27 July 2006

Easy quit smoking plan

Mark Twain said, "Quitting smoking is easy. I've done it a thousand times."

Successful quitting is a matter of planning and commitment, not luck. Once you've made a decision to quit, do give yourself enough time to prepare and come up with a plan.

Pick a quit date as your Quit Day. This is a very important step. List your reasons for quitting and put the list where you will see it often.

Tell your family, friends and colleagues that you are going to quit and ask for their support. You have better chances to quit, if you have help. Tell friends and family about your Quit Day.

Avoid common mistakes that may hurt a quit attempt. Reduce or stay away from alcohol. Avoid people and places where you are tempted to smoke.

Saving money is just one more good reason to quit smoking. Give yourself a financial incentive. It may be a nice piece of jewelry you have always wanted, a new car, an extended vacation or cruise.

You will have an easier time quitting with exercise added to your smoking cessation plan. Benefits of exercise include stress reduction, reduced depression and craving for nicotine, improved mood, confidence and physical conditioning.

The best thing you can do to stay smoke-free is to prepare yourself long before your quit date. Plan exactly how you will get through cravings. Decide what you'll do before the quit day hits. Put all your energy into your new healthy life, and you can successfully quit smoking.

26 July 2006

Films influence children to smoke

One brow arched, the villain eyes his helpless victim with disdain. He lights up a smoke and slowly circles his nemesis, relishing the moment. He pauses to exhale and then tosses the cigarette to the ground, crushing it under his ominous black boot as if it were his enemy.

Scenes such as this one are found in countless Hollywood movies. From the menacing bad guy to the sexy leading lady, many actors depend on smoking to convey a certain attitude or persona. Tobacco's starring role in the movies may be building up to a dangerous plot twist for teens.

Films influence children to smoke because it's a tremendously powerful emotional medium and the presentation of smoking in movies effectively functions as subliminal advertising. As is the case with all effective subliminal advertising, susceptible children are reaching for the cancer-causing sticks in droves without thinking about the consequences. And why shouldn't they? After all, it's not often that Hollywood shows a central character who smokes later dying of lung cancer or emphysema.

There is a long-standing relationship between the tobacco industry and the film industry that goes back decades. A press release issued by Philip Morris USA in March states, "Although some continue to believe that the appearance of cigarette brands and brand imagery in movies and television shows is the result of product placement by tobacco companies, Philip Morris USA continues to deny all product-placement requests for its brands." Philip Morris USA may not partake in product placement — but Philip Morris International might. Philip Morris International is not bound to the 1999 agreement and is free to offer money in exchange for product screen time.

In response to Big Tobacco's persistent presence in movies, many organizations are striving to put stricter policies in place regarding smoking. But while few people publicly praise the use of tobacco imagery on the big screen, just as few seem to vocally denounce it. Advocates note that the key is a proactive approach by audiences and studios alike. There are people who are individually doing the right thing, but no one in Hollywood has come forward to take a leadership position on this.

A pair of smoking jokes

Three kayakers paddled 10 kilometers through heavy seas from one island to another. The first kayaker said "I paddled it in 2 hours." The second kayaker said "I paddled it in one and a half hours because I had a wind at my back." The third kayaker said "I paddled it in 30 minutes." The first and second kayaker asked the third kayaker, "How ever did you do that. That's amazing." The third kayaker replied, "Because I had run out of cigarettes."

Two voices, one male and one female, overheard on a plane:
"I think everyone's asleep, let's go"
"This one's empty ... no-one's looking... you go in first"
"It's a bit cramped - let me sit down"
"Have you got the condom? Quick - put it on"
Sniff sniff
"Ah perfume - you think of everything"
"This is great....." (long sigh)
Static on the loud speaker then a new voice.
"This is the captain speaking, to those two people in the rear toilet. We know what you're doing and it is expressly forbidden by airline regulations... Now put those cigarettes out and take the condom off the smoke detector!"

24 July 2006

Women in fear to weight gain

Nearly half of female smokers refuse to quit smoking for fear of gaining weight. They say - "If I quit, I’ll gain weight." Yes, most smokers do gain a little weight when the stop, however, they only gain about three kilograms on average, a far less damaging risk compared to health problems arising from continued smoking. People should switch to a light diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables a few weeks before they stop smoking.

Nearly half of women say they were addicted to cigarettes, and they are not ready to give up. Almost every former smoker and non-smoker women say they do not want to poison their body and that the smell of smoke upset them. Only about one-third does not smoke because it disturbs their partner.

