28 November 2008

Do you want to quit smoking or just be free from smoking?

happier and successful lifeMaybe you've heard that the process to quit smoking all begins with the desire that you actually want to quit. However, this is simply not true. The truth is that smoker do not want to do something like pass through "quit smoking process", he want to get freedom from doing something useless, pointless and harmful.

That's it – smoker understands that he or she does not need cigarettes any more. It is the most important step to success. If you think that smoking is someway relaxes you, or helps you to concentrate you should learn more about nicotine addiction and understand that you nobody else than nicotine addict, who lie to himself that he needs another dose.

When smoker clearly see that the life is happier and free without smoking, it is very easy to read some information about smoking cessation process and how to deal with withdrawal symptoms. Anyway, every former smoker is happier after even three days without cigarettes. Moreover, some ex-smokers don't even think about cigarettes after two weeks after their last cigarette.

All these people are free. They don't need to spend their money for poisonous product. They don't need to to fool away their time for pointless stealing. They don't need to think about cartons, packs, lighters, ashtrays, odors and all other things smoker forced to think about everyday. Get your freedom, it's free :) – set up your quit day, ask your friends and relatives to support you and get more happier and successful life.

06 October 2008

More Reasons to Quit Smoking

More Reasons to Quit Smoking Smoking is one of the leading cause of heart attacks among people in their thirties and forties, but, unfortunately, most people still need an alarming health report and quit smoking only on prescription. What's worse, when it comes to persuading smokers to quit smoking, health arguments don’t always work.

The majority of smokers want to quit and have tried to quit smoking in the past 12 months, but only around 1% of smokers who try to quit on their own successfully do so. That is because the relapse rate among them is very high. After trying to quit smoking two to three times, they become frustrated and start smoking even more. However, if given psychological counseling, the quit rate improves to 11%.

Anyway, smoker should be motivated enough to quit smoking, or, if we try to think positively, smoker need grave reasons not to smoke during hard smoking cessation period, when nicotine addiction in collaboration with smoker's mind are going to find tons of reasons to smoke "just one". Below are just some reasons to quit smoking:

- You will be able to enjoy flowers, food, fresh air, taste of food, etc. far better

- You will be less wrinkly. After 10 years, smoking can speed up your skin's aging process by narrowing your skin's blood vessels and damaging the tissues that give the skin its strength and elasticity.

- Quitting smoking will improve the color of your teeth and fingers... otherwise, yes, they are yellow... and will be brown.

- Clean up your children's lungs. Secondhand smoke is now believed to be a risk factor for children to develop asthma; it also contributes to respiratory infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis, and ear infections, as well as coughing, wheezing, and decreased lung function.

- You will be more patient. Smoking addiction raises irritation levels. You will be more calm. Addiction causes anxiety that smoking temporarily relieves.

All smokers harbor the secret hope that they will be spared the disease and death that follows nicotine addiction. We tell ourselves we'll quit in time and somehow dodge the bullet that smoking is. But with four million people dying every year due to tobacco use around the world, the odds are not in our favor. So, quit smoking to be free and have more control over your life.

17 September 2008

In Time

Plenty of time left to quit? Such thoughts are very likely to prove both deadly and wrong. Nicotine addiction ignorance costs half of all smokers an average of 13 years of life. Try to imagine nearly five millions tobacco victims each year. Imagine having a 50% chance of already knowing the cause of death that will appear on your death certificate.

Bryan started smoking at age thirteen. A 34 year-old Marlboro Light smoker, Bryan thought that because his mother still smoked that he had plenty of time left to quit. He was wrong. This is a photo of Bryan with his two year-old son, Bryan Jr. It was taken on March 29. The photo below was taken just 63 days later on June 3, the day Bryan died. It shows the aggressiveness of smoking induced small cell lung cancer. In Bryan's hands is a copy of the picture of him with his son.

In Time Quit Smoking

In Time Stop Smoking

Nicotine has physically rewired your brain growing millions of extra acetylcholine receptors in eleven different regions. Your mind is now de-sensitized to its own natural neuron-chemical flow. Quitting is a temporary journey of readjustment where you allow the time needed to restore natural sensitivities, where you break subconsciously conditioned links to smoking triggers and where you allow your conscious mind time to move beyond the years of smoking rationalizations you created in order to justify that next nicotine fix. When quitting there is no such thing as smoking just one. Like alcoholism, it is all or nothing.

Although your nicotine induced dopamine and adrenaline high reflects alert intoxication, chemical dependency upon nicotine is every bit as real, deep and permanent as alcoholism, crystal meth, or heroin addiction. Once hooked the remaining questions become, on which side of the bars will you spend the balance of life, what quality will your life have and how long will it last?

14 September 2008

Set Your Mind to Find Freedom

Set Your Mind to Find FreedomBe patient with yourself and allow for as much time as you need to heal from this addiction. However, there is important step in finding freedom from nicotine addiction that is just as important as practice and time. It involves your mind-set. I'm sure you've heard about people who still struggle years and years after quitting. They are the ones who say they "still miss smoking" 20 years down the road. That's a fearsome thing to hear, but do not let it throw you. The reason they are in that position has to do with the fact that they never did the work to change what cigarettes meant to them.

Along with using patience and time to help you reprogram your associations with smoking, you must also revise the way you think about your cigarettes. The path to freedom has to do with shifting your attitude to smoking, and the way to make that mental change is through education. Educate yourself by reading everything about nicotine addiction. It will help you set up new meaning that cigarettes have for you. Once you do that, the mental chains of this addiction will begin to break down for good. You'll truly be free, and believe me, it is a great place to be.

I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever - I will never smoke again. How can I be so sure? I've changed what cigarettes mean to me. Tobacco is now equal to death and slavery in my mind. Smoking has lost its attraction completely. Read about nicotine addiction and do the work to change the way you identify cigarettes. They are instruments of death. They deserve nothing more than your disdain. Do not look at quitting tobacco as a sacrifice. You are not giving up anything of value. Quitting smoking is a gift. Change your mind and you will find your freedom.

Same Reason for Relapse and Inability to Quit Smoking

Same Reason for Relapse and Inability to Quit SmokingIf you think that you relapse to smoking after quitting because you do not have strong mental defense to beat back the cravings of the nicotine, then you are wrong! Cravings and relapse have equal roots. When smokers smoke cigarettes, their minds set tons of reasons why they are doing this, while smoking is the greatest threat to health, wealth and welfare of smoker and his family members.

If smoker are not able to remove all this reasons from this mind and heart, he will not be able to successfully quit smoking. Even this person is managed to quit smoking, the state of non-smoking is too hard for him, because he still has many reasons to smoke, but doesn’t smoke just because of willpower. This mismatch will transform to the stress with relapse as most likely outcome.

To successfully quit smoking you need to know more about smoking addiction; why smoking cigarettes never helps you, and have clear-cut understanding why you are smoking. Really, these are very simple tasks for non-smokers and very hard for smokers. Smokers believe that smoking helps them, when they need to concentrate or to relax; non-smokers know that smokers are just feeding their addiction. If you think that cigarettes are your best pals, please, do not try to quit. Instead, change your mind at first.

11 September 2008

Trying to quit smoking is the hardest thing I’ve ever done

Maura Tierney - Trying to quit smokingStory by Maura Tierney. Maura Tierney stars in NBC's ER and recently appeared in Playwrights Horizons' Three Changes. Soon, Maura will be leaving "ER" in it's final season, in which she has had a permanent role for 9 years playing nurse turned doctor, Abby Lockhart. Maura was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2001 for Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series for this role.

Maura has also starred alongside some of the biggest actors in Hollywood, with films such as "Forces of Nature", with Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock, opposite Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding in "Instinct". Alongside John Travolta and Emma Thompson in "Primary Colors", and opposite Jim Carrey in "Liar, Liar". In 2001 she was seen in "Scotland, PA", written and directed by her now ex-husband Billy Morrissette. Her most recent movie roles are "Baby Mama", with Tina Fey, "Finding Amanda" co-starring Matthew Broderick, and Will Ferrell's fun basketball flick, "Semi-Pro".

