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A LONG, long time ago, two Martians were sent to planet Earth on a mission. When they returned home, they submitted this report to the committee: “The Earth people have an odd practice. They light a fire at the end of a poisonous substance and then suck the smoke into their body. This results in much sickness and even death. The habit is also very expensive. Strange, those Earth people!” Strange, indeed. Listen to the words of Graham Lee Hemminger: “Tobacco is a dirty weed, but I like it. It satisfies no normal need, still I like it. It makes you thin, it makes you lean. It takes the hair right off your bean. It’s the worst darn stuff I’ve ever seen. I like it

 
Here’s another one from Russell Hoban. “What a weird thing smoking is and I can’t stop it,” he wrote. “I feel cozy, have a sense of well-being when I’m smoking, poisoning myself, killing myself slowly. Not so slowly maybe. I have all kinds of pains I don’t want to know about and I know that’s what they’re from. But when I don’t smoke I scarcely feel as if I’m living. I don’t feel as if I’m living unless I’m killing myself.”The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) reports that smoking related-diseases kill one in 10 adults globally, or cause four million deaths. “Every eight seconds, someone dies from tobacco use,” it points out. By 2030, if current trends continue, smoking will kill one in six people

Every year, there are about 20,000 smoking-related deaths in the Philippines, where about 60 percent of men smoke. Studies have shown that tobacco use will drain nearly 20 percent of the household income of smokers’ families.

In a country where laws abound, there are no national laws prohibiting minors from buying cigarettes. In fact, many vendors of cigarettes are children. Small wonder, as many as 40 percent of adolescents boys smoke. Most of them started smoking in their early teens. The majority of these young smokers said peer pressure was one reason why they took up smoking. Most now wish they did not smoke.

Now, here’s something that may have been taken from a movie script: A teenager was sitting beside an old woman in a non-airconditioned bus. Thirty minutes after the bus left the terminal, the young man took a stick of cigarette from his pocket and asked the old woman, “Would you mind if I smoke?”

Hearing those words, the old woman stopped praying her rosary and looked at the young man squarely. “Yes, I mind,” she said. “I don’t want to have cancer.”

Physicians from all over the world agree: cigarette smoking is one of the top causes of cases. In the United States, smoking alone is directly responsible for approximately 30 percent of all cancer deaths annually.

According to the US National Cancer Institute (NCI), smoking also causes chronic lung disease (emphysema and chronic bronchitis), cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cataracts. Smoking during pregnancy can cause stillbirth, low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome, and other serious pregnancy complications. One British survey found that nearly 99 percent of women did not know of the link between smoking and cervical cancer.

The health risks caused by smoking are not limited to smokers. Exposure to secondhand smoke significantly increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease in nonsmokers, as well as several respiratory illnesses in young children. (Secondhand smoke is a combination of the smoke that is released from the end of a burning cigarette and the smoke exhaled from the lungs of smokers).

What makes cigarette smoking so deadly? Well, it contains about 4,000 chemical agents, including over 60 cancer-causing chemicals. In addition, many of these substances, such as carbon monoxide, tar, arsenic, and lead, are poisonous and toxic to the human body.

Nicotine is a drug that is naturally present in the tobacco plant and is primarily responsible for a person’s addiction to tobacco products, including cigarettes. During smoking, nicotine is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and travels to the brain in a matter of seconds. Nicotine causes addiction to cigarettes and other tobacco products that are similar to the addiction produced by using heroin and cocaine.

Ready to quit smoking? Here are the benefits, if you do, according to the NCI: “Quitting smoking decreases the risk of lung and other cancers, heart attack, stroke, and chronic lung disease. The earlier a person quits, the greater the health benefit.”

For example, research has shown that people who quit before age 50 reduce their risk of dying in the next 15 years by half compared with those who continue to smoke. Smoking low-yield cigarettes, as compared to cigarettes with higher tar and nicotine, provides no clear benefit to health

 

Listen, the fact of the matter is that you need to quit smoking. What more reenforcement do you need? The makers of Smoke Away want you to quit smoking any way possible. With that being said, whether you use Smoke Away or not, we strongly suggest that your goal over the next month is to quit smoking, if not for you, then for who?

 

I want to thank Henrylito D. Tacio

The makers of Smoke Away realize that the smoking cessation is very crowded. As well it should be, with an average of 400,000 people year dying from smokng related ilnesses and Big Tobacco continuing to manufacture cancer sticks, there is ample room for plenty of companies who want to help people quit smoking.

