Learn The 411 On The Most Popular Ways To Quit Smoking

With a new year around the corner, many of my patients are looking at ways to improve their health. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to better your health almost immediately with progressive benefits the longer you stay off cigarettes. Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of lung cancer, cervical cancer and heart disease plus other health concerns such as premature aging. It is responsible for close to 4 million deaths a year.

If you're like my patients who smoke and want to quit, I'd like to share with you some of the pros and cons of the quit-smoking products that are out there.

Anti-Smoking Products: Which Work The Best?

Just like weight loss, there are many commercial products available that claim to be able to help you quit smoking. You've likely seen many ads on television for products with Chantix and Zyban being the most well-known. However, there are other stop-smoking products that actually have more pros to them than these. The following is a general rating of some of the most popular methods of quitting smoking to help you decide which one may be of most benefit.

1. Cold turkey. No, this is not a product; it's the method of stopping smoking on your own without the use of any products. You pick a day you want to quit and you just do it. The pro to this method is that it's cost free. That's basically it. The cons are that quitting smoking cold turkey is the least successful of all the methods, with only 3% of people succeeding at quitting. The reason for the high failure rate of this method is that your body goes through withdrawal of the chemical nicotine from your blood. Symptoms include anxiety, hyperirritability, insomnia, susceptibility to concentration and depression, which can last 3 months or more. My opinion: This method does not get my vote.

2. Chantix, Zyban. These are popular, commercial anti-smoking products that are available by prescription. They work about the same, helping your body withdraw from nicotine gradually. Chantix offers a support system, however, Zyban does not. In addition, like most prescription drugs they both come with side effects. Chantix's side effects include nausea, sleep disturbances, constipation, flatulence, vomiting, plus “additional effects” not cited. Zyban is actually the drug Wellbutrin, an antidepressant, which acts to counter one of the nicotine withdrawal symptoms of quitting smoking – depression. Like most antidepressants, however, Zyban can have serious side effects such as dry mouth, insomnia, headaches, agitation, jitters (shakiness), appetite increase, and even seizures (though rarely, reports the literature). My opinion: I think there are better, safer, nonprescription ways to go about quitting smoking.

3. Hypnosis. Hypnosis works, in theory, by placing suggestions in the hypnotized person's subconscious mind while they are in a state of light sleep. It can work well as a relaxation device, which may be what some smokers need to help them quit. However, some people are resistant to hypnosis and for them hypnosis likely will not work. For people who are open to the idea hypnosis may be helpful. My opinion: Used in conjunction with other therapies, hypnosis can be beneficial for relaxation and reinforcement of the positive benefits of quitting smoking.

4. Laser. Actually works more like acupuncture or acupressure in helping stop smoking where laser energy is applied to specific points on hands, wrists, ears, face that correspond to addiction in humans, resulting in stimulating endorphin producing nerve pathways. Endorphins are “feel good” hormones that decrease stress and help you relax, therefore, decreasing the need for “stress smoking”. Laser therapy ads claim 85% to 90% success rate, but actually the rates are much lower. Plus these treatments are costly and there are no guarantees. My opinion: I think there are better, cheaper ways to quit smoking.

5. Lobelia. Lobelia contains “lobeline”, a natural, herbal, nicotine-like natural substance that is non-addicting and non-toxic. It reduces nicotine cravings and has a tranquilizing effect. It can help soothe jangled nerves and irritability which almost always companies quitting smoking. It does this by “tricking” your nervous system into thinking its getting nicotine but without the toxic side effects. My opinion: As it's a natural, herbal product that can help get over the first few weeks of an antismoking effort, Lobelia gets a high mark from me. However, it must be used exactly as directed as too much lobelia can cause vomiting and / or respiratory depression.

6. Smoke Deter. Another natural, homeopathic, based anti-smoking product that uses several homeopathic remedies together for a synergistic effect against the most trying of withdrawal symptoms: Abies nigra (black spruce), Aconitum Napellus (wolfbane), Avena (oates), Nux Vomica (Poison) nut). Used in a spray benefit the tongue whenever cravings / symptoms arise. My opinion: Independent reviews of Stop Smoking products rate this product very high at 98%. As a natural homeopathic remedy, I believe it can be safely used as an anti-smoking assistant along with other measures.

7. Nicotine Replacement Therapy. Like trying to lose weight by eating “diet cookies”. Does nothing to re-train the body's cravings for nicotine because you replace the nicotine in cigarettes with nicotine in chewing gum, patches, and inhalers, and now even water! The success rate is very low for this method, only 3%. Not unexpectedly, people also get addicted to the replacement therapy as their body has not purged of the nicotine. My opinion: Just say no.

Quitting smoking is difficult and you may want to try some of the better methods here. I feel a multi-method approach seems to work the best though. Gradually reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke a day progressively reduces the body's need for nicotine; using relaxation techniques like exercise, and even hypnosis, helps reduce stress triggers to smoke; biofeedback reinforces positive benefits of nonsmoking. Herbal natural supplements, such as a few drops of Valerian in a glass of water, a few times a day helps soothe jangled nerves. All these things can help you reach your goal of a new, smoke-free, healthy new you in the New Year!

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Quitting Smoking: Inside The Mind Of The Smoker

My goal is to learn to talk just like a smoker. Why would I want to achieve that? It might be: That is the way to get in the front door of the mind of the smoker. Suppose there's some kind of strange obstruction blocking my getting in; and so I have to devise a method for overcoming it? Suppose I put down a 'mattress' and on top of it I lay a piece of 'floor plate'? How would that help solve the problem?