You can currently see Maura in Nicky Silver's play "Three Changes" alongside Dylan McDermott, in a limited run from August 22 to September 28. ER's 15th and final season starts late September. Maura will appear in the first three episodes.

I grew up in a haze of smoke. No one in my family concerned themselves too much with nicotine addiction and its attendant diseases. My father lit up at the dinner table and puffed away in the car with the windows rolled up. (The car, incidentally, was a Plymouth Duster without seat belts or a working lock on the passenger-side door. It wasn't unusual for that door to fly open when we made a left turn; on two such occasions, my sister and I were catapulted out. The phrases "child safety" and "secondhand smoke" didn't get much play in my house.) But this blithe attitude wasn't particular to my family. My high school, an all-girl's Catholic school in a suburb south of Boston, had its very own smoking lounge. A note from your parents - authentic or forged - was all you needed for permission to smoke the day away. Hey, it was the early eighties.

I took my first drag off a cigarette at the ripe old age of eight. My grandmother went to the bathroom, and I stole one of her butts from the ashtray. I lit it, took a quick puff and snuffed it out before she even returned. Then, when I was about 13, my best friend, Adra, and I started smoking at her house after school. Both her parents worked, so we basically had two full hours every afternoon to smoke our heads off. For the next six months our schedule was as follows: School, 8 A.M. to 3 P.M. Chain-smoking, 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. Homework. Dinner. Bed. Repeat.

Adra and I tried every brand of cigarette: More, Virginia Slims, Marlboro, Camel, Kent. Back then, you could just walk into a drugstore and buy a pack without an ID - cashiers assumed you were buying them for your parents. This is how two scrawny eighth graders marched into various convenience stores and bought enough cigarettes to pay a Philip Morris executive's salary for a year. Then Adra moved away. With my underage smoking headquarters closed down, I was forced back into clean living until my freshman year of college, when I majored in dance at New York University.

Smoking was my life

Nobody smokes more than dancers. Dancers don't eat food; they inhale cigarettes. By the time I graduated, I was up to a pack a day. After NYU I moved to Los Angeles. I began working as an actor and discovered I was wrong about something: Nobody smokes more than dancers except actors. And makeup artists. And camera operators. And directors. The truth is, as exciting as film and TV work is, there can be stretches of downtime. Cigarettes fill them. They're something to do when there's nothing to do. They turn a moment into an event.

And when I can't have one, I'm f - ked. I've found myself doing things I'm not proud of, like, say, digging through the trash for a butt. Or smoking through bronchitis. Or telling people who try to bum a cigarette that I don't have any left when actually I do. At times it feels that smoking runs my life. During a five-minute break at work, I've had to make the decision: Should I pee or should I smoke? I've tried doing both at the same time, and it's not very satisfying. There's been only one time in my history when I didn't smoke or even think about it: About 12 years ago, my brother was hit by a car and ended up in a coma. For a period of six or seven days, he was so sick my family couldn't leave his bedside. But the moment he showed signs of recovery, so did my urge to smoke. I stood in front of the hospital next to patients attached to IV poles who were also smoking. I thought, look at those poor bastards - as if I had no experience with that same lack of self-control.

In 2003 New York enacted the Clean Indoor Air Act, which prohibits smoking in bars and restaurants. I didn't mind, actually: It forced me to smoke less, at least when I'm having dinner with friends. But I did start to notice that, one by one, everyone around me started to quit. My castmates on ER quit. My mother quit. Even my father, who'd smoked two packs a day for I don't know how many years, quit. He told me he had just picked a date and done it. If only I were a "pick a date and do it" kinda gal.

My best pals

I have tried to quit - a few times. But I usually give in at around day four, when I'm weeping at the drop of a hat and considering eating my steering wheel. In Martin Amis' book The Information, the main character, who's having a midlife crisis, talks about smoking a cigarette in between each cigarette. When I'm stressed, that's exactly how I feel. I've considered getting hypnotized; I've considered taking antidepressants; I've considered getting acupuncture. But I haven't done any of those things. Part of the reason could be that on one level, being a smoker is tied up with my identity, which is absurd. I also have this misconception that cigarettes are my little best pals. When I'm upset, they comfort me. When I'm anxious, they calm me down. When I'm tired, they wake me up. It's a great little drug, nicotine…until you try to give it up.

But recently I've decided my little pals are turning on me. It really started with vanity. A few years ago, I began noticing wrinkles around my eyes and mouth. I thought, Oh, no - I'm beginning to look like Aunt Evelyn! The aging process is traumatizing enough; I don't need to speed it along by sucking all the collagen out of my face. And it's not just about that. It's about being healthy and taking responsibility for myself.

I hate being a prisoner to these little pieces of paper filled with weeds. I hate being a hypervigilant freak about what I smell like. I hate stepping outside from any indoor occasion to get my fix. I hate that I'm one of the few who hasn't come to her senses. Every day I see young women smoking, and I want to go over to them and say, "Listen, please don't smoke - please!" But they won't listen. I didn't.

I've now been smoking regularly for 20 years. That's just appalling. I'm going to stop. I do have a plan actually. I'm going on vacation with my family, and my plan will start the minute I step off the plane. You see, I hate smoking in front of my niece and nephew. But when it comes to my smoking, they both seem to have developed psychic abilities: No matter where I sneak off to fire up, I eventually hear, midpuff, the scamper of their approaching little feet. Not only do I not want to be that weird, smelly, smoky aunt who sets a bad example, but at this point, I figure the tension of trying to quit can't be much worse than the tension of trying to hide my habit. I'm not taking any cigarettes, and I've loaded up on Nicorette. I won't be driving, so there'll be no steering wheels to eat. Everyone in my family has seen me cry before.

I plan on coming back from this trip smoke-free. And this much I know: I will be prouder of that accomplishment than anything I've ever done.

To Successfully Quit Smoking, You Need a Multi-legged Stool

To Successfully Quit Smoking, You Need a Multi-legged StoolThe stool or more correctly, the legs of the stool are a metaphor for what I feel is one of the most important aspects of quitting smoking - support. Picture if you will sitting down at the computer to write a letter on a stool with only one leg and how difficult it would be to remain on it. Sure, you can say 'If the leg is in the middle of the stool, balancing shouldn't be too hard.' True, but what say the one leg is attached to the outer perimeter as normal? Do you think it would be much harder to concentrate on finishing your letter if most of your attention is spent trying not to fall over? Probably very difficult, I would think.

Now let us add a leg to the stool. Does it become any easier to sit on? Of course it does. Now you only have to worry about the stool moving side-to-side or front-to-back, but not both so you only have to give it half as much attention. Much easier to concentrate on the task.

Let's now add the third leg, which by the way has been shown to be the most stable arrangement for a stool, and upholstery cleaning codes do we get. Right - perfect stability. We can now sit with complete confidence upon our three-legged stool and focus all our attention on our letter because we no longer have the fear of falling over (failure).

How does this metaphor relate to quitting smoking? Well, like the one legged stool, if you attempt to quit smoking on your own with no other support, it will be that much more difficult to stay focused. Why try to do it alone s upholstery cleaning there are friends out there who would be more than willing to help you. Adding another couple of legs to your efforts would be recommended to get more stability (support), but four, five or more friends would not be out of line either.

Although having five legs of support on a stool may look funny, having this number of support people at your disposal when quitting smoking is smart. However, be sure to inform whomever you ask to help you that they don't harp on or badger you about quitting, only to be there when you need their valued assistance. And if you are courageous enough, and I hope you are, make a pact with yourself that if at any time after you quit you are tempted professional furniture cleaners or someone else that having 'just one' wouldn't hurt, you must call all your 'legs' and say "Hi, it's me. I've decided to start smoking again." If you can make it through all of these phone calls and still believe that 'one' will not hurt, I would be very surprised.

