Tag Archives: stop smoking

Cigarettes Broken up

Need More Reasons to Stop Smoking?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), lung cancer accounts for about 30% of cancer deaths per year in the United States. The majority of lung cancer cases result from smoking.

Men who smoke are 23% more likely than male nonsmokers to develop lung cancer, and women smokers are 13% more likely than female nonsmokers to develop lung cancer. More than half of lung cancer cases are in former smokers, and 15% are in those who have never smoked.

Smoking also leads to cardiovascular disease, which remains the number one killer in the United States. Diseases associated with smoking include atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), heart failure, high blood pressure, and even stroke.

Carbon Monoxide & Nicotine

Cigarettes Broken upSmoking increases the level of carbon monoxide in the blood. Increased carbon monoxide levels in the blood slows transportation of oxygen throughout the body by 5 to 15%. Low levels of oxygen through the body leads to heart disease.

Nicotine is an alkaloid that works upon the brain’s nerve centers that regulate the heart and breathing functions. Causing the small blood vessels to constrict, this lessens the vessels elasticity, increase heart problems, and increases blood vessel disease.

Carcinogens

Constant smoking results in a build up of carcinogens, the cancer producing agents found in tar and tobacco smoke. Carcinogens are deposited in the bronchial tubes that lead to the lungs. From the bronchial tubes, the carcinogens move into the air tubes of the lungs where the cells are attacked and mutated into cancerous cells: lung cancer.

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.

Allen Carr’s Easy Way

I went on an Allen Carr course to stop smoking some weeks ago.

I knew it would work and it did.

It may sound strange to you but I knew it would work because it had worked for me nearly three years ago when I went on the same course.

That day I sat in a room with about fifteen other people. We spent five hours listening to a very nice lady talk to us about smoking. There was no mumbo jumbo, no strange stuff, no scare tactics, just what seemed like a normal presentation about smoking, and we smoked throughout it.

Then, at the end I had my last cigarette. I walked out of there and didn’t smoke for over two years, not a drag, not a puff. In a weak moment a few months ago I succumbed and, within a matter of weeks, I was back on twenty a day. I decided almost immediately that I didn’t want to be a smoker again and that I’d go back on another Allen Carr clinic to stop.

Allen Carr's Book Cover Allen Carr – [By Blogger Rhythmic Diaspora] – This post is not to persuade you to stop smoking, particularly if you don’t smoke. It’s not to advertise my chosen method of stopping either. It’s merely to pass on a thing that I got from it, a powerful thing, one that I know I’ll keep with me.

It goes like this. One of the key points to this method is about time frames. Often when people “give up” smoking, a term I use loosely, they count the minutes, the days, the weeks and, well you know the rest. I’ve done it before and I know of so many people who have taken the same approach. It the one where we set ourselves a target. We say “If I can last a week then I’ll be almost there”.

Then, after the week, we try to “last” a month, then a year and on we go. So ultimately we never feel as if we’ve stopped smoking. We just keep waiting for a magical moment at which we can declare ourselves to be a non-smoker. And that moment only arrives when we die, which may be a bit too long to wait for many of us. When we’re lying there on our death bed the last thing we’re going to be thinking of is getting a pat on the back from someone for not smoking all that time.

We were told that we should avoid this trap by changing our mindset. We should leave the course and have the mentality of a non smoker. Think and believe that we don’t smoke, rather than fretting about lasting a day or an hour without a fag.

It’s such a powerful way to think that I have applied it to other things in my life too. Target and objective setting are important aspects of my life, I rarely have a day in which I’m not aiming for something. But I also must enjoy the now, the moment. To do that I still work at achieving targets but I try to enjoy that work. If it’s drum practice then I treat it as a pleasure, which is pretty easy for me. I don’t have band practices that I don’t want to go to anymore. I make sure that I enjoy them.

For the record the stopping smoking clinic was on May 17th. There were no patches, no gum or no nicotine substitutes involved whatsoever. I had a couple of days in which I experienced some mild pangs of withdrawal symptoms. That was it. I left there as a non smoker.

I’m happy about that.

Thanks, Tobacco: You Killed My Mom

I just discovered this video by AARON SHAWN GRAY (known as sonicbondage) on You Tube this evening.

This is the story of a mother who went in for medical tests and was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer. It gives you insight into what a family goes through when someone is lost to lung cancer.