Here's how I'll explain it: The mattress allows for a sort of soft way of stepping; and the floor plate allows me to get a good grip. Using those two stratagems, I might hopefully enter the mind of the smoker.

Now I can talk with him frankly. And when the smoker hears me, I want him to say: He talks like me! And here is the minor miracle: While my words live as data, data will not spoil– but can keep on reinventing itself … Just when it looks like it's over and done: along comes a new smoker, and the text takes on a 'for-him' tone.

Whether a man is straight or not-whether a woman is a widow or a bride– regardless of circumstances – the words as that data will enter in the mind and make me and the smoker one. Once that connection is made, great things might happen. No one really knows the opportunity when two minds suddenly find something in common to which they can attach themselves. How many folks have been dramatically dramatic – finding words that they resonate to and using those words to lift their souls up higher?

… I recently met a young man who impressed me with his looks and modest beige suit. He goes to self-help groups a lot. He is dedicated to improving himself. What he said made me think that it was something the smoker might be saying, himself.

He said that all of us boys are playing gear we do not want to play and words about deaf and dumb boys do not know the score. Since I quote him direct and have not changed his words, I hope no one will think he means those who are afflicted with deaf and dumb status– but surely those who are given the gifts of speech and sound but choose not to use them in quitting their smoking habit.

… Somewhere – way back when – we went on a vacation; and when we got back, someone else had taken charge over the business of our lives … It looked okay when it happened – but now it's time to start reclaiming our judgment, which will certainly disallow smokers.

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A Few Ways To Help You Lose The Smokes For Good

Smoking now carries a strong negative stigma and the science behind the dangers of smoking continues to grow. Many places have put outright bans on the habit. People are trying to quit now more than ever before. There are still about 10 million cigarettes sold every minute in the United States. It is obviously not the easiest thing in the world, but here are some helpful suggestions.

Make A List
Make a list of all the reasons you want to quit. Keep this list in your pocket and every time you feel an urge to smoke take a look at your list and remind yourself why your not going to light up.

Quit With A Friend
Most smokers know other smokers. Find someone you know who would also like to quit and offer to quit with them. Now you have someone that can help hold you accountable and you can return the favor. This external motivation can help give you the incentive to quit.

Start An Exercise Routine
Begin an exercise routine with some achievable goals. Not only does exercise reduce the craving to smoke, but working towards a fitness goal can help fire you up to achieve your other goals. It can give you one more reason not to begin to smoke again.

Set A Quit Date
Take a few moments to sit down and firmly cement the thought “I will quit smoking” in your mind. Make sure you believe it. Then set a date that you will quit. It could be the very same day. If you have been smoking for a while and the thought of quitting still unnerves you, set a date a few weeks away and start cutting back on your consumption everyday until your quit day arrives.

Do not Indulge The Thought
Cigarette cravings only last about five minutes or so. Of course it looks much longer when it is happening. Do not allow your mind to think about how bad you want to smoke. Push your thoughts onto other things. If you continue to think about how much you want to smoke you will begin to make excuses as to why it is too hard to quit right now.

Eat And Drink Healthy
Put wholesome nutritious food in your body. Drink plenty of water. It really will make you feel better. As you start to feel better you will not want to undo the work you have done. Keep healthy snacks around you while you quit so when you feel an urge to smoke you will have something to do with your hands and your mouth.

Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on the planet. You are one of the strongest because you have made the decision to quit. It will really help you regain your health. Stay strong and try some of these tips on your journey.

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How to Effectively and Naturally Quit Smoking

Quit smoking naturally

Easy steps to effectively quit smoking and that too in a natural way

Nicotine creates a tough psychological and physiological addiction. Although patches and chewing gum are sold to assist quitting, people were able to quit before these items were available.

The first step is to recognize that cigarettes institute more of an addiction than a personal choice. Nicotine rewires your brain, creating receptors that will crave the chemical if you stop taking it. This is called withdrawal.

This is not a matter of character weakness; studies of nicotine's addictiveness have compared it to hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine. The idea that continuing to smoke is purely a choice is the result of advertising and an attitude promoted by companies. It can obscure the fact that an addiction is present, or that that it makes quitting a daunting choice.

Furthermore, quitting is not a one-time difficult event but a long process that involves a series of desires. Deciding to quit is different than maintaining a smoke-free status, because it only takes one cigarette to relapse. Many smokers try and fail many times before they successfully quit smoking.

The following is a collection of natural, healthy methods employed by people who successfully quit smoking.

1. Be aware of the health risks from smoking. Information is available on the internet, at a library, and from doctors.

2. Do not quit alone. It is okay to find support in groups or with a buddy, but make sure the groups or buddies are dedicated non-smokers. About 95% of smokers who try to quit alone, fail.

3. Start with modest goals. “Forever” or “for the rest of my life” is a long time to measure psychologically; try marking hours, then moving to days, then weeks, and generally using a yardstick that works for you.

4. Some people cut back gradually, which can work as long as you have a set date in mind for complete quitting. Planning the number of cigarettes that you are likely to smoke every day until the quit date, reducing the number every day, buying a brand of cigarettes you know you will not enjoy as much, and giving your pack to someone else so you have to ask for them back to smoke can help. If regular cutbacks do not work, you should try stopping altogether (“cold turkey”).

5. If you are at the stage where you are ready to completely cut cigarettes out of your life, make sure you are prepared not to take a single puff again. One is all it takes for a relapse.

