Tag Archives: quitting smoking

Hypnotherapy Makes Quitting Smoking Possible

The Great American Smokeout is scheduled for the third Thursday in November, which motivates me to share thoughts and observations about smoking cessation.

Over the years, I have helped many people to quit smoking using hypnotherapy as a valuable tool.

By the same token, there are people who would not quit, no matter what, the incorrigible or people who think they are so powerless.

After all, many medical professionals and the Surgeon General have blasted away that nicotine addiction is harder to overcome than heroin or cocaine. This probably reinforces what some people want to hear: “I would quit, but it is too hard.”

I will quote observations from medical people and then will share my personal observations with you.

Dr. Raul Rodriguez of Rivercrest Hospital, a psychiatrist and addictionologist, shared that nicotine addiction is a function of how many years spent smoking and the mental attitude of the person.

When asked whether or not smokers wanting to quit had to be admitted for detox, he denied the need, because nicotine addiction was not as severe, but he likes the patch, an anti-depressant or gum to help with the process of smoking cessation.

My esteemed colleague of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, Dr. Dabney Ewin, a clinical professor of psychiatry and surgery at Tulane Medical School and Louisiana State University Medical School, shared his viewpoints with me: “The word addiction has lost its meaning in the scientific community and it no longer refers to a bodily need for a particular chemical because it indiscriminately describes strong emotional desires such as addicted to chocolate, sports, computers, foreign oil.

“People who think of themselves as addicts have adopted a fixed idea that they are helpless to overcome the problem. Another of their fixed ideas is that smoking had/has social value as in being cool. Removing this fixed idea causes anxiety, because people believe they are violating this fixed idea. An interesting study of 12,000 smokers by Tindle (et al 2006) noted that people who smoke low nicotine cigarettes are more than 50 percent less likely to quit smoking than those who smoke regular cigarettes. That finding is incompatible with chemical addiction”

Ewin states, though, that next to adrenalin, nicotine is the strongest known stimulant drug, which leads me to my own personal observation as a mental health clinician.

My patients tell me that smoking relaxes them. Not so. What does relax them is the act of taking time out, – leaving the work setting temporarily for a smoke outside and socializing with fellow employees, sitting in the backyard watching the deer go by, enjoying a comfortable chair and watch TV. This is relaxing.

Unfortunately, these relaxing acts are paired with a cigarette and the cigarette gets the credit for relaxation.

I believe smoking is a strong psychological habit because people do it under mostly the same circumstances such as during their morning rituals, their morning cup of coffee, reading the paper, getting in the car, coming home from work to “relax,” when having to make an unpleasant phone call and other scenarios, where a “friend” is needed.

Often people do not even realize they are smoking. They light up on autopilot, often leaving the cigarette to burn itself out. Smokers can spend hours on an airplane without chemical dependency consequences. They may be cranky because they do not like to be told what they can or cannot do.

Change is difficult because smokers are afraid to quit, afraid that they may be miserable, hard to live with. Alcoholics increase dosage for the same effect, while smokers can cut down. If nicotine were to be so addictive, one would conclude that the patch, prescription medication and gum would work to help people quit smoking.

Many people came to see me because the above did not work for them and they confessed that they still smoked while on the patch leading to dangerous nicotine overload. I am sure it can help some people to quit, but my opinion is that people swallow something, stick on something or chew something, sit back and wait for something to happen in a passive manner.

I believe, and my past experience has shown, that this habit needs to be treated cognitively (the way people think about smoking), behaviorally (what people do) and emotionally (how people cope with their feelings of stress, anxiety, etc.)

Even so called incorrigible smokers with a three-pack-per-day habit have successfully quit with psychotherapy and hypnotherapy. People I have seen years ago, call and tell me so.

Not everyone quit successfully and they are not going to do that. Case in point the patient who had his voice box removed or the lung cancer patient, still smoking.

Stop Smoking Sign Therefore, do not let anyone tell you that you cannot quit. If it takes medication to make it easier for you to succeed along with proper therapy, this is your rightful choice. You will save money, be healthier, live longer and feel so proud of yourselves.

Evi Shaw is a psychotherapist and hypnotherapist in solo private practice. Evishaw@verizon.net.  San Angelo Standard Times.

Reminder to Smokers: Your Lungs Are Aging

A simple discussion of lung capacity appears to double the rate patients follow a doctor’s advice to quit smoking.

