rows of bright green tobacco plants. Their task was to tear off flowers and remove small shoots from the stalks, a process called “topping and suckering.” They walked the rows, reaching deep into the wet leaves, and before long their clothes were soaked in the early morning dew. None of them knew that the dew represented a health hazard: when wet, tobacco leaves excrete nicotine, which is absorbed by the skin. One study estimated that on a humid day—and virtually every summer day in North Carolina is humid—a tobacco worker can be exposed to the nicotine equivalent of thirty-six cigarettes. 

Their mother told the girls to stick together, but Neftali soon fell behind. “I was seeing little circles, and the sky started to get blurry,” she says. “It felt like my head was turned sideways.” Her mother ordered her to rest in the shade, but Neftali sat down only briefly. “I wanted to show that I could work like an adult,” she recalls. She soldiered on through a splitting headache and waves of dizziness. Several times, about to faint, she sank to the ground between rows to rest. 

“I would find her looking confused,” Yesenia says.

Later in the day, Neftali heard someone retching. One row over, Kimberly was bent double, throwing up on the plants. Afterward, feeling slightly better, Kimberly resumed work, only to throw up again. When the twelve-hour shift finally came to an end, the sisters trudged back to their car. Neftali fell asleep on the short drive home, but that night, despite her fatigue, she was woken several times by the same dream: she was back in the tobacco fields, stumbling around in a daze, surrounded by suffocating plants. 

The next morning, ignoring their mother’s pleas, the sisters went back for more. In all, the girls would spend four summers in the tobacco fields, working sixty hours during a typical week, their earnings usually $7.25 an hour. For many teens, memories of summer include a nostalgic mix of freedom and boredom, with lazy afternoons spent doing next to nothing. But the Cuello sisters mostly remember feeling exhausted, dizzy and nauseated. Only later would they learn why: the fields were poisoning them. 

On a steamy July afternoon, Neftali and Yesenia are seated on a teal couch in Melissa Bailey’s double-wide trailer. “Miss Melissa,” as she’s known in these parts, lives in the heart of tobacco country, along a rural stretch outside Kinston, a town of 22,000 in eastern North Carolina. A rooster crows nearby and clouds gather in the distance, promising relief after days of scorching heat. Neftali, about to start her senior year of high school, runs her fingers through bangs she recently dyed red. “It’s hard to explain what it’s like to work in tobacco,” she says, scrunching up her face. “It’s just horrible.” She shows me a photo taken of her in the fields; her hands are black with tar.

“OK, let’s get started,” calls Bailey. At 43, her sparkling eyes and easy laugh don’t quite conceal the stress of a lifetime spent juggling emergencies. She recently lent her van to a homeless family and is now collecting food donations for a migrant family with eight children. Meanwhile, Bailey is struggling to hold together NC Field, a scrappy nonprofit she co-founded in 2010. Young farmworkers face a workplace fatality rate four times that of children in other industries, and Bailey’s goal is to move kids into less dangerous work. It’s a job with long hours and long odds. Many parents depend upon their children working just to get by.

Today, only four kids show up. “It’s really hard to keep things together in the summer,” Bailey tells me. “Everyone’s working tobacco.”

From a “hillbilly mining family” in West Virginia, Bailey moved to North Carolina in 2001 and soon got a job enrolling the children of migrant laborers in school. The hard edges that characterize life for North Carolina’s 90,000 migrant farmworkers felt familiar. Bailey’s grandfather entered the mines at age 12 and died at 32 in 1949 from a methane explosion; her grandmother, who helped raise Bailey, was evicted from company housing after the accident. When Bailey was a toddler, a coal company dam burst, killing several other relatives. Like many of her peers, she got married and had a child right after high school and spent most of her 20s getting by on welfare.

Still, she was surprised to discover that child labor was still legal in the fields; the more she learned about the hazards of tobacco, the less those fields seemed like a place for kids. A 2001 study found that one in four tobacco workers suffers from acute nicotine poisoning, or “green tobacco sickness.” Symptoms range from dizziness and vomiting to difficulty breathing and heart rate fluctuations requiring hospitalization. The pain can be so excruciating that some workers call it the “green monster.” A tobacco farmer in Kentucky said the sickness “can make you feel like you’re going to die,” a phrase I’ll hear others repeat. 

These hazards have led countries like Russia and Kazakhstan to ban anyone under 18 from harvesting tobacco. The United States has played a role in such global efforts, recently spending at least $2.75 million to eliminate child tobacco labor in Malawi. But no such prohibition exists here. “Why do we ban cigarettes to minors,” Bailey asks me, “but somehow it’s perfectly OK to have 12-year-olds getting nicotine poisoning in the fields?” 



If you can't think of yourselves and of your children, do you have it in your heart to think of these children who are being poisoned by your Addiction? There's nothing harmless about tobacco!!!!!


Heads Up, Ladies!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 18, 2014

Unlocking the mystery of childhood obesity

Research shows nicotine replacement therapy could have adverse effects on offspring

   By    Amy Kenny

For expectant mothers, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) may be safer than smoking, but even gum, lozenges and patches are not without their consequences.

New research from London's Western University indicates that nicotine from both smoking and NRT can have negative results in children, including increased risk of obesity. Dr. Alison Holloway, associate professor with the department of obstetrics and gynecology at McMaster University, worked in collaboration with Western's Dr. Daniel Hardy of the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry.

"It's well established that kids born to moms who smoke during pregnancy have an increased risk of obesity, but the reasons were never clear why," Holloway said Friday.

Over two years, their research focused on discovering what, specifically, increased that risk and how.

Holloway said they examined this by injecting pregnant rats with nicotine and studying their offspring.

