Tag Archives: stop smoking advice

Molly Wears a Hat

Why Molly Wears a Hat: She Started Smoking at 15, Developed Cancer by 30

Molly is a 30 year old mother who was working and going to school when she was diagnosed with large cell lung cancer.

As a smoker for half her life, Molly was faced with a terrifying and painful disease that could have been prevented.

Quitting smoking was a no-brainer for Molly. She says she could “smoke and die, or breathe and live.”

Smoking Habit Formed Early

Molly was a teenager when she started smoking. In the beginning, it was a social activity she’d do with her friends: someone would steal cigarettes from a parent or older sibling, and they’d sneak off to the park to smoke them.

Smoking was also a normal part of Molly’s family growing up. Many relatives on both sides of her family smoked. So, frequently being around smokers and smoking, she tended to see it as a normal activity.

Molly’s Advice to Kids & Teens

“Don’t do it!” are Molly’s words of wisdom to teenagers who are feeling pressured to smoke or are thinking about starting the lethal habit. She points out, using herself as an example, it is an activity that slowly kills yourself.

Vowing to live life to the fullest, Molly reminds people, “Don’t take anything for granted. Life is way too short.”

Listen to Molly’s Story

When Mama Wore a Hat

Book Cover for When Mama Wore a HatBecause she didn’t want to scare them, it took Molly a while to be brave enough to tell her kids that she had cancer. When she did, Molly used the illustrated children’s book When Mama Wore a Hat by Eleanor Schick (Wyeth) to help explain what was happening.

Schick, an esteemed children’s author and illustrator, wrote When Mama Wore a Hat, suitable for four to eight year olds, in order to help them understand illness.

To learn more about this book click > When Mama Wore a Hat by Eleanor Schick

Tried to Quit Before? …

… here’s some advice to try again.

This article is written by Heath Dingwell, Ph.D.

Dingwell is the author of The Easiest Way to Stop Smoking: Finding the Way That Works Best For You, published by Turner Publishing in 2011.

If First You Don’t Succeed…

The saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” That’s easier said than done.

No one likes to fail, let alone repeatedly fail. And it’s especially hard to overcome an obstacle that is addicting, such as smoking.

However, it is worth noting that approximately 70 percent of smokers want to quit each year. Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that in 2007 approximately 40 percent of all smokers were able to stop for at least one day. Unfortunately the CDC does not indicate how long people were able to stop or completely quit.

Increasing Your Odds

Most smoking cessation approaches, such as using medications, only have about a 50 percent success rate. By this I mean that after one year only 50 percent of people are still smoke-free.

Those numbers vary a lot because of all the different cessation aids that are available. That doesn’t sound very encouraging.

However, there are steps people can take to help increase their chances for success.

First, if you’ve tried quitting before, evaluate what you did and try to identify what caused you to smoke again. This doesn’t have to be elaborate – you’re not looking for some deeply insightful revelations here.

Once you identify what went wrong, look at other ways to stop smoking. If you tried one medication to stop smoking and it didn’t work, ask your doctor about other alternatives. There are several medications that can be used. Each works differently and there’s no evidence that if one didn’t work then others won’t either.

Cessation Aids

Did you try using a cessation aid, such as the patch, gum or lozenge?

If not, that’s another option. Even if you did, it is worth considering again. Using these along with other treatments can boost your success rate.

You can even use a combination of the patch, gum or lozenge. Some people wear a patch and then use the gum or lozenge when cravings strike.

Get Support to Stop Smoking

You should call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for advice and suggestions.

Every state has a dedicated phone number to help people quit smoking. The 1-800 number above is automatically routed to your state’s number. Quitlines can provide information and resources to help you quit.

People have successfully used meditation, visualization and acupuncture to stop smoking. These techniques can make a huge difference, especially if you believe in them.