A study published online (March 7 in the British journal BMJ) suggests that if a doctor tells smokers their “lung age” — the age of the average healthy nonsmoker who would match them in breathing strength — they are more likely to stop smoking.

Using a spirometer, a device that measures how fast and how much air a person can breathe, British doctors tested 561 smokers, men and women with an average age of 53.

Half were randomly assigned to receive their results as lung age, explained with a chart showing lung capacity as it normally decreases with age. The other half were told the amount of air in liters they could force out in one second and were to return in a year “to see if there has been any change in lung function. ”The subjects with readings that suggested a medical problem were referred to their physicians.

Regardless of the results, all participants were advised to quit smoking, informed about government programs to stop smoking and told that the test of lung function did not show anything about other serious diseases that smoking causes.

Twelve months later, the scientists tested participants for carbon monoxide in their breath and cotinine in their saliva, reliable indicators of smoking. Of those who were not told their lung age 6.4 percent were no longer smoking, and 13.6 percent of those who knew their lung age had quit.

Dr. Gary Parkes, the lead author and a general practitioner in Hertfordshire, said that at first the smokers were not highly motivated to quit. More than 60 percent had made no plans to do so.

According to background information in the report, a physician’s simple advice results in a 4 to 6 percent rate of quitting.

“All smokers should have a lung function test,” Dr. Parkes said. “Sixteen percent of our sample had lung damage they didn’t know about. And communicating lung function as lung age is a good psychological tool for helping people make decisions about their own health.”

There was no evidence that subjects with poorer lung function were more likely to quit. A 45-year-old who was told her lung age was normal was as likely to stop as one told her lung age was 65. Although the study could not prove it, merely being presented with the facts of lung function in a vivid and understandable way was apparently enough to encourage people to stop smoking.

Aging LungsThe authors speculate that when told lung function is normal, a smoker feels encouraged to quit before it is too late, and when shown that it is abnormal is motivated to stop by the fear of further deterioration. The precise psychological forces remain unclear, but the scientists cite previous research that suggested that information presented as a prospect for gain is more persuasive than negative messages about costs or disadvantages.

Source: NICHOLAS BAKALAR, NY Times

Changing Your Mind About Smoking

Sometimes changing one’s mind at its core can be experienced in a blazing epiphany in a flash of a moment.

But not often. The type of change to lose the urge to smoke generally consists of acts not monumental, but incremental.

Bit by bit, piece by piece, those reasons can be removed from the subconscious.

Once that’s done, there is no reason left to smoke, therefore no urge.

Picture of the MindThe difference between just stopping smoking and removing the reasons for smoking is the difference between being a smoker living in denial and truly being a non-smoker.

Open your mind to see smoking habits differently, and freedom is a possibility.

The first has urges that are constantly, perpetually, subconsciously denied.

The second never has an urge because they never have a reason creating one.

No matter how much a person says they like to smoke, I’ve never found one who didn’t like not smoking even more.

We cannot change the past, but we can change the way we remember it, and how those memories affect our lives today.

Smoker Requests Jail Time To Quit Habit

A Des Moines woman has volunteered to spend time in jail in order to quit smoking.

Jodi Perkins said she’s desperate to stop her 23-year habit.

Perkins said she has tried just about everything to stop, such as going to the doctor, using nicotine patches and chewing gum.

She said nothing has worked. “This is shameful. I can’t take it anymore. I don’t know what to do. I need to be removed from the nicotine. Will power doesn’t do it for me,” Perkins said.

Perkins said she called the Polk County Jail to see if officials would allow her to spend time there so she could get the nicotine out of her system.

“I want to quit smoking real bad. I can tell when I’m outside, I’m mowing and I’m doing activities it’s getting harder to breathe. I’m still in my 30s and I can’t catch my breath,” she said.

Perkins said she offered to pay whatever fee might be required. She said she knows a lot of people would not understand her actions. “It is a sickness — an addiction,” Perkins said.

She said she’s willing to go to the extreme by giving up her vacation and freedom to get the nicotine out of her body. Jail officials told Perkins that she cannot go to jail unless there is a warrant out for her or a court order issued. She said a jail official told her she had never had someone request jail time before.

“I’m a former smoker. I know what that’s like,” said Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Neil Shultz.

Photo of Jail CellHe said a lot of people are desperate to quit smoking, but that the Polk Count Jail is not set up to do that. “It’s a huge liability on our part,” he said.

