22 December 2005

Food cravings

Nicotine is an appetite suppressant; smoking burns calories and because of this metabolism is slightly boosted. What can we do to keep weight under control as we go through the process of recovery from nicotine addiction? The answers are simple:

- Because quitting smoking slows the metabolism, getting some form of daily exercise is very important. If you are having a bad day, get out for a walk. It will clear your mind and improve your attitude.

- Avoid refined foods, especially sugar (cause a fast rise in blood sugar followed by a fast drop - a perfect recipe for cravings!); reduce foods and drinks that are stimulants (coffee, chocolate, alcohol).

- Do yourself a favor and remove tempting, high fat foods from your home. Do not have a chocolate cake on the counter begging you to cut a slice! If you have an intense craving for a hot fudge sundae, it's better to go out and have one at a restaurant than it is to keep all of the ingredients to make it on hand in the house.

Many people quit smoking and decide it is time to clean their lives up in other areas as well. That is great, but be careful. If you try to do too many self-improvement projects at once, you run the risk of failing at all of them.

If you gain a few pounds while going through the process of quitting tobacco, so be it. The benefits will affect your life as well as those who love you in more ways than you can imagine. You can quit smoking without gaining a lot of weight. Do not let the fear of weight gain keep you chained to an addiction that will kill you, given the chance. Weight can be lost, lungs cannot.

Nicotine cravings

Nicotine cravingsCravings are normal and expected. They last only a few minutes and have a beginning, middle and an end. Things are improving in time, so, as time passes, cravings will be less intense, shorter and happen less often. It is positive to think of cravings as 'time limited desires'.

I have found some tips to help myself with nicotine cravings:

- Take 10 deep breaths; hold the last one while lighting a match. Exhale slowly and blow out the match. Pretend it is a cigarette and put it out in an ashtray.

- Take a deep breath and remind yourself of your reasons for giving up smoking, and realize that although you are feeling anxious now, you will have the benefits of being an ex-smoker with you for life.

- Take a shower or bath if possible.

- Learn to relax quickly and deeply. Make yourself limp, visualize a soothing, pleasing situation, and get away from it all for a moment. Concentrate on that peaceful image and nothing else.

- Do not drink alcohol, coffee or other beverages that can trigger the desire for a cigarette.

- Once you stop smoking, your sense of taste improves, and the appetite suppressant power of cigarettes is no longer present. To handle hunger, start by drinking plenty of water. It is good for you, and calorie-free!

- The nicotine cigarettes provide is a stimulant, so when you give up smoking you might feel some fatigue. To minimize tiredness, try to make healthy eating choices and avoid getting too much sugar, which will stimulate you at first but let you down later. Also, eating a healthy breakfast can boost your energy level and help you through the day.

- Light incense or a candle, instead of a cigarette.

- Brush your teeth.

- Tell yourself "no." Say it aloud. Practice doing this a few times, and listen to yourself. Some other things you can say to yourself might be, "I’m too strong to give in to smoking," "I’m a nonsmoker now," or "I don’t want to let my friends and family down."

- Do brief bursts of exercise (isometrics, pushups, deep knee bends, walk up a flight of stairs, or touch your toes).

- So much of your life used to revolve around cigarettes. These feelings will pass; try to keep in mind that smoking a cigarette will only make you feel worse in the end. Never allow yourself "one won't hurt" idea, because it will…

On the other hand, maybe I should not fight with cravings. They help me to enlarge my blog…

My Quit Smoking Story

My Quit Smoking StorySome words about my quitting smoking story, I think that visitors of QuitSmokingPro.com should know about it. I still have not posted about it inside my blog...

I smoked 4 years (1994 – 1998), and then stopped it for 4 years (1998 - 2002). I dreamt that I am smoking maybe 5-7 times after this quitting. The dream was always the same: I am smoking and the smoke is empty, insipid and I feel bad, because of this relapse and have no pleasure from smoking. I awoke with happiness that it was just a dream. Then some day I decided that I am "return bend" and I am able to have one cigarette… So, I smoked around 10 cigarettes a day until 21 December 2005.

21 December 2005 was mine first day of my own quit smoking challenge. It is my daughter 1 month birthday, so I hope that I am happy and lucky enough to stop smoking. I have done as pros recommended me: "More over, you must determine the appropriate day when you will stop smoking. The best choices are on your birthday, on the first day of New Year, on some special anniversary or maybe on the first day of your holidays, when you have more time for yourself".

Today, 22 December is my second day and I have not slept like a log this night. I think I will suffer from insomnia (sleeplessness) for some days. One part of me does not want to smoke while another part of me, desperately wants to smoke. Both parts are now fighting each other. However, I hope I will survive.