If you tried quitting “cold turkey” and it didn’t work, well don’t worry. Although it works for some people, most people who try this method aren’t successful. I know a few people who quit this way – the one feature they had was an insane level of will power. It’s not shameful if someone can’t quit this way – if it were easy then there’d be no need for cessation aids or medications.

Focusing on Goals & Your Reasons for Quitting

Regardless of the method or methods you use, it is important to write down a list of goals and reasons for quitting.

  • Do you want to be smoke-free in a month, two months or three months?
  • Do you want to quit to save money?
  • Be healthier?
  • Live longer?
  • Set a good example for family or friends?

Be specific and list everything. Write it down and put it somewhere you can see for reasons for stopping smoking every day.

Writing down this information is a big psychological motivator – it helps get you in the right frame of mind.

Looking at your list, even if it’s only for a few seconds a day, helps to reinforce your motivation.

Remember – quitting isn’t easy. There is no one right way to do it. At some point almost everyone stumbles. But, it is so important to acknowledge what happened when you tried, and then move forward. Ultimately you can and will get there.

It’s not a race …. It’s a journey to healthier living!

Visit Amazon, learn more about > The Easiest Way to Stop Smoking: Finding the Way That Works Best For You

New Zealand, Clearly Becoming Smoke-Free

If you want to stop smoking then pack your bag and fly over to New Zealand.

While you are there New Zealand tobacco regulatory agencies will offer you the facts on smoking dangers and by 2017 you may have to leave the country to buy tobacco products.

New Zealand is one of the many countries incorporating smoking bans, and like Canada they are banning smoking in your car.

Under the Influence While Driving

In New Zealand now you could be fined for smoking while driving in your car.

If you are a cigarette smoker you may be asking, “Do they fine people if they are not driving, but just sitting by the side of the road with the car ignition off?”

Or you might even ask, “Is there a smoking airbag that will explode if I am smoking in my car?”

Seriously, it does matter if you smoke while driving. You are polluting the air around you with second hand smoke. Windows up, windows down; it doesn’t matter.

Passengers who are riding with you including young children are also subject to your second hand smoke that could lead to potential harm, like contributing to asthma and other bronchial ailments.

It’s a Matter of Respecting Others


Young children are more at risk for these ailment because their lungs, like the rest of their bodies are still in the development stage.

The casual cigarette puff near a crib where an infant may be sleeping has been known to result in Sudden Death Syndrome. Children’s lungs actually take in more air because they breathe faster. They are unable to turn away from the smoke and of course infants do not know how harmful the smoke from tobacco is or even what it is.

A child who is around an adult smoker might draw closer to the lite cigarette because it is something new and their curious minds want to investigate. They do not know any better.

Adults may not want to smell your second hand smoke either. Many people are polite and will tolerate the fumes when they accompany you walking, driving or riding in a car.

Also, think about it. Many friends will endure second hand smoke before offending you. You might ask how you will feel if in time they suddenly fall victim of an unexplained bronchial infection, cancer, and other ailments that are known to be smoker related.

New Zealand’s Stop Regulations and Initiative

If we take the initiative and see what’s working for the people of New Zealand, (we are not saying they are doing everything right) we might learn something. Their smoking rates are considerably lower than those in other countries, including the US.

Why not concentrate on more aggressive efforts to teach our kids not to smoke. How about becoming a good example by not smoking nor exposing our children to friends who still smoke. These three actions would be a good start.

Paying higher premiums for healthcare services could also be a major game changer to help smokers quit.

New Zealand is on the right track to help smoking statistics drop in their country, which will in turn improve the quality of life for everyone. In fact, on September 5th,  2007, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) in New Zealand called for the removal of tobacco from sale by 2017.

Smoking Related Fires: Unattended Smoking Materials Attribute to Natural Disasters, Civilian Deaths, and Injury Each Year

Smoking does not just cause health problems.

There are other cigarette dangers that go beyond the the obvious. They are a known fire hazard as well.

Fires caused by cigarette smoking are disastrous because an unattended cigarette can destroy an unknown number of lives directly and indirectly … and in an instant.