23 July 2006

No desire to smoke

It is quite remarkable that people wouldn’t stop smoking after trying their first cigarette, which usually causes coughing and nausea. However, many smokers enjoy the taste and smell of tobacco smoke so they carry on with this potentially deadly habit. Sometimes the habit of smoking creates satisfaction and relaxation itself. For some, it is a social habit and makes them feel like they are part of the crowd. This is mainly the case with people who are timid. Having something to do with their hands when they are around people helps them to feel more in control and self-confident.

When a person develops an addiction, there are two components to it. One of these is a physical addiction to the substances themselves. The other is a psychological dependence. Surprisingly enough breaking the physical addiction with cigarettes is very easy. In fact, if you think about it you sleep through the night for about eight hours without thinking or waking up for a cigarette. Yet, when you are awake you may be a chain smoker, lighting one after the other. If the physical need was that great, you would wake up in the night. Any physical need dissipates within days.

Smoking to a smoker is a means of obtaining nicotine and the craving for that nicotine is going to be no less when you tell him or her that it's delivered by a health destroying, cancer instigating, stroke inducing, emphysema causing, heart attack inducing cigarette. Nicotine is delivered fast to the bloodstream and fast to the brain where it is wanted. Smoking takes less than 10 seconds to get the nicotine to the brain and that is important because the cravings are short lived but intense.

Once you can understand that nicotine addiction is the problem and you understand that you must overcome that addiction, you build on your chances to stop smoking. Smokers are motivated to quit smoking, but motive does not necessarily provide means and opportunity. If smoking is to be overcome, smokers must believe that they have no desire to smoke. Understanding how they can reach the point of not desiring a cigarette is key in removing the perennial problem of relapsing ex-smokers. No one ever said it was easy but millions quit every year so it can be done.

21 July 2006

Maternal smoking

Children whose mothers smoked during late pregnancy are more likely to take up the habit as teenagers. Smoking during late pregnancy and continuing as the children grew up influenced smoking in teenagers. Maternal smoking during pregnancy has a direct biological effect on the foetal brain.

In addition, the likelihood of teenagers taking up smoking could be assessed from as early as five years and is predicted by looking at a range of problems. The most significant risk factors at the age of five, including family, social and child risk factors are maternal smoking and alcohol use, being unmarried, having a partner who had ever been arrested, having four or more children, child aggression at five years.

Call your doctor

You should call your doctor if:

• You continue to wheeze and cough for more than 1 month, especially at night or when you are active.

• You continue to cough for more than 1 month and sometimes have a bad tasting fluid come up into your mouth.

• You have a cough, you feel very sick and weak, and you have a high fever that doesn’t go down.

• You cough up blood.

• You have trouble breathing when you lie down.

20 July 2006

Parents who smoke should quit smoking

Anti-smoking lessons in the classroom to keep schoolchildren and teens from lighting up are not effective. There is some evidence that school programs incorporating social influence models can affect smoking behavior in the short term, but they were not statistically significant.

More and more studies are coming out every day that clearly indicate secondhand smoke is the culprit for many illnesses. Moreover parents are the most important role models in children's lives, and if they engage in self-destructive behaviors, such as smoking, chances are their children will too. Children whose parents smoke are twice as likely to become smokers as children of nonsmoking parents.

Parents who smoke should quit smoking, before the destructive addiction becomes their children's lethal legacy.

19 July 2006

Tobacco Kills / Smoking Kills

"Tobacco Kills / Smoking Kills" - such health warnings would be mandatory on all tobacco products soon failing which the sellers would attract stringent penalty including imprisonment. Other health warnings that could appear on tobacco packages include 'skull and bones sign' or a pictorial representation of ill effects of tobacco use and a health message. The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packing and Labeling) Rules 2006 make it mandatory that every package of cigarette or any other tobacco product shall contain the specified health warning.

The new rules would come into effect next year to allow the trade and industry to make the necessary changes in their trade practices. Any person who produces or manufactures cigarettes or tobacco products without the specified warning shall in the case of first conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both. Even the person who sells or distributes cigarettes or tobacco products without the specified warning shall be liable to punishment.

16 July 2006

Warn children about smoking's dangers

Parents and schools need to teach children about the dangers of smoking so those children can make informed choices when they become adults. Although there are programs at schools and in the community, children need ongoing education about the dangers of smoking and nicotine.

