Aug 22, 2013

There IS a Cure for That

There IS a Cure for Smoking. It's Called Vaping.

I absolutely loathe the song “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse.

The fact is that if the fabulously talented singer had actually gone to rehab, she might still be alive.

Instead, Amy died at age 27 of alcohol poisoning with a blood alcohol level of .416 – five times the legal driving limit.

It's too late for Amy. It's so sad, because
there IS a cure for her disease.
The song remains a tragic reminder that the singer should have done exactly what she refused to do: “They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said 'No, no, no.'”

There was a cure for her tragic and premature death. It was called rehab.

There are lots of scary diseases out there that can take us well before our time, and even in our prime.

But unlike some forms of cancer and horrendous diseases like leukemia where the diagnosis is an early death sentence, there IS a cure for diseases like alcoholism.

It requires the alcoholic to acknowledge that she is powerless over alcohol, change her thinking and her habits and stop drinking. Completely.

The Cure for Smoking’s Ills 

Everyone knows that smoking cigarettes causes early death from lung and oral cancers, heart diseases, strokes, and a host of other issues. Women who smoke during or after pregnancy also put their fetus and infant at risk of premature birth and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Smoking during pregnancy can have disastrous consequences,
including still birth, miscarriage, and premature birth.
All told, cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke cause more than 440,000 deaths each year in the U.S., making it the leading cause of premature, preventable death in this country.

There IS a cure for this as well, and it’s called quitting. But a recent Gallup poll has found that the vast majority (85 percent) of smokers have tried to quit at least once, and many of them (45 percent) have tried to quit at least three times.

Most Americans who successfully quit smoking quit "cold turkey." To a much lesser degree, they named willpower, support from family and friends, the nicotine patch, not being around people who smoke, and chewing gum or eating candy.

In this latest poll, the use of an electronic cigarette also made the list.
What strategies or methods of quitting were the most effective for you?
Source: Gallup Poll 
Reformed smokers cited their health, including pregnancy, bronchitis and cancer, as the leading reason for quitting. Fewer former smokers say they quit because of the expense, but they the fact is that smoking has become a lot more expensive with recent increases in cigarette taxes.

Are You Really “Addicted?”

One interesting finding in the survey is the fact that the number of smokers who think they are really “addicted” to cigarettes has gone up in the last 22 years – from 61 percent to 72 percent. Yet studies have found that the earlier figure is more accurate: only about 60 percent of smokers are truly addicted to nicotine, according to the National Survey on Drug Use.

That’s good news for women who are simply social smokers – who like to smoke when drinking, or who smoke occasionally as a guilty pleasure or for nicotine’s feel-good effects. It means you may not be addicted to nicotine, but simply to the habit of smoking.

Regardless of how much you smoke – one cigarette a day or one pack a day on average – or if you’re actually addicted to nicotine, smoking puts you at risk of horrible but avoidable diseases and premature death.

Most women who are social smokers are NOT physically addicted to nicotine.
They're addicted to the habit and nicotine's feel-good effects.
So instead of digging in your heels like Amy and saying, “I don’t want to go to rehab,” or “I don’t want to give up cigarettes,” get into a whole new mindset.

Tell yourself that you can quit. And if you don’t want to quit cold turkey, try switching to an e-cigarette with no nicotine, or one with a low level of nicotine if you think you may need the nicotine.

Pretty soon, you’ll be singing a wholly different tune.

Aug 16, 2013

Socializing WITHOUT Smoking

How to Drink and Be Social Without Smoking. . . Switch to Vaping

Women are social critters.

I know I am. I absolutely love getting together with my friends – the more, the merrier.

When we get together, we’d often have a couple more drinks than usual. Some friends would want to have a smoky treat. We’d laugh louder. The more we drank and smoked, the more fun we had – or so we thought.

The problem is that excessive drinking – and any amount of smoking – isn’t good for us. It is NOT a recipe for having fun, and it can even be a prescription for disaster – we all know the risks of driving after too many drinks.

The problem with “social smoking” is that it’s still smoking. Your mind may be telling you that you’re not really a smoker, but your body is definitely feeling the effects. Just one cigarette increases the stiffness in the arteries.

Social smoking is still smoking
If you’re on birth control pills and smoke, you increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and peripheral vascular disease by a LOT. And the effects are cumulative. The rate of damage will be slower if you rarely smoke, but it all adds up.

Overall, statistics show that even just occasional smokers – women who don't smoke daily or even weekly – live up to six years less on average than non-smokers.

Is smoking worth cutting your life short by six or more years? No way!!

What about Hookahs? 

Hookahs are another popular social activity; hookah bars are popping up all over. Statistics I read say about half of all college women had sucked on a hookah pipe by the end of their freshman year.

During a typical 45-minute hookah session, you're smoking the equivalent of 56 cigarettes and are taking in a higher concentration of tobacco's toxins. 
Problem is, hookahs aren’t any safer than smoking regular cigarettes – in fact, they may even pose more dangers, because you actually inhale more tobacco smoke than cigarette smokers do.

One 45-minute hookah session is about the same as smoking 56 cigarettes or almost three packs!* Hookah smokers run the exact same risks as those who smoke regular cigarettes, and we all know what those are: lung and oral cancers, heart disease, and other serious diseases.

Contrary to what you may think, the water doesn’t filter out the toxic ingredients in the tobacco smoke – in fact, hookah smokers may take in a higher concentration of the toxins due to the fact the they are puffing more often, inhaling deeper and puffing for longer.

And the more social we are, the worse it is for us to be hookah smoking. Because hookahs are a social activity, you add one more layer onto your risks. Hookah pipes may not always be cleaned properly, so there is also the risk of contracting an infectious disease such as herpes, hepatitis, and even tuberculosis.

Socializing without Smoking

The first step is to realize that you CAN have fun with your friends without having to smoke cigarettes or hookahs. I would guess than some of your friends have been trying to get you to quit smoking for a while.

If you know that some of your friends will want to get you to join them in social smoking, I'd advise telling them that you’re trying to break the habit. If they’re really your friend, they will support you, because they know you’re trying to take care of your health.

You might be surprised to learn that as a social smoker, you may not actually be hooked on nicotine. Of the 40 million adults who smoke, only about 60 percent are actually addicted to nicotine, according to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use.

You can have good, clean fun with your friends vaping an e-cigarette with no nicotine!
All other smokers are smoking just for nicotine’s feel-good effects, not to stave off withdrawal. That’s why the e-cigarette with no nicotine or with low nicotine may be a great alternative for you – you get to have a guilt-free smoky treat while being social with your friends.

And your non-smoking friends will thank you for not exposing them to deadly secondhand smoke!

*According to a study in the Journal of Nicotine and Tobacco Research.