Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Great American Smokeout Is Here. Quit Smoking!

I was surfing the internet this morning and came across a great article promoting the benefits of not smoking and kicking the smoking habits. I used to went on for a couple of years until I got fed up with it. I got tired of the smell, the cough, the complaining from my husband, son, and mother to quit, and the constant thoughts of the consequences of smoking cigarettes. So, I decided in May of 2007 to quit smoking. It's been 1 1/2 years and I feel great!!! I welcome all to read the article below:

By Anna Boyd
14:38, November 20th 2008

For many people trying to kick the noxious habit of smoking, the Great American Smokeout is a great chance to do it. Every year, the American Cancer Society dedicates the third Thursday of November to those ready to give up cigarettes for just a day in their lives in the hope that this might help them stop permanently. The organization wants smokers to ask themselves what it would take them to quit, and to try it out for a day to see how kicking the habit feels like.

Medically, there are great benefits a smoker would have even from the very first day of quitting. More exactly, doctors believe that a smoker’s blood pressure and pulse rate drop to normal within 20 minutes of his last cigarette. Breathing becomes easier within 3 days. Circulation improves, walking becomes easier, and lung function increases up to 30 percent within 2-3 months. Also, risk of coronary disease will be cut in half within a year.

Ninety percent of all cases of lung cancer in the United States are caused by smoking, according to the National Cancer Institute. Lung cancer killed about 160,000 people last year, an average of 439 people a day. It is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, killing more people annually than breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney and melanoma cancers combined.

Apart from lung cancer, smokers are also susceptible of developing cancers of the stomach, mouth and pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, bladder and kidney and also early cardiovascular disease. About half of all long-term smokers, particularly those who began smoking as teens, die prematurely, many in middle age. According to the latest statistics of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 to 90 percent of tobacco users started using tobacco products before the age of 18. The CDC’s Youth and Tobacco Use estimates that each day about 1,140 people younger than 18 years of age become regular smokers and approximately 4,000 young people between the ages of 12 and 17 initiate cigarette smoking.

Another of the Great American Smokeout’s goals is to protect smokers’ loved ones from second hand smoke exposure by not allowing smoking in the home. Among the 438,000 people tobacco kills a year, 38,000 are non-smokers who just inhale tobacco smoke from the others. If the governments fail to adopt more aggressive measures to combat the smoking addiction, in the next century tobacco will kill one billion people worldwide.

The figures are worrisome and should encourage many smokers to quit and many friends of smokers to be there and help them quit the habit for good. Besides facing serious health problems, a smoker spends $1,500 a year on cigarettes.

Given the serious consequences of smoking, I guess each smoker has thought at least once in his life to quit. But quitting is not an easy thing and the risk of relapse is even higher. You need good reasons for quitting and you need to think about all of the benefits to your health, finances and family. These reasons should be a start in your battle with cigarettes.

Then, here are some tips that can help you win this battle. Ride out the desire to smoke, as there is no such thing as just one cigarettes or even one puff. Then you should avoid alcohol as the two often go hand and hand and drinking increases your odds of smoking again. Stay away from smokers and places where smoking is allowed, at least just for a while. Keep you hands busy. It is said that a smoker has this urge to play with his cigarette while smoking. If you keep your hands busy, it will be easy for you to forget about the habit. Also if you feel you are about to light up, then tell yourself to wait at least 10 minutes. Often the wait will soften the urge to smoke.

Of course, this effort should be correlated with joining a stop-smoking program and anti-smoking drugs, which can significantly reduce the urge for smoking. Finally yet importantly, you should reward yourself. Put the money you would spend on cigarettes in a jar and buy yourself a weekly treat or save up for a major purchase.

Now I guess you have all the reasons in the world to quit smoking. The Great American Smokeout is your chance to start living a healthy life. Try it! You have nothing to lose. With a little faith and will you can put an end to smoking. It is not easy, but life saving!

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