Here are some tips to help parents teach about those dangers and keep them informed:

• Do not smoke. Your children are 50 percent more likely to smoke if you do. Don't allow smoking in your home.

• Your rules about tobacco use must be clear. Make sure they know that if they break the rules, there are consequences and they will be enforced.

• Eat dinner together. This way you hear about their day on the day it happened and you can answer any questions that come up.

• Know your child's friends.

• Know the days they get out of school early and where they are.

• Role-play saying no to tobacco.

• Discuss the 4,000 chemicals and 40 carcinogens in tobacco. Relate it to household products. It is OK to be graphic. "Arsenic is what is in rat poison," "Ammonia is what we clean our toilet with," "Formaldehyde is used for embalming people after they die."

• Talk about the type of appeals tobacco companies are using: glamour, popularity, fun.

15 July 2006

Smoking 'not a right'

One more time for all of the smokers who seemed to be lost in a fog of their own making: Smoking is not a right protected by the U.S. Constitution. It is ludicrous to repeatedly read quotes from smokers about their "right" to smoke being taken away. Smokers have no more right to generate cancer-causing fumes in a public place than I have to urinate in public.

Thankfully, there are laws against the latter practice, and we can pass a law against the former if our elected officials have the courage... And, while I'm at it, throwing cigarette butts out a car window is littering. Smokers do not have a right to litter, even though many believe they are above the law.

14 July 2006

Poor die more quickly from smoking

Poor men are twice as likely to die early than those in wealthier families - and half the difference is because of smoking, a new study shows. In Britain poor men are nearly five times more likely to die of smoking than the rich.

Widespread cessation of smoking could eventually halve the absolute differences between these social strata in the risk of premature death. All men who smoke play Russian roulette with their lives but the odds are heavily stacked against those in lower income groups as they are much more likely to smoke.

12 July 2006

Smoking to kill one billion in 21st century

Smoking will kill one billion people over the course of the 21st century if people continue to smoke at the current rate, the American Cancer Society said on Tuesday. Tobacco use killed 100 million smokers over the past century - half of them in developing countries, according to two new reference guides on tobacco and cancer released by the US society.

The studies, published in The Cancer Atlas and The Tobacco Atlas, said that 300 million lives could be saved over the next 50 years if smoking was cut in half. The research notes that tobacco is the only product consumed by humans that kills more than half of its regular users, "with more than half of those deaths occurring between the ages of 30 and 69."

The study found that some one billion men and 250 million women currently smoke cigarettes and that the "global burden of cancer" is increasingly shifting from developed to developing countries.

Teenagers may think smoking is cool

It is a shocking fact that around 80 per cent per cent of smokers in the UK had their first cigarette before the age of 16. And half of the 16-year-olds who currently smoke will eventually die because of their habit. Therefore, if your child is a smoker, you just cannot afford to ignore it – and if you want to help them quit, there is no better time.

They might think it has cool now, but in years to come they face a real risk of heart disease, lung cancer, amputation and other serious health problems. Most teenagers see it as an expression of freedom and of being grown up, if you ask them if they will still be smoking at 30, the majority will say no. But the chances are, they will. Smoking is addictive, and it is hard to stop. So what can parents do?

Sit down and talk things through with your teenager. The worst thing is to nag teenagers, at that age, telling them not to do something is almost an encouragement to do it. Of course, they need to know the health risks, but young people often respond better when you explain what smoking will do to their image and looks. A young girl will not relish the idea of looking like a 40-year-old at 30. A boy will not welcome the news that he may become impotent.

It helps to talk about money too – smoking 10 cigarettes a day costs about £820 a year. But however worried you are, do not come on all heavy-handed. You might find they already regret smoking, and want to give up. As with anyone trying to give up smoking, the key is to be supportive rather than harassing. Moreover, parents need to look at their own behavior too – if you smoke, it is a huge factor in encouraging your kids to pick up the habit.

Smoking increases blindness

Smoking increases the risk of the most common cause of blindness among the elderly but eating fish protects against it, studies reveal.

One study from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston found that those who smoked had nearly a twofold increased risk of age-related macular degeneration compared to those who had never smoked. There was also a higher risk for those who had smoked in the past but quit. In macular degeneration the central vision of the eye becomes blurred. It’s the leading cause of blindness after age 60.

The Boston study published on Monday also found that those who ate more fish, including those who smoked, were less likely to have developed the disease, with the biggest benefit among those who ate two or more servings per week.

