Rewards You’ll Get When You Stop Smoking

Mother smoking

Be a good role model for your child

Have you thought of the rewards you will get when you stop smoking? Let me share it to you. When you stop smoking, your breath will smells better, your stained teeth will get whiter, bad smell in your clothes and hair will go away, yellow fingers and fingernails will disappear, food will taste better, your sense of smell will return to normal, and everyday activities will no longer leave you out of breath. These are just some rewards that you can get immediately when you quit smoking. A lot of smokers’ reason to stop is to have a better health, aside from that, the money that they will save when they quit. Smoking is expensive, imagine how much you pay for packs of cigarettes in a year and how much you will pay when you get disease from it. Today, almost all workplaces have some type of smoking rules, some employers even prefer to hire non-smokers because of studies that show smoking employees cost businesses more. If you are smoking, the higher possibility you get sick. Smoking is banned in most public buildings in many states. In general, smoking is less socially acceptable now than ever. Even some of your friends will not allow you to smoke inside their house or car. Always remember that smoking is not only harming your health, it also hurts the health of those around you. Studies have shown that secondhand smoke causes thousands of deaths each year from lung cancer in healthy non-smokers. Babies and children raised in a household where there is smoking have more ear infections, colds, bronchitis, and problems with breathing than children in non-smoking families. If you are a mother, you probably want to set a good example for your children.


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Alternative Therapies

Spit Tobacco

Many smokers who want to stop use nicotine replacement therapy, but there are several things that you can do to stop smoking that don’t involve that therapy. One is hypnosis. It is a popular option that has produced good results. It works by getting you into a deeply relaxed state where you are open to suggestions that strengthen your resolution to quit smoking and it will increase your negative feelings toward cigarettes. Another therapy is acupuncture.  This is one of the oldest known medical techniques. It is believed to work by triggering the release of endorphins, which are natural pain relievers, that allow the body to relax. Acupuncture can be helpful  in managing smoking withdrawal symptoms as a smoking cessation aid. Another alternative therapy is the behavioral therapy as many believed that nicotine addiction is related to the habitual behaviors involved in smoking. It focus on learning new coping skills and breaking those habits. Another therapy that a smoker can do is a motivational therapies where a smoker will read self-help books and websites which will provide a number of ways to motivate the smoker to quit smoking. Calculating the monetary savings is one well known example. There are lot of smokers able to find motivation to quit by calculating how much they are spending and how much they will save. There are people who use smokeless or spit tobacco as they believe that it is healthier, but studies show that smokeless tobacco or spit tobacco is not really a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes because it contains same addictive chemical, nicotine, contained in smoking cigarettes.

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Weighing Gain After Quitting Smoking

You may weight gain after quitting smoking

When quitting smoking, weight gain is one of the common concerns. People even use it as a reason why they don’t want to stop smoking. Yes it is true that smokers may gain weight after they stop, but the gain is usually small. It is better to think that gaining few pounds won’t hurt your heart as much as smoking will. There are lot of people use smoking as an appetite suppressant. After you quit, your appetite will increase and food will seem more appealing because when you are smoking, your sense of smell and taste are being dampened. Some turn the oral gratification of smoking with eating, if you that you will really gain weight especially if you turn to unhealthy comfort foods. There are healthy ways to deal with stress and other unpleasant feelings rather than mindless and emotional eating. One way is to nurture yourself by learning new ways to soothe yourself instead of turning to cigarettes or food when you feel stressed, anxious, or depressed. Another way is by eating healthy and varied meals. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and limit your fat intake. Try hard to seek out low fat options that look appetizing to you and avoid alcohol, sugary sodas and other high calorie drinks. At least six to eight 8 oz glasses of water will help you feel full and keep you from eating when you are not hungry. It will also help in flushing toxins from your body. Another way is by talking a walk and eating low-calorie or calorie-free foods.

