2007 New Years Resolution – QUIT SMOKING!
More than 500,000 Americans die each year from tobacco-related illnesses. Will you be one of them?
to a smoke stack which emits toxic fumes into the air, a lit cigarette releases them into your lungs and body.
Most smokers want to quit however, smokers and health-care professionals are well aware of the difficulties of quitting. Smoking is both physically and psychologically addictive. Smoking causes increase risk to serious diseases such as cancer (lung, breast, cervix, and bladder), heart disease (stroke, heart attack) and lung disease (bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, emphysema, COPD) as well as conditions of impotence, blindness, mental decline and early aging. On average, smokers attempt to quit seven to nine times before they kick the habit for good.
Why You Should Quit?
The destructive effects of smoking occur due to over 4500 chemical compounds and at least 400 toxic substances found in each cigarette. Similar to a smoke stack which emits toxic fumes into the air, a lit cigarette releases them into your lungs and body. Ammonia, arsenic, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, lead nicotine, mercury and tar are just some of the many carcinogenic (cancer causing) agents found in cigarettes.
A healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables combined with regular exercise means very little if one continually smokes. On average, smoking tobacco will shorten ones life expectancy by 10 years. Damaging nearly every organ in the human body, giving up smoking has immediate and long term health benefits. Improved blood circulation, increased energy levels, strengthened immune defense and enhanced breathing capacity are noted promptly after quitting. Within one year, the risk of heart disease decreases by 50%. After 10 years, an ex-smoker’s risk of dying from lung cancer is that of a non-smoker.
Common Methods to Help You Quit
Nicotine, one of the worlds’ most addictive substances shows verifiable change within an individual’s brain. In particular, a chemical in the brain known as “dopamine” (associated with the sensation of pleasure) increases each time a person takes a puff of cigarette smoke. Withdrawal associated with quitting is due to decreased levels of dopamine. Nicotine withdrawal has characteristic symptoms such as irritability, poor concentration, disturbed sleep and a physical craving for cigarettes. These symptoms usually decline within the first few hours or days after quitting. The following methods can help you stay on track and help you quit for good.
Acupuncture (30 minutes)
The ancient Chinese technique of acupuncture gets to the “point” of smoking cessation. Acupuncture has been shown to effectively relieve nicotine cravings as well as withdrawal symptoms. With the use of very fine sterile needles applied at acupuncture points influence the organs connected with smoking.
Hypnotherapy (1-4 hours)
Hypnosis has an important benefit that other smoking tools aren’t able to offer – the power of suggestion. Using this technique, individuals enter a state of focused attention and become more susceptible to suggestions. By helping to strengthen an individual’s will power and determination to succeed, hypnosis helps the psychological addiction of smoking.
Nicotine Patch (10 weeks)
Also known as nicotine replacement therapy, these patches work by supplying the body with steady amounts of nicotine to gradually alleviate nicotine cravings. Therapy is typically broken down into three parts beginning with 21 mg/day for six weeks. If the patient is able to successfully stop smoking during that six week period, therapy is reduced to 14mg/day for two weeks and then to 7mg/day another two weeks.
Ready to Quit?
- Make a commitment to yourself to remove cigarettes from your life.
- Set a quit date and stick with it.
- Develop a plan to help with cravings withdrawal symptoms.
- Prepare for challenges.
- Get support from friends, family or a group to help you understand why you smoke, how to handle withdrawal and stress and teach you tops to help resist the urge to smoke.
The single most powerful step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives is to stop smoking. This will immediately and substantially benefit the health of men and women at all ages. Quitting smoking may not be easy, but it can be done!
Dr. Mable Cheung is a third generation Chinese Medical Doctor as well as a licensed and practicing Cosmetic, Cellulite & Medical Acupuncturist in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Visit www.cheungstrading.com for more information. You may also contact her at 519-252-9228 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.