11 July 2006

Smoking is the top cause of death in the United States

While smoking is the top cause of death in the United States, officials at the National Institutes of Health say the combination of lack of physical activity and bad diet is second. As many people age, their activity levels tend to taper off, but exercise experts urge seniors to try to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity most days.

10 July 2006

Dillon's Quit Smoking Advice: 'start Running'

CRASH star MATT DILLON urges men who are trying to quit smoking to take up running as a hobby - because it helped him give up for good.

The actor started jogging 10 years ago when he quit smoking and he insists the healthy lifestyle made him turn his back on cigarettes for good.

He says, "After running four miles, the last thing you want to do is light up a cigarette.
"If I hadn't started exercising, I might have picked up the habit again" And the 42-year-old insists all men in their 40s should start taking their health seriously.

He adds, "The name of the game is balance, staying in shape, not letting yourself go to the point of no return. As you get older, it gets harder and harder to bounce back. You have this internal metre."

02 July 2006

Quit Smoking And Watch Your Social Life Soar

You may not realize it, but smoking affects your social life as well as your physical well being. How often have you avoided going places because they were non-smoking, or ducked out of a party at the height of the action to satisfy your nicotine cravings?

When you quit smoking, you can also increase your confidence, meet new people, and join new activities. An improved social life is just one more reason to quit smoking!

Gain confidence.

Smokers become addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes and tobacco. Cigarettes, cigars, and pipes all emit smoke that holds thousands of other chemicals, in addition to the nicotine. When a person’s body becomes addicted to nicotine, the chemical temporarily creates pleasant physical and mental effects, which keeps the smoker coming back time and again.

When you successfully quit smoking, you overcome this physical and mental addiction. Overcoming such a powerful addiction is no easy task. Once you’ve accomplished it, you’ll have more confidence to face other difficult tasks in your life, armed with the knowledge that you have succeeded at one of the most challenging hurdles many people encounter. If you can quit smoking, what is there that you can’t accomplish?

Meet others trying to quit.

Hopefully your family and friends will be supportive of your efforts to quit smoking. However, non one can truly empathize with you except someone that is going through the same trials and tribulations. Join an online or local community that offers support to people who are quitting smoking.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers phone counseling at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. WhyQuit offers discussion groups for both first-time quitters and ones that have tried before. WhyQuit focuses on abrupt nicotine cessation (as opposed to smoking cessation with a gradual decrease in nicotine intake).

Many forums are geared toward quitting with the aid of a specific medication. However, forums that are more general include:

American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking® offers modules to walk a quitter through the process and associated message boards.

The Quit Smoking Company’s message boards are visually sparse, but offer visitors many opportunities for discussion with others trying to quit.

Quit Smoking Support has been helping smokers quit for over nine years through peer-to-peer support and encouragement.

To meet people in your local area and have a face-to-face discussion on quitting smoking, visit Nicotine Anonymous, Smart Recovery, or check with your insurance and health providers. Get more support for your efforts, and make new friends!

Learn new activities.

Many experts recommend taking up new activities to fill up your time and keep you from thinking about smoking. As your health improves, you can join a local gym, recreational sports league, or take fitness classes.

To keep their hands busy and away from cigarettes, some people take up hobbies like knitting, crocheting, or doing puzzles. What will you do with your new energy and time? The possibilities are endless!

Get out of the house.

When first quitting, smokers are often urged to spend a lot of time in public places where smoking is prohibited, such as libraries, malls, theatres, or museums. Revel in the fact that you can stay inside as long as you like—no need to run outside and satisfy a nicotine craving!

Make a point to meet friends and families for dinner at non-smoking restaurants that you may have avoided in the past. As the amount of time since your last cigarette increases, your sense of taste will improve and you can enjoy the food more.

Enjoy your financial freedom.

A big part of quitting smoking is giving yourself rewards when you reach an important goal, whether it’s going a day without smoking or six months. How can you reward yourself?

Tally up all of the money that you would be spending on cigarettes and think of ways to spend it. You can save up for a big trip or larger purchase, or spend it on weekly social activities like dining out, going to the theatre, or taking hobby or fitness classes. Use your extra money to improve your social life and reward yourself for resisting the temptation to buy another pack of cigarettes.

When someone quits smoking, their physical, mental, and emotional well-being all improve dramatically. Quitting smoking can take your social life to new heights since you’ll have time and money for new hobbies, and will be able to venture out in public without fear of finding someplace to smoke your next cigarette. Once you’ve quit smoking, your social life will be on fire!