6. Food is important. You need to eat regularly and avoid sugar or fatty food. Skipping meals may trigger a craving.

7. The average craving lasts three minutes, but feels much longer. It helps to keep a timepiece handy to remind you of the real passage of time, take deep breaths, and take your mind off a problem you might be thinking about and go back to it later, or listen to relaxing music.

8. Get more sleep. It can help to try sleeping earlier.

9. Change your routine. If you have a daily routine and smoking is part of it, then quitting may make you feel like something is missing. If you make new routines that do not involve any smoking, then you can reinvide the idea that nothing is missing. Finding a new route to work is one example.

10. Tea, coffee and alcohol should be avoided, especially in the early stages of quitting. Nicotine causes caffeine to be depleted twice as fast, so those used to large amounts of caffeine may find themselves more sensitive. If you are having trouble with sleeping or anxiety, try cutting your caffeine in take by at least half.

11. You will probably dream of smoking at least once. This is caused by tobacco odors released by your lungs as they heal, and is a sign that you are recovering. This is no reason for alarm.

12. You may feel emotional loss which will take you through the phases of denial, bargaining, anger, depression, acceptance and complacency. This is a necessary psychological part of recovery.

13. Moderate exercise is helpful and generally incompatible with smoking. You may start slow, but build up to 30 minutes of rigorous activity 3 or 4 times a week as needed.

14. Drink lots of water. It will help your body flush itself clean, and may fulfill “oral desires” you have.

15. Keep a journal of desires and any feelings you have for them.

16. Discover what event triggers a craving, such as arriving at work. In case triggers are unavoidable, plan alternate ways to deal with them.

During the process, the most important thing is to remind yourself every day of why you do not want to smoke anymore. Some people keep a picture of a loved one with the words “I am quitting for myself and for you” written on a piece of paper taped to the picture. When they have an urge to smoke, the picture and the written words prevent them from going ahead and smoking.

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Overcoming Roadblocks Getting in the Way of Stopping Smoking

Roadblocks often get in the way of you stopping smoking. It's important to learn how to get rid of those roadblocks in your preparation to quit smoking.

The following are six common roadblocks along with a few ideas to help you get them:

1. I've already cut down and do not need to quit.
Congratulations! You're on your way. Now finish the job. Even if you cut down, you're dealing with physiological withdrawal symptoms and you know deep down that you need and want to quit, which is one of the reasons why you are here.

2. Too much is going on in my life right now to quit.
We all have things going on in our lives, and there is not ever a right time to quit. There is, however, a best time. And that time is right now! Dealing with tension, irritability, fatigue, and feelings are simply you anticipating the smoking withdrawal symptoms. You can and will overcome these with a little planning and the right frame of mind.

3. Many of my friends and family smoke and I do not think I can stop with them around.
Ask yourself this, “Have I ever met a smoker who did not themselves think about quitting themselves?” Chances are, you can not and even if you can, most smokers are very supportive of their friends and family who have quit. It gives them encouragement and empowerment to quit themselves. Learn how this can help to support you. And, also importantly, how to say no when someone offers you a cigarette. If your spouse smokes, them him or her that you are quitting and how important this is to you. Ask your partner not to smoke around you and not to offer you a cigarette.

4. I'm afraid I'll gain weight when I stop smoking.
Many people substitute cigarettes for food and do in fact gain weight. On a lighter note, the average weight gain is 5-7 pounds (2-3 kilos). While most people do not want to gain any additional weight, this little extra is better than smoking. And if you prepare a little bit, like exercising – even a little – and reaching for healthy snacks, you will not gain much at all, maybe none.

5. I'm discouraged to quit again, because I tried before and failed.
I'm here to tell you, YOU Can! Think of your previous quit attempts as “practice quits”. Each time you quit, you learn something new. In fact, you are better prepared to bypass the smoking withdrawal symptoms now than you were the last time. Millions of people have quit and many of them after the first time. You can, too!

6. Quitting smoking will make me tense.
Again, you are anticipating the smoking withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine acts on the brain and makes you then that it calms you. In fact, smoking is a stimulant and does just the opposite. There are many better ways to calm you down, that are really more effective.

While there are many other roadblocks you may need to manage through. You're goal right now is to discover which ones are holding you back from becoming an ex-smoker. These will be the smoking withdrawal symptoms you will need to focus on most to become and stay an ex-smoker.

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Have You Quit Smoking? How Can Hypnotherapy Help You to Stay a Non-Smoker?

Please read this article if you have already successfully stopped smoking and you want to make sure that you will never start smoking again. If you only plan to quit smoking and you are about to choose the best method, my best advice is to have hypnotherapy in the first place, making sure that you choose real hypnotherapy and not some magical stage-hypnosis cure.

Firstly, I want to congratulate you. You have become a non-smoker, and you are a real achiever as you have probably done it by a method other than hypnotherapy – if you were using hypnotherapy, you would not need to read this article today. Now you want to stay a non-smoker and this is the second step – to stay a non-smoker no matter what happens in your life.

Before I explain how hypnotherapy can assist you not only to stay a non-smoker but also to avoid all possible side effects of quitting smoking, like withdrawal symptoms, gaining weight, drinking more or being cranky, I need to make sure that you understand and remember the most important message.

Each day, even each minute, of staying free from smoking makes you stronger, healthier and adds to success. Even if you failed and have had a few smokers, keep going. It does not mean that you are a failure, it just means that you will find better ways; but if you want to succeed, you will succeed.

And congratulations again – you stopped smoking. How can hypnotherapy help you now?