At birth, the baby rats were small. Within six months, however, they experienced increases in liver and circulating triglycerides — a trademark of obesity.

"We don't want to say to people that they shouldn't use NRT if they're smoking, but we want people to understand that NRT may also have its own risks," Holloway said.

Still, she acknowledged that quitting cold turkey may not work for some people. That's why she and Hardy are applying for a grant to continue their research.

If it goes forward, they want to look at whether there are critical windows during fetal and neonatal development when offspring are more or less sensitive to nicotine. From there, they'll propose interventions to the mother that may reverse the damage caused by nicotine.

One potential option includes increasing perinatal doses of folic acid. Folic acid has been proven to reduce circulating triglycerides in animals. As well, mothers who smoke often have low levels of the vitamin.

"The end game is to see if we can improve those outcomes for kids whose moms smoked during pregnancy," Holloway said.

Their work was recently published online in the journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.


1400 Days of FREEDOM!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 18, 2014

When you look back on life, will you say, I wish I had, or I'm glad I did?

I’m soooo glad I quit smoking!!!!

Actually, I’ve never met a smoker who didn’t want to quit but didn’t because:

“I’m afraid!”

“I’m too stressed out!”

“I’m too committed to family or work or both!”

“I’ll gain weight!”

“I’ll be too grouchy!”

“I can’t!”

-      Etc., etc., etc., …..

Now I’m pure and simply GRATEFUL for every smoke FREE Day!





How does that go?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 17, 2014

If you quit and you're smoking, 

then you're doing it wrong!

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


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


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


Today I CELEBRATE 1399 Smoke FREE Days! It was no "easier" for me than for you! I have had many challenges, especially at first! But I NEVER GIVE UP! I Believe in ME! I work hard at my Quit! And that means giving myself permission to make ME my First Priority at all times! I can't do anything for anybody if I can't take care of ME FIRST! LOVE YOURSELF! You deserve to LIVE Smoke FREE!

( - WASHINGTON, D.C., (January, 17, 2014) - Smoking is even more deadly today than it was 50 years ago, according to the 32nd Surgeon General's report on smoking and health, which found that smoking now kills 480,000 Americans each year.  The report, The Health Consequences of Smoking-50 Years of Progress, confirmed smoking is responsible for more than 87 percent of all lung cancer deaths and 61 percent of all lung disease deaths.

Furthermore, women are now as likely as men to get sick and die from smoking-caused diseases such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  Since 1959, the additional risk of lung cancer among women smokers has jumped nearly tenfold.  More women than men now die from COPD and the Surgeon General also suggests that women may be more susceptible to develop severe COPD at younger ages than men.

For the first time ever, the Surgeon General causally links smoking to increased risk for both contracting and dying from tuberculosis. The report also suggests that youth smoking may cause asthma.

"This report underscores the imperative to enact policies that prevent our youth from ever starting an addiction to tobacco," said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. "Tragically, women are now as likely as men to die from lung cancer and COPD.  More must be done to help all smokers quit, to reduce all deadly tobacco caused diseases," Wimmer added.

The human and economic burden of tobacco in the United States is overwhelming.  Over the last 50 years, 20 million Americans died from tobacco.  That includes 2.5 million people who died as the result of exposure to secondhand smoke, including 263,000 deaths from lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke exposure.  The Surgeon General's report also underscores the tremendous economic burden caused by tobacco use - $289 billion to as much as $333 billion each year.  Economic productivity losses exceed $151 billion annually and direct medical costs range from $132 billion to $175 billion annually. Lost productivity caused by exposure secondhand smoke is now assessed at $5.6 billion each year



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Smoking Issues Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Jan 17, 2014 - 12:43:24 AM



Surgeon General’s 2014 Report: Tobacco Deadlier Than Ever

By Staff Editor
Jan 17, 2014 - 12:40:27 AM

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( - WASHINGTON, D.C., (January, 17, 2014) - Smoking is even more deadly today than it was 50 years ago, according to the 32nd Surgeon General's report on smoking and health, which found that smoking now kills 480,000 Americans each year.  The report, The Health Consequences of Smoking-50 Years of Progress, confirmed smoking is responsible for more than 87 percent of all lung cancer deaths and 61 percent of all lung disease deaths.


Furthermore, women are now as likely as men to get sick and die from smoking-caused diseases such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  Since 1959, the additional risk of lung cancer among women smokers has jumped nearly tenfold.  More women than men now die from COPD and the Surgeon General also suggests that women may be more susceptible to develop severe COPD at younger ages than men.

For the first time ever, the Surgeon General causally links smoking to increased risk for both contracting and dying from tuberculosis. The report also suggests that youth smoking may cause asthma.

"This report underscores the imperative to enact policies that prevent our youth from ever starting an addiction to tobacco," said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. "Tragically, women are now as likely as men to die from lung cancer and COPD.  More must be done to help all smokers quit, to reduce all deadly tobacco caused diseases," Wimmer added.

The human and economic burden of tobacco in the United States is overwhelming.  Over the last 50 years, 20 million Americans died from tobacco.  That includes 2.5 million people who died as the result of exposure to secondhand smoke, including 263,000 deaths from lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke exposure.  The Surgeon General's report also underscores the tremendous economic burden caused by tobacco use - $289 billion to as much as $333 billion each year.  Economic productivity losses exceed $151 billion annually and direct medical costs range from $132 billion to $175 billion annually. Lost productivity caused by exposure secondhand smoke is now assessed at $5.6 billion each year

Epidemic "Sustained by Aggressive Strategies of the Tobacco Industry"

One major conclusion from the report is that the tobacco epidemic is being "sustained by the aggressive strategies of the tobacco industry."  The report highlights the ongoing manipulation of cigarettes by the tobacco industry to cause youth and young adults to start smoking.  For every adult who dies prematurely from a smoking-related cause, more than two youth or young adults become replacement smokers. And if smoking continues at current levels, 5.6 million US youth will die prematurely from a smoking-related illness.