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Symptoms And Relief When You Stop Smoking

Expect the withdrawal symptoms

You will experience a number of physical symptoms as your body withdraws from nicotine once you stop smoking. It can last for a few days to several weeks and differ from person to person. The common nicotine withdrawal symptoms are cigarette cravings, irritability, frustration, or anger, anxiety or nervousness, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, increased appetite, headaches, insomnia, tremors, increased coughing, fatigue, constipation or upset stomach, depression and decreased heart rate. Do not worry too much because these withdrawal symptoms are just temporary and I will give some advices on how to cope with some of it. If you are experiencing craving for cigarette symptom, which is most intense during first week but can linger for months, distract yourself and better if you will take a brisk walk. If you are experiencing irritability or impatience, I suggest you take hot baths, exercise, use relaxation techniques and avoid caffeine. If you are experiencing insomnia, which duration is from two to four weeks, avoid caffeine after 6 p.m., use relaxation techniques and exercise. If you are experiencing fatigue, which usually has two to four weeks duration, do not push yourself and take naps. If you are lacking of concentration, reduce workload and avoid stress. If you are experiencing hunger, drink water or low-calorie drinks and eat low-calorie snacks. Drink plenty of fluids and cough drops when you are experiencing coughing, dry throat and nasal drip. Another symptom is the constipation, if you are experiencing this, drink plenty of fluids, make sure to add fiber to diet and do not forget to exercise.

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Use START To Stop Smoking

Start your stop smoking plan with START

Most smokers do better with a plan to keep themselves on track than to do the cold turkey method. Short-term challenge of quitting smoking and the long-term challenge of preventing relapse are both addresses by a good plan.  First thing to do before doing a plan is to think what kind of smoker you are. Ask yourself which moments of your life call for a cigarette and why. By asking yourself, you will get help in identifying which tips, techniques or therapies are best for you. After that you may now start you smoking plan with START. S is for setting a quit date. For you to have enough time to prepare without losing your motivation to quit, choose a date within the next 2 weeks. T is for telling your family, friends, and co-workers that  you plan to quit. In this way, you will get support and encouragement from them to stop. A is for anticipating and planning for the challenges that you will face while quitting.Most people undergoing plan like this begin to smoke again within first three months so better prepare ahead for common challenges such as cigarette cravings. R is for removing cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car and work. Smokers are easily tempted to smoke every time they see cigarettes, so better throw away all of your cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays, and matches. T for talking to your doctor about getting help to quit. Doctors are the most knowledgeable person about giving advices about this matter. They can prescribe you medication to help with withdrawal and suggest other alternatives.

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Do’s and Don’ts When Helping A Smoker Quitter


Give a hand for quitters

Let me share to you the do’s and don’ts  when helping your friend or family to stop smoking. Do ask the person on how they’re feeling and not just whether they’ve stayed quit. Do let the person know that it is okay to approach and talk to you whenever they need to hear encouraging words. Do help the quitter get what they need such as candy, straws to chew on and fresh veggies. Do give and spend time doing hings with the quitter to keep their mind off smoking. Do make your home smoke free and remove all lighters and ash trays from your home for the quitter to avoid remembering smoking. Do wash clothes that smell like smoke. Do celebrate along the way because quitting smoking for smokers is really a big deal. Don’t doubt the ability of the smoker to quit as this may make the smoker feel worse. Don’t take the quitters grumpiness personally and tell them that you understand the symptoms are real and do remind them that it is just temporary. If you are a smoker, do smoke outside and always away from the quitter. Do keep your cigarettes, lighters, and matches out of sight as they might trigger the quitter to smoke. Don’t ever offer the quitter a smoke or any form of tobacco even as joke and do join your loved one in their effort to quit. It’s better for your health and might be easier to do with someone else who is trying to quit, too.

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The Cold Turkey Approach

20 down to 0 cigarettes per day

When you are going to use the cold turkey approach to quit smoking, you are going to smoke 20 to 0 cigarettes per day if you are smoking a pack per day. This is one of the most popular way of quitting smoking but this is also the most uncomfortable tobacco reduction strategy. This approach is know to cause mild to sever nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, fatigue, headache, insomnia, constipation, swearing, coughing, poor concentration, depression, increased appetite, and cravings for tobacco. Most of us have lives that require us to function as somewhat normal human beings for most of the day is the main reason why using cold turkey approach is extremely difficult.  This kind of plan may include setting a date to quit, avoiding situations where you used to smoke, beginning new activities to replace smoking, changing routines associated with smoking, having a friend to support you in your quit attempt, and setting goals for using money you save from not smoking. Remember that the very important factor of making the initial decision to quit smoking is willpower. Small acts of self control can help strengthen your willpower. In that way, by the time of temptation when you do stop smoking, you are well prepared. There are lot smokers who feel that their willpower is fading by the time they start to the cold turkey. Every time you feel that, just remind yourself of the reasons why you want to become a non-smoker and think how far you’ve come already.