Firstly, if you stopped smoking using some nicotine replacement products (such as patches or lozenges), you may still be addicted to nicotine. In this case you can use the deep hypnotic trance to remove the addiction to nicotine. When in a deep trance, you can access the deepest part of the subconscious mind that is steering the body and you can remove the addiction instantly, letting go of any withdrawal symptoms. You will sleep like a baby and your body will replace the nicotine in a natural way, so you will feel great.

Secondly, if you stopped smoking by using a prescription medication, like Zyban, Prexaton or Champix, you may need some assistance when you stop taking the medication. This kind of medication should be used with caution and only when prescribed by a doctor, and if there are side effects that also need to be reported to your doctor because they may be serious. The medication helps to let go of the physical addiction, but when it is stopped, hypnosis can be used to strengthen and extend its positive effects.

If you stopped “cold turkey”, without any help, it is quite likely that you are still addicted and you fight the withdrawal symptoms and cravings. And it may be that you succeeded through this difficult phase, just having an occasional craving from time to time. Congratulations, you are doing well, but even if you do not smoke for a long time, it is better to balance the body in hypnosis and remove even the last remaining paths of addiction.

The next step is to make sure that you are not affected by the habit of smoking. Habit is the automatic reaching for a cigarette in some common situations. It usually takes at least six weeks to replace old habits, but they may also kick in when we are unguarded – even years down the track.

Most new non-smokers stay vigilant during the first few weeks, avoiding cigarettes after food or during breaks at work, but then they may become drunk and they automatically start smoking at the pub, or strong stress hits all of a sudden and they find themselves smoking. Hypnotherapy allows old habits to be removed instantly and completely, because automatic habits are stored on the subconscious level, exactly the level on which this automatic reaching for a cigarette comes from.

The final step is to remove all psychological reasons for being a non-smoker. This is where hypnotherapy is absolutely brilliant. Smoking is most often a psychological addiction, not just a physical one. The physical addiction is not that difficult to overcome – even with the cold turkey approach – and without any help it takes only a few weeks. However, most smokers use cigarettes to help them deal with stress or anxiety, to have “me time”, a short break, or to overcome strong emotions, etc.

This kind of psychological addiction is the reason that many people who quit smoking feel strong cravings in some situations, even years after they had their last cigarette. When you look at it closely, this craving usually has a strong emotional component, but on the body level it can be blinded by a cigarette, or by a drink, or by some food. So you smoke or eat to deal with stress or emotions.

Hypnotherapy can assist in two ways – firstly, by finding and implementing better ways to deal with stress and better ways to feel good when you are upset, etc. When it is done with hypnotherapy, we make sure that the smoking is replaced with an acceptable behavior, instead of overeating or drinking as usually happens when people quit smoking. The danger of putting on weight is closely associated with trying to fill this empty hole, as some of my clients call it, with something else other than smoking.

However, you can do much more with hypnotherapy. With a skilled and experienced hypnotherapist, you can address the real reasons for your psychological addiction and let them go, leave them in the past. Hypnotherapy uses a wide range of therapies performed in hypnosis. The psychological addiction is always a very personal issue and requires a personal approach, because everyone has different reasons for smoking, different triggers, different events from the past affecting them, and different subconscious beliefs. The skilled and experienced hypnotherapist who combines counseling and psychotherapy with hypnosis can help you not only to resolve the psychological desires but also the underlying issues, even depression and anxiety.

And there is more. This is like a fairytale, because in a deep hypnotic trance you can visit the future and experience the benefits of staying a non-smoker. You can visit your fitness activity a few weeks from now, you can enjoy a long run without puffing, you can go father into the future and see how the freedom from addiction and good health will benefit your family, and you can go to the party and see how you enjoy socializing with people on another level.

Hypnotherapy makes staying free from smoking easy. It is the most effective way to dissolve all possible temptations which could drive you back to smoking – like a physical addiction to nicotine, the long-returning habit of lighting a cigarette in particular situations, and mental or emotional dependency. Hypnotherapy is also enjoyable. You will learn to relax deeply; you will build real motivation and strong mental muscle, bringing joy and understanding to your life and becoming not only absolutely committed to staying a non-smoker, but seeing the fun side and enjoyment of your new freedom.

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How to Use 16 Basic Desires Theory to Stop Smoking Cigarettes

If you want to learn more about using motivation to stop smoking cigarettes, you might be interested in the 16 Basic Desires Theory. After studying the motivations of more than 6,000 people, Professor Steven Reiss came up with a theory suggesting that there were 16 basic desires inherent to human beings. Reiss, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Ohio State University, arrived at his theory by using factor analysis to sort through responses to over 300 questions. If you want to stop smoking cigarettes but are not sure that you have a firm grant of your own reasons to do so, here are sixteen possible motivators.

Acceptance

The need for approval is strong in social animals such as human beings. As more and more people are turning away from cigarettes, they are naturally becoming less accepting of those that still smoke. Giving up tobacco will make you more accepted by people in general.

Curiosity

Although people vary consistently in their need to learn, most people are curious about their own potential. Are not you at least curious about how you will feel, either mentally or physically, if you stop smoking cigarettes?

Eating

This reflects more to the need for food as fuel than food as pleasure, but if you enjoy eating it follows that you enjoy the taste of food. Without having your sense of taste and smell damaged by cigarette smoke, food will taste a lot better.

Family

If you're lucky enough to have people who love and care about you, they are probably worried about the damage you are doing to yourself by smoking. Giving up cigarettes will ease some of the stress of people close to you and deepen the bond you have with them.