"This is a startling and sobering call to action.  The White House must empower the Food and Drug Administration to aggressively implement the Tobacco Control Act to regulate all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and cigars.  FDA also must move forward with product standards that will reduce death and disease caused by smoking, such as prohibiting menthol cigarettes," said Wimmer.

Bold Action Required

On January 8, the American Lung Association and our partners called for bold action by all levels of government to achieve three bold goals: reduce smoking rates, currently at about 18 percent, to less than 10 percent within 10 years; protect all Americans from secondhand smoke within five years; and ultimately eliminate the death and disease caused by tobacco use.

The Obama Administration must respond to this new report and take courageous steps to fight the tobacco epidemic.  The American Lung Association is calling for:

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to move forward with aggressively implementing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, starting with the White House Office of Management and Budget releasing the proposed rules to regulate all tobacco products including e-cigarettes and cigars.
  • The Obama Administration to make sure that all Americans have access to a comprehensive quit smoking benefit with no barriers as part of their health insurance. We know that not everyone quits the same way, which is why smokers need access to all seven FDA-approved medications and all three forms of counseling - individual counseling, group counseling and quitlines.
  • Congress to significantly increase the federal tobacco tax and close tobacco tax loopholes so that all tobacco products are taxed at equivalent rates.
  • FDA to remove menthol cigarettes from the marketplace. In July of 2013, FDA issued a report concluding that the consequences of menthol cigarettes to public health are greater than cigarettes without menthol as a characterizing flavor.

The American Lung Association and our partners have fought to pass policies to prevent kids from starting, help smokers quit and protect everyone from the dangers of secondhand smoke.  To ensure the bold goals we have called for are met, the American Lung Association is calling for all states to:

  • Fully fund comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation programs, including high- impact media campaigns, at levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Increase tobacco taxes and close tobacco tax loopholes so that all tobacco products are taxed at equivalent rates.
  • Ensure all smokers have access to a comprehensive quit smoking benefit with no barriers as part of their health insurance.
  • Pass comprehensive smokefree laws in states where they are not in place.  At present, only 28 states and the District of Columbia have comprehensive smokefree air laws.

"Millions of lives have already been lost because not enough was done to enact the lifesaving policies we know work," stated Wimmer.  "Only a comprehensive approach that touches every community can counter this terrible scourge."

"Nothing is more important to the American Lung Association than finishing the job we started 50 years ago when we stood with Surgeon General Luther Terry at the release of the first Surgeon General's report on smoking and health," said Wimmer. "The American Lung Association is calling on our nation's leaders to end tobacco use, and free our nation from the terrible toll it takes on our health and future.  But reducing tobacco use by 10 percent by 2024 will only occur if our leaders chart a new course and commit to making tobacco history."

On January 22, the American Lung Association will release its 12th annual "State of Tobacco Control" report, which issues grades for the federal government and all 50 states on whether they are implementing policies we know save lives.  Our 2014 report is both a call to action to end the tobacco epidemic and a benchmark against which progress from our political leaders in Washington and across the country can be measured.