Freedom from the cigarette will come once you have made up your mind and enlisted all the tools you can find, including the multi-legged support system.

04 September 2008

One More Cigarette

One More Cigarette You want to smoke and your mind always find the reasons to acquit smoking. You are not able to work without cigarettes, nicotine addiction force you to make a little break for a cigarette every time you have to solve any more or less important problem. You smoke – cigarette burn you life and health. If you think that smoking isn't bad for your health and for the whole life, you get no chances to quit.

You aren't free even when you smoke; you know that you will need next cigarette soon. If you are trying to quit smoking, your imagination and mind are trying to find reasons to smoke one more cigarette. Smoking will never help you to relax or to concentrate, you just cannot relax or concentrate without satisfied nicotine addiction.

Are you ever try to understand that your visits to doctor are connected with smoking? You know that smoking is dangerous for your lungs, but your whole life is worse due to oxygen starvation, and total impact upon your energy level. This influence is very gradual and unnoticeable, but when you are going to light up next cigarette, try to understand that exactly the same one will be your last cigarette soon. You just can choose - death or your decision to quit smoking will be the reason.

29 August 2008

Smoking is only a part of the problem

Smoking is only a part of the problemOnce you manage to quit you will have more energy, money, and a universe of opportunities ahead of you. Starting to look down on other smokers is additional risk for former smoker, so, please, do not be preachy. If you really want to help your friends or relatives, try to give them useful advice and let them make their own choice. If they don’t want to quit, they never will.

Another problem for ex-smokers is their pride for quitting smoking. Sometimes former smokers even think that they deserve some rewards from life just for non-smoking. Quitting smoking is great act, ex-smoker ever did in life, but it is not the reason for pride. If you proud too much that you have came off cigarettes, but don't make any further steps to make your life better day after day, you have much more chances to get back to your nicotine addiction.

You not only need to start your way to a nicotine free world, but also you need to keep trying to improve other aspects of your life. The dangers of cigarette smoking are now very well known and understood, but, anyway, simply quitting is not enough, ex-smokers have to gain a new sense of freedom and satisfaction only for the new great achievements, not just for their quitting smoking success that rapidly become a thing of the past.

20 August 2008

Get Support to Quit Smoking

Get Support to Quit SmokingFor smokers smoking is more than a habit, it is an addiction. It is not easy to stop smoking. No one said it would. Bad habits are bad enough, but addictions are difficult to quit. This is where a support group can help. For some people, this includes your friends and family. This can also include both ex-smokers and nonsmokers. For other people, a support group can also consist of professional help. In any case, having people on your side cheering you on can do you some good. This will help you keep going and finally lead you to quit smoking.

Those who have already quit smoking claim that it is best to quit cold turkey. Do not try to decrease the amount of cigarettes you have per day because this will make it too difficult to quit. Instead, try to stop smoking completely all at once. The cravings might make you uncomfortable for a while, but you will get over them faster than if you were to stop gradually.

Once you have made the decision to kick the cigarette habit, stay away from social environments that can entice you to light up. Drink plenty of fluids and commit to a workout regimen to alleviate the pangs of withdrawal. Nicotine withdrawal can be quite uncomfortable. To control the emotional cravings and anxiety nicotine withdrawal can cause, find someone to provide support or engage in an activity that requires concentration.

One way to control cravings is to seek distractions, something to do other than smoke. Things like reading an engrossing novel or going to the theater can take your mind off the cravings. Other people prefer to take deep breaths or redirect their focus with different activities. Some people chew gum to keep their mouths occupied. Whatever you choose, make sure to do that instead of smoking another cigarette.

With self-control and a good support system, it is quite possible to stop smoking naturally. It is not entirely easy to accomplish, but once the first symptoms of withdrawal are over, you can quit smoking and become healthier.

14 August 2008

Julianne Moore's Quitting Smoking

Julianne Moore's Quitting SmokingActress Julianne Moore feels that the decision to quit smoking improved more than just her health. It also gave her an emotional awakening, improving all other areas of her life. Moore quit smoking 15 years ago and she considers it one of the smartest things she ever did. "I began to see the most clearly," says The Hours star. "I was 31 or 32, and I quit smoking. I was so emotional."

The actress feels that the decision to quit also helped her better examine other issues in her life, such as why she smoked to begin with. "I had been so unhappy, and I realized that I had just been . . . literally stuffing it back with those cigarettes in my mouth," Moore recalls.

And the Oscar-nominated actress feels that an epiphany had really taken place. "I felt like I woke up suddenly," she admits.

20 July 2008

No Excuses for Smoking

No Excuses for SmokingWhen you are a smoker, it is very easy to believe that smoking is the answer to all your problems, and to find reasons for why you smoke. When you are unable to concentrate, you are convinced that you will be able to focus when you light up a cigarette. When someone irritates you, you think that you will feel more relaxed when you light up a cigarette. When first you become a nonsmoker, everything that goes wrong is associated with the fact that you are not smoking. Your partner urges you to buy some cigarettes because you are irritable and no longer a pleasure to be with. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

The fact is, smoking never made anyone perfect. Smokers also get irritable, have trouble concentrating and are not always a pleasure to be with. You cannot pin these or any other problems on the fact that you are a nonsmoker. You have not changed, your personal situations have probably not changed, you will still get problems, but it is very easy to blame these emotions on being a nonsmoker because smoker always feels that smoking grant relax and releases stress.

After you have successfully stopped smoking for a while, you may feel quitting has been easier than you expected. Not that it's been easy altogether, but it still has not been as hard as you feared. You may now go for several hours, maybe most of the day or evening, without even thinking about a cigarette. Here is the downside of feeling too confident: You're at a party. You're feeling good. Maybe you've had a drink or two. Someone offers you a cigarette. You think, "I'm not having any trouble. I will have a couple tonight and go back to non-smoking tomorrow. Maybe stay with a routine of only smoking at parties." Vigilance - that is the word for the next few months. You don't have to spend every waking moment managing your quitting, but you do have to stay on your toes, vigilant, alert to the temptations or situations that can mess up your plan. Give your nonsmoking the vigilance you would for anything else that is very important.

Nicotine is a deadly drug, which possess a powerful addiction. The fortunate thing is that thousands of people are successfully trying to avoid its grip and many have already succeeded. They are same people who once have thought that they would not be able to quit smoking. Finally, they won over smoking addiction and turned their dream into the reality. Their determination has worked for them.

17 July 2008

What do Drew Barrymore, Ellen DeGeneres, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron Have in Common?

quit smoking with hypnosisThey all quit smoking with hypnosis. We all know that superstars love to follow a trend - and, with smoking way down on the list of things that you should do in life - more and more famous people are turning to hypnosis to break their bad habits. Let’s face it - quitting smoking is hard, whether you’re famous or not. It does not matter how bad you want to quit, sometimes actually being able to break the addiction is something we just cannot do on our own. But, the fact is that smoking could shorten your lifespan, it makes your life miserable and it eats up your money.

Therefore, it is no surprise that celebrities like these four have tried hypnosis. Sometimes, having someone else deal with an addiction for you is just a lot easier than having to do it yourself. Matt Damon, for example, is said to have quit smoking straight after just three sessions with his hypnotherapist. As he said afterwards: "It’s amazing I didn’t even want cigarettes any more." Ellen DeGeneres, on the other hand, was cured on her TV show by a guest hypnotherapist on the spur of the moment. She was so grateful to have found an instant cure that she told him: "You’ve helped me tremendously and probably saved my life, definitely changed my life." And, Drew Barrymore managed to kick a two to three pack a day habit that she had had since her teens with the help of hypnosis.