19 December 2005

Positive Addictions

I have red a lot about positive addictions today. You may be surprised to learn that addictions can also be considered positive. Positive addictions are those in which the benefits outweigh the price. A common example would be exercise. The price of membership in a gym, the time involved, and any clothing expense, is outweighed by the benefits of better health, energy, self-confidence and appearance.

But most of all I like quotation from William Glasser's "Positive Addiction":

- Every day after dinner I ride my bike for an hour.

- What happens if you don't?

- Nothing happens, because I never miss a day.

- What if people were getting sick and dying, in need of your help?

- They'd better not be doing it during the hour after dinner when I ride my bike.

17 December 2005

Quit smoking and coffee / caffeine

Quit smoking and coffee / caffeineMany smokers are used to smoking when drinking coffee during or after meals, during coffee breaks, in the office, or in restaurants. Many smokers can attest to the fact that they often crave nicotine and caffeine together or that they crave one when they engage in the other. Caffeine is a stimulant. Most people know this, but here is a fact that is less widely known: caffeine in the body of a smoker is metabolized (digested) at about twice the rate as that of a nonsmoker. The result is a high tolerance to caffeine. When you quit smoking, the amount of coffee or colas you are used to drinking might now make you very jittery and anxious. Please, expect that your morning coffee will not taste the same without a cigarette, so you will feel a strong urge to reach for a cigarette while drinking coffee.

However, you do not have to give up coffee or tea to quit smoking. If you used to smoke while drinking coffee, tell people you have quit, so they will not offer you a cigarette. Between sips of coffee, take deep breaths to inhale the aroma. Breath deeply and slowly, while you count to five, breathes out slowly, counting to five again. Try switching to decaffeinated coffee for a while, particularly if quitting has made you irritable or nervous. Try to drink tea instead of coffee; tea may not trigger the desire for a cigarette. Cut back on, or cut out caffeine completely for a while, especially if you are having trouble sleeping through the night. Chances are good that once you are through the withdrawal process, you will be able to drink coffee again, though maybe not as much as you used to.

Nicotine and alcohol cause essentially the same effect in the body. Engaging in one behavior often leads to the other. Even small amounts of alcohol boost the pleasurable effects of nicotine, inducing people to smoke more when drinking alcoholic beverages. A relatively low dose of alcohol - below that required to induce any measurable euphoria - is enough to increase enjoyment of nicotine significantly, so, it makes sense that so many people who have quit smoking relapse when they drink.

That morning cigarette and cup of coffee have a basis in medical fact, as it turns out. Having caffeine will lead the body to want nicotine as well because of the similar effect the drugs have on the body. One good way to stop smoking, then, is to limit the amount of caffeine you drink, which, like the reduction of alcohol, will make you healthier in other ways as well.

14 December 2005

What is in tobacco smoke?

- There are more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke - nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide and other chemicals and additives.

- Nicotine is a chemical substance found in tobacco leaves. Addiction to nicotine is what keeps you smoking. Nicotine is as addictive as heroin or cocaine. From the moment that you inhale tobacco smoke, it takes four seconds for the nicotine to reach your blood stream and about ten seconds to reach the brain. Once the nicotine has attached itself to special sites in the brain, many relaxing chemicals are released. However, this effect only lasts for a short time and then the addicted smoker needs to ‘top up’ their nicotine. One of the reasons people continue to smoke is because they enjoy the effect of these relaxing chemicals being released by the brain.

The worst problem for health caused by nicotine is that it is so addictive. Most regular smokers would prefer not to smoke, and only continue because they are addicted to nicotine. Smoking tobacco accounts for the largest proportion of preventable illness and death. Immediate effects of nicotine on the body include increased heart rate and blood pressure and constriction of blood vessels. Over time, ingestion of nicotine from smoking combines with carbon monoxide to damage the lining of blood vessels and make blood platelets stickier. In combination, these effects contribute to the development of heart disease.

- Tar is the black, sticky substance that damages your lungs. The word ‘tar’ describes the particulate matter which, generated by burning tobacco, forms a component of cigarette smoke. Each particle is composed of a large variety of chemicals consisting mainly of nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and a wide range of volatile compounds.

In condensed form, tar is a sticky brown substance that is the main cause of lung and throat cancer in smokers. Tar can also cause unsightly yellow-brown stains on fingers and teeth. Some tar is exhaled, some is coughed up, and some is absorbed by the lungs, which can cause lung cells to die. Cigarette smoke damages the ‘cilia’ (fine hairs that line the upper airways to protect against infection). When cilia are damaged, tar can penetrate further into the lungs. Tar coats your lungs like soot in a chimney and causes cancer. A 20-a-day smoker breathes in up to a full cup (210 g) of tar in a year.

- Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that competes with oxygen in the blood. This same gas is found in car exhaust fumes. Carbon monoxide binds to red blood cells, making it harder for the body to carry oxygen to the muscles and organs. In large quantities, carbon monoxide is rapidly fatal. Smokers can have up to 10 times the amount of carbon monoxide in their bloodstream than non-smokers. Heavy smokers may have the oxygen carrying ability of their blood cut by as much as 15%. Carbon monoxide robs your muscles, brain and body tissue of oxygen, making your whole body and especially your heart work harder. Smoking in pregnancy can lead to a dramatic reduction for oxygen available to the developing baby.

Some of the other chemicals and additives found in cigarettes (and some of their other uses) are: ammonia (household cleaning agent); acetone (nail polish remover); naphthalene (mothballs); methanol (rocket fuel); formaldehyde (which preserves the dead); phenol (disinfectant); hydrogen cyanide; metals (76 metals including arsenic, cadmium, nickel); radioactive compounds (polonium-210 and potassium-40); acetic acid (vinegar); toluene (industrial solvent); pesticides.

There are no standards or controls on what may be used in the growing and production of tobacco, including additives and agricultural chemicals. Herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals are routinely used in tobacco growing. Additives are added to cigarettes in the manufacturing process to:
- add flavor, including sugar, honey, liquorice, cocoa, and chocolate liqueur to lessen the harshness of the smoke;
- lessen the irritating effects of smoke. Menthol and eugenol numb the throat;
- change the chemistry of nicotine. Ammonium salts and acetaldehyde (in burnt sugar) increase nicotine’s addictive potential;
- change the chemistry of smokers’ brains to make them more receptive to nicotine.

There are a number of problems with additives:
- Additives such as sugar and honey might seem harmless because we are used to eating them, but when additives in cigarettes are burnt, they can change into different chemicals, some of which are toxic. For example, liquorice and sugar produce cancer-causing chemicals when burnt. Also, these substances are inhaled into the lungs, which are delicate and much more vulnerable to harm than the stomach and intestines.
- The health effects of additives on smokers are not made public by the tobacco companies, and many may not be known at all.
- Some additives make tobacco smoke less harsh and taste better. It may make it easier for children to learn to smoke, and make smoking more agreeable to smokers.

There is no such thing as a ‘safer’ cigarette or ‘healthier’ tobacco. Changing to low-tar cigarettes does not help because smokers usually take deeper puffs and hold the smoke in for longer, dragging the tar deeper into their lungs. All tobacco smoke is damaging to health. The best way to prevent exposure to the chemicals in tobacco smoke is to avoid exposure to tobacco smoke.

Cancer - effects of smoking

Half a century ago, the causal link between lung cancer and tobacco smoking was established. Since then a wealth of information has been assembled on the tragic health consequences of tobacco consumption and the highly addictive nature of nicotine which makes smoking cessation so difficult.

Today, tobacco consumption is recognised as single greatest cause of preventable illness and early death, with more and more people dying each year from smoking-related diseases. Around 90% of lung cancer cases are caused by tobacco smoking and, in addition, tobacco smoking can also cause cancers of the following sites: upper aerodigestive tract (oral cavity, nasal cavity, nasal sinuses, pharynx, larynx and oesophagus), pancreas, stomach, liver, lower urinary tract (renal pelvis and bladder), kidney, uterine cervix and myeloid leukaemia.

Overall, smoking is estimated to be responsible for approximately 30% of cancer deaths in developed countries.

Popular keywords inside quit smoking theme

Below are some popular keywords with some keywords' analysis inside quit smoking theme. I've got them from free wordtracker dot com service:

Nos KEI Analysis, Count, 24Hrs, Competing, Keyword
1, | 11.732, | 1294, | 253, | 142723, | effects of smoking
2, | 1.885, | 211, | 41, | 23624, | ways to quit smoking
3, | 1.150, | 7963, | 1560, | 55155219, | smoking
4, | 1.022, | 111, | 22, | 12055, | health quit smoking
5, | 0.947, | 3494, | 684, | 12888231, | stop smoking
6, | 0.887, | 216, | 42, | 52589, | food addiction
7, | 0.730, | 537, | 105, | 394914, | weight loss tips
8, | 0.646, | 267, | 52, | 110420, | internet addiction
9, | 0.530, | 1017, | 199, | 1952088, | no smoking
10, | 0.454, | 31, | 6, | 2119, | quit smoking action plan
11, | 0.379, | 314, | 62, | 260378, | gambling addiction
12, | 0.308, | 377, | 74, | 461864, | alcohol addiction
13, | 0.288, | 876, | 172, | 2667357, | drug addiction
14, | 0.285, | 1427, | 280, | 7142928, | quit smoking
15, | 0.283, | 962, | 188, | 3266308, | smokers
16, | 0.276, | 237, | 46, | 203171, | cocaine addiction
17, | 0.231, | 226, | 44, | 221133, | heroin addiction
18, | 0.226, | 548, | 107, | 1330763, | smoking cessation
19, | 0.208, | 307, | 60, | 452960, | quitting smoking
20, | 0.208, | 679, | 133, | 2214965, | nicotine
21, | 0.144, | 1735, | 340, | 20961431, | smoke
22, | 0.126, | 30, | 6, | 7119, | what happens when you quit smoking
23, | 0.098, | 307, | 60, | 966322, | addiction treatment
24, | 0.096, | 1098, | 215, | 12581025, | addiction
25, | 0.073, | 127, | 25, | 220962, | nicotine addiction
26, | 0.065, | 74, | 14, | 83615, | smoking cessation program
27, | 0.051, | 323, | 63, | 2040095, | addictions
28, | 0.051, | 463, | 91, | 4197871, | smoker
29, | 0.050, | 60, | 12, | 72136, | smoking cessation programs
30, | 0.005, | 26, | 5, | 132240, | tobacco cessation

Some keywords are related to "quit smoking" as you can see:
food addiction, weight loss tips, internet addiction, gambling addiction, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, addiction treatment, addiction, addictions.

Is our lives are just addictions? :)

They wrote: This is where you spot your niches in MSN. The figure you want to take note of is the 'KEI Analysis'. The higher this figure, the more popular your keyword is and the less competition it has. This generally means that you will find it easier to reach the top of this keyword. Good keywords to target have a KEI of between 10 - 100. Let's take an example, the keyword at the top of the list - effects of smoking". This has a KEI of 11.732 and is therefore a good keyword to target (its KEI is between 10 and a 100).

They told me that MSN has about 21% of all searchs in the internet also. I think the real figure is much lower than 21%.

Look what I got from Free Keyword Selector Tool from overture dot com, when I've entered "smoking":

141354 smoking
132602 quit smoking
69099 smoking gun
51783 smoking cessation
49338 stop smoking
21810 smoking fetish
15675 smoking pipe
12250 smoking girl
11711 cigarette smoking
11329 smoking from all side
11111 effects of smoking
8097 woman smoking
7664 smoking ban
7336 teen smoking
6786 no smoking
6505 xenical hgh phentermine quit smoking detox
6415 smoking jacket
6366 smoking cigar
5369 no smoking sign
5149 smoking fact
4891 smoking gun.com
4534 smoking celeb
4392 smoking tobacco
3863 smoking statistics
3754 celebrity smoking
3670 sexy smoking
3561 smoking picture
3549 kid smoking
3406 female celebrity smoking list
3350 smoking glamour
3279 smoking permitted
3196 danger of smoking
3173 smoking disease
3025 smoking boy
2984 smoking and pregnancy
2979 smoking sex
2870 anti smoking
2856 stop smoking laser
2801 stop smoking hypnosis
2767 lock stock and two smoking barrels
2685 smoking video
2668 smoking meat
2665 smoking erotica
2607 ways to quit smoking
2572 smoking model
2534 smoking side
2394 smoking list
2338 help quit smoking
2320 smoking gun web site
2285 second hand smoking
2268 smoking chimp
2258 stop smoking help
2254 smoking accessory
2248 picture of woman smoking
2121 smoking during pregnancy
2093 quit smoking tip
2086 smoking monkey
1964 smoking in public place
1879 effects of cigarette smoking
1875 smoking hazard
1847 3978 smoking urn
1817 quit smoking support
1803 best way to quit smoking
1799 smoking hot
1759 smoking is bad
1687 harmful effects of smoking
1654 hookah smoking
1639 stop smoking aids
1634 cigar smoking woman
1627 stop smoking shot
1625 quit smoking hypnosis
1623 smoking law
1586 quit smoking laser
1584 benefit of quitting smoking
1544 smoking kill
1543 female smoking
1530 smoking and lung cancer
1522 groups.msn.com site smoking
1508 cause of smoking
1507 teenage smoking
1494 smoking man
1462 picture of the effects of smoking
1444 smoking ads
1441 quit smoking cold turkey
1440 glass smoking pipe
1440 pregnant smoking
1427 quite smoking
1419 smoking fetish video
1416 smoking while pregnant
1408 smoking lady
1391 child smoking
1391 laser treatment to stop smoking
1391 sids smoking
1374 smoking blow job
1351 smoking cancer
1346 smoking and iq
1340 smoking health
1338 smoking pic
1334 smoking baby
1328 smoking addiction

The figure in first column is Searches done in October 2005 and phrase is a keyword (Search Term). "Quit smoking" - second line, the first is "quit smoking pro" :) "Effects of smoking" - eleventh line and 11111 searches in October 2005, so next post will be titled "Effects of smoking"!