Her son Shawn created this video to honor his Mom’s last wishes to tell people not to smoke and to assist him through the grieving process. Let it inspire you to take the steps that you need to take to stop smoking once and for all.

It is important to see how what you are doing right now may impact not only your life but the lives of all those who love you:

YouTube.com Description:

This video was created over a one-year period. At first, it was just random use of a video camera, plus a few pictures taken during a visit in September of 2006. Of course, this was before we knew that Mom had a collapsed lung. She went in for tests, and it was discovered that she had Stage IV Lung Cancer.

As we learned of the cancer diagnosis in October of 2006, we tried to get Mom down to California (from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada). It was a race against logistics and paperwork (i.e. obtaining documentation in order to cross a border and travel), which we unfortunately lost. Mom suffered a stroke, ironically on the same day as she received her birth certificate, which would have allowed her to travel to Southern California. The stroke left her left side completely paralyzed, and she was stuck in the hospital, no longer the independent woman she once was. We were summoned to fly up immediately, as we were told by her doctors that her death would not be far behind.

Mom proved them all wrong, and lived for four more months. Of course, the quality of life was minimal at best. There was no treatment, since the cancer was discovered so late, and due to the stroke. We have since learned that often times, a biopsy can knock loose cancerous material within a tumor, which can cause a stroke. It was extremely difficult to watch her suffering in a hospital bed, and wondering why her last months had to be made that much worse due to the stroke. So, Mom never did get to come see where we live in California.

We continued to videotape the entire ordeal, so that family (who couldn’t be with us at that time) could see everything. We ended up with approximately 90 minutes of raw footage, which has been edited down to the 10 minutes allowed here.

First, we have done this to honor Mom’s last wishes: tell people not to smoke.

Second, we have completed this very emotional project to honor her memory, and to help us as we continue through the grieving process.

Finally, we are aware that much of the anti-smoking media is not so real to life–it doesn’t show the suffering, what the families go through, and the pain that cigarettes actually cause. This documentary is “non-Hollywood”. We have omitted certain things that one might find offensive, including her IV, vomiting, bodily functions, and her actual death itself, which was obviously painful. Instead, we have brought many different segments together, which still conveys our overall message: DON’T SMOKE!

In a letter dated September 24, 2006, from Mom:

Try not to worry about my health. I go for a CAT-SCAN on October 4th. I should have the results about a week later. The appointments are taking a long time, so I must not be in such dire shape, or they would rush them. I’m glad you never really had the desire to smoke. What do your lungs look like after all of those years of second-hand smoke? I can’t wait to see you and Patti more often. Gotta go for now. Love Forever, Mom

To conclude, one can compare smoking cigarettes to a slow-motion car accident. At any time, you can get out of the car before it crashes. It is your choice. Furthermore, you may be driving your own car, but please remember that you take passengers along for the ride.

Chantix Helps Smokers Quit

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – The first time Brian Kelly quit smoking, in the 1990s, he had nicotine cravings like crazy even though he was using a nicotine patch and nicotine gum.

This year when Kelly decided again to try to kick the habit he returned to the patch and gum, until he read on the Internet about Chantix, a prescription anti-smoking pill approved a year ago by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“It’s like a wonder drug as far as I’m concerned,” said Kelly, 63, of Martinsburg.

Kelly said he quit smoking in three weeks – a date he set through a quit-smoking class at Waynesboro Hospital in Pennsylvania – and didn’t face the withdrawal symptoms that occurred the first time he quit.

Chantix, made by Pfizer, blocks the nicotine receptors in the brain so people don’t get a buzz from smoking, nor do they suffer withdrawal symptoms when they stop smoking, said Dr. Paul Quesenberry, a family doctor with Cumberland Valley Family Physicians in Chambersburg, Pa.

“It’s been a really amazing addition to our regimen for getting people to stop smoking,” Quesenberry said.

Still, it’s not an immediate fix.

How long it takes to stop smoking with Chantix varies from patient to patient, but usually it takes weeks to months because people have to learn to break the habit as well, Quesenberry said.

According to Pfizer’s Web site, smokers should start taking Chantix one week before their quit-smoking date so the drug can build up in the body. They can keep smoking during that first week.