So, why are the rich and famous turning to hypnosis to cure their bad habits? The fact is that it just plain works and, as word gets out how effective it can be, more and more smokers want to get help this way. If you want to quit smoking then hypnosis could be the ideal solution for you. Going down this route could see you quit smoking in an instant - unlike other practices such as nicotine patches or gum which could take months to wean you off and which could have nasty side effects. And, it is a whole lot easier than going cold turkey.

Hypnosis works to make you want to quit smoking on a subconscious level. You do have to want to quit for it to work but - if you do - then there is no reason why it will not work for you. In addition, you don’t have to be rich and famous to be able to see the benefits here. The fact is that more and people who are desperate to quit smoking are turning to hypnotherapy as a solution. These people may have been trying to quit for years or may have just made the decision to try, it does not matter what stage you are at, hypnosis can help.

Page Sponsor: Valerie Dawson’s "Easy Quit Hypnosis Program" can help you quit in just one session (an amazing two sessions less than it took Matt Damon!). Don’t believe it could happen to you? Then take a couple of minutes to listen to the free audio before you make your mind up. Valerie Dawson, MSW, CHt has been a hypnotherapist for 18 years. She has undertaken special training in hypnosis techniques for smoking cessation and has helped hundreds of people quit successfully with her Easy Quit Hypnosis Program.

29 June 2008

Hypnotist Reveals 10 Tricks to Quit Smoking

Going to quit smoking? It doesn’t have to be hard! One of the keys for beating the addiction once and for all is to tap into the power of your mind. Here are some points to help you succeed.

I. Make quitting smoking your number one goal. Instead of a long list of various goals, make quitting smoking your number-one top priority. By focusing on smoking cessation as most crucial goal, you increase your chances of success.

II. Make a long list of all the positive benefits of being an ex-smoker! Keep the end result in mind. Think about how your energy level will increase. Imagine all the stuff you can do with the money you’ll save each year by not buying cigarettes. Focus on how you’ll add many healthy years to your life, so you can do all the things you’ve desired to do, spending time with people you care about.

III. Think of methods that can help you make quitting smoking easier. Unite with a friend or family member to quit together. Ask a co-worker to go for a quick walk with you on breaks. Maybe you can take a smoking cessation class or learn self-hypnosis.

IV. Make a promise to yourself. Plan the date and time that you will smoke your last cigarette. Make this commitment to yourself as if your life depends on it. Why? Because it does! Write down the "sneaky tricks" that could try to lure you in for "just one" smoke you know, the things that have triggered you in the past. Write down your plan of action for beating these sneaky triggers.

V. Put your plan in writing. Write down everything you’ve thought of while reading this article, plus any other thoughts that you consider will assist you to remain smoke free. More ideas: stay away from other smokers for a while; get rid of your cigarettes and ashtrays; ask a friend to call you every day for moral support.

VI. As an alternative to thought, "This is hard" try to think somewhat like "It's getting easier and easier". You could even come up with your own mantra. It can be: "I take care of health."; "I can handle this."; "I can do it!" Have a positive statement you can say to yourself throughout the day that will help you to stay smoke free.

VII. Give yourself rewards. Why not have a quit jar and put all the money that you would have spent on cigarettes in it? You could save up for a tropical vacation or a down payment on that new sports car. Think of a nice reward to give yourself for being smoke free for one day, one week, one month, and so on! Mark them on your calendar so you have something to look forward to.

VIII. Approach quitting smoking process with a "I can. I will. I must." attitude. If your child or loved one was burning in a building and you were the only one there to get them out, would you just "give it a try?" Would you simply "give it a shot?" Or would you "give it everything you’ve got?" Of course you would do anything and everything, whatever it took. Well, aren’t you worth the same? So approach quitting smoking with the same attitude, because you’re truly saving your own life – you’re worth it!

IX. Visualize your journey to success. Every morning and evening, close your eyes for a few moments and rehearse in your mind how you will say "no" to any temptations to having a cigarette, and notice how good it feels to be in control of your triggers and urges. Also, picture and imagine yourself as a happy non-smoker for 3 to 5 minutes each day. Visualize yourself as happy, healthy and active doing all the things you love to do.

X. Stress is everywhere, and every smoker think that cigarettes help us to relax, in reality, nicotine just make smoker free from desire to light up for a while and also nicotine is a stimulant to the body. During the first week of quitting, you will likely have thoughts to have a cigarette when you feel stressed. Learning to take long, deep breaths throughout the day can be a good start. If you can learn to tackle stress, you can tackle kicking the addiction much more easily.

Valerie Dawson, MSW is a hypnotist who specializes in helping people to quit smoking. She offers great "Easy Quit Hypnosis Program" How many times you've tried to quit? If you're still smoking it means only that you've tried something that didn't work. "Easy Quit Hypnosis Program" works, and not only does it work, it works in one hour. You'll be a non-smoker in one hour or less, with no will-power, deprivation or weight gain.

02 June 2008

Are you man enough to butt-out?

Are you man enough to butt-out?Sponsor: Quit Smoking Right Now

Men around the world smoke more than women. But why? Because tobacco companies and advertisers have targeted men for the longest time, or is it just that women care more about their health? There are men, who smoke two or three cigarettes a day and think since they are not into chain or heavy smoking, they will not get affected. Other ones believe that smoking actually improves their digestive system. It is hard to imagine why men don't understand how harmful their habit is.

As human beings, when confronted with a problem sometimes we are reluctant to recognize that the problem actually exists. We tend at times to be in denial. Smokers are not sheltered nor are they immune to these basic human characteristics. Some men, although they, or those close to them, may be experiencing some of the cigarette smoke’s side effects such as: tooth decay, premature ageing, cataracts, hearing loss, breathing complications, impotence and numbness of fingers, they choose to neglect the harsh realities that all of these could be attributed to cigarette smoking.

A smokers’ lung resembles burnt meat. The blackened lung is a result of tar deposits that all smokers breathe into their lungs with every puff they take. Cigarette tars contain some of the most carcinogenic chemicals known to man. Some of us have close friends who have been smoking cigarettes for years but have been defiant in accepting the fact that they are indeed hooked and are sick because of tobacco smoke.

Those smokers who are in denial continue to inhale thousands of poisons with every puff. These poisons rob them of their endurance and their health. One day, these poisons may eventually rob them, or those close to them, of their life. Smoking related diseases are responsible for 1 in 10 adult deaths worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, the tobacco epidemic kills an average of two people every 12 seconds.

Unfortunately, most of men have smoked and are still smoking. This makes all men very much at risk of the harmful effects of smoking. Stop smoke cigarettes every single day in order to maintain a constant blood nicotine level and satisfy the addiction, please, start tobacco free life, and protect yourself from tobacco smoke.

15 May 2008

Thanks to all the mothers who have quit

Thanks to all the mothers who have quitThe responsibility of being a mother begins prior to birth and woman's choice to quit should be celebrated. A recent study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that mothers who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to infants with heart defects. Smoking during pregnancy causes major health problems for mother and baby.

Quitting smoking takes practice, but it lowers these risks. Women who quit smoking cut the biggest risks of death from heart disease within five years and have a 20 percent lower chance of dying from related cancers in that time.

Smoking during pregnancy may cause problems with the placenta, the source of the baby's nutrition and oxygen. Mother's smoking can cause a baby to be born too early and have low birth weight; making it more likely the baby will become sick or die. Babies with moms who smoke are more likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and have health problems such as ear infections and pneumonia.

Women who quit smoking in pregnancy have better general functioning, including more sustained relationships, more skillfulness in use of community resources and less disrupted and stressful life circumstances compared to pregnancy smokers. Quitting smoking is a really difficult thing to do at any time, but one of the most important things mothers can do for their children is to stop smoking.

28 April 2008

How I quit smoking

How I quit smoking
By Paul Burri

I know several people who are trying to quit smoking and I appreciate how difficult that is. It took several years for me to break the habit. It was quite a few years ago and here’s how I did it.

