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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Start Smoking Now!

by Mike Singh

Remember the Marlboro guy? You don't see those sorts of ads promoting tobacco products on TV anymore. Back in the day, it used to be cool to smoke. Today we know, more than ever, the many health problems that are associated with smoking a tobacco product. It is finally being seen as a bad habit, perhaps a socially unacceptable one by a few. But, why do so many people start smoking then? Each year millions of people will light their first cigarette. Will it be you this year?

Why We Smoke

Fitting in- In many schools, smoking is a large problem. Yes, it is still peer pressure that forces many teens to light up. Whether caused by the bully or the "come on, are you cool or not?" routine, smoking still happens quite a bit in those younger years. The best way to prevent your child from smoking is to talk to them about what it is, what it does to them, and the need to avoid it in the first place.

The partner does it- This is another large reason why people begin smoking in their young adult years. As they begin to date and hang around a group of people, they may just learn to smoke. Even if the non-smoking partner is never asked to take a smoke, it often happens that he/she gives it a try. At other times, people start it because it's easier to make conversation at bars or clubs.

Stress relief- Many people know that those who are smoking are relieving stress through it. So, if your life gets overloaded with anxiety and worry, maybe smoking a pack will help you to deal with it. Atleast that's how many individuals start smoking. Like other addictions, these feelings simply serve as a short-term escape from reality.

All of these reasons to start smoking do not have any real merit. After all, who really believes that it is cool to have tobacco yellow teeth? Nevertheless, thousands of people make the decision to start, pressured or not each day. Will you be one of them? You may want to realize, too, that if you never do start to smoke, you'll never have to fight the battle of quitting, a task that is harder than most problems of our daily life.

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About the Author:
Mike Singh is the publisher of On his website he provides articles about tips on stopping smoking and side affects of zyban.

Monday, February 26, 2007

My Smoking Story

I have several blogs dealing with several issues that are near and dear to my heart for various reasons. They are either issues that I personally have suffered with or they are issues that family members or very close friends have suffered with (which I have been around to see the, often devastating, effects). I have wanted for a long time to explain why I started this particular blog and have been wary of doing so because looking back on my experience is still a painful thing for me to do. As a result, I will share my personal story, but I will for reasons mentioned above, keep it fairly undetailed and synoptic.

I took my first drag when I was about 14. I stole a cigarette from my father's pack and I watched myself smoke it in the mirror, wondering (quite pathetically, in hindsight) whether the cigarette made me look "cool." I didn't inhale the first few times, so I didn't quite understand what drew people in just yet, but at one point I did "learn" to inhale and, as smokers know, it created a quite pleasant buzz. The day we learned to inhale, a friend and I chainsmoked an entire pack of cigarettes while this friend's parents were out, simply to feel that buzz. The friend threw up afterwards in a garbage can. I, on the other hand, couldn't help but feel idiotic pride in that my stomach took it nicely.

I have smoked ever since then, and I still smoke. I have tried to quit more than several times. The longest time I have managed to go without a cigarette, I believe, was about three months. But it was always the pressures of those around me (friends, people from work, even alcohol) that made me give in once again. I still like to consider myself fairly young, and in my mind I keep thinking that I have time, I have time... (Since I enjoy smoking, I naively tell myself I still have time to quit before the lung cancer, strokes, emphysema, or other smoking-related diseases get to me). However, I finally would like to quit (for good) as I am wanting to have children very soon, and I do not want my children being around smoke, nor do I want them being influenced to smoke by having parents who smoke (as I myself was).

Several years ago--and this is what prompted the idea for this particular blog--a family member suffered a series of debilitating strokes due to this person's smoking. This is the part where I want to stay undetailed because it is still hard to think about what this person, and what we as family members, went through. In short, the experience--watching what this person went through and what lasting effects the strokes have had on this family member--was one of the most horrifying things that I have experienced. I set up this blog because I do not wish what happened to this family member (or any of the other diseases caused by cigarettes) to happen to anybody else. Even if this blog helps just one person to quit, then that will be good enough for me.

Well, that is it for this post. It's not much of a post, but I just wanted to get the story (the reasons behind my starting this blog) out. If anyone has any stories that they would like to share (about how smoking has adversely affected you or somebody you know, or how you managed to quit smoking), please reply to this post.

I wish all those in the quest of quitting the best of luck.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

"Quit Smoking" in Recent Headlines

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Does Smoking Rob You Of Your Facial Charm?

by Dhiraj Bhikoo

Good and healthy skin is one thing that everyone wants to have. Skin originates from within. The food that we eat gets broken into simpler substances and nutrients. These nutrients and oxygen get mix with blood and are transported to all our body parts through thousands of bloodstreams. Larger parts of these nutrients get absorbed by the skin which is essential for healthy stay of our body cells.