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Lear More About Stopping Tobacco Smoking

Common adverse effects of tobacco smoking

More than 7,000 chemicals, hundreds are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer, contained by tobacco smoke. Smoking tobacco can increase the risk for serious health problems, numerous disease and death. A lot of people who stop smoking greatly reduce their risk for disease and premature death. Stopping smoking can lower the risk for lung cancer and many other types of cancer. It can also reduce the risk for coronary heart disease,stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath will also be reduced. 68.8 percent among the current U.S. adult cigarette smokers reported that they want to quit completely. The number of former smokers has exceeded the number of current smokers starting in 2002. 42.7 percent of all adult smokers, 48.5 percent of smokers aged 18 to 24 years, 26.8 percent of smokers aged 25 to 44 years, 38.8 percent of smokers aged 45 to 64 years and 34.6 percent of smokers aged 65 years or older stopped smoking for more than a day in 2010 because they were trying to quit. 48 percent of all high school students who smoke tried to stop smoking in the past 12 months. There are treatments that are proven to be effective for smokers who want help to quit and these are brief clinical interventions, individual, group, or telephone counseling, behavioral therapies, treatments with more person-to-person contact and intensity and programs to deliver treatments using mobile phones. Medications for quitting that have been found to be effective include nicotine replacement products such as nicotine patch, gum, lozenge, inhaler and nasal spray. Both counseling and medication are effective for treating tobacco dependence and using them together is more effective than using either one alone.

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The Long-Term Effects of War: Napalm and Agent Orange

The Vietnam War, which lasted from 1955 to the Fall of Saigon in 1975, was notorious for many things: a long, weary war against Communism that many Americans didn’t support, launching a widespread anti-Vietnam War movement in the United States.

But there were other, more long-lasting effects: atrocities committed against Vietnamese civilians who were killed, abused, or made to serve against their will as Korean comfort women, and- perhaps most horrifying- the use of chemical weapons that are still affecting people to this very day.

US riverboat using napalm in Vietnam.jpg
US riverboat using napalm in Vietnam“. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Napalm, a jelly-like mixture of gasoline, polystyrene, and hydrocarbon benzene, is a powerful firestarter that U.S. troops used to fight guerrilla fighters by burning down forests and bushes. One Vietnamese survivor of a Napalm attack describes the experience, describing it as,

“… the most terrible pain you can ever imagine. Water boils at 212°F. Napalm generates temperatures 1,500°F to 2,200°F.” (Kim Phuc, survivor and burn victim of Napalm)

Because it is impossible to remove Napalm from human skin, its victims usually were severely burned, or died from asphyxiation. It is estimated that about 388,000 tons of Napalm bombs were dropped in Vietnam during the war.

US-Huey-helicopter-spraying-Agent-Orange-in-Vietnam” by Originally from U.S. Army Operations in Vietnam R.W. Trewyn, Ph.D. , (11) Huey Defoliation National Archives: 111-CC-59948, originally found in Box 1 Folder 9 of Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. Collection: Agent Orange Subject Files. – Item Number: VA042084. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

But perhaps even worse was Agent Orange, a herbicide initially developed to destroy crops and deprive Vietnamese guerrilla fighters and farmers of food and water. The intensity of the herbicide was unexpected, however- of the 4.8 million Vietnamese exposed to Agent Orange, about 400,000 were maimed or killed, and over 500,000 children were born with birth defects. Another direct result of the herbicide? Skin disease, cancer, digestive problems, and respiratory disorders- among both the Vietnamese it was initially targeted at, and the U.S. soldiers who were exposed to the chemical.

It’s estimated that the United States sprayed 20 million gallons of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, using helicopters or low-flying aircraft. Today, many veterans’ diseases are associated with Agent Orange.

Gentle Surgery for Lung Cancer Patients

medium_6869336880For Lung Cancer patients, going through surgery is no joke. The norm of the procedure used to be a lot my dangerous, complex, and difficult. Surgeons had to slice a considerably large cut into the skin, rib bones had to be spread out, and this meant the patient would be ultimately far too weak to go into chemotherapy and other treatments right away. This would take the patient a few more weeks to heal, and precious time was slipping by.

Thanks to the advancement of technology, surgeons now have a new, efficient method of surgery. Thoracoscopic surgery only needs three tiny incisions made where a miniscule camera is inserted to guide other tools to do their work. After the surgery, the patient now does not need to rest as much as with the previous method of surgery, and can benefit much more from the treatments to follow. This type of surgery might even be beneficial to elderly patients.

photo credit: Alex E. Proimos via photopin cc