It was way, way back in 1954 and I had just been discharged from the Army. Many people will be surprised that as early as the fifties, there were cancer warnings about the dangers of smoking. But back then we had none of the patches, pills, medications and other aids for quitting. At the time I had been smoking for about six years and was up to two packs a day. I tried “cutting down” with no success. I tried substituting candy and chewing gum with no success. I tried self-hypnosis. I was trapped in the old cliché: "It’s easy to quit smoking; I’ve quit thousands of times."

At the time, both my wife and I were working; I in Los Angeles and she for Walt Disney in Burbank. We had only one car so I would take the bus to work every morning. In the evening the bus went right past the Disney parking lot so I would get off there and wait around for 15 or 20 minutes for her to get off work. Then we’d drive home together.

Since I had been doing this for several months, I got familiar with one of the guards at the Disney parking lot and he and I would talk about various things. One day as we were talking, I took out my pack of cigarettes and lit up. At the same time, I offered one to my friend. He recoiled in mock horror and said to me, "Are you trying to poison me?"

I replied, "I guess you’ve quit, huh? I wish I could."

He answered with a remark that I have never forgotten. He said, "You can too if you really want to."

I never smoked another cigarette from that moment on.

As always, I look for what lesson is to be learned from that experience. I think it is that you can achieve whatever you want to if you are really sincere and the motivation is really there. Conversely, if you find it "impossible" to break a habit or to achieve a particular goal, it’s because you do not have sufficient motivation.

I am reminded about something I wrote in an earlier column that had to do with setting goals. At a seminar I attended we were asked to make a list of 10 goals we wanted to achieve. On the second day, we were asked to make a new list showing what we needed to do to achieve those goals. On the third day we were to list what we were actually doing. It was pretty embarrassing because we had goals, we knew what we had to do to achieve those goals — but few of us were doing what it took to get there.

I do not want to minimize the pernicious nature of various kinds of addictions nor the extreme difficulty of escaping from them. I also do not want to oversimplify the problem, but I do believe that one’s own strong self-motivation is an important first step. I sincerely believe that you can achieve whatever you want if you are really motivated to do so.

17 April 2008

Don't give up giving up

Don't give up giving upQuitting cigarettes means walking away from an addiction to something containing over 4,000 known chemicals. This is why quitting smoking is one of the toughest things to do. But it gets easier with practice. Perhaps the most telling testament to the difficulty of quitting is the number of people who routinely say "I've tried to quit smoking more than once." In fact, the average person who has successfully quit smoking has only done so after five or six failed attempts.

A big problem for many smokers trying to quit is handling the craving for nicotine. Nicotine increases the levels of chemicals in the brain that regulate mood, attention and memory, making it far more difficult to avoid a craving than many people might think.

Here are some helpful tips to help you to quit smoking:

- Pick a quit day within the next two or three weeks to quit. Having a deadline makes it easier to plan how you will handle the people, places and situations that make you want to smoke. Make your own list of reasons for quitting: health, family, money...

- Replace cigarettes. Many people chew gum in lieu of smoking cigarettes. To make that beneficial, make sure the gum is sugarfree to avoid damaging teeth. Some people simply reach for food when a nicotine craving hits. If you take this road, make sure the food you choose is healthy, such as fruits and vegetables (i.e., carrots, celery, apples).

- Speak with friends, family, and colleagues who can give you support. Start making the lifestyle changes that will support your plan. Leave cigarettes at home when you go out, remove the ashtrays from your home. Consider joining a support group. Some people find it helpful to talk to others who are also trying to quit.

- Learn to relax. Because nicotine affects chemicals in the brain and, in turn, mood, quitting can make a person cranky and restless. In fact, nicotine withdrawal and dependence have been recognized as disorders by the American Psychiatric Association for 20 years. Oftentimes, the restlessness that results from withdrawal will drive someone to smoke again because they cannot relax when a craving hits. Take 10 slow, deep breaths and hold the last one. Then breathe out slowly and relax all muscles. Imagine a soothing scene and allow your mind to escape as you concentrate on that scene.

- Leave the room. Merely changing surroundings when a craving hits works for some people. Head outdoors for some fresh air, walk down the hall to a different room or change what you're doing when cravings hit.

- Don't fall into the trap of "Just one won't hurt." "Just one" often turns into more than that, as anyone who has tried and failed at quitting before can attest. The problem with the "just one" approach is that it negates all the work a person has done up to that point.

Health benefits of quitting smoking are unlimited!

Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health and quality of life. Non-smokers have a much lower risk of getting dozens of smoking-related diseases like lung cancer, heart disease, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD, including emphysema). You will look and feel younger. Smokers are more likely to wrinkle at an earlier age and have deeper wrinkles.

Quitting smoking increases the chances of living a longer and healthier life. After about 15 years, an ex-smoker's relative risk of getting lung cancer is only slightly greater than that of someone who has never smoked. Similarly, their relative risk of a heart attack is reduced almost to the same risk level of someone who has never smoked.

Once you have quit, you will know you can succeed at difficult takes and take more control of your life. Quitting helps you believe in yourself. Many smokers remember the exact day they quit because it is a source of great pride. You'll feel proud of your ability to overcome something so challenging.

10 April 2008

Smoking Actually Increases Stress

Smoking Actually Increases StressDoes smoking help stress? Many people think that smoking cigarettes helps to calm them down. Smoking releases chemicals in brain, called neurotransmitters; these improve your mood and make you feel better. However, these feelings usually only last for a short period because withdrawal from nicotine gradually makes you feel worse and your good mood is only restored when the craving is satisfied with another cigarette. So, if you smoke to reduce stress, you are only adding to your stress.

Studies show that for adult smokers the positive mood changes experienced during smoking may only reflect the reversal of unpleasant abstinence effects. Regular smokers, therefore, experience periods of heightened stress between cigarettes, and smoking briefly restores their stress levels to normal. However, soon they need another cigarette to forestall abstinence symptoms from developing again. The repeated occurrence of negative moods between cigarettes means that smokers tend to experience slightly above-average levels of daily stress. Thus, nicotine dependency seems to be a direct cause of stress.

Stress may be increased if you are worrying about trying to give up smoking. You may feel irritable and stressed when you quit smoking, but it is important to remember that this is a sign that your body is repairing itself from the effects of nicotine. If smoking was your main way of coping with stress, after quitting you'll need to find new, better ways of stress relief. Exercise, reading and relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, are good alternatives and will help you to take your mind off a stressful situation and improve your mood.

26 March 2008

Buy cigarettes online? Expect a large invoice.

Buy cigarettes online? Expect a large invoice.As many states raise the excise tax on cigarettes, smokers in high-tax states are sometimes tempted to go online and save money by ordering from an out-of-state discount store to avoid paying the tax.

Many states (34 by 2006) have now passed laws governing these types of sales, and at least 5 have banned direct to consumer shipment of cigarettes. Because of the myriad of complex state and federal laws affecting this aspect of business, many of the (over 700) vendors selling cigarettes on the internet have been found to be in breach of at least one state law. This breach makes them open to prosecution, and one of the common requirements during such prosecutions is that they turn over records of all their orders and deliveries.

When the state gets access to this information, it can be used to bill these individuals for unpaid taxes. I’ve known smokers who received a bill for thousands of dollars in unpaid cigarette excise taxes after purchasing online for a long time.

There is known case about a woman who received a bill for her husband’s unpaid taxes for internet cigarette purchases, after the husband had died of lung cancer. Whether or not you agree with this practice, you should at least be aware of the risks.

Rather than run the risk, why not make a serious attempt to quit smoking? Think of all the other things you could buy on the internet with the money you save on cigarettes!