Internal health and external beauty are two sides of the same coin. We get oxygen naturally through our breathing but smoking results in inhaling of harmful carbon monoxide. Cigarettes not only contain carbon monoxide but also contain poisonous gases like ammonia, butane, nicotine, carbolic acid, formic aldehyde, prussic acid, pyridine, parvoline, arsenic and cadmium. Carbon monoxide, the most intoxicated gas mixes with the hemoglobin present in the blood. Our blood cells absorb carbon monoxide gas much faster than oxygen. In this way carbon monoxide displaces oxygen in large quantity depriving our skin cells of their healthy life. Skin and smoking are inversely related with each other.

Skin has its own repairing system. Smoking destroys its natural system and results in premature aging. At this stage skin loses its natural glow and charm and develops a pale look.

These outcomes on the skin are catastrophic. Smoking deprives skin of vitamin C which is an essential vitamin. Moreover it is an unstable vitamin and cannot be produce by body. Vitamin C helps the skin inn generating new healthy cells giving the skin a youthful look. Breaking of the collagen results in wrinkles.

You have often noticed that chain smokers usually have sunken eyes and dark circles around their eyes. It is because smoking damages the cells making it scaly and causing wrinkles. It does show its effect on lips also making the lips black and robbing them of their natural appearance.

People spent much money on cigarettes and tobacco which gives them nothing but diseases and side effects. Each one of us know that smoking is injurious to health still we are not able to favour our self by quitting our worst habit.. Instead of depriving our self of healthy and natural glow, we can spend that much amount on facials and good skin rejuvenators. Taking a balanced diet, rich in fibers help in elimination of wastes resulting in healthy skin.

For more information on this topic you can access additional articles at Easily quit smoking

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Quit Smoking Tip - How To Manage Cravings With Herbs

by Rebecca Prescott

One of the difficulties in trying to quit smoking is that smokers become physically dependant on nicotine. Smoking affects the parts of the brain that relate to reward and pleasure. It increases the amount of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, and the nature of nicotine is that it creates a cycle of positive reinforcement within your brain that makes you want more.

Scientists have found that when you withdraw from chronic nicotine use, it results in changes in these neural pleasure pathways. And the effect on the brain is similar to what someone addicted to cocaine, opiates and other drugs experiences. Hence, depression and anxiety are common.

Fortunately, some resourceful modern herbalists began applying traditional knowledge to a modern problem. In Ayurvedic medicine, common garden variety oats (but not oat straw), is used to treat opium withdrawal. The herbalist Anand, using a tincture (an alcoholic extract of the herb), applied this same reasoning to nicotine withdrawal, with significant results.

In a group of 26 heavy smokers, he gave an oat tincture, and in another group of 26, he gave a placebo. The group who took the oat tincture smoked less cigarettes, and this effect remained for two months after they stopped treatment. The herbalist Weiss theorizes that it is the sedative effect of oats. Oats contain as active constituents the indole alkaloid, gramine, and the alkaloids avenine and trigonelline. Oats are described in herbal medicine texts as helping create a feeling of well-being whilst simultaneously acting as a tonic to the nervous system. But unlike narcotics, these are mild, non-habit forming effects.

My herbal teacher, Ses Salmond, suggested the following formula for those trying to stop smoking. In a 50ml bottle, mix the following herbal tinctures:

  • 15ml green oats
  • 10ml white horehound
  • 10ml mullein
  • 5ml golden seal
  • 10ml peppermint

Take 6 drops on the tongue whenever the craving to have a cigarette is felt.

Acupuncture is also an excellent support option. HerbMed offers the following herbal option, to be used on appropriate acupuncture points. Mix oil of cloves, oil of wintergreen, an extract of evodia fruit, an extract of sichuan lovage rhizome, and msg, and apply to specific acupuncture points. Unfortunately, they don't say which acupuncture points, but this may be determined by what each person presents with.


2. Class notes by Ses Salmond
3. C Fisher & G Painter, Materia Medica Of Western Herbs For The Southern Hemisphere
4. R Weiss, Herbal Medicine (Beaconsfield Arcanum, 1988)

Rebecca Prescott publishes the health ezine, The Vitamin Vine, and a website offering information on supplements, herbs and vitamins, plus natural solutions to common health problems.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Plan to Stop Smoking

by Robert Doerfler

He starts by rolling the bottom of my pant legs up and the top of my stocking down while I am lying on a treatment bed. He then dabs a cotton swab dipped in alcohol on the inside of both legs just above the ankles. He repeats this process but just to the inside of the shinbone about 8 inches higher. Then he inserts these thin, hollow needles about 5 inches long, into the flesh while twirling the needle. He skips the torso and moves to the hand.

First, he rolls my sleeves up above the elbow, and then he applies the alcohol and lastly the twirling of the needle. This he does where the crease ends separating the thumbs from the index finger and just below the elbow on the outer part of the arm. He then repeats the process on the side of the neck in two locations, between the eyes and the top of the ear, just below the eyes and one in the center and above the eyes. Then he starts on the head, two on each side. One just above the back of the ear and the other just above the front part of the ear. Two more on each side of the head about midway between the crown and the ear and lastly, one on the very crown of the head.