Perkins said two to three days in jail away from cigarettes could help.

“I don’t want to keep contaminating my self, my family (or) my dog with the nicotine,” she said.

Source: KCCI News, Des Moines, Iowa

52 Proven Stress Reducers

Here are 52 ways to reduce the stress in you life and make quitting smoking just a bit easier.

Each of the steps offers a way to take those little irritations out of the schedule that may make your world feel out of control.

Use these steps to take control back and help yourself feel less anxious and more in control of things around you.

They may seems simple but they all add up to making your day go smoother.

1. Get up fifteen minutes earlier in the morning. The inevitable morning mishaps will be less stressful.2. Prepare for the morning the evening before. Set the breakfast table, make lunches, put out the clothes you plan to wear, etc.

3. Don’t rely on your memory. Write down appointment times, when to pick up the laundry, when library books are due, etc.

4. Do nothing which, after being done, leads you to tell a lie.

5. Make duplicates of all keys. Bury a house key in a secret spot in the garden and carry a duplicate car key in your wallet, apart from your key ring.

6. Practice preventive maintenance. Your car, appliances, home, and relationships will be less likely to break down/fall apart “at the worst possible moment.”

7. Be prepared to wait. A paperback can make a wait in a post office line almost pleasant.

Photo of Pond8. Procrastination is stressful. Whatever you want to do tomorrow, do today; whatever you want to do today, do it now.

9. Plan ahead. Don’t let the gas tank get below one-quarter full; keep a well-stocked “emergency shelf” of home staples; don’t wait until you’re down to your last bus token or postage stamp to buy more; etc.

10. Don’t put up with something that doesn’t work right. If your alarm clock, wallet, shoe laces, windshield wipers – whatever- are a constant aggravation, get them fixed or get new ones.

11. Allow 15 minutes of extra time to get to appointments. Plan to arrive at an airport one hour before domestic departures.

12. Eliminate (or restrict) the amount of caffeine in your diet.

13. Always set up contingency plans, “just in case.” (“If for some reason either of us is delayed, here’s what we’ll do. . .” kind of thing. Or, “If we get split up in the shopping center, here’s where we’ll meet.”)

14. Relax your standards. The world will not end if the grass doesn’t get mowed this weekend.

15. Pollyanna-Power! For every one thing that goes wrong, there are probably 10 or 50 or 100 blessings. Count ’em!

16. Ask questions. Taking a few moments to repeat back directions, what someone expects of you, etc., can save hours. (The old “the hurrieder I go, the behinder I get,” idea.)

17. Say “No!” Saying “no” to extra projects, social activities, and invitations you know you don’t have the time or energy for takes practice, self-respect, and a belief that everyone, everyday, needs quiet time to relax and be alone.

18. Unplug your phone. Want to take a long bath, meditate, sleep, or read without interruption? Drum up the courage to temporarily disconnect. (The possibility of there being a terrible emergency in the next hour or so is almost nil.) Or use an answering machine.

19. Turn “needs” into preferences. Our basic physical needs translate into food, water, and keeping warm. Everything else is a preference. Don’t get attached to preferences.

20. Simplify, simplify, simplify. . .

21. Make friends with non-worriers. Nothing can get you into the habit of worrying faster than associating with chronic worrywarts.

22. Get up and stretch periodically if your job requires that you sit for extended periods.

23. Wear earplugs. If you need to find quiet at home, pop in some earplugs.

24. Get enough sleep. If necessary, use an alarm clock to remind you to go to bed.

25. Create order out of chaos. Organize your home and workspace so that you always know exactly where things are. Put things away where they belong and you won’t have to go through the stress of losing things.

26. When feeling stressed, most people tend to breathe short, shallow breaths. When you breathe like this, stale air is not expelled, oxidation of the tissues is incomplete, and muscle tension frequently results. Check your breathing throughout the day, and before, during, and after high-pressure situations. If you find your stomach muscles knotted and your breathing is shallow, relax all your muscles and take several deep, slow breaths.

27. Writing your thoughts and feelings down (in a journal, or on paper to be thrown away) can help you clarify things and can give you a renewed perspective

28. Try the following yoga technique whenever you feel the need to relax. Inhale deeply through your nose to the count of eight. Then, with lips puckered, exhale very slowly through your mouth to the count of 16, or for as long as you can. Concentrate on the long sighing sound and feel the tension dissolve. Repeat 10 times.