23 March 2008

The Global Tobacco Crisis

The Global Tobacco CrisisThe World Health Organization (WHO) recently published a startling report on the state of tobacco use around the world, along with some dire predictions about our future, should we continue on the path we're presently walking. Based on current trends in tobacco use worldwide, they tell us that we are poised on the brink of a global tobacco epidemic that could claim as many as one billion lives this century.

Mirriam-Webster defines an epidemic as something that affects a disproportionately large number of people within a population, community, or region at the same time. Typhoid fever was an epidemic, and tobacco use will be too, unless we do something drastic to change these trends, and do it soon.

Today, tobacco use is growing the fastest in low-income countries that are least equipped to deal with the disease and early death that accompanies smoking-related disease. Between population growth and tobacco marketing campaigns that target these areas with little or no legislation in place to restrict advertising, millions of new addicts are emerging every year. According to the WHO report, more than 80 percent of global tobacco-related deaths will be in low and middle-income countries by the year 2030.

Tobacco Statistics

- There are 1.1 billion smokers in the world today, and if things continue as they have, that number is expected to increase to 1.6 billion by the year 2025.

- China is home to 300 million smokers who consume upwards of 1.7 trillion cigarettes a year, or 3 million cigarettes a minute.

- As many as 100 million Chinese men presently under the age of 30 will die from tobacco use.

- There are approximately 120 million smokers in India today, and it is estimated that in the year 2010 alone, there will be close to one million tobacco-related deaths among men and women age 30 to 69 in India.

- Worldwide, tobacco use will kill more than 175 million people between now and the year 2030.

- Current tobacco-related health care costs in the United States total US $81 billion annually. Germany spends an average of US $7 billion, and Australia, US $1 billion each year on health care directly related to tobacco use.

- Health care costs associated with secondhand smoke total US $5 billion a year in the U.S.

- It is estimated that as many as 500 million people alive today will be killed by tobacco use unless significant anti-smoking measures are adopted on a global level.

16 March 2008

Dads Don't Quit Cigarettes During Moms' Pregnancies

Dads Don't Quit Cigarettes During Moms' PregnanciesDespite public health campaigns, a surprising number of women continue to use substances such as tobacco, marijuana and alcohol during pregnancy and their usage rebounds to pre-pregnancy levels within two years of having a baby, according to a new University of Washington study.

Men's patterns of substance use during their partners' pregnancies were even bleaker. Men typically are not targeted by these campaigns, and their levels of binge drinking, daily smoking and marijuana use remained fairly stable before, during and after pregnancy, the study showed.

This is important, according to the study's lead authors Jennifer Bailey and Karl Hill, because men's substance use may make it harder for women to stop using while they're pregnant and may make it more likely that mothers will resume smoking or drinking after their child is born. Bailey and Hill are affiliated with the Social Development Research Group in the UW's School of Social Work.

"The months after childbirth are critical for intervening with mothers," said Bailey, who is a UW research scientist. "For example, many already have done the hard work of quitting smoking and haven't smoked a cigarette in six months or more. We should support that effort so that they can continue as nonsmokers. However, we know if dad is smoking or drinking it is more likely that mom will resume smoking or drinking."

The research is the first comprehensive look at mothers' and fathers' substance use on a month-by-month basis during a three-year period that included pregnancy. Substance use around pregnancy presents a wide variety of risks to fetuses and infants including fetal alcohol syndrome, cognitive and behavioral problems and impairments, asthma and higher incidences of sudden infant death syndrome.

The study found that:

* 77 percent of women cigarette smokers and 50 percent of the women who smoked marijuana used those substances at some time during pregnancy.

* 38 percent of women cigarette smokers and 24 percent of marijuana users reported using those substances throughout their pregnancies.

* While overall rates of cigarette and marijuana use and binge drinking for women declined during pregnancy, those rates began rising again during the first six months following the birth of a baby.

* Month by month during pregnancy, rates of smoking among all pregnant women varied between 17 percent and 21 percent, binge drinking was between 2 percent and 3 percent and marijuana use was between 8 percent and 9 percent.

Data for the study came from the Seattle Social Development Project which is following the development of 808 Seattle children who are now young adults. The participants are interviewed every three years, and for this study data covered the period when they were 21 to 24 years of age. In interviews, they were asked about their month-by-month incidences of binge drinking (5 or more alcoholic drinks in a two-hour period) and their use of cigarettes and marijuana. They were also asked a number of questions about life events, including the birth of a child. One hundred and thirty-one women and 77 men reported the birth of 244 children during this period.

The high rate of marijuana use rivaled that of cigarette smoking and came as a surprise to the researchers, according to Hill, who is a research associate professor of social work. He said it may be partly attributed to study participants who came from a high-risk, low-income urban sample.

He and Bailey said the findings emphasize the need for more public health messages and preventive interventions.

"Women who are pregnant want the best for their baby and typically reduce their drinking and smoking," said Bailey. "But after birth part of their motivation to limit alcohol use and quit using cigarettes and marijuana is taken away. If their partner is still smoking, for example, they might think, 'Boy, that cigarette smells good.'"

"There are two ways we need to reach parents," said Hill. "Pregnancy health care providers need to talk to both fathers and mothers about their smoking, drinking and marijuana use. Pregnancy seems like such a great public health opportunity to reach parents, but no one is talking to dads and this study shows that they are not changing their substance use behavior. What dads do matters and we want them to reduce their substance use.

"We also need to change the way society presently looks at the social norms of using these drugs. Right now there is little discussion about marijuana use during pregnancy, although it may be a relatively prevalent problem."

11 March 2008

How Old is your Lung Function?

How Old is your Lung FunctionLung age can be measured by comparing a smoker's lungs to the age of a healthy person whose lungs function were the same.

A recent British study involved 561 long-term smokers over 35 who lived outside of London. Each volunteer underwent a spirometry test, a simple test to record the volume and rate at which the volunteers exhaled air from the lungs.

Half the group received no detailed information about their results. The other people were given their lung age, shown a diagram of how smoking ages the lungs and told that quitting would slow the rate of damage.

Everyone was strongly encouraged to quit and offered help to do so and both groups were told that their lung function would be measured again after 12 months to see if there had been any change.

One year later, saliva tests showed that 13.6 per cent of the smokers told their lung age had quit while only 6.4 per cent of people in the other group had stopped.

Gary Parkes, a family physician in Hertfordshire, who led the study published in the British Medical Journal, says the results suggest that the smokers were influenced by what they learned about their lungs.

"Anybody who had good, understandable information seemed more inclined to give up," Parkes said. "The reason may be people had dreaded the worst and realized it was still worthwhile giving up."

Dr. John Granton of the Ontario Lung Association says he suspects that personalizing the effects of smoking is the most effective way to convince smokers of the dangers of their habit.

"It seems to be a powerful message, to tell people how old their lung function is, and more importantly, to tell them if they stop, they may be successful in returning to normal lung decline," he said.

"If they view the lungs of someone else, they might think 'Oh that's not going to happen to me, I'm a pretty healthy person.' But it you make it real to them and say, 'This is your lung function and this is what is going to happen to you over time,' it does personalize it a fair bit and maybe it sends a more clear message."

22 February 2008

6 Facts You Should Know About Cigar Smoking

6 Facts You Should Know About Cigar SmokingIt’s a common misconception that cigar smoking is less dangerous than cigarette smoking. The truth of the matter is that cigars are dangerous and every bit as deadly as cigarettes. However, because upwards of 75 percent of cigar smokers are occasional smokers, they are generally exposed to smaller quantities of the poisons and carcinogens present in cigars than cigarette smokers are with their cigarettes. It’s because of this that there are fewer instances of disease and fatality due to cigar smoking.

1. One cigar may contain as much tobacco as an entire pack of cigarettes.

A single cigarette usually contains less than a gram of tobacco, while cigars, which vary in size and shape, can have between 5 and 17 grams of tobacco.