The nurse then attaches a clip connected to an electrical wire that feeds into a control box. After all the clips are affixed, she turns them on, one at a time. She asks if I feel the electric charge and if it is to low or too high. After adjustment, she moves on to the next wire. When all the wires are operating, she says she will see me in 45 minutes and leaves the room. Sometimes there is another patient on a procedure table about 6 feet away. The electrical charge is fixed for about 5 seconds then it pulses slowly for about 4 seconds. This is repeated for the entire procedure. This is Acupuncture for smoking cessation.

I started my 'stop smoking plan' 12 days ago on Monday, January 2 2006. It calls for smoking 1 less cigarette each day until, 56 days later I hope to be 'smoke free'. My first Acupuncture treatment was on Thursday, January 5, 2006 4 days into my plan.

The second treatment was on Saturday, January 7, 2006. The third treatment was on Tuesday, January 10, 2006. The forth treatment was on Thursday January 12, 2006.

Today is Saturday, January 14, 2006 and the fifth treatment is scheduled for 2:30 PM.

I then start one treatment each Saturday until the end.

Today I get to smoke 44 cigarettes. This sounds like a lot but I am used to smoking 3 packs a day, which means a cigarette whenever I feel like one. Now, I am on a set figure and it is a challenge. I try to have non-smoking hours but am not rigid. If I only smoke 3 cigarettes in a smoking hour when I was allotted 4, I can smoke the 'extra' cigarette whenever I choose. I haven't decided exactly what I plan to do when I get down to 20, 15, 10 and 5 cigarettes a day. After meals? With Coffee? When I get up in the morning? Before I go to bed? All of this is to be worked out.

Monday I am calling Allister. He is a British 'EXPAT' (Foreign National living abroad) that practices 'ACUPRESSURE' and claims to do 'HYPNOSIS'. He gave a lecture at an 'EXPAT'S' meeting I attended and claims that the procedures work. The 'Acupressure' is supposed to last 3 hours during a single visit. The 'Hypnosis' was not mentioned and is not described in his brochure. I intend on utilizing both procedures to the highest extent possible. In addition, I intend to purchase a 'stop smoking drug' available here in Thailand (and I think all over the world) that has 60 tablets that I presume contain some form of Nicotine inhibitor. I plan to start to take them when I reach 1 pack or 20 cigarettes a day.

I am going to try 'Replacement Psychology' by replacing the smoking of a cigarette with the 'eating of a pistachio nut'.

Lastly, 'MANTRAS'. I am a big believer in 'MANTRA'S'. I resumed my exercise program on the 2nd of January and have managed to complete the entire program 12 consecutive days. I had to stop the program because the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) training program occupied all my time, the weather was rain and cold, I was traveling to Chaing Mai and Penang and I think I became a little lazy.

If I had an excuse, I used it. Overall, I think I missed 5 or 6 weeks. The program calls for a set number of:

1. Jumping Jacks-5.

2. Running in Place-50 (each left foot equals one count).

3. Twist the body from the left to the right with arms extended, rolling them-50 times to each side.

4. Jumping Jacks-5.

5. Running in Place-50 (each left foot equals one count.

6. Bend the upper body, from arching backwards to parallelto the floor-50 times each way.

7. Jumping Jacks-5.

8. Running in Place-50 (each left foot equals 1 count.

9. Bend the upper body to the left and then to the right-50 times each way.

10. Knee bends-5.

11. Touching the tows-5, both feet equal a count of one.

12. Push-ups-5.

13. Sit up's-5.

14. Leg Scissors-5 (Lying prone, raise the legs 45 degrees, separate,bring together and down.

15. 4 laps of swimming (back stroke) in the pool (about 170/180 strokes).

16. Walk 1/2 mile (From the pool to the end of building complex 1, around back and past the pool, past building complex 2, around it to the front of building complex 2 where I live.

While I do the laps and take the walk I say in my mind certain 'Mantras' that reaffirm my intention to quit smoking.

Lastly, I have reduced my weight from 275 to 249 but seem to be stuck on 249. I am thinking of some measures to address this as I had hoped to be down to about 230 on Monday, February 27, 2006 when I return to Chicago. I wish all of you the best of the New Year and hope your families experience Health, Wealth, Prosperity, and Long Life.

Robert Doerfler lives in Pattaya, Thailand and writes as a hobby.

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[blog owner's note: This is one man's experience with quitting. If you would like to see your experience posted here, please comment on this post.]

Friday, March 03, 2006

Share Your Experiences

If you or a loved one have been adversely affected by smoking, please consider this a forum where you can share your stories. Also feel free to share any tips you may have for current smokers trying to quit, which methods/products have worked or have not worked for you, or any general experiences with quitting or "quit smoking" products.
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