Statistics on Fires Related to Cigarette Smoking

Smoking accounts for more than 23,000 residential fires in a year nationwide. That’s why some insurance companies offer to reduce premiums if all the residents in the house do not smoke.

Insurance breaks for households where the occupants don’t smoke is probably one of the major reasons why smoking is no longer allowed inside or on the grounds of most work places hotels, restaurants, and pubs.

Unattended Cigarettes Cause Natural DisastersFACT: Smoking materials (i.e., cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.) are the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States. Roughly one of every four fire deaths in 2007 was attributed to smoking materials.

In 2007, there were an estimated 140,700 smoking-material fires in the United States. These fires caused 720 civilian deaths and 1,580 civilian injuries.

More fatal smoking-material fires start in bedrooms than in living rooms, family rooms and dens.

Older adults are at the highest risk of death or injury from smoking-material fires even though they are less likely to smoke than younger adults.

The most common items first ignited in home smoking-material fire deaths were upholstered furniture, mattresses and bedding.

Worldwide the loss of material goods and real estate is in the billions of dollars.

Who Do Fires Caused by Cigarette Smoking Hurt the Most?

Young children are the most vulnerable because their inquisitiveness and thirst for knowledge make them easy targets for experimentation with things they do not quite understand.

Toddlers crawl from pillar to post putting things in their mouths like lighters, cigarettes (new and used) and pipes. They are only imitating what they see their adult mentors do on a daily basis.

And while your impression is that the toddler will not be able to light that cigarette — smoke that pipe — or knock over that ashtray — while you are out of the room, major fire disasters can erupt. For example: You are in the kitchen cooking dinner while you think little Johnny is in his bed taking nap and…

Injury to Adults and Seniors

Adults to seniors, although on the opposite end of the spectrum of young children, fair no better because they can get careless and nod off to sleep, dropping that lit cigarette on a mattress, sofa, or carpet.  Smoke inhalation is such a powerful thing that it can keep you asleep longer and deeper than that well known brand of sleeping pill.

The Other Loss

We must also mention those who are left grieving for their lost loved one. We must also mention the family that survived the fire is left behind to grieve for the loved ones they lost. They’re still trying to understand how something so small as a cigarette could have caused so much damage.

And then there is the neighbor, tired after a 10 hour work day.  She arrives home while on the way thinking about a nice hot bath and a good night’s sleep to learn that she is suddenly homeless. The cigarette smoker next door may have caused a fire that consumed everything she owned other than the clothes on her back and the shoes on her feet.

Consider the Risk, Consider the Disaster

Cigarettes are the number one cause of house fire fatalities. And we haven’t even mentioned outdoor fires causes by careless smokers.

Fires caused by cigarettes result in around eight-hundred plus deaths each year. These fires usually occur when a smoker falls asleep without extinguishing a cigarette.

House fires from unattended cigarettes generally occurs at night, when the whole family is asleep, which can make it difficult for everyone to evacuate in time.

If you or another family member has a tobacco habit, make sure that no one ever smokes in bed.

As of March 2010, all 50 US states passed legislation and achieved their goal in getting cigarette manufacturers to produce only cigarettes that adhere to an established safety performance standard.

If you do smoke think about others. Stay alert and only smoke outside away from non smokers (and dispose of the butts properly). It is better for your family’s health and this one action will reduce the risk of a house fire.

Or better yet, don’t smoke at all and relieve everyone around you from an unnecessary potential disaster.

Quit Smoking Techniques: Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises too can prove to be useful in controlling the urge to smoke.

It is common knowledge that the human body takes in a lot of toxic substances, both through the air and through food and drink.

Apart from this, various toxins are also released in the body as a result of the various processes that are going on. These toxins have to be released on a continuous basis or else they will accumulate in the body with serious results.

One of the best ways of releasing these toxins is by means of exhaling while breathing. One funny fact is that most of do not breathe properly. Just take a look at the picture like this.