29. Inoculate yourself against a feared event. Example: before speaking in public, take time to go over every part of the experience in your mind. Imagine what you’ll wear, what the audience will look like, how you will present your talk, what the questions will be and how you will answer them, etc. Visualize the experience the way you would have it be. You’ll likely find that when the time comes to make the actual presentation, it will be “old hat” and much of your anxiety will have fled.

30. When the stress of having to get a job done gets in the way of getting the job done, diversion – a voluntary change in activity and/or environment – may be just what you need.

31. Talk it out. Discussing your problems with a trusted friend can help clear your mind of confusion so you can concentrate on problem solving.

32. One of the most obvious ways to avoid unnecessary stress is to select an environment (work, home, leisure) which is in line with your personal needs and desires. If you hate desk jobs, don’t accept a job which requires that you sit at a desk all day. If you hate to talk politics, don’t associate with people who love to talk politics, etc.

33. Learn to live one day at a time.

34. Every day, do something you really enjoy.

35. Add an ounce of love to everything you do.

36. Take a hot bath or shower (or a cool one in summertime) to relieve tension.

37. Do something for somebody else.

38. Focus on understanding rather than on being understood; on loving rather than on being loved.

39. Do something that will improve your appearance. Looking better can help you feel better.

40. Schedule a realistic day. Avoid the tendency to schedule back-to-back appointments; allow time between appointments for a breathing spell.

41. Become more flexible. Some things are worth not doing perfectly and some issues are fine to compromise upon.

42. Eliminate destructive self-talk: “I’m too old to. . .,” “I’m too fat to. . .,” etc.

43. Use your weekend time for a change of pace. If your work week is slow and patterned, make sure there is action and time for spontaneity built into your weekends. If your work week is fast-paced and full of people and deadlines, seek peace and solitude during your days off. Feel as if you aren’t accomplishing anything at work? Tackle a job on the weekend which you can finish to your satisfaction.

44. “Worry about the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.” That’s another way of saying: take care of the todays as best you can and the yesterdays and the tomorrows will take care of themselves.

45. Do one thing at a time. When you are with someone, be with that person and with no one or nothing else. When you are busy with a project, concentrate on doing that project and forget about everything else you have to do.

46. Allow yourself time – everyday – for privacy, quiet, and introspection.

47. If an especially unpleasant task faces you, do it early in the day and get it over with, then the rest of your day will be free of anxiety.

48. Learn to delegate responsibility to capable others.

49. Don’t forget to take a lunch break. Try to get away from your desk or work area in body and mind, even if it’s just for 15 or 20 minutes.

50. Forget about counting to 10. Count to 1,000 before doing something or saying anything that could make matters worse.

51. Have a forgiving view of events and people. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world.

52. Have an optimistic view of the world. Believe that most people are doing the best they can.

Thanks goes to Texas Women’s University Counseling Center

Bee in the Bonnet

Meaning: Preoccupied or obsessed with an idea.

“Resolving The Bee In the Bonnet Problem”
by Bear Jack Gebhardt

This article was originally hosted at Seventraditions. I have been unable to locate Bear Jack Gebhardt, but have decided to save this wonderful file here at Ciggyfree until some time in the future when Jack reclaims it. Thank you Jack!

You ever get a bee in your bonnet? Or in your hat? In your car? All
of sudden, you’re not thinking of anything, else, right? Everything in
your life, except that bee, is immediately back burner.

You need to do something about that buzzing bee and you need to do it now. When you
have a bee in your bonnet, life is suddenly very intense, and
uncomfortable, or potentially uncomfortable, and that potential makes
it uncomfortable right now.

Child in a Bee CostumeFor a lot of smokers, quitting smoking is very similar to having a bee
in their bonnet, or a bee buzzing around in the car with them. Life
is suddenly very intense, and uncomfortable, or potentially
uncomfortable. They feel they need to do something about it, “right
now.” Nothing else really matters.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not the lack of nicotine that makes
a quitting smoker so jumpy. The use of nicotine patches, and the new
drug Zyban can be helpful, but, so far, in fewer than 30% of the
cases. Even with nicotine levels at “ordinary,” and with stress levels
reduced, the “bee in the bonnet” feeling persists, and smokers go back
to smoking in order to let the bee out. The “relief ” which a smoker
feels with his or her first cigarette, after an unsuccessful quitting
attempt, is exactly the same relief as when the bee flies out the
window. “Whew, thank goodness that’s over.”

