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!