01 July 2006

20 Quick Tips to Help You Quit Smoking

1. Believe in yourself. Believe that you can quit. Think about some of the most difficult things you have done in your life and realize that you have the guts and determination to quit smoking. It's up to you.

2. After reading this list, sit down and write your own list, customized to your personality and way of doing things. Create you own plan for quitting.

3. Write down why you want to quit (the benefits of quitting): live longer, feel better, for your family, save money, smell better, find a mate more easily, etc. You know what's bad about smoking and you know what you'll get by quitting. Put it on paper and read it daily.

4. Ask your family and friends to support your decision to quit. Ask them to be completely supportive and non-judgmental. Let them know ahead of time that you will probably be irritable and even irrational while you withdraw from your smoking habit.

5. Set a quit date. Decide what day you will extinguish your cigarettes forever. Write it down. Plan for it. Prepare your mind for the "first day of the rest of your life". You might even hold a small ceremony when you smoke you last cigarette, or on the morning of the quit date.

6. Talk with your doctor about quitting. Support and guidance from a physician is a proven way to better your chances to quit.

7. Begin an exercise program. Exercise is simply incompatible with smoking. Exercise relieves stress and helps your body recover from years of damage from cigarettes. If necessary, start slow, with a short walk once or twice per day. Build up to 30 to 40 minutes of rigorous activity, 3 or 4 times per week. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

8. Do some deep breathing each day for 3 to 5 minutes. Breathe in through your nose very slowly, hold the breath for a few seconds, and exhale very slowly through your mouth. Try doing your breathing with your eyes closed and go to step

9. Visualize your way to becoming a non-smoker. While doing your deep breathing in step 8, you can close your eyes and begin to imagine yourself as a non-smoker. See yourself enjoying your exercise in step 7. See yourself turning down a cigarette that someone offers you. See yourself throwing all your cigarettes away, and winning a gold medal for doing so. Develop your own creative visualizations. Visualization works.

10. Cut back on cigarettes gradually (if you cut back gradually, be sure to set a quit date on which you WILL quit). Ways to cut back gradually include: plan how many cigarettes you will smoke each day until your quit date, making the number you smoke smaller each day; buy only one pack at a time; change brands so you don't enjoy smoking as much; give your cigarettes to someone else, so that you have to ask for them each time you want to smoke.

11. Quit smoking "cold turkey". Many smokers find that the only way they can truly quit finally is to just quit abruptly without trying to slowly taper off. Find the method that works best for you: gradually quitting or cold turkey. If one-way doesn't work do the other.

12. Find another smoker who is trying to quit, and help each other with positive words and by lending an ear when quitting becomes difficult. Visit this Bulletin Board and this Chat Room to find a "quit buddy."

13. Have your teeth cleaned. Enjoy the way your teeth look and feel and plan to keep them that way.

14. After you quit, plan to celebrate the milestones in your journey to becoming a non-smoker. After two weeks of being smoke-free, see a movie. After a month, go to a fancy restaurant
(be sure to sit in the non-smoking section). After three months, go for a long weekend to a favorite get-away. After six months, buy yourself something frivolous. After a year, have a party for yourself. Invite your family and friends to your "birthday" party and celebrate your new chance at a long, healthy life.

15. Drink lots of water. Water is good for you anyway, and most people do not get enough. It will help flush the nicotine and other chemicals out of your body, plus it can help reduce cravings by fulfilling the "oral desires" that you may have.

16. Learn what triggers your desire for a cigarette, such as stress, the end of a meal, arrival at work, entering a bar, etc. Avoid these triggers or if that is impossible, plan alternative ways to deal with the triggers.

17. Find something to hold in your hand and mouth, to replace cigarettes. Consider drinking straws or you might try an artificial cigarette.

18. Write yourself an inspirational song or poem about quitting, cigarettes, and what it means to you to quit. Read it daily.

19. Keep a picture of your family or someone very important to you with you at all times. On a piece of paper, write the words "I'm quitting for myself and for you (or "them")". Tape your written message to the picture. Whenever you have the urge to smoke, look at the picture and read the message.

20. Whenever you have a craving for a cigarette, instead of lighting up, write down your feelings or whatever is on your mind. Keep this "journal" with you at all times.

Good luck in your efforts to quit smoking. It is worth it!

** Article © Copyright Fred Kelley of QuitSmoking.com.