So, what is it, exactly, that makes a smoker feel as if he or she has
a bee in the bonnet, a bee in the car just as soon as the Quit Date
arrives? If we could figure out where the bee comes from, we could go
a long way to making it easier to quit, yes?

From careful research, and long discussions with smokers and
ex-smokers, it seems clear that the “bee in the bonnet” comes in the
form of a simple little question that the smoker continually asks.
That question is, “Should I, or shouldn’t I?”

Should I or shouldn’t I have a smoke? Should I or shouldn’t I give up
on this quitting business? The answer to the question, of course, is
logically no, don’t have one, don’t give up. That’s obvious, that’s
easy. So the smoker answers, “no, of course not, I won’t have one, I
won’t give up.” And then the question comes up again, and then again,
and then again, should I or shouldn’t I?

Here’s the rub: To answer, no, is obvious, but just to answer no does
not stop the question from recurring! The recurring question is the
bee in the bonnet!

Researchers have consistently found that the reason most smokers give
for trying and failing to quit is that they were unable to resist the
“cravings” they experienced shortly after stopping. A craving is
basically a thought repeated over and over. It may be a craving for
chocolate pie or a craving for a ski trip or a new Ferrari. A craving
is a thought repeated, again and again, until finally action is taken
or— here’s the freedom– the “craver” consciously decides to change
his or her thinking patterns. The key words here are consciously
decides. In the minutes and hours and days after quitting smoking, the
thought– in the form of a question– continually arises, “Should
I or shouldn’t I?” Most smokers assume it is their job to just keep
saying no long enough for the question to finally go away. Of course,
that works, sometimes.

More directly, though, the conscious decision to drop the question,
and think about something else, is a conscious decision to drop the
craving, and thus drop the habit. We are inherently free to drop our
cravings! In the same way we are free to develop or nourish our
cravings.

Non smokers don’t ask the question, “should I or shouldn’t I” Asking
that particular mental question is the basic habit that smokers are
breaking when they quit smoking. The secret to quitting is not so much
in correctly answering the question, “should I or shouldn’t I?” The
secret is in not asking the question at all. That lets the bee out of
the bonnet. Then, whether to smoke or not smoke is simply no longer
the question.

Get Fit and Kick the Habit

Make the most of the national smoking ban on Monday by swapping cigarettes for exercise, says Philip Carling of the Sports Council for Wales

THE ban on smoking will revolutionize the very face of Wales’ public indoor spaces, transforming them into healthier, smoke-free zones as the last cigarettes are stubbed out in nightclubs, restaurants, and pub ash-trays from Angelsey to Monmouthshire.

Smokers can take the ban more personally by making a pledge to integrate 30 minutes physical activity five times a week into their lifestyle, even if they are not intending to stub out the habit for good. It’s all part of Health Challenge Wales.

The message that ‘smoking is bad for you’ is so old now that people have stopped giving it their full attention. Instead I would urge adults to consider that physical activity has profound benefits and can only enhance your well being, regardless of whether you smoke.

Woman on Treadmill PictureThe pub smoking ban offers a perfect opportunity for smokers to adopt a healthier more active lifestyle. If, like many smokers throughout Wales, you’re dreading its onset, now is the time to start putting the benefits of physical activity into practice. It has been proven that exercise is one of the best ways to help smokers kick the habit, and by stopping you are benefiting the health of the nation.

Research shows that smoking kills around 114,000 people in the UK each year owing to smoking related cancers, cardiovascular and lung disease, or high blood pressure leading to heart attacks and stroke. Exercise reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, lowers the chance of lung cancer, boosts circulation and helps maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Exercise is a vital tool in your successful quitting kit, and you don’t have to spend money buying it from the supermarket shelf. Aside from improving physical ability and appearance, physical activity provides fun, focus and fitness which are more likely to help you stub out the habit for good, not just for two weeks.

What exercise can do for you

1. Naturally increases metabolism
According to the National Centre for Health Statistics, nicotine artificially raises your metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn within a 24-hour period) by 20%. So when you quit, your metabolism returns to what it really should be.

Getting firmer, stronger muscles by doing regular physical activity like cycling and walking is a much healthier way of increasing your metabolic rate.

2. Controls weight gain
One of the scariest things about quitting smoking is the fear of gaining weight. A slower metabolism after quitting, combined with an improvement in taste and smell, a tendency to substitute food for cigarettes and emotional eating to relieve the stress of quitting can all result in weight gain of anywhere between 5-10lbs for the average smoker.