When Smoke Away was first created almost 10 years ago, it was with one thing in mind, and one thing only. That was, to help as many people as we could to quit smoking.  Over that period of time, we have learned a lot on what it takes to help keep people nicotine free. As much as Smoke Away helps, there is also a healthy dose of reality involved in helping you keep the quit. The reality being, if you don’t quit smoking now, today, this week, whatever, you will die eventually, that is the sad fact.

It has been written over and over and over. Smoking cigarettes will stunt your life. It will cause you to die sooner than if you did not smoke. Period. The sooner you get this thru to your thick skull, the sooner the makers of Smoke Away can help YOU quit smoking.

Sure you can try other smoking cessation methods and products. But chances are, the success that you have had is one of the reasons why your are reading this now. The reality? it didn’t work. That’s why you are here. You are looking for answers. Generally what we do is tell people who want to quit smoking, go visit Smoke Away Support and talk regular people just like you. It’s a forum with almost 3,000 people who have quit smoking, or are in the process of stopping smoking. Find out why Smoke Away worked for them, or maybe why it didn’t. The important thing is, start the dialogue now and find out why you need to ask yourself, Why not Smoke Away?

If not controlled, later in life it will become a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack. Among young men and women — who are otherwise at very low risk of developing coronary heart disease —cigarette smoking may cause as many as 75 percent of the cases of coronary heart disease. The longer a person smokes, the higher the risk of coronary heart disease. More than 80,000 people die each year from coronary heart diseases caused by smoking.

Most adult smokers started when they were preteens or teenagers; smoking habits in youth seem to determine lifetime cigarette consumption. There’s also evidence that those who begin smoking before they’re 20 have the highest incidence and earliest onset of coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. Autopsy studies of smokers have raised questions about the effects of smoking in childhood and adolescence on the development of fatty buildups in arteries in adulthood.

What about passive or secondhand smoking?About 59 percent of American children ages 4–11 are exposed to secondhand smoke at home. Studies have shown that children (especially infants) of parents who smoke have more lung illnesses, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and can develop asthma. And because smoking parents are more likely to cough and spread germs, their children are more likely to develop chest illnesses. Exposure to tobacco smoke also increases the risk of heart disease.

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With or without the help of Smoke Away, the makers of Smoke Away cannot emphasize enough the importance of education in children as it relates to smoking. Why not set a better example and try to quit smoking in 2008? If you need more help and guidance, why not log onto the Smoke Away Support Group page and talk to people who have been there and done that!

When your parents were young, people could buy cigarettes and smoke pretty much anywhere — even in hospitals! Ads for cigarettes were all over the place. Today we’re more aware about how bad smoking is for our health. Smoking is restricted or banned in almost all public places and cigarette companies are no longer allowed to advertise on TV, radio, and in many magazines.

Almost everyone knows that smoking causes cancer, emphysema, and heart disease; that it can shorten your life by 10 years or more; and that the habit can cost a smoker thousands of dollars a year. So how come people are still lighting up? The answer, in a word, is addiction.

Once You Start, It’s Hard to Stop

Smoking is a hard habit to break because tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. Like heroin or other addictive drugs, the body and mind quickly become so used to the nicotine in cigarettes that a person needs to have it just to feel normal.

People start smoking for a variety of different reasons. Some think it looks cool. Others start because their family members or friends smoke. Statistics show that about 9 out of 10 tobacco users start before they’re 18 years old. Most adults who started smoking in their teens never expected to become addicted. That’s why people say it’s just so much easier to not start smoking at all.

How Smoking Affects Your Health

There are no physical reasons to start smoking. The body doesn’t need tobacco the way it needs food, water, sleep, and exercise. In fact, many of the chemicals in cigarettes, like nicotine and cyanide, are actually poisons that can kill in high enough doses.

The body is smart. It goes on the defense when it’s being poisoned. For this reason, many people find it takes several tries to get started smoking: First-time smokers often feel pain or burning in the throat and lungs, and some people feel sick or even throw up the first few times they try tobacco.

The consequences of this poisoning happen gradually. Over the long term, smoking leads people to develop health problems like cancer, emphysema (breakdown of lung tissue), organ damage, and heart disease. These diseases limit a person’s ability to be normally active — and can be fatal. Each time a smoker lights up, that single cigarette takes about 5 to 20 minutes off the person’s life.

Smokers not only develop wrinkles and yellow teeth, they also lose bone density, which increases their risk of osteoporosis (pronounced: ahs-tee-o-puh-row-sus), a condition that causes older people to become bent over and their bones to break more easily. Smokers also tend to be less active than nonsmokers because smoking affects lung power.

Smoking can also cause fertility problems and can impact sexual health in both men and women. Girls who are on the pill or other hormone-based methods of birth control (like the patch or the ring) increase their risk of serious health problems, such as heart attacks, if they smoke.