With each breath that we take, we take in oxygen. This oxygen is carried by the blood to every cell of the body and every cell must indeed get enough oxygen not just to survive but to remain
healthy as well.

Old Lady Cartoon PictureSo it is imperative that we make an honest attempt to breathe properly. But first of course we have to make sure that we are breathing in unpolluted air.

The time best for breathing exercises is early in the morning when the air is comparatively unpolluted. Now what you have to do is this. Again, sit comfortably so that there is no strain to any part of your body. It is not imperative that you close your eyes, but I have always noticed that the exercise works better when the eyes are closed.

When you are ready, what you have to do is to breathe in deeply and slowly, and feel the fresh air filling up your lungs until it just can’t take any more. Conjure up images of the air encircling throughout your body and reaching every cell, literally bathing it with oxygen.

Of course it doesn’t happen that way but the image helps a lot. Then hold your breath for a few seconds and then very slowly exhale letting out all that foul air.

Again conjure up an image of all the toxins being released from your body. Every cell has become free of the burden it was carrying. Now pause for a second or two and again breathe in deeply, slowly letting your lungs fill up with all that good, clean, rejuvenating air.

Repeat this exercise at least ten times and take your time for it taking care not to rush through.

When you have done that part of the exercise it is time for the second part. Again sit with your eyes closed, but this time, keep one nostril closed with the help of your index finger.

It is best to close the right nostril first and that too with your right index finger. Now breathe in deeply and slowly through your left nostril keeping the right nostril closed. When you have held air for a second or two, release your right nostril and breathe out through it.

While you are breathing out conjure up an image of all the toxins being released form your head and the brain especially. And as you breathe in conjure up images of the clean air circulating though out your brain freeing it of all the worries and trouble and lightening it.

Repeat this exercise with the other nostril closed and in this way alternate between the nostrils at least ten times. The entire breathing exercise need not take more than ten minutes. But you will be surprised at how light hearted and free you will feel after the exercise.

Once you have practiced it for three or four mornings, you will be in a position to do the exercise each time you get the urge to smoke. The breathing exercise can easily become a substitute for the urge to take in that hourly doze of nicotine.

Killer Marketing

Nowhere in any industry does the term “killer marketing” apply better than in Big Tobacco.

If Big Tobacco is successful in marketing its products to existing addicts, ex addicts and new victims, it will definitely kill its target audience.

And it seems that marketing executives have become so “clever” (if that’s the word you would use to describe somebody who’s found a way into talking somebody into doing something that will end his or her life) it frightens me.

One of my Quit Buds has been smoke-free for 233 days. Her addiction manifested in the form of Camels before she decided to break free. I can’t imagine that a tobacco company could know that she specifically had quit, or hadn’t purchased any of their product in over 200 days… but something caused them to decide to send her some coupons this week. They had never sent her coupons in the mail before. It freaked her out.

What was worse – they came in the exact shape and size of a pack of sickarettes.

Her words are the best to use in describing her feelings…

I about screamed. I was feeling so weak and I thought they had mailed me a pack of cigarettes… I opened it really slowly, like I was defusing a bomb or something… later I laughed at my overreaction…

Maybe to a tobacco company, that would be cause for laughter. Not for me. As she told me of her experience I was almost numb with shock. I’m about 440 days into my Quit (438 to be exact) and if that had happened to me, I would have over-reacted. I would have rushed to the kitchen and found the tongs in the utility drawer.

Smoking Camel PictureI’d don my HAZ-MAT gear and put on rubber gloves, and take those tongs to pick up the pack with. Carefully… slowly… I’d put the pack into the sink and turn on the water – full force! While the water rushed over the pack, I’d take my meat tenderizer and pound the stuffings out of the pack and let the water rinse away the whole mess. Then I’d turn on the garbage disposer and leave it running for 20 minutes. That’s nothing to play with!

