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.