2. Cigars are Addictive.

The amount of nicotine in a single cigar is many times greater than what is found in a cigarette. A typical cigarette contains one to two milligrams of nicotine, while the nicotine content of a cigar is 100 to 200 milligrams, with some as high as 400 milligrams. Cigar smoke is more alkaline than cigarette smoke. It readily breaks down in saliva, allowing the smoker to easily absorb nicotine through the lining of the mouth in quantities sufficient to cause addiction.

3. Cigar smoke is more concentrated and toxic than cigarette smoke.

ETS from cigar smoke varies from that of cigarette smoke for a couple of reasons. First, the manufacturing process for cigars requires a fermentation period. During this time, high concentrations of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA) are produced. TSNA are some of the most carcinogenic compounds known to man. Secondly, cigar wrappers are not as porous as cigarette wrappers, making the combustion of a cigar less complete. These two factors result in higher concentrations of nitrogen oxides, ammonia, carbon monoxide and tar in cigars than in cigarettes.

4. Smoking as little as one cigar a day increases the risk for cancer.

Cigar smoking has been linked to several different cancers, most notably those of the oral cavity, which include lip, tongue, mouth, throat and larynx. Cigar smokers are also at an increased risk for lung cancer and cancers of the pancreas and bladder.

5. Cigar and pipe smokers are at risk for early tooth loss.

In a study published in the January 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, it was discovered that cigar and pipe smokers are at an increased risk for early tooth loss, compared to that of their nonsmoking counterparts. Cigar and pipe smokers are also at an increased risk for alveolar bone loss.

6. Cigar smoking has been linked to erectile dysfunction in men.

Smokers are twice as likely to be impotent as nonsmokers due to the adverse effects smoking has on circulation, hormones and the nervous system. Cigar smoking and exposure to second hand smoke in particular have been shown to be significant risk factors for erectile dysfunction.

Steer clear of cigars, and avoid the second hand smoke they produce. There is no such thing as a safe tobacco product!

19 February 2008

Chantix Label Updated

Chantix Label UpdatedCHANTIX, a selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist, is the first non-nicotine prescription treatment for smoking cessation in almost a decade. It has been prescribed to more than 4 million patients in the United States since approval. It helps people give up smoking in two ways: it gives the same feeling of satisfaction as nicotine and it blocks the effect of nicotine on the brain. The first effect lessens the symptoms of withdrawal, while the second stops nicotine from triggering the brain's reward center.

Based upon post-marketing reports first reflected in a November 2007 labeling update, Pfizer today (On January 18, 2008) updated the CHANTIX label in the U.S. to include a warning that patients who are attempting to quit smoking with CHANTIX should be observed for serious neuropsychiatry symptoms, including changes in behavior, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior.

In the controlled clinical trial program of more than 5,000 patients treated with CHANTIX, changes in behavior, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal ideation, and suicidal behavior occurred at a rate comparable to placebo-treated patients. There were no suicides attributed to CHANTIX in clinical trials. Patients with serious psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder did not participate in the controlled clinical trial program.

The FDA began investigating reports of erratic behavior in Chantix users in November 2007. While a causal relationship has not been found between the drug and abnormal behavior, in some cases, an association cannot be excluded, according to Pfizer.

Since its approval by the FDA in May 2006, Chantix has been prescribed to over 4 million smokers trying to kick the habit. Chantix has helped many people to beat their addiction to nicotine in a comfortable way, but maybe this drug isn't suitable for everyone. Visit your doctor to get help in deciding whether this smoking cessation drug might be right for you.

If you are thinking of quitting smoking, you will find many people ready with advice. US government's website advises that you prepare to quit with S - T - A - R - T, which stands for:

S - Set a date.
T - Tell people: friends, family, work colleagues.
A - Anticipate and plan for the challenges you will face while quitting.
R - Remove temptation: clear your home, car and workspace of tobacco.
T - Talk to your doctor and get good, well informed support.

Chantix: Patient Stories

Stephen M. says that it only took eight days after starting his prescription before he had a serious reaction to Chantix. He notes that the day he doubled his dosage he had a nervous breakdown. Following that nervous breakdown, he suffered from panic attacks, shaking hands, a sense of hopelessness and thoughts of committing suicide. He was taken to the ER because of the severity of his panic attacks and required time off work to recover.

Chris started taking Chantix around the beginning of April last year. He says that the only side effects that were really explained to him were the nausea and strange dreams. Within a month of taking Chantix, Chris began to change. "I started worrying about everything, became really paranoid. I have a small company and I was running the guys ragged, trying to get two years' worth of stuff done in six months."

Brian W. admits that he dealt with depression before he started taking the smoking cessation drug Chantix. However, he says that after he started taking Chantix, his depression became a lot worse, to the point that he threatened to divorce his wife and tried to kill himself. Brian says that he started taking Chantix four months ago and within one to two months started to feel more depressed. Approximately two months ago, he tried to commit suicide by taking sleeping pills, but managed to stop himself in time. He says that to some degree, he was not in control of his thoughts when he took Chantix.

Sandra had been smoking for 10 years and had tried every method available to quit when she was told about Chantix. Hearing that people had some success on the drug, she decided to give it a shot. She took her first Chantix dose on October 21, 2007 and since then has experienced a wide range of side effects, including nightmares and suicidal ideation.

17 February 2008

Nicotine Addiction Steals Smoker's Right to Choose

Nicotine Addiction Steals our Right to Choose48-year-old Skip Legault has suffered a long list of horrendous physcial ailments due to tobacco use: two heart attacks; a stroke; 7 blood clots; 14 surgeries; a leg amputation. And he's still smoking.

Anyone who has lived with nicotine addiction knows that it is insidious and extremely powerful. It's hard to quit smoking, and the sad fact is, many thousands of people don't find their way free of this killer habit in time.

Mr. Legault openly admits the power that nicotine addiction still has over him, even after all he's been through because of it. He's put himself out there in the public eye, knowing that people may ridicule him because he hasn't been able to quit smoking. But he did it anyway, because he knew that his struggle with this addiction would send a powerful message that could help others find and claim their own inner source of strength to lay their cigarettes down, once and for all.

In the ad, Legault, looking into the camera and supporting himself on crutches, recites a litany of health woes, including a first heart attack at age 28 and another at 29, then says: "Every bit of this is from smoking." Legault, who once smoked three packs a day but has cut back to half a pack, was paid $4,000 for his time in producing the ads, the health department said.

Dr. Richard F. Daines, the state health commissioner said the fact that Legault hasn't been able to kick the habit "demonstrates how extreme this addiction can get. Smoking is still the single most reversible, avoidable cause of premature vascular disease," he said. "High blood pressure typically takes lifetime treatment. For smoking, you just have to stop smoking and the risks decline."

Globally, tobacco-related diseases kill 5 million people annually, or put another way, someone dies every 8 seconds somewhere in the world due to tobacco use. And worse than that, tobacco-related diseases are expected to claim one billion lives this century unless serious anti-smoking efforts are made on a global level.

10 February 2008

Quitting Smoking is a Process

Quitting Smoking is a ProcessThere are a many quit smoking methods to try. If you are not happy with specific one, try another. It is vital for your health (and the health of those around you), so you quit smoking as soon as possible. Cold turkey is the number one way that people try to quit smoking. However, this is usually not successful.

Basically, cold turkey means that you stop smoking cigarettes one day and never have another one. While some people believe that they have the willpower to do it, quitting smoking really has little to do with willpower and more to do with that fact that your body is addicted to nicotine and smoker can have withdrawal symptoms. Cold turkey does work for some people, but most people start smoking again within a few days.