Honor

This mostly refers to doing the right thing in the eyes of your culture / ethnic group, and there are not really a lot of cultures that have a moral prohibition against smoking cigarettes in particular. But being addicted to a foreign substance could be seen as a dishonourable way of living, and giving up will likely lead to consider benefits to you in the area of ​​self-esteem.

Idealism

For me, I found that casting tobacco companies as evil drug peddlers cave me an additional motivation to quit. There is a sense of social injustice in it being legal to sell an addictive and deadly drug such as tobacco, and giving up is a way of sticking it to The Man.

Independence

This is an easy one for motivation. What could be more demeaning to be enslaved to a substance that you have to pay $ 50 or more a week for the displeasure of smoking? Giving up cigarettes will make you free from one of the few forms of slavery still approved by our government.

Order

Every human has a desire for at least some order in the world and in their lives. Being addicted to tobacco means that your life is in partial chaos: you are not in control of your thoughts, as you are always thinking “Got to have another smoke”. Getting rid of the cigarettes will allow you to introduce more order into your mind.

Physical activity

You always feel better after getting some exercise, but it's hard to enjoy it when you're hacking your lungs out. If you stop smoking cigarettes you will be able to get more more pleasure out of sports, hiking and even just walking to the shops.

Power

The desire to be able to exert some influence on reality might be the most fundamental one of all. A tobacco addict has little power: not even power over their own mind. Every time you light up, tell yourself that you are a slave to people who do not care about you and the only way to get out of it is to throw the cigarettes away.

Romance

As far as fundamental desires go, the need for sex might be close second to the will to power. If you are a smoker, there is nothing you could do that will make you more attractive than to give up smoking: your breath will be nicer, your skin will look younger, and you'll be more happy and vibrant.

Saving

Humans are an animal for whatever the capacity for resource acquisition is valued highly. Everyone needs to feel like they're getting ahead financially, and having a cigarette addiction is a costly habit. Thinking about how much money you will save is a great reason to stop smoking cigarettes.

Social contact

This ties in with the need for approval; As a social animal, you will find it easier to make friends if you do not smoke. Although there is certain solidity amongst smokers – especially as anti-smoking legislation becomes more and more wicked – not smoking will make you more of a person who other people want to associate with.

Status

The perception of smokers is changing from strong-wil rebels to weak-filled junkies, and as it does the status of smokers will continue to decline. Giving up smoking will make you more of a person that others will respect and admire.

Tranquility

People like to feel safe, and part of that feeling coming from being safe from diseases. Every smoker knows that smoking is the worst thing that you can do for your health, so giving up will allow you to feel a sense of peacefulness that you would not otherwise get to feel.

Vengeance

It might be one of the darker sides of human nature, but it looks like most of us are programmed with a desire to strike back at our enemies. What better way to strike back at the evildoers who sell tobacco than by refusing to purchase their product?

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So You Want to Stop Smoking?

Many smokers say that they need to give up their habit and stop smoking. They often find that they can manage it for a week or two, but then find that their willpower disappears as they resort to smoking again. Smoking today is less tolerated by the public and is illegal in many places. The price of maintaining a smoking habit is continuously escalating and the dangers to health are readily available to be seen.

Many smokers feel confused. They know they should stop but can not seem to. Here are some thoughts for either cutting down or stopping completely.
Here are some thoughts to help you in your determination to become a non-smoker:

– Identify the times when you smoke and become aware of the triggers that prompt the desire for a cigarette. Is it when the phone rings, after a piece of work has been finished, after food? Recognize the triggers and recall how you handled those times when you were a non-smoker. Determine to find more constructive ways to deal with those occasions.

– As you reach for your pack ask yourself, 'do I really want this cigarette, do I really need this cigarette?' If the answer is 'no' congratulate yourself and put the packet away. This way you'll start to recognize and let go of the less important cigarettes smoked purely out of habit.

– Change your brand. If you typically smoke regular cigarettes change to a menthol or mild brand. Buy them in packs of ten and ration yourself to a specific number each day. Some people decide to stop completely but keep a packet for emergencies. They keep this emergency packet wrapped tightly in several yards of cling film, which serves as a deterrent from smoking them.

– If you were about to go outside for a cigarette just as a really important telephone call came through would you take the call or ignore it? You've probably forgotten about the cigarette. Finding ways to distract yourself, things that take your mind off smoking is a valuable way to break the habit pattern.

– Designate certain areas as no smoking zones. Perhaps turn the bedroom, kitchen, car into places where smoking is not allowed. Spring clean those areas and remove any smoking paraphernalia. Clean your clothes and enjoy how fresh they smell.

– Some people save the money they would have spent on cigarettes each day. They collect it in a big glass jar so that they can see it visibly accumulating. It's a good idea to spend the money on something special like a beautiful picture. That way there is evidence of something that would in the past have gone up in smoke.

Becoming a non-smoker can also be part of a commitment to overall better health. Exercise, drinking more water, taking vitamin C and hypnotherapy are all important ways to commit to stopping smoking. This decision focuses the mind on a healthy lifestyle and attaining a more positive approach to your future wellbeing.

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Quit Smoking – And Get On The Right Side Of The Road

One of the things I try to do as a teacher who works to help folks quit smoking is to try and get in the skull of a smoker. I mean, what is going on there? How does it feel to be a smoker in this day when all around you there's harping on you to stop smoking – or you will surely die? It's got to be an awful time for those who are smoking.

