"Reasons" and Consequences

Discussion created by Thomas3.20.2010 on Feb 28, 2017
Latest reply on Dec 11, 2017 by BonnieBee.quit.2.8.15

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

Let's start with Physical Disabilities.

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

Then there is Mental Illness.

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

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

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

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

Now here's the true shocker: persons with serious mental illnesses die up to 25 years earlier, often from tobacco related diseases. 

Because smoking is a powerful risk factor for comorbid illnesses such as heart attack and stroke and is itself associated with a poor clinical outcome in the treatment of mental illness, every effort should be made to help patients with smoking cessation. Many of the treatment strategies that work for smokers without behavioral health issues (e.g., cessation pharmacotherapy and behavioral counseling) can work for this clientele as well. If you suffer from any of these disorders, do not think that quitting is impossible.You are not alone here! Reach out! Speak up! The life you save is your own! Yes it's harder but it IS doable! We CAN help!

Just in case you think I don't know what I'm saying, I have COPD, PTSD, Depression, Anxiety and yes, I know what it's like! My name is Thomas and I have 6 Years 11 Months 1 Week 1 Day Smoke FREE!