Unfortunately, part of the addiction is the habit of smoking itself. Besides the physical addiction, smoker is mentally and emotionally addicted as well. Quitting smoking is a process. The social habit of smoking can be hard to stop long after you have beaten the nicotine addiction. Smoker does need to change social life; for example, you may need to stop putting yourself in social situations where you smoked, such as enjoying a cigarette with a drink. This is a hard to break but remember that quitting smoking can add years to your life and help you avoid many diseases that can be contributed to smoking. Do yourself a favor and start quitting smoking process today.

09 February 2008

20 Dreadful Smoking Facts

20 Dreadful Smoking Facts1. There are 1.1 billion smokers in the world today, and if current trends continue, that number is expected to increase to 1.6 billion by the year 2025.

2. China is home to 300 million smokers who consume approximately 1.7 trillion cigarettes a year, or 3 million cigarettes a minute.

3. Worldwide, approximately 10 million cigarettes are purchased a minute, 15 billion are sold each day, and upwards of 5 trillion are produced and used on an annual basis.

4. Five trillion cigarette filters weigh approximately 2 billion pounds.

5. It is estimated that trillions of filters, filled with toxic chemicals from tobacco smoke, make their way into our environment as discarded waste yearly.

6. While they may look like white cotton, cigarette filters are made of very thin fibers of a plastic called cellulose acetate. A cigarette filter can take between 18 months and 10 years to decompose.

7. A typical manufactured cigarette contains approximately 8 or 9 milligrams of nicotine, while the nicotine content of a cigar is 100 to 200 milligrams, with some as high as 400 milligrams.

8. There is enough nicotine in four or five cigarettes to kill an average adult if ingested whole. Most smokers take in only one or two milligrams of nicotine per cigarette however, with the remainder being burned off.

9. Ambergris, otherwise known as whale vomit is one of the hundreds of possible additives used in manufactured cigarettes.

10. Benzene is a known cause of acute myeloid leukemia, and cigarette smoke is a major source of benzene exposure. Among U.S. smokers, 90 percent of benzene exposures come from cigarettes.

11. Radioactive lead and polonium are both present in low levels in cigarette smoke.

12. Hydrogen cyanide, one of the toxic byproducts present in cigarette smoke, was used as a genocidal chemical agent during World War II.

13. Secondhand smoke contains more than 50 cancer-causing chemical compounds, 11 of which are known to be Group 1 carcinogens.

14. The smoke from a smoldering cigarette often contains higher concentrations of the toxins found in cigarette smoke than exhaled smoke does.

15. Kids are still picking up smoking at the alarming rate of 3,000 a day in the U.S., and 80,000 to 100,000 a day worldwide.

16. Worldwide, one in five teens age 13 to 15 smoke cigarettes.

17. Approximately one quarter of the youth alive in the Western Pacific Region (East Asia and the Pacific) today will die from tobacco use.

18. Half of all long-term smokers will die a tobacco-related death.

19. Every eight seconds, a human life is lost to tobacco use somewhere in the world. That translates to approximately 5 million deaths annually.

20. Tobacco use is expected to claim one billion lives this century unless serious anti-smoking efforts are made on a global level.

Tobacco offers us a life of slavery, a host of chronic, debilitating illnesses and ultimately death. Moreover, think about it: We pay big bucks for those "benefits." Sad, but true. But it is never too late to quit smoking. Nicotine withdrawal is a temporary phase. Overcoming addiction is empowering! Believe in the principles of recovery from this addiction, and believe in yourself. You have what it takes to succeed within you right now. Take your life back!

25 January 2008

Cravings to Smoke – Fight or Relax?

Cravings to Smoke – Fight or Relax?When you quit, driving, eating, drinking coffee or alcohol, or simply relaxing will trigger the urge, but most cravings to smoke last only three to five minutes. Then power of craving tends to decrease gradually until craving is gone. There are two ways to cope with cravings.

1. Fight cravings as they come, one by one. The most effective way to do that is to interrupt your thought pattern immediately. Change your activity, do something different for a few minutes, and the craving will lose its power and be gone.

2. Try a little reverse psychology - instead of fighting with the urge to smoke, relax and let the craving wash over you, and accept it as a sign of healing, which is just what it is. The urge will run its course and pass.

Have some faith, and trust in the process of quitting smoking. Thousands of people quit smoking successfully every day of the year. They don't have any unique qualities that you don't have. Everything you need to quit smoking for good is within you right now. Believe in yourself and be patient! Take the time you need to find out how to live your life without smoke. You will get there just as surely as the next person.

20 January 2008

Another Reason Not to Smoke, Especially for Women

Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseaseChronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is increasingly becoming a problem for women, according to the January issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource. The most important risk factor for COPD is long term cigarette smoking.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a broad term that describes any of a group of illnesses that block airflow through the lungs. The most common are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Signs and symptoms of COPD -- persistent cough, increased mucus production, shortness of breath and frequent colds and respiratory problems -- often develop gradually, and people don't realize they have the disease until it's advanced.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. The COPD death rate for women rose much faster between 1980 and 2000 than it did for men. In 2000, the number of women dying of COPD surpassed men for the first time. According to recent research, women with the disease experience more breathlessness, higher rates of depression and lower quality of life than men with the disease -- even those women reported fewer years of smoking than men.

The increase in female rates of COPD likely reflects the increase in the number of female smokers since the 1940s, when advertisers began promoting smoking as a symbol of independence for women.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can be treated, but not cured. The most important treatment is to stop smoking. For smokers with COPD, quitting smoking reduces subsequent loss of lung function by half and cuts the death rate by nearly half. And some better news for women is that those who quit smoking receive twice as great an improvement in lung function as men.

09 January 2008

Teenagers Exposed to Nicotine will Fail at School

Teenagers Exposed to Nicotine will Fail at SchoolNicotine may cause the teenage brain to develop abnormally, resulting in changes to the structure of white matter - the neural tissue through which signals are relayed. Teenagers who smoke, or whose mothers smoked during pregnancy, are also more likely to suffer from auditory attention deficits, meaning they find it harder to concentrate on what is being said when other things are happening at the same time, according to an article published in The New Scientist.

Leslie Jacobsen of Yale University School of Medicine and team studied 33 teenagers - all their mothers had smoked during pregnancy. Twenty-five of the teens whose mothers had smoked during pregnancy were daily smokers themselves. They also studied another 34 teenagers whose mothers had not smoked during pregnancy - 14 of these teenagers were daily smokers.

Children with more white matter tend to have more problems interpreting sounds, the scientists explain. The scans revealed that the teenagers who were exposed to nicotine also had more white matter than those who did not. Nicotine stimulates acetylcholine. Over-stimulated acetylcholine leads to the over-production of white matter.

The teenagers, aged 13-18 were given a test. They had to recognize words by hearing them while being exposed to background noise and visual images (distractions). The boys who had been exposed to nicotine got 77% of the words right, compared to 85% for those who had not been exposed. The girls who had been exposed got 84% right, compared to 90% for those who had not been exposed.

The researchers explained that people who are affected will have problems in settings where there is a distraction, such as in the classroom when other people are talking and there is a lot going on. Combine this problem with other conditions, such as behavioral disorders, and the chances of a child failing at school are greater.

08 January 2008

Quitting Smoking Fear

Quitting Smoking FearMost people know that they could add years to their life, improve their health, and save several thousands a year, just by quitting smoking. Most people know that by quitting smoking they will get all of these points simultaneously. But, smokers continue to smoke.

There isn't a smoker alive who has not felt gut-wrenching fear when thinking about stubbing out that last cigarette... the one that signals the beginning of smoking cessation process. Smokers are anxious to feel misery without cigarettes; to experience fear that they won’t be able to enjoy life or handle stress; that life will be boring.

If you are smoker, probably you fear that you’ll have to give up your crutch or pleasure; fear that you will put on weight; fear that you’ll have to go through an awful trauma to get free; fear that you’ll never get completely free of the craving. It all comes down to one thing… FEAR. But millions been there, and done that! The good news is that fear is needless. There is life after quitting smoking, and it is better than you might imagine. Much better.