Well, I think I have made some headway in my attempt to get in the smoker's skull. And it has to do with one horrible experience of finding myself on the wrong side of the road. Ever been there? It's frightening! All you want to shout is: “Get me out of here, fast!” That must be how a smoker feels. He is scared to death on one hand, but not able to find the right exit wherein he could easily get himself out of danger. For the smoker: No quick way out … And all he sees are cars honking their horns as they pass him by– with grim drivers' hands – frantically trying to get him to get out of their speeding-close-to- him-cars. It's got to be frightening. And I sympathize much.

When I came to quitting smoking- some forty-eight years past – it was much easier. Cigarette firms had not yet come up with models to see how nicotine enters the brain and does all that good stuff. Cigarettes were not as addictive then as now. Now Addiction is a science – developed-demon-like – by cigarette-chemists. So it is much harder to quit.

… So if I were on the wrong side of the road now, here's what I would do if I could: I would pull my car as close to the shoulder of the road as I possibly could. I've shut the engine off-and I would call for help … whether to me or someone else. I would make that call now. “Tell me where to exit,” I would call out. “Here's where I am,” I would further explain. (“Tell me what I can do.”)

I would not try to drive farther-without someone getting to me or directing me to where the right exit is. Nor would I wait longer. Nightfall could be coming. And things really could get fatal.

I'm on the wrong side now, but there's no reason to think I have to spend my life there.

… And there is nothing like driving on the right side of the road-once you've quit smoking!

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Helping Your Teen Quit

According to the American Lung Association, approximately 6,000 kids start smoking every day and out of those 6,000, approximately 2,000 turn into regular smokers. Multiply this by 365 days per year and more than 700,000 kids turn into smokers annually. It is estimated that more than 4 million teens under the age of 18 are now regular smokers, who run the significant risk of developing lung, throat or mouth cancer.

I am writing this article to throw some tips out there to help you stop smoking. Cigarettes are expensive, and getting more expensive daily. Use the money to do something productive. They make you stink, whether you smell it or not, everyone else does. They make you cough and hack, which is unsuitable for you and everyone around you. They're addicting. If you're underage you can not buy them, and then you have to sneak around. You already know all this, I do not have to tell you, right?

But you can stop, it's going to be tough, but YOU CAN DO IT! Make up your mind to stop. Get support from your non-smoking friends, they can help you. Ask a friend who has stopped to support you, they know what you're going through. Let your family know, they will support you. If family members smoke, ask them to smoke away from you, and to not leave cigarettes around to try you. When cravings hit, call a non-smoking friend, take a walk, play a video game, whatever it takes to get the edge off, just get your mind off of it. The cravings will less over time. Instead of using food for a substitution, chew on sugarless gum or toothpicks. Get plenty of exercise. The main thing is, if you do fall off the wagon, pick yourself up and keep on trying. Do not let a setback or two discourage you. We all fall off the wagon at some time or another, no matter what we're trying to accomplish, whether dieting, trying to improve our mental health, or quitting smoking. Get up, pull yourself together, and keep on with the program. Do not beat yourself up because you had a relapse, praise yourself because you have come so far! YOU CAN DO IT, keep telling yourself that.

The health benefits will make you glad that you quit smoking. It's a NASTY, ADDICTIVE habit, so just quit, so that you can live to see those children and grandchildren grow up!

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Smoking and the Brain

While the lungs seem to be at the center of attention when it comes to the harm that smoking causes, do know that there are other organs that are also quite vulnerable to smoke infected damage. This includes your brain. Yes, various studies have shown that a smoking habit can harm the brain. This article focuses on the damage that the brain is intolerable to because of smoking.

Smoking can Reduce Cognitive Abilities and Memory:

The findings of a study carried out as a portion of a Scottish Mental Health Survey (published in the New Scientist magazine) showed that smoking could work in reducing a person's cognitive abilities and memory. This study involved over 450 subjects, and was spread over a period of more than fifty years.

The subjects, at the end of this period, were tested for various factors such as learning, memory, non-verbal reasoning, decision-making, etc. Existing smokers or people who had quit smoking were seen to be performing at lower levels even though aspects like occupation, education, childhood IQ, etc. were accounted for. Moreover, the detrimental effects were more pronounced in subjects who were existing smokers.

Smoking can Cause Neuroinflamation:

A study led by researchers from the Indian National Brain Research Center (published in the Journal of Neurochemistry) showed that smoking can lead to neuroinflamation, which can further lead to complications like multiple sclerosis. The basis of this finding revolves around the presence of a compound referred to as NNK which is commonly found in all tobacco products.

This compound is a pro-carcinogen, that is, it becomes carcinogenic after it goes through the body's metabolic processes. It actively works in provoking the WBCs to attack other healthy cells, and this can lead to significant neurological damage. Also, unlike drug or alcohol dependency, while NNK does not seem to have a direct effect on the brain cells, it can lead to neuroinflamation.

Other Effects:

Nicotine gets to the brain after about 10-15 seconds of the smoke being inhaled, and it at its active best for the next 20-30 minutes. Once it gets to the brain it works in changing and controlling the brain's receptor cells. This leads to the brain chemistry being affected, and this in turn, would have a direct impact on the smoker's mood. This is why specific signs such as anxiety, irritability, and mood swings can be noticed in the early days of quitting smoking.

Smoking is also known to block the carotid artery, which in turn results in the supply of blood to the brain cells being restricted. This condition, when it worsens, can lead to a stroke (cerebral thrombosis). Know that smokers are at an increased risk of suffering from a stroke when compared to non-smokers. Excessive smoking can lead to oxidative stress, and can also cause your blood to thicken and clot.

Remember, the benefits of quitting smoking are not just physical, but psychological as well. Beside, as opposed to having to depend on the tobacco stick to guide you through an assortment of circumstances, you'd consider much healthier options that did aid in your overall well-being.