The combination of eating more calories while burning less means that regular physical activity is crucial. Aerobic exercise like walking, cycling, swimming or dancing for 30 minutes a day at a low-intensity will burn anything between 100-300 calories depending on the intensity and duration of your exercise.

Smokers who philosophize that smoking keeps them slim may also need to consider that nicotine causes body fat to be distributed to the upper body and abdominal area or in an “apple” shape – which is linked with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and early death.

3. Suppresses appetite
Stub out cigarettes and you can guarantee human nature will have you automatically reaching for the biscuit tin instead. Just like your regular rugby match, kicking a habit is always a game of substitution. But exercise is a natural way to temporarily suppress appetite because it regulates sugar levels in your blood. This in turn reduces the cravings for sweets and junk foods which we might bring onto the pitch to replace cigarettes.

4. Offers relief from nicotine cravings
Take a 10-minute brisk walk every time the nicotine cravings come calling, and fitness levels will soon be soaring. Physical activity can help take the ‘edge’ off nicotine cravings by bringing temporary relief until they pass.

Exercise improves blood circulation, so just a ten-minute walk can produce chemical endorphins in the brain which create a sense of well-being – the same ‘buzz’ smokers get from filling their lungs with smoke.

Regular physical activity is also a cheaper and more maintainable way of curbing the cravings for those who don’t want to use nicotine replacement therapy.

5. Curbs boredom
Boredom is one of the biggest barriers to quitting smoking. You can predict the routine now – arrive home after a hard day; slump into the sofa; stick the telly on and already your mind is wandering towards the ash tray as you gradually lose the fight to keep your hands occupied.

A cycle through the park or to the shops where there are things to look at, an exercise class where there are people to meet, or just a mind-challenging mountain-stroll at the weekend will help keep your mind away from the cigarettes. Don’t let boredom beat you down. Physical activity and sport can be a hobby, offering a fresh focus to get your teeth stuck into – without wasting your time whiling the hours away in frustration.

6. Relieves anxiety and stress
If you have ever tried to quit or know someone who is in the process, you’ll know that grouchiness, anxiety and depression are lurking nearby like an unwanted guest. Exercise is a proven mood lifter and anxiety reliever so you can banish any late-night desires to creep out the back door and light-up after a tough day.

Mood swings are a common temporary side effect of kicking any habit, but they can be used to fuel your physical goals. Vent your frustration at kick-boxing, whack out your woes with a tennis ball, or release tension with a gentle session of yoga or pilates.

7. Fuels a revitalising sleep
People who exercise regularly have fewer episodes of sleeplessness – a common side-effect of quitting. The temptation to light up is probably at its strongest after a heavy day when we are tired, so a more sufficient sleep may help stop the hands from reaching for the cigarettes simply because the body needs a boost.

Moderate exercise lasting 20-30 minutes five times a week promotes a more revitalising sleep because it is a physical stressor to the body. The brain compensates for physical stress by increasing deep sleep and so we sleep more soundly.

8. Promotes a buzzing social life
Lots of smokers argue that their social life will be affected if they quit. Getting involved in sport and physical activity is one of the most enjoyable ways to socialise – whether going for walks with the family, taking the kids for a kick-about or giving Grandma some company to the shops. Join a club, try out a gym class – talk to the regulars at your local swimming pool. The friends you make through sport and physical activity might just be your friends for life.

More importantly, swapping bad breath, sallow skin and yellow teeth for a healthier body image is crucial to fostering confidence and a positive mental attitude. Physical activity burns fat and boosts circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the skin so that it is firmer and better nourished – good news since smoking can leave the skin up to 40% thinner. People who are physically fit not only look good, but feel good too.

9. Cuts huffing and puffing
Physical activity strengthens your heart and lungs while improving circulation so there is to be no more humiliating huffing and puffing as you climb the stairs behind your colleagues.

Lots of people mistakenly think exercise will make them tired, but – at the appropriate intensity and duration for your current fitness level – it will actually invigorate you and make you more energetic.

10. Slows lung decline
Studies suggest that smokers who exercise are at a 35% lower risk of developing lung cancer than those who don’t exercise. But, not surprisingly, smokers often complain of breathing difficulty and muscle fatigue during exercise and hence avoid it at all costs. Physical activity does not improve lung function but will slow its decline by strengthening the limb muscles and respiratory system. It enables more oxygen to practice getting to the vital muscles, thus gradually improving endurance and reducing breathlessness.