Why Quit Now?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 16, 2014
   5 Reasons Why People With COPD Continue to Smoke
  How many times has your spouse, close family member or best friend nagged you, unsuccessfully, to quit smoking? Chances are, there are too many to count. For reasons not completely understood, smoking cessation and COPD is an complex issue that isn't always forthcoming with well-understood answers.
  Perhaps the key to successful smoking cessation lies in understanding the reasons why so may people who have been diagnosed with the disease continue to smoke. Gaining insight into what motivates you to smoke just may pave the way to successful smoking cessation.
  Despite overwhelming evidence that smoking contributes to worsening airway obstruction and early death from COPD and/or other chronic health conditions, smoking cessation rates in smokers with COPD are poor. Considering that quitting smoking is the primary intervention in managing the disease, understanding why you don't want to quit, or want to quit but can't, may pave the way to you finally achieving smoking cessation success.
   1. Why Quit Now? I Already Have the Disease
  Although the majority of smokers with COPD realize that continuing to smoke contributes to worsening lung function and a decline in overall health, studies suggest that many people falsely believe that, because they've already been diagnosed with the disease, there's no reason to quit. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is always a health benefit to quitting smoking, no matter what stage disease you're in. In fact, lung function decline in COPD can actually normalize in some patients who quit smoking, meaning that once you quit, your lung function will decline at the same rate as anyone else of the same age, sex, height and weight.
   2. Lack of Internal Motivation to Quit
  Current research supports that, in order to maintain autonomy, the decision to stop smoking has to come from within. Despite awareness of the consequences of tobacco consumption, all the nagging in the world by well-intentioned loved ones won't help someone quit if they lack the internal motivation to do so. Although some studies suggest that motivation to quit smoking is elicited by worrying about future health problems, other studies show that unpleasant respiratory symptoms are simply not enough to convince a person to jump aboard the quit-smoking bandwagon.
    3. It's a Lifelong Habit That's Difficult to Break
   For some people, smoking cigarettes is a lifelong habit that is consequentially, very difficult to break. In fact, studies suggest that smoking initiation at a young age is strongly associated with a lifelong dependence on smoking. What makes quitting so difficult? Smoking is often associated with pleasant events and positive feelings, such as smoking after a meal, during a coffee break at work or when drinking alcoholic beverages. Some people even consider smoking a reward after a long day on the job or doing a good deed. Others revel in the feeling they get from just holding a cigarette between their fingers and will light up even when they don't have a craving to smoke.  
    4. Never Finding the Right Time
   If you cite having a hectic, worrisome lifestyle as one of the reasons you still smoke, you're not alone. Many people with COPD attribute their chaotic lifestyles to why they can't quit smoking, even when they don't necessarily long for a cigarette. Additionally, some people associate smoking with comfort and suppression of worries and feel they'll be tossed out of their comfort zone if and when they finally decide to quit. Those who are dealing with chronic illness or death of a loved one often postpone the occasion to quit, feeling justified when they do so because of the stress they're under. Some people experience weight gain after they quit, which weakens their resolve to remain abstinent and eventually compels them to start smoking again. If you're struggling to find the right time to quit smoking, chances are, you'll be struggling forever.    The key to smoking cessation is making the right time, right now. 
    5. Smoking Continues to be Pleasurable
   Perhaps the number one reason why people don't quit smoking is because they continue to enjoy it. Even the most hazardous of consequences don't seem to override the pleasure one derives when lighting up and taking a long, extended drag off that first cigarette. Because addiction to nicotine is so strong and is related to sensations of pleasure, smoking eventually becomes a habit that is difficult to break.  
     Lung Function Decline in COPD After Smoking Cessation 
    Many people with COPD wonder why they should quit smoking after they are diagnosed. After all, since the damage to the lungs from COPD is irreversible, why quit? The truth is, every bit of scientific evidence about smoking cessation and COPD points to the fact that lung function decline (as measured by FEV1) in COPD slows dramatically once you quit. In fact, most research supports that it actually normalizes, meaning it declines at the rate of anyone else of the same age, height, weight and sex.  
    But like anything else, there are exceptions to the rule, and when it comes to COPD, there are those whose lung function declines much more rapidly than others. These people are sometimes referred to as rapid decliners.  
     Factors Contributing to Rapid Decline of FEV1 
    According to the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, if your lung function declines more rapidly than others, you may be at an increased risk for hospitalization and death.  
    What determines how fast your lung function will decline if you have COPD? These are potential risk factors for being in the rapidly declining group:  
    Continuing to smoke  
    Having frequent respiratory infections  
    Having a genetic predisposition to rapid lung function decline  
    Having other illnesses that may contribute to worsening lung function  
    Having advanced disease  
    Being age 50 or older  
    Being female  
    Being of African American decent  
     Why Quit Smoking? 
    Research published in the European Respiratory Journal suggests that smoking cessation improves COPD symptoms, reduces airway hyper-responsiveness, and "normalizes the excessive FEV1 decline in all stages of the disease." Quitting also improves survival in people with COPD.  
     Additional research from the Lung Health Study found that in those who quit smoking, there was a significant reduction in lung function decline compared to those who continued to smoke. In fact, those who quit experienced an improvement in lung function in the first year after quitting. In subjects who remained smoke-free, the rate of decline in FEV1 was 31 milliliters per year; half that of the continuing smokers group (62 milliliters per year). These differences increased progressively year after year during the study follow-up period of 11 years. At the 11 year mark, 38% of those who continued to smoke had an FEV1 of less than 60% of the predicted normal value compared to 10% of the sustained quitters.   
     Smoking cessation has many other benefits as well.    
      How To Prevent a Rapid Decline in Lung Function  
     Once you reach a certain age, lung function declines as a result of the natural aging process. When you add smoking to the mix, however, the rate of lung function decline occurs even faster. If research shows that smoking cessation is the single most effective way to slow the progression of COPD, why do so many people continue to smoke?   
     Smoking is an addiction and, as such, should be treated that way. Using an all-encompassing approach that includes medications, counseling, meditation and relaxation, quit smoking support groups, proper nutrition, and daily exercise works best if you are trying to quit. In addition, many find that the 12 Steps of Nicotine Anonymous, a program based on spiritual principles, helps them succeed when all else fails.   
     If you have tried to quit and been unsuccessful the first time, don't give up. In the beginning, many people try in vain to quit and are finally successful after subsequent attempts. How do you begin?      Start by educating yourself!  

The Naked Truth!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 16, 2014

The naked truth is always better than the best dressed lie! - Ann Landers



We are Nicotine Junkies and that means that we don't have the option to smoke even one puff EVER! It's not O.K. to say "Well, I'll TRY to quit and with LUCK I might quit! I have to make an unwavering commitment - a decision that SMOKING IS NOT AN OPTION FOR ME! I have to defend my quit as if my life depends on it because IT DOES! I'm not able to say "Oh everybody slips! If I slip it will be O.K. I'll just try again(....and again and again) NO! I QUIT! Today I will NOT Smoke because I HONOR MY WORD and RESPECT MYSELF! If that sounds harsh - well, what can I say?  I'm NOT mean I've just been down that road too many times and it's a dead end!  If you keep doing the same thing then you keep getting the same results and I CHOOSE to have different results in my life! I choose to QUIT FOR LIFE and FREEDOM! Freedom from addiction, freedom to live and breathe healthily and abundantly -  not as a junkie!  No matter how you pretty it up - THAT'S THE TRUTH! N.O.P.E. Not One Puff Ever NO MATTER WHAT each and every day!

Smoking rates cut in half. Eight million lives saved. More than 800,000 fewer lung cancer deaths. Fifty years after the U.S. Surgeon General first warned about the dangers of smoking, the benefits of quitting have never been clearer.

Yet 18 percent of the population still smokes. Nearly 2,000 teenagers take up the habit every day and tobacco companies advertise candy-flavored tobacco products with impunity. Is it possible this is the best the United States will ever do?

Health experts are convinced it isn’t — and they point to maps that rank states and regions by smoking status as proof. A look at a county-by-county breakdown of who smokes and where makes it clear that there are opportunities to get smoking rates way down, they say.