Now I’m seeing Homer Simpson in my head. [rolling eyes]

I keep a stack of index cards handy, where I used to keep my pack of smokes. There are about 75 cards in the pack. It grows over time because on each card I have carefully written one reason why I enjoy being free, one benefit to not having to be a slave to a tobacco addiction any longer, one phrase or comment a family member has made to tell me how glad they are I’ll be around a while longer than if I’d continued to smoke.

So if I ever do get a piece of “killer advertising”… I’ll be ready with my own pack to reach for.

~GareK

My Daughter Has Dain Bramage

Dain Bramage is what you get when you quit by using the patch, and my daughter’s got it in spades right now.

Please don’t think I’m poking fun at my own daughter! I only know the syndrome because I myself used the patch as directed, and I instantly lost about 80% of my IQ points. The first 2 weeks of my Quit were like being strung out on some kind of mind-numbing drug.

Oh wait – the 21 mg patch is a mind numbing drug!

Thankfully my girl has a good job with a good boss and good people to work with.

I contract my services out, which means if I don’t work, I don’t eat. Quite literally, my whole livelihood was at stake. If I am unproductive I don’t pay bills, I don’t have electricity, I don’t have internet, I don’t have anything unless I have the ability to work and get stuff done.

So here’s what I did.

Advice When Quitting Smoking

I wrote to every single one of my clients. I told them that, to my way of thinking, if I didn’t quit now I’d be smoking until I died, and that day would come too soon for my liking.

I simply appealed to them to stick with me. I warned them that, realistically I could be looking at another 2 months of spotty performance of my duties. I told them I could be snappish or prone to tears. I told them that, even though I knew I could lose my very fragile new business, I still felt I had to go for it.

Every one of them stuck by me. Not one said “I’ll take my business elsewhere.” And, surprisingly, I learned that many of them have first-hand experience with the symptoms that arise when quitting smoking because they smoked in the past as well.

Picture of Swinging GirlI went through a period of slim rations, to be sure. It wasn’t easy in a lot of ways… but in all the ways that count, it has been wonderful. I’ve returned to being a productive professional, and I can say without hesitation that every day beyond that 2 week mark represented a steady improvement in my ability to function professionally.

From Day 9 on, every day was a great place to be. The worst is behind you by that point, so every day is a new discovery of how good it feels to be Quit. You begin encountering all sorts of benefits, without even anticipating them. The day my taste and smell came back… WOW. Then a week later — double wow — MORE taste and scent! No more yellow-stained fingers. My skin improved, my teeth get whiter and whiter and whiter.

It just keeps getting better and you’ve got even more good stuff ahead. Every crave’s voice gets weaker, and every day you feel the freedom more and more. People look at you and say “Did you do something different with your hair?” But you know it’s the wonderful smell of your shampoo they’re noticing.

Somebody looks at you one day and says “What kind of skin care do you use?” because your face is just so… radiant! Somebody else says “Did you take a vacation or something? Been to a tanning salon?” because your skin is much rosier and not so gray anymore. It just unfolds, and it is all so very wonderful, so liberating, and adds so much to your self-respect and self-esteem.

Please set aside your panic and fear and think long and hard about what is important, where to place your priorities. I don’t know what stage of life you’re in, what your quit motivators are, if you’re a kid or a parent or a grandparent like me. All I know is – somebody loves you.

To somebody, you are the sun, the moon, the starlit sky. There is somebody that you’re unaware of who thinks of you every day. There’s somebody who has always loved you. There are many who need you in their lives. People you know, people you went to school with, people you haven’t seen in years.

All of us who are addicted struggle to regain our freedom and learn to live smoke-free. We know we are addicts, and we do understand that recovering from an addiction means a period of detox. It’s part and parcel of what we have done to ourselves by starting to smoke. We help each other through and we survive. Stick with it – because oh MAN is it ever worth it!

Don’t let the whole “dain bramage” syndrome stand in your way. Work will always be there. I hope you will be, too.

~GareK