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The Risks of Smoking

Taking Chances
Taking Chances

I remember back in the day when I was smoking… I never really gave much thought to what I was doing, in fact, I seemed to enjoy it. I liked the way it made me feel, the boosts of energy and alertness but as my health started to become poorer and poorer I began to take a good hard look at the health effects of smoking.

As a smoker I was more likely to die from a dozen different cancers and if the cancers didn’t get me then I ran the risk of several other life altering diseases. Imagine having a voice box sticking out your throat or being tied to an oxygen machine for the rest of your life because of COPD. There are numerous medical conditions that come from smoking.

Most of us would be unwilling to go out and get hooked to heroin but in a way we might as well be. Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs known to man and millions of people willingly continue to feed their addiction day after day. Nicotine creates a biochemical reaction when it is introduced into the body affecting our moods, feelings, and our metabolism. Quitting is not going to be easy when we are physically and psychologically addicted to one of the most power drugs in the world.

But guess what? People are doing it every day.

Smoking Triggers

Alcohol Trigger
Alcohol Trigger
After years of smoking it becomes one of those activities that is put on auto pilot. Not much thought is given to lighting up. With the exception of nicotine cravings there are other reasons we smoke, they are called triggers. Smoking triggers are those things that make a person want to smoke. Common triggers include:

  • Eating
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Feeling depressed
  • Being stressed
  • Driving
  • Being around other smokers
  • Talking on the phone
  • Watching TV
  • Relaxing
  • Drinking coffee
  • Seeing someone else smoke

Triggers can be moods, feelings, places, and things you do. When quitting smoking it is important to know what causes you to smoke. After quitting you are going to need to deal with these triggers as they come and the better you understand them the better you will be able to plan for them and have a contingency plan. When looking at these triggers you will want to determine which ones are the most powerful in your life. Often times dealing with stress is a huge trigger for smokers, in fact stress is the number one cause of relapse after quitting. There are many healthy ways to deal with stress and other triggers other than smoking you just need to find them. Having a plan in order is the type of help you need to succeed so know your triggers and how you are going to cope when you finally kick the habit.

Quit Smoking Support

Quit Smoking Hotline
Quit Smoking Hotline
Often times people try to quit smoking without letting those who are close know. They don’t want to be seen as a failure if they don’t successfully quit. A little education can go a long way, even for those that are supporting your efforts to quit smoking. It typically takes several tries before a smoker is able to kick the habit. Some of the best quit smoking help is to get support from family, friends, and coworkers. Let them know when you are quitting and what to expect. You may even want to ask for forgiveness in advance for being short from time to time. Be sure to let your boss know what you are doing in case you have a moment when you say something you shouldn’t. People can be very understanding when they know what you are going through but the only way that will happen is if you tell them.

Easy Quit System – Quit Smoking Method

Easy Quit System eBook
Easy Quit System eBook
There are many different quit smoking methods and different methods work for different people. Much of it depends on a person’s personality and will power. One of the methods that I was very successful with was the Easy Quit System. After reading the book, smoking as I did, my eyes were opened to many of the psychological effects of smoking. I used to think of how quitting smoking was a matter of will power and that I was just addicted to nicotine. If I could get the nicotine out of my system then I would be okay. Well the fact of the matter is the nicotine addiction is a small part of it. The real battle is overcoming the psychological effects of smoking. Over years lighting up the effects become numerous and half the time we aren’t even aware of them, we just do it.

Of course I can’t give you the secret to quitting smoking because there isn’t one but if you are looking for a method to quit smoking that doesn’t require medication, patches, pills, or hypnotherapy then this book may be for you. If you follow the direction it provides and keep trying to quit you will be surprised at the results. Not only will this book help you to quit smoking it help you stay quit. Learn more about the Easy Quit System.

Smoking and COPD

People with COPD have difficult time breathing and the only way to prevent it from getting worse is to stop smoking. More than 100,000 people die each year because of COPD due to smoking.

According to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study people who smoked were 12 to 13 times more likely to die from COPD than nonsmokers.

COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute more than 12 million people are currently diagnosed with COPD and another 12 million have it and don’t even know it.

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary (PULL-mun-ary) disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. “Progressive” means the disease gets worse over time.

COPD can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus (a slimy substance), wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants, such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust, also may contribute to COPD.

Healthy Alveoli and Damaged Alveoli
Healthy Alveoli and Damaged Alveoli

Dangers of Secondhand Smoke to Adults

Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke
Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke

Evidence shows that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke harms everyone who is exposed to it. Millions of Americans are exposed to the concentrations of many cancer-causing and toxic chemicals that are in secondhand smoke either at home, in the workplace, or other places such as bars and clubs. Despite substantial progress in tobacco control secondhand smoke continues to be a problem.

Secondhand Smoke in the Workplace

Nearly 30 percent (according to the Surgeon General) of indoor workers are not covered by a smoke-free workplace policy. Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, or ventilation systems are enough to protect nonsmokers from the health effects of secondhand smoke. In fact some of these systems can distribute the toxins throughout the building.

There are many places a person can be exposed to secondhand smoke such as bars and night clubs. Just hanging out with friends and family while smoking can have negative health effects.

Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke can cause cancer in nonsmokers, in fact their risk of developing lung cancer increases by 20 to 30 percent. It can also cause breathing problems and heart disease. Individuals who breathe secondhand smoke tend to get colds and the flu easier than those who aren’t exposed. Breathing in secondhand smoke for even a short time can have immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and interferes with the normal functioning of the heart, blood, and vascular systems in ways that increase their risk of a heart attack.

Why Do You Want to Quit Smoking

#1 Reason to Quit
#1 Reason to Quit

This question in itself is pretty obvious especially with the health effects of smoking on the body, nonsmokers, and society. However when giving up smoking you need to prepare your mind for the battle to come. The instant you decide to quit smoking you are going to struggle with thoughts of why you should have one more cigarette or put off quitting until tomorrow. Each day the same thing and if you continually give in you will look back on months of failed attempts to quit.

Chances are you are going to have mixed feelings about quitting but you need to tip the scales. You need to know why you want to quit smoking and these reasons need to be the corner stone to your efforts. Find reasons that are important to you, reasons that go beyond your health.

Think of …

  • The time you will have for other things
  • The money you will save – this is not an insignificant ammount either
  • How it will affect your children/family
  • Getting rid of yellow fingers and teeth
  • No longer smelling like an ashtray
  • Decreasing your chances of high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and atherosclerosis
  • How quitting will benefit society
  • Sleeping better
  • Being more attractive to the opposite sex

There are many many reasons to quit smoking. What is important to you!

Secondhand Smoke and Our Children

Reports show that nearly 60 percent of children between the ages of 3 to 11 are exposed to secondhand smoke. That is almost 22 million children. Secondhand smoke is responsible for disease and premature death in children. Exposure to secondhand smoke increases a child’s risk of dying from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). It also increases the chances of developing acute respiratory infections, severe asthma, ear infections, and slows lung growth.

Young children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are being exposed to the same cancer causing substances and poisons as smokers. Since their bodies are still developing and growing they are especially vulnerable.

Babies whose mothers smoke while pregnant or who are exposed to secondhand smoke after giving birth have weaker lungs than unexposed babies, which increases the risk for many health problems. It can cause bronchitis, pneumonia, and children with asthma may also experience more severe attacks.

What Others Say About Quitting Smoking

Burning Cigarette
Burning Cigarette

If you ask most ex-smokers they would say that quitting was one of the hardest things they have ever done. And it is likely that most of these people would also tell you that they found smoking to be a daily pleasurable activity. That it helped them to wake up in morning, manage stress, provided boosts of energy, and helped them to relax. Smoking becomes a big part of a smoker’s life. The more you smoke, the more nicotine you need to feel good or “normal”. Smoking is one of those things that seems to run on autopilot. You don’t think about it, you don’t think about its affects, you just do it hour after hour, day after day. The thought of not having a cigarette can bring on fear and anxiety just because it is so ingrained into the smoker’s daily routine.

Consider this; if you took a tack and every morning stuck it in the bottom of your foot you would get a boost of energy and feel alert. Now maybe someone stresses you out at work so you do the same thing, it’s a miracle your not stressed anymore, in fact you can’t even remember what they did to piss you off. However, when you stick yourself in the foot with the tack it hurts, bleeds, and is sore for a bit. You don’t like to do it, you wish there was another way to deal with life. If someone gave you an option that was less hurtful you would jump at the chance and you would not miss it for an instant. I know this is a bit crazy but smoking is the tack causing you pain that truly provides no real benefit to you. There are tons of ways to manage stress, wake up in the morning, get boosts of energy. You don’t have to smoke, you don’t have to kill yourself day after day with the health effects of smoking. Yes, nicotine is an addictive drug but your body rids it from the system quickly, which is why you have to smoke so much during the day. The real battle when quitting smoking is the psychological effects smoking has had on the mind for so many years.

So yes, quitting smoking is hard but if you can change the way you think about it, it might just get easier for you to do. Keep trying and continue to learn from each attempt.

Why is Quitting Smoking so Hard? Or is it Really?

For some, studying for a test is hard to do. They wait and wait until the last minute then cram for hours hoping to touch on all the right stuff. Just like with quitting smoking people develop a mindset that doing something is going to be hard or un-pleasurable. We all want to avoid pain and we hate to do things that just aren’t fun. The difference between the straight “A” student and the “C” student is the “A” students like to study and has found ways to make it productive and fun. The “C” student finds it difficult to study because it is not fun or it is perceived as hard. That is the same when it comes to quitting smoking.

Smoking has become a daily habit and with it a physical and psychological routine has been ingrained into a smoker’s mind. Smokers smoke when they wake in the morning, after eating, with a cup of coffee, while driving, and socializing with friends. Smoking can help us feel more alert and focused. At times it feels uncomfortable not to smoke. Smoking has worked its way into most facets of a smoker’s life and without it they may not feel quite “normal”.

The point is that quitting smoking is going to take some effort and even a change on how smoking is perceived. If you believe you are giving up something that is pleasurable it is going to be harder to quit than if you believe you are giving up something that is going to kill you.