Dr. Dwight Wooster, a pulmonologist with Newman, Wooster, Kass, Bradford, McCormack & Hurwitz at Robinwood Medical Center, said he recommends his patients try to reduce how much they smoke before they start Chantix. Of the 22 patients for whom he has prescribed Chantix, about 17 already have quit smoking.

Most people take Chantix for up to 12 weeks, according to Pfizer.

The most common side effects include gastrointestinal problems such as nausea and constipation, and difficulty sleeping, doctors said.

Quesenberry said most people he’s prescribed Chantix to haven’t had problems with side effects.

Most people who experience side effects will tolerate them because the benefit of quitting smoking is so huge, he said.

Dr. Sanjay Saxena, a family doctor with Hagerstown Family Medicine, said he’s had patients ask about Chantix, whether they’ve tried other smoking cessation tools or not, because they’ve heard how successful the drug has been for others.

Health benefits

Kelly began smoking at age 7 when he was living in Brooklyn, N.Y., because it was a tough neighborhood and smoking was cool.

When he quit the first time, Kelly had been smoking as many as 4 1/2 packs a day.

He began smoking again around 2001 after several deaths in his family and got up to a pack and a half a day.

Since he quit with Chantix, Kelly feels terrific, he said.

His breathing has improved, and he no longer has a smoker’s cough.

The carbon monoxide that gets into the bloodstream from smoking can lead to heart disease and strokes, Quesenberry said.

Smoking also can lead to chronic lung diseases such as emphysema and cancers, including lung, mouth, esophagus, and cervical and bladder cancers, he said.

Lesa Spedden, 32, of Chambersburg, Pa., took Chantix to quit smoking so she would have more energy and to be an example for her children.

“I don’t want to be a hypocrite and say, ‘Now, you can’t do this.’ Meanwhile, I’m there huffing and puffing in front of them,” Spedden said.

Spedden said she truly enjoyed smoking and wanted something to help her not enjoy the habit. Chantix helped curb that desire. After taking the drug a few days, smoking cigarettes developed an unpleasant, bitter taste, she said.

Smoking didn’t appeal to her anymore.

The most immediate benefit is getting rid of the expense of smoking, Quesenberry said.

Chantix can be pricey and sometimes health insurance doesn’t cover it, but the flip side is the expense of cigarettes, Quesenberry said.

A one-month supply – a 1-milligram Chantix pill per day – would cost $60 to $65 without insurance coverage, said David Russo, pharmacist and owner of Russo’s Rx in Hagerstown.

Other options

Other options for smokers wanting to quit include the nicotine patch, nicotine gum, nicotine inhaler and the anti-smoking drug Zyban.

Saxena said Chantix has been more successful than other treatments, but there’s still a place for those other treatments. He’s had at least one patient who experienced bad nausea with Chantix.

For that person, he might recommend the nicotine inhaler, which gives smokers nicotine as well as something to do with their hands rather than handle a cigarette or turn to more food as a substitution.

Quesenberry said he typically hasn’t recommended the nicotine patch because it causes skin irritation, and smokers usually don’t like it because it doesn’t deliver that quick nicotine buzz as a cigarette does. Instead, the patch provides a slow release of nicotine.

While the taste of nicotine gum isn’t pleasant, it does a better job of providing a nicotine buzz, like a cigarette, he said.

Quesenberry said he would prescribe Zyban for smokers with significant co-existing anxiety or depression because the pill is actually an anti-anxiety medicine, marketed for the latter purpose as Wellbutrin. The drug, generically known as bupropion, was approved by the FDA in May 1997 as an anti-smoking medication and marketed under the name Zyban.

If someone specifically asked for Zyban because they knew someone who quit with it, Quesenberry would prescribe the person that drug, he said.

Wanting to quit is a big factor in succeeding quitting, local doctors said.

Quesenberry said he won’t prescribe Zyban or Chantix for smokers who don’t want to quit but say they want an anti-smoking drug because a family member wants them to quit, because they have to want to quit themselves.

A bit of psychology is involved, he said.

“Once it’s in the heart and they want to do it, it doesn’t take much. It’s getting people to where they’re ready to stop that’s the big deal sometimes,” Quesenberry said.

“If you’re not motivated, no medication is going to work,” Wooster said.

For more information about Chantix, check out this Web site:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s patient information sheet for Chantix: www.fda.gov/cder/drug/InfoSheets/patient/vareniclinePIS.htm.

Source: JULIE E. GREENE, The Herald-Mail Company