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Smoking Bans in Prisons

Prisoners Like to Smoke

Most prisoners smoke. This is universally the case regardless of country of origin. A 2006 Polish survey indicated that 81% of men incarcerated in Polish prisons were smokers and a recent New Zealand survey showed a smoking incidence of 67% among prisoners who represented a three fold increase in smoking behavior compared to the fortunet free in New Zealand society. Prison is not a microcosm of society. The average prisoner is socially and economically disadvantaged and often poorly educated.

Smoking Bans

The banning of smoking in prisons is a relatively new phenomenon but is likely to increase in the coming years. An estimated 50% of American correctional institutions are smoke free and New Zealand has recently introduced a smoking ban in all of its prisons. Many reasons have been put forward by governments in support of prison smoking bans. The fear of lawsuits from prison staff and prisoners alike provide strong motivation. A ruling by the US Supreme Court decreed that exposing a prisoner to tobacco smoke representations “a cruel and unusual punishment”. There is no doubt that banning smoking is great news for the prisoner's long term health, as long as they remain locked up. Whether banned, or not, tobacco represents a very saleable commodity within the confines of prison walls and tobacco has traditionally been seen as prison currency; once banned it becomes contraband. The problem with contraband is that it brings violence and intimidation in its wake. Also prison guards may become tempted to fuel the supply of tobacco; the financial rewards may prove overwhelming. It is fair to say that the vast majority of guards are honest individuals though the corrupt few are ideally placed to exploit the system. After all, they are the system. Prison visitors can also be a source of smuggled tobacco. Although visitors are constantly monitored through their stay on prison property they can be remarkably inventive and resourceful and it is unrealistic to expect that this route of tobacco smuggling can be absolutely stemmed. It seems that other contraband items such as drugs are reliably easy to obtain and it is naive to think that tobacco could be an exception.

Smoking Relieves Tension

There were great fears from prison guards, prisoners and politicians, prior to the New Zealand smoking ban, that the introduction of the ban would cause tension, violence and even shooting. The prison situation is an abnormal environment and prisoners are not renamed as model citizens. It is unlawful that prison inmates are going to be totally happy about losing their access to tobacco. Tobacco is addictive and smokers are drug addicts. The imposition of a tobacco ban places additional strains in an already volatile environment. There is always a chance that prisoners may vent their anger, pent up frustration, and drug withdrawal on fellow inmates and prison staff. A prison riot in an Australian prison in 1997 was partly attributed to a smoking ban.

Healthy Prisoners?

Although smoking bans are implemented to promote prisoner health, the long term health consequences are sadly limited. Less than 10% of prisoners remain smoke free once released into society. There seems no basis to the argument that smoking bans improve the long term health of prisoners, except of course they are incarcerated for life. It could be argued, by those of a cynical turn of mind, that banning smoking is just another way of punishing prisoners. Governments and prison authorities would deny this. The law abiding general public are usually not very sympathetic to the prisoner's match and are more than happy for prisoners to lose their smoking privileges. Understandably prisoners see the situation in a different light and view the ban as a reduction in their already limited rights. Perhaps, in an unintended way, prison smoking bans may act as a very real deterrent for smoking criminals to commit crimes.

In the current social and political climate it is illegally that there will be a reverse in prison legislation as regards to smoking bans. In fact it likely that smoking bans in prisons will spread and become common place, at least in the developed countries.

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Smoking Use and Abuse

Smoking Kills

The consumption of tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the developed world. It has been estimated that 12 million deaths have been caused by smoking over the past 40 years in the US alone. Tobacco use not only rivers the smoker. It has been recognized for a number of years that second hand smoke also constitutes a health hazard. Over 126 million Americans, many of them children, are subject to second hand smoke and almost 50 thousand die each year as a consequence.

Smoking and Disease

About 9 out of 10 lung cancer cases are caused by cigarette smoking. Overall, 1 in 3 cancers can be directly attributed to smoking. Smoking not only induces cancer. Smoking is a leading cause of lung diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis. Tobacco use raises the risk of heart disease and stroke. Smokers are estimated to die on average 14 years earlier than non-smokers. Although nicotine is the main addictive agent in tobacco, and a highly potent toxin in its own right, it is not liable for the cancer causing properties of smoking. Of the 4000 chemicals identified in tobacco smoke about 40 are classified as carcinogenic, or cancer causing. Carbon monoxide present in tobacco smoke has been shown to be responsible for a range of vascular and cardiac diseases. Tar is a major component of tobacco smoke and results in lung damage which can lead to emphysema and lung cancer.

Second Hand Smoke

Most of the adverse health consequences of tobacco smoke are caused by direct tobacco use however, second hand smoke is also associated with harmful effects. Second hand smoke refers to the smoke produced by the burning cigarette end and the smoke exhaled by the smoker. Exposure to second hand smoke increases the risk of a non-smoker developing heart disease by 25%; lung cancer risk increases by 30%. Developing children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke. Second hand smoke has been conclusively shown to be a risk factor in sudden infant death syndrome. Research also indicates that the children of smokers are more likely to take up the habit in later life.

Quitting is not Easy

Quitting smoking is never going to be easy but the health benefits of stopping are almost immediate. Within days the risk of stroke and heart attack are significantly reduced. In common with most drug addictions multiple attempts are often required before the smoker finally quits. Some smokers are able to stop without aids or help although many require some form of assistance and there are a variety of aids and programs available to help the smoker quit. Statistics show that those smokers receiving some form of behavioral help or medication have higher overall quit rates than those stoic souls going it alone.