Philip Carling is chairman of the Sports Council for Wales.

Source: This article© owned by or licensed to Western Mail & Echo Limited 2007
It is a trade mark of Western Mail & Echo Limited.

Over The Bridge and Through the Woods

To big tobacco’s house we go?

Quitting smoking involves a major life change and does strange things to the human psyche.

We can convince ourselves of almost anything if we truly grasp onto a belief in our minds.

Thinking that you cannot quit smoking is one such belief that will literally kill you!

As a very young child, I thought that I would never be able to tie my shoes. Mother always tied them for me without taking the time to teach me how.

I vaguely remember sitting in my room practicing how to tie with tears streaming down my cheeks. Having little or no instruction with a new process often makes it difficult to accomplish the process at one sitting.

Green River Timber Crib DamThroughout our lives, we try on new learning experiences.

When we graduate high school, we enter either college or the work force. When we get married, we learn how to work an intimate relationship or how to dump our partner in a divorce. Before we start a business, we learn how to write a business plan.

The process of quitting smoking is a learning experience too! You cannot simply quit smoking after twenty years and not take into consideration that there may be some physical, mental, and emotional discomforts (quit smoking baggage.)

If you anticipate that quitting is a painful process, this idea will ignite a desire to flee (smoke) or stay and fight (remain quit.)

Ideas first spark in the mind. Once an idea ignites, you can toss it in the trunk or become a driver and steer the vehicle. The ideas in your mind can also be like passengers or the driver in a car. You have a driver who is in charge of getting the car and passengers to a destination.

You have passengers who anticipate that the driver and the car will get them to a destination. The passengers are always dependent upon the driver and the vehicle. The driver is always dependent upon the vehicle.

Once you realize that you are the only one who can make the choice to steer your thoughts away from the destination of big tobacco, you will learn to embrace a new sense of freedom and power over crave thoughts. Remember that big tobacco wants you to think that you need their product in order to live life to the fullest.

Have you ever wondered why Philip Morris USA supports a single, consistent public health message on the role of cigarette smoking in the development of disease in smoker’s yet they continue to peddle death and disease?

Cigarette companies spend millions of dollars each year on marketing and research alone. Big tobacco wants lifetime consumers and they know that in order to train a child in the way they should go, that they have to begin this process of subtle advertising by consistently innovating new ways to market their product to our youth.

In the United States, smoking-related illnesses account for more than 440,000 deaths each year. Please do not allow big tobacco to manipulate and control how long you live.

Life in itself is precious. Take back your lives from big tobacco and do it now, before it is too late.

Don’t Miss The Mark!

Sometimes people just don’t get it.

They tend to think that they can continue on with life just as it is and not have to change anything about themselves.

They forget that life really is about change, and fail to witness the evidence as marked by the four seasons becoming their own worst enemy in the battle to quit smoking.

It’s easier to talk themselves into it. They fall into the trap they have set up for themselves.

They are their own enemy if they convince themselves that they just need:

    • One more puff
    • One more cigarette
    • One more pack
    • One more carton
    • One more week
    • One more month
    • One more year
    • One more decade

      They can continue hurting themselves for the rest of their natural lives and turn their time into something addictively insane during the interim.

      Picture of Word MarkThey mark their days as being an entirely productive experience while they suck on the other end of a toxic pesticide stick. And they do this every thirty to ninety minutes! Is this you? It was me 2.5 years ago.

      Hey Listen!

      Don’t miss the mark! Get off the butts and get busy with life. Only you can choose to be proactive, and live to breathe!

      Observe the four seasons closely:

      Spring is birth

      Summer is youth

      Fall touts middle age

      While Winter bleeds the elderly…

      Know your limitations.

      Everything in life is circular.

      What you do in your lifetime will eventually come back to bless or haunt you.

      Use your time on earth wisely.

      Don’t miss the mark!

      Be True To Your Quit

      During the Early Days (daze) staying quit seems out of reach, like if only you could just have that one puff it would, could, should set you free!

      Think before you reach.

      One puff could equal one to two packs for the next five, ten, or twenty years, or perhaps a lifetime of smoking.

      You have the power.

      Picture of EyesWill you choose to deny or comply?

      What will your choice be?

      Will you choose to be chained to addiction or opt to be free?