The consequences of smoking may seem very far off, but long-term health problems aren’t the only hazard of smoking. Nicotine and the other toxins in cigarettes, cigars, and pipes can affect a person’s body quickly, which means that teen smokers experience many of these problems:

  • Bad skin. Because smoking restricts blood vessels, it can prevent oxygen and nutrients from getting to the skin — which is why smokers often appear pale and unhealthy. An Italian study also linked smoking to an increased risk of getting a type of skin rash called psoriasis.
  • Bad breath. Cigarettes leave smokers with a condition called halitosis, or persistent bad breath.
  • Bad-smelling clothes and hair. The smell of stale smoke tends to linger — not just on people’s clothing, but on their hair, furniture, and cars. And it’s often hard to get the smell of smoke out.
  • Reduced athletic performance. People who smoke usually can’t compete with nonsmoking peers because the physical effects of smoking (like rapid heartbeat, decreased circulation, and shortness of breath) impair sports performance.
  • Greater risk of injury and slower healing time. Smoking affects the body’s ability to produce collagen, so common sports injuries, such as damage to tendons and ligaments, will heal more slowly in smokers than nonsmokers.
  • Increased risk of illness. Studies show that smokers get more colds, flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia than nonsmokers. And people with certain health conditions, like asthma, become more sick if they smoke (and often if they’re just around people who smoke). Because teens who smoke as a way to manage weight often light up instead of eating, their bodies lack the nutrients they need to grow, develop, and fight off illness properly.

Kicking Butts and Staying Smoke Free

All forms of tobacco — cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco — are hazardous. It doesn’t help to substitute products that seem like they’re better for you than regular cigarettes, such as filtered or low-tar cigarettes.

The only thing that really helps a person avoid the problems associated with smoking is staying smoke free. This isn’t always easy, especially if everyone around you is smoking and offering you cigarettes. It may help to have your reasons for not smoking ready for times you may feel the pressure, such as “I just don’t like it” or “I want to stay in shape for soccer” (or football, basketball, or other sport).

The good news for people who don’t smoke or who want to quit is that studies show that the number of teens who smoke has dropped dramatically. Today, about 23% of high school students smoke.

If you do smoke and want to quit, you have lots of information and support available. Different approaches to quitting work for different people. For some, quitting cold turkey is best. Others find that a slower approach is the way to go. Some people find that it helps to go to a support group especially for teens. These are sometimes sponsored by local hospitals or organizations like the American Cancer Society. The Internet offers a number of good resources to help people quit smoking.

When quitting, it can be helpful to realize that the first few days are the hardest. So don’t give up. Some people find they have a few relapses before they manage to quit for good.

Staying smoke free will give you a whole lot more of everything — more energy, better performance, better looks, more money in your pocket, and, in the long run, more life to live!

Knowing that preventing smoking even at the youngest of ages is imperative to staying smoke free for life, Smoke Away is there for you as an adult so that you can have a resource for tips on how to quit smoking. For more information on how to quit, you also might want to check out Smoke Away Support, where current and past quitters go to talk about what it takes to quit smoking!

For all the intense efforts to reduce smoking in America over the past two decades, the progress has not been stellar. Today one in four men and one in five women still smoke.

For those who never smoked, this is a befuddling fact. Don’t smokers understand that cigarettes are the number one killer in America, that they dramatically increase risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, and almost every other health concern, small or large? How could any habit be worth this?Truth is, most smokers do understand. They also understand the huge financial toll of smoking, with a pack of 20 cigarettes costing $7 in some areas (imagine: $2,500 spent a year on cigarettes by pack-a-day smokers — often people of only modest resources).Then why do millions still smoke? In good part, because the nicotine in cigarettes is highly addictive. In good part, because smoking provides psychological comfort to some people. Perhaps most of all, because quitting is so hard.

Researchers and businesses have responded strongly to the last point. Never have there been so many tools, systems, and programs available for quitting smoking. And with every month that passes, there is more research showing the benefits of quitting, and the drawbacks of not quitting.

So if you smoke, consider again whether it is time, finally, to quit. If yes, you’ll need to think through the best approach, perhaps working with your doctor or an expert. But the following 25 tips will help you succeed.

1. Make an honest list of all the things you like about smoking. Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper and write them on one side; on the other side make a list of all the things you dislike, such as how it can interfere with your health, work, family, etc., suggests Daniel Z. Lieberman, M.D., director of the Clinical Psychiatric Research Center at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Think about the list over time, and make changes. If you are brave enough, get feedback from family and friends about things