World Wide Epidemic

Smoking rates in the US have dropped markedly over the past 40 years, although there is still room for improvement as currently approximately 60 million Americans remain regular smokers. This trend has been mirrored in other developed nations. Unfortunately, in many developing countries, smoking incidences remain high. The challenge and goal for the 21st century, through education and legislation, is to further reduce smoking rates world wide. In particular, young people need to be made aware of the devastating consequences of taking up the smoking habit.

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Can Smoking Make You Stupid? The Relationship Between Smoking and Intelligence

The effects of smoking on a person's physical health is well known, but if you need more reason to stop smoking cigarettes, new research affords insight into the effect of nicotine addiction on people's mental health, in particular the relationship between smoking and intelligence. This article examines the effect of smoking, especially long-term smoking, on a person's brainpower.

But I thought smoking made me sharper?

A person who starts smoking cigarettes often finds that the nicotine does indeed make them sharper. Tests such as the Stroop test, in which a participant must identify the color of a word when the word itself describes a different color (or vice-versa), have shown that nicotine administration decrees the amount of time needed to perform a correct identification. Short-term verbal recall and the ability to process large amounts of information quickly are also improved.

However, the longer a person has smoked cigarettes, the more their level of performance on such tests decrease. The problem lies with the fact that if they do smoke before such a test, their performance goes up to the baseline level, which only shows to support the notification that cigarettes improve intelligence. This is a classic example of how addiction works: a person can only function normally when they have ingested the substance that they added to, a phenomenon that also will be familiar to people dependent on alcohol and cannabis.

The relationship between smoking and intelligence

Studies have shown that frequency of smoking is inversely correlated with academic performance, with nonsmokers outperforming smokers and light smokers outperforming heavy smokers. This by itself is not enough to suggest that smoking makes you less intelligent, as less intelligent people might be more likely to smoke to begin with, or there might be other factors, such as a disturbed home life, that cause both smoking and declined academic achievement.

Other research suggests that long-term smoking does not have a negative effect on intelligence in older adults. In a battery of psychological tests that measured, among other things, psychomotor speed, it was shown that being a smoker slowed down the reactions of the brain. Interestingly, the study showed that there was no difference in psychomotor speed between ex-smokers and nonsmokers, suggesting that mental performance, at least in older adults, can be improved by quitting smoking.

One reason for this might be because smoking contributions to a number of physical conditions that have the effect of reducing blood flow to the brain. Another reason might be that smoking puts the brain under “oxidative stress”, which can cause cell death. There is no reason to assume that this process is limited to older people only; it may well berely have a less significant effect on younger people.

What this suggests about how to stop smoking cigarettes

A person in a state of tobacco addiction will find that, if their cognitive abilities are to be tested, that giving up smoking will, at least temporarily, make them incapable of performing tasks at the required level. This is unfortunate because it means that under times of mental stress (and who is not under a state of mental stress nowdays?), Trying to stop smoking cigarettes will only add extra stress when a person might already be at their limit. Intelligence is always at a premium, and the deleterious cognitive effects of nicotine withdrawal might just be too much to take on.

Luckily, examining the relationship between intelligence, stress and smoking offers some useful information. The answer is to time your attempt to kick the habit with a period of lighter cognitive demand. If you have a holiday coming up, decide that you will not attempt any project that requires full brainpower until you are tobacco free. Make sure you do not let yourself get bored – use your time to carry out activities which are less mentally demanding, such as reading a book on the beach or going hiking. The mental energy that is freed up by not working can be put to understanding something like the token economy method instead.

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Quitting Smoking – Why That’s Hard With Seven Forces

Imagine you have a family with seven kids-and each one has his own mind … And you decide that you want them to do something. What is the chance you will succeed in getting them to go along with your wishes?

That is just what a smoker goes through when something in him decides it wants to stop.

Let us say his Instinctive Force (where the addiction is) gets told by his doctor that without he quits his smoking he is going to get some terrible disease. So fear grips him, and he says, “Yes, I will quit New Years Day!”

New Years Day arrives, and he begins to stop his smoking.

But his Feeling Force cries out, “What is going on? You know I can not live without smokers!”

Or his Moving Force grabs for a cigarette and – when he tries to stop this fetching, somehow he can not. That Force simply overwhelms him.

And even if some he gets those two Forces to try “today” to stop smoking, along comes the Thinking Force and demands that the party tonight requires that he indulge in smoking – to be sociable and a great conversationalist.

Another Force that no one talks about that gets hooked on smoking's the Sexual Force; and that one can be brutal! That may be the largest cause of keeping people smoking-compared to the others.

“Why that one?” you ask in total bewilderment. Here's why I sense this is the one. Most people are young when they take up the habit. They are lacking for something that helps them deal with their newfound sexuality. Smoking seems to fit in nicely with making young women feel sophisticated and young men feel cool and macho. Remember, they're all young; and all that energy needs some outlet, and smoking has a way of using up some of that energy.

There are two more (Higher) Forces, which have little to say about someone's smoking, except to mourn the great loss of one's spiritual being when smoking's taking place.

… So this is the problem that most smokers do not realize they're even up against. And how can they solve the problem when they do not even know what the problem involves? Their chances of quitting are slim.

So what can these smokers do? Well … the first thing would be to begin seeing how the Seven Forces might have influence over them and then devise a strategy that gets all the Forces to go along with their decision to give up smoking.

Right now, only seven percent of the smokers who want to stop manage to stop. The other ninety-three percent are not able to. Maybe this new awareness helps.

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