Read more:


Addictive Thoughts

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 12, 2014

As Addicts we all have them. I very rarely still have an addictive thought but I still have them. Being able to recognize them is very important especially at the beginning of our quit journey! That can be challenging because we have 60,000 thoughts a day and because we don’t necessarily recognize them when they pass through our minds.

Some folks personify addictive thoughts and refer to the Nico-Demon! I have no problem with that as long as you know that the Nico-Demon is YOU! You are generating these thoughts! Nobody knows what motivates you like you and most addictive thoughts are motivational.  What do they want you to do?

“I need my next FIX!”

That’s it! These thoughts may look very different from that but that is their motivation! Here are some Examples:

-          I need my sickerettes!

-          I’ll never be happy as an Exer!

-          Sickerettes are my best friend!

-          Sickerettes calm me down!

-          Life is too stressful to quit!

-          I’ll quit someday just not today!

-          I don’t smoke that much!

-          I’m a social smoker!

-          I’ve smoked too much for too long! I can’t quit!

-          Just one won’t hurt!

-          I’ve failed at quitting so many times, I can’t imagine success!

-          I like smoking! It smells good! It tastes good!

-          Smoking is my only vice!

-          At least I don’t XXX [drink, do drugs, etc…]

-          Some people smoke their entire lives and are healthy!

-          Smoking is hereditary! Everybody in my ancestry smoked!

I could keep going indefinitely! But it really comes down to one concept! If this thought gives you a “reason”, i.e. Excuse to smoke even one more sickerette – it is an addictive thought!

Here’s the empowering part! YOU get to decide! You don’t have to follow that thought! Imagine thoughts as cars on a highway – they rush by and you can focus on only red cars or you can focus on just blue cars or you can decide to put your focus elsewhere! Not all thoughts are addictive thoughts, are they? It may seem like that at first but you had enough Freedom loving thoughts to find this website and sign up! Let go of your addictive thoughts! They will happen! That’s the nature of addiction. But you don’t have to latch onto them! That’s what we call romancing the sickerette! Call it out and then focus on the Freedom loving thoughts!

READ, READ, READ! When you read you are stimulating many more Freedom loving thoughts! Think of those cars on the highway! The more you read the more the traffic on the highway in your mind has helpful cars! Distract yourself with other stuff! Then you are filling that highway with even another kind of car! Then decide! Take control of those thoughts by choosing your focus! Participate! We know how to do this and we can show you how!

When you stop paying attention to addictive thoughts, at first they pout, and then they scream, wave their hands, flail around, and throw a tantrum! That’s a good sign, actually as long as you continue to focus elsewhere! It means they're scared that you are serious about FREEDOM! They will say this is too scary, stressful, ugly, whatever! They will bring out every temptation they can muster so you will give in! BUT You still have the choice! YOU DECIDE!

 Eventually these thoughts become less frequent and only once in a very blue moon will they show up! You will go hours, then days, then Months, even years without these thoughts! And by then when they do show up, it’s a little whisper you can easily choose to dismiss! It gets better very soon so don’t be discouraged! What’s 4 Months compared to a lifetime of Freedom?


(CNN) -- Smoking can kill you. We've known that for at least 50 years -- and yet millions still smoke, and thousands more pick up the habit every year.

Why? Their stories involve strong addictions, passionate defiance -- and billions spent to make people act against their own best interest.

Does the way we see ourselves effect how we speak or does how we speak effect the way we see ourselves? Yes and yes.  It's called psycho linguistics!  It is proving that when you change your mind, your brain becomes neurologically wired in a different way.  

For example, Mexicans have many ways of saying corn since corn is central to their culture. Milpa is a corn plant or crop, elote refers to corn on the cob, olote says corn cob without the corn, huitlacoche means corn ****, maize means ground corn, etc….I'll bet you didn't even know there might be a reason to have so many names!

 That's just one example of how language changes our way of thinking and actually our brains!

The need to  smoke exists only in the mind.  When we say craving or "I crave a cig" it brings back all kinds of brain connections both mental and physical.  To break the cycle we have to break the language pattern.  If I no longer say "crave"  the energy of that word is taken away.  So I had an inkling or a fuzzy moment or a drat but I don't say  that four (yea I know I can't count) letter word!  I don't say try ( another miscounted 4 letter word) or slip or luck.  They cease to be in my vocabulary and cease to have power!  

Another method of addressing smoking thoughts are the simple changes in Exer language such as referring to you-know-what as sickerettes! The yuk factor turns you off, not on! Quititude is another favorite of mine because that’s a word I want to embellish with power! As you read the blogs you’ll spot other uniquely Exer language all constructed to draw power from smoking and to fortify the quit journey!

Something else that helps is to put a substitution in place.  It's called an affirmation!  An affirmation is a thought that I choose to make a belief. N.O.P.E. is an affirmation. I choose health and life is an affirmation.  I don't do that anymore is an affirmation. Don't feed the monster is an affirmation.  

 When I read an affirmation I am engaging my eyes and brain.  When I hear an affirmation I am engaging my ears, my eyes and my brain.  When I read an affirmation out loud I am using many organs ( eyes, ears, throat, mouth etc) and my brain - a VERY effective way to rewire an unspoken thought!  Every day when I get up the first thing I do is read WITH MY VOICE the message next to my bed -- I, Thomas, pledge to myself to NOT ONE PUFF EVER NO MATTER WHAT beginning with today!  I credit this to having very few drats a day and of much less intensity than they might have been!