07 December 2005

Cost of Smoking Cigarettes

Just how much is this habit costing you in hard dollars?

Is quitting just too hard and you haven’t found the right incentive or reason? A good incentive - in terms of cold, hard cash is here. How much money you can save by not having to buy any more cigarettes – money that you could use for better things you and your family need or want.

Smoking is expensive, but when people consider the cost of smoking, they usually limit their focus to the cost of the cigarettes they smoke. While the cost of cigarettes by itself can add up to close to $1500 a year, the reality is that the cost of the cigarettes is only a small part of the overall monetary cost of smoking.

There are several hidden costs associated with smoking that most people fail to consider. These costs are hardly ever examined when people talk about how much their smoking habit costs. Some of these costs arise due to higher payments associated with the risks of smoking while others result from a decrease in asset value due to smoking. These hidden costs of smoking can increase the actual amount a smoker pays each year several times the cost of the cigarettes alone.

While your health should be the main reason to quit smoking, when you come to realize that you may be spending close to $10,000 a year because of your smoking habit, this may be one more motivating force to kick the habit. Some of the costs of smoking that you may not have considered before:

Life Insurance: Smokers have a greater risk of dieing at a younger age than non-smokers and this risk is reflected in higher life insurance premium payments.

Health Insurance: Smokers have a greater risk of medical problems than non-smokers do and this risk is reflected in their medical insurance premium payments.

Health Care: Since smokers frequently have more medical problems than non-smokers do, they must pay more to take care of these problems.

Medications: More medical problems for smokers usually results more prescription medicine taken by smokers than non-smokers.

Home Owner's Insurance: Smokers have a greater risk of burning down their house than non-smokers and this risk is reflected in higher home owner's insurance premium payments.

Value of the House: Smoking leaves a bad smell in a house thus decreasing the value to potential buyers.

Value of Your Possessions: Just as with the house, smoking leaves a bad smell to many of the items in your house thus decreasing their value.

Car Insurance: Smokers have a greater risk of getting into a car accident than non-smokers get and this risk is reflected in their car insurance premium payments.

Car Resale Value: Smoking leaves a bad smell in a car thus decreasing the value to potential buyers or when traded-in for another car.

Earn Less Money: Studies have found that smokers earn between 4% to 11% less money than their non-smoking counterparts.

Less Social Security / Pension Benefits: Since smokers earn less than non-smokers do, they receive less overall social security and pension benefits than non-smokers do.

Cost of Cleaning: Whether it is the inside of their home, the inside of their car or their clothes, smokers have to spend more to keep things clean.

Dental Care: Smokers spend more on dental care and special dental products than non-smokers do.

Lost Interest
: All the extra money that smokers must spend means that money cannot be saved resulting in lost interest.

When you look beyond the cost of the pack of cigarettes and incorporate all the other monetary costs associated with smoking, you begin to see smoking is a huge drain on ones personal finances.

04 December 2005

What Happens When You Stop Smoking?

When you stop smoking, your body begins to heal itself. If you're thinking about stopping smoking, you should know:
20 minutes after your last cigarette
Blood pressure drops to normal
Pulse rate drops to normal
Temperature of hands and feet increases to normal
8 hours after your last cigarette
Carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal
Oxygen level in blood increases to normal
24 hours after your last cigarette
Chance of heart attack decreases
48 hours after your last cigarette
Nerve endings start to regrow
Ability to smell and taste is enhanced
72 hours after your last cigarette
Breathing becomes easier.
Lung capacity increases
2 weeks to 3 months after your last cigarette
Blood circulation improves
Walking becomes easier
Lung function increases up to 30%
1 to 9 months after your last cigarette
Coughing, sinus congestion, and shortness of breath decrease
Your body's energy level increases
Your lungs are better able to fight infection
5 years after your last cigarette
Lung cancer death risk decreases
10 years after your last cigarette
Lung cancer death risk drops
Risk of other cancers drops