 Today I don't remember even one drat moment!  I also see much more of the positive side of the QUIT than I might have because I BELIEVE I am having a positive quit (Why? Affirmations say that it's true!)   I absolutely know that this quit is for life because I KNOW that SMOKING IS NOT AN OPTION! There is no -  but...

If you don't think this helps just give it a try for one day - for 1 day I'll try Thomas' crazy idea!  I'm sure that you will find that it makes a difference!  It sure won't make things worse!  


Here's where you can find 46 pages of Affirmations - take as many as you want and if you want to leave some of yours, just join the 139 members in the group. Everybody is welcome!


-Smoking is not an option any more!

-Make a decision to not smoke Today and respect yourself enough to honor that decision for one day!

-READ,, The Easy Way and successful long term quitters' blogs here!

-Don't keep secrets! Tell your family and friends that you are quitting!

- Celebrate your milestones!

-Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually!

-BE HAPPY! HAVE FUN! Enjoy and embrace your smoke free lifestyle!

-Never ever forget! Protect your quit! Not One Puff Ever!

I listened and they were right! There is nothing special or different about me. My name is Thomas and I am 56 years old and smoked for 20 years! I have 3 Years 9 Months and 3 Weeks smoke free today which means I didn't smoke 13,922 cigarettes costing $2088.38.  If I can do it you can too! Listen to your BecomeanEx friends! 


Nicotine Overdose

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 10, 2014

If you’re using Nicotine Replacement Therapy and/or e –cigarettes to quit smoking, you need to be aware of the potential danger to yourself and to any small children in your household.

Cases are being reported of chidren who not only put patches on their skin causing Nicotine poisoning but they also have bitten, chewed or swallowed parts of the patch. Children have also drank liquid refills for e cigarettes sometimes with fatal consequences. One boy, age 14, chewed 45 sticks of nicotine gum in just 25 minutes injesting the equivalent of 180 cigarettes.

 From 2006 to 2008 more than 13,000 children under the age of 6 were poisoned by tobacco products such as cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. More than 70 percent of the children were infants under 12 months.

But it’s new, dissolvable, candy-like nicotine products that really have researchers worried. Recently, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company launched dissolvable Camel Orbs, which come in cinnamon or mint flavors and resemble small mints. Camel Strips and Camel Sticks can also be tempting to children, the researchers say.

The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company says that the Orbs, Strips, and Sticks are sold in child-resistant packaging, and their official response to the Pediatrics article agrees that “tobacco products, along with many other types of goods, need to be kept out of the hands of children.” But researchers say they worry that parents or other adults could accidentally leave the candy-like pellets out in the open where young children could easily gain access.

In most cases, adults overdose on nicotine by either accidentally ingesting it, by not following the instructions and using too much or by smoking at the same time they are using a nicotine cessation product. Many e cigarette websites warn against excessive vaping that can lead to Nicotine overdose.

The probable lethal dose of nicotine has been reported as between 40 and 60 milligrams (the total amount in about 2 cigarettes if all of the nicotine was absorbed) in adults and about 1 mg/kg in children (less than 1 cigarette) . Children may become ill following ingestion of one cigarette, ingestion of more than this may cause a child to become severely ill.  There are many ways for nicotine to enter the bloodstream. By smoking, using chew, vaporizing  e cigarettes, patches, gum, and through the skin via direct contact (NEVER ever use nicotine patches other than as directed! And DO NOT combine smoking when using these!) In some cases children have become poisoned by topical medicinal creams which contain nicotine.

Our bodies give us a lot of warning signs and signals when we are being poisoned. Poisoning from nicotine is generally seen in two stages;

1st Stage

·         Nausea

·         Vomiting

·         Abdominal pain

·         Sweating

·         Hypertension

·         Tachycardia or dagerously fast heart rate

·         ataxia

·         Headache

·         Dizziness

·         Shaking and tremor

·         Seizures

What you'll most likely notice: Dark gums and lips (possibly purple in appearance due to lack of oxygen in the blood), hearing or vision problems, chest pain, cold sweats, numb cold fingers or toes, headache and bad breath (but a lot of people have that!), confusion, anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, high pulse rate, no appetite, increased blood pressure, fatigue and general weakness.

2nd Stage

·         Bradycardia

·         Hypotension

·         Central nervous system depression

·         Coma

·         And finally, breathing and respiratory failure


Treatment for a nicotine overdose

Whatever method you are using to administer nicotine to your body, STOP, that's the most obvious way to avoid an overdose. If you even suspect nicotine is making you sick, discontinue use immediately. For a very mild nicotine sickness, put some sugar under your tongue and let it absorb. Pixie sticks work wonders, or have a soda or pop. Eat and stay hydrated. The sickness should pass quickly.


When the overdose is serious or life-threatening, you need to be a bit more extreme.

1.     Make sure airways are not blocked or obstructed, make sure the person suffering is able to breath. Perform first aid. Most legal doses will kill someone within the first hour of poisoning, so the prognosis is good for anyone that makes it past the first 60 minutes.

2.     Be prepared for coma or seizures with artificial ventilation. If the victim recently ingested nicotine, have them vomit (if they are not doing so already). Sometimes activated charcoal is administered. The hospital will insert a tube into your stomach and pump out the contents.

3.     Help the victim deal with panic, confusion and agitation with a benzo, like Valium, or Xanax. If the person has severe salivation, oral suction can help.

4.     When the above measures provide no relief or if they are not possible to administer, call 911 immediately.


Overcoming Fear

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 9, 2014

If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed. David Viscott



Are you a bit afraid of quitting? There's nothing more natural in the World! I was afraid of the cravings, afraid of the weight gain, afraid of the mood changes, afraid of the temptation, afraid of failure, AFRAID! We live in a society that unfortunately plays on our fears for political, comercial, and personal reasons! The comercials tell you that "Quitting sucks!" The politicians, pharmaceuticals and yes, even Doctors,  tell you that it's hard to quit (but we'll be happy to sell you NRTS!) The tobacco industry lies about how safe - er their sickorettes are! Our smoking friends are glad to tell you horror stories of their unsuccessful "quits!" FEAR is an industry in our times!


Then there is BecomeanEx Community (not to be confused with BecomeanEx admin!) who tell you that it really makes no difference if you can afford NRTs and Chantix although if you do find them helpful by all means use them!  it 's not necessary to let this be a huge deprivation full of sacrifice, mood changes, and weight gain! You don't have to be miserable, grumpy, impossible to live with!


What are we "selling?" Actually nothing at all! Yet, we are not disinterested! We sincerely CARE! And we have found and are sharing SUCCESS! But it's not success that you can buy! It's FREE! We are sharing ATTITUDE! You see, we found out that when you overcome those fears, when you make that leap of faith in yourself, when you expect success, you can not only have a successful quit - YOU CAN have a Happy Quit! When I started reading here, I'll be honest, I was sceptical! Oh come on! It can't be that easy - or so I thought! But I was intrigued! I kept reading and the more I read, the more I wanted to read! What do you mean not giving up anything? Am I not giving up my best friend, my faithful and constant companion? Well, I see now that my best friend was interested in only one thing - killing me while robbing me of all my money and of my dignity and self-respect! Jeepers! With friends like that, who needs enemies???!!! 

Are you going to believe the "common wisdom" that quitting is the hardest thing you'll ever have to do?" Or are you willing to look at the possibility that quitting smoking is the very best decision you can possibly make for your health and happiness? Quitting is not an event, but a way of life - living abundantly addiction FREE! Quitting is about regaining your integrity, about returning to the real you that your Creator intends for you to be! Quitting renews your health, your self-respect, your relationships, your LIFE! Rather than the end of your "favorite vice" it is the beginning of a new way of thinking and relishing all that life has to offer!


Having quit over 3 years ago, I can assure you that I take better care of all aspects of my health today! I take much better care of my emotional health as well! I make better career and practical choices about subjects that seemingly have nothing whatsoever to do with tobacco! I navigate my relationships both social and family with more honesty and patience, with more compassion for others, with more generosity of self! Yes, I AM Happier!


Honestly, yes! There were some rough moments! There were some very challenging days! There still are some occasional temptations! That's the nature of the addictive mind! But you couldn't make me go back to smoking and give up this FREEDOM and wellbeing for anything, for any reason NO MATTER WHAT!


So consider this - make that leap! Put aside your fears! You CAN do this and you have a whole Community of sincere people here to help you! They have all been exactly where you are today! And THEY SUCCEEDED! YOU CAN TOO!


Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.

-William Shakespeare


One who fears failure limits his activities. 

Failure is only the opportunity to more 

intelligently begin again.

-Henry Ford


What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?

-Vincent van Gogh


Stop waiting

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 9, 2014
   Don’t wait to be inspired. Get busy, and find your inspiration in making something good and useful happen.

Don’t wait for the moment to be right. Go ahead and make the moment right by what you do with it.


If you wish for fortune to shine upon you, give it a good reason to do so. The reliable way to be lucky is to make your own luck with your own efforts.


The way to get what you want is not to beg for it or hope for it or demand it. The way to get what you want is to do what you must to make it happen.


You know that, so go ahead and put your knowledge to good use. Feel the irreplaceable satisfaction that comes from being master of your own fate.


Stop waiting for life to be the way you want. Start doing all you can to make it great.


— Ralph Marston


Finding Quititude!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 9, 2014

Quitting smoking is simple! I didn’t say easy!

Actually there’s only one “law!”

It’s called the Law of Addiction and every person who wants to be FREE of sickerettes needs to know it!

The Law of Addiction 

"Administration of a drug to an addict will cause

re-establishment of chemical dependence

upon the addictive substance."

This makes smoking cessation different from dieting or breaking bad habits. Coming out of the gate, we Nicotine Addicts must live and breathe N.O.P.E. – Not One Puff Ever! There are no other ways of doing this – period!

Here at becomeanEX we have many tools that will help you achieve this high standard. You can take the daily pledge, blog out your frustrations or blog HELP!, share with your EX friends, ride the FREEDOM Train, learn about the stages of quitting, find tools for your quitsmoking tool box, address your stressors that contributed to your smoking addiction, just to name a few ways.

When you READ, you can use a combination of knowledge and thought management to assist you in applying the Law of Addiction and N.O.P.E. When you change your LANGUAGE about smoking, you change your perspective and your thoughts making smoking cessation – maybe not “easy” but easi-er.

We’re here 24/7 to help you so signing up is just the beginning but participation can make the difference between SUCCESS and RELAPSE! Be here every day in the beginning.Give yourself a good 120 days of constant and consistent support. Use becomeanEX and you will be amazed!

It’s all in your QUITITUDE!


Know your Enemy!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 8, 2014

What would you say is your enemy in this effort?

Well, that goes deeper into your reasons for quitting. If health is anywhere on that list then keep reading!

If you answered sickerettes, then you’re only partially right! The true enemy is Nicotine!

Why? Because Nicotine is the substance that addicts you and becoming free of the addiction is the only true way to protect your health and that of your family and pets.

When tobacco is smoked, nicotine is absorbed through the wall lining of the small air sacs in the lungs. When sniffed or chewed, it is absorbed through the mucous membranes of the nose or mouth. Nicotine can also be absorbed through the skin.

Regardless of how nicotine is absorbed, it enters the bloodstream where it circulates throughout the body and travels to the brain where it crosses the blood-brain barrier. Once in the brain, it binds to and activates receptors called the cholinergic receptors.

These cholinergic receptors are present in the brain as well as in other areas such as the muscles, heart, adrenal glands and other vital organs. Normally, these receptors are activated by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which is produced at nerve endings in the brain and in the nerves of the peripheral nervous system.

The actions of acetylcholine help to maintain healthy respiration, heart function, muscle movement and cognitive functions such as memory.

Since nicotine has a similar structure to acetylcholine, it can activate the cholinergic receptors. However, unlike acetylcholine, nicotine enters the brain and disrupts its normal functioning. Regular smoking leads to a change in the number of cholinergic receptors and to changes in their sensitivity to nicotine. This can lead to the development of nicotine tolerance.

Once this happens, the affected person needs to use nicotine regularly to maintain normal brain function. If the level of nicotine falls, the smoker may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that lead to them "topping up" their nicotine levels by smoking again. Because of its highly addictive properties, smoking is considered by the American Heart Association to be one of the hardest addictions to break.

A new paper delivered at the American Society of Cell Biology annual meeting in New Orleans suggests that nicotine can cause direct harm to cells in the heart.

The molecular pharmacology professor at Brown University exposed cells found in the heart to nicotine. After only six hours, a kind of cellular drill, called podosome rosettes formed and ate through tissue.


When this happens in the vascular smooth muscle cells which are in the middle layer of the arterial wall to the inner layer, this can cause plaque to form in atherosclerosis. This happened when Hai exposed human and rat cells to nicotine.


What that means is that the nicotine is acting like "a kind of cancer of the blood vessel which is waking up these cells and breaking them away from their surrounding matric and then migrating having an effect like it is almost like digging a hole through the wall," Hai said. "I think this is potentially very interesting and significant."


It also means that the nicotine substitute of an e-cigarette may reduce a person's chance of having lung cancer, but it does not mean that their risk of heart disease will go away.

It’s not real tobacco smoke, but the emissions from electronic cigarettes can still contain harmful ingredients.

A new study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research shows that e-cigarettes generate enough nicotine emissions that they can be inhaled by those near a smoker. Third hand nicotine clings to your body, hands, furniture – even your carpet! This exposure rcreates health risks to your family members and pets.

Would you offer a little bit of cyanide to your loved ones or take it yourself because you don’t want to give them a lot??? That’s the logic of “harm reduction.”

There’s only one way to free yourself and your family from the dangers of sickerettes – become addiction FREE! We can show you how! You decide!



Read to Succeed!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 8, 2014

Many of us spend countless hours visiting new members' blogs with two messages:




Over and over they type or paste the same advice - READ,READ,READ!

That's because reading serves two very important functions:

Information that can lead to a better understanding of Nicotine Addiction and Recovery


literally Retraining your Brain! 

Nicotine hijacks your brain. It takes over your thought patterns, actions, and even your feelings. Addiction robs you of YOU! 

Recovery isn't just not smoking - it is reclaiming Yourself! That's a BIG project and takes time and dedication. It takes focus and determination. It takes real effort beyond setting a quit date and using willpower for as long as you can to make it through the day! 

If your goal is to succeed, then you can keep doing what you've been doing or you can listen learn and becomeanEX!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jan 7, 2014 all milestones reached today and recently! And congratulations to all of you who are living smoke FREE Today whether you have day 1 or many years! You have made the single most important decision for your Health and Happiness! Soon you will be truly Addiction FREE - stay the course!


On Christmas morning, my Sons gave me the most splendid present! They gave my Wife and me round trip tickets to Mexico where my home is! As we spoke of work schedules, they told us, “No Dad, we have already secretly requested your vacation and had it approved! Pack your bags! The plane leaves in 4 hours!” I was so touched! These boys know that there’s nothing we’d rather have than to be home for the holidays!

Getting there was the regular craziness of travel but the weather cooperated which I hear from the morning news was very blessed! But it was all worth it as we landed in Mexico City only 4 hours later. My Wife’s family in Mexico City met us at the airport and we slept there overnight. The next day we were off to Amecameca – a one hour drive South. I can’t begin to explain the thrill of seeing my hometown! And when we drove up to the house, the Family was waiting to greet us!

Now, here in the states, a big family gathering might be 10-20 people but in Mexico, we’re talking 100s! The ladies had spent days making mole and tomales and the men had cleaned the house and the yard so they looked absolutely beautiful! Hugs all around! Shuffling back and forth from Mexico City and Amecameca, we spent days telling stories, singing songs, laughing, eating the best food on the planet (IMO) and catching up on all the changes since we’d been home a year ago. We also had the pleasure of going to church every day, visiting with friends, visiting the grave sights of my godparents, parents, and other relatives and spending hours in the street market called tiangiis.

Like all holidays in Mexico, Christmas isn’t just one day – it lasts throughout Advent all the way to Epiphany yesterday! On Epiphany, the baby Jesus leaves toys for the children in their shoes while they sleep! We were able to see the lights in my neices and nephews eyes when they woke up at 5AM to find out what Jesus had given them!

The goodbyes are always hard for us because we so enjoy being there among Family and Friends but we were also anxious to see our Sons and Friends here as well. Coming home to the States is every bit as wonderful as coming home to Amecameca! Landing in Denver gives me such a thrill when I see the airport and know we’ll soon be in our little apartment. It’s really like having 2 homes and 2 lives.

I was so touched when I turned on my computer this morning to find all your heartfelt messages! I certainly didn’t Expect anybody to miss me but I know that I missed you all! I have to apologize for giving you cause for worry – I’m truly sorry and next time I take off I’ll let you know what’s up! Thank You ALL for the well wishes and supportive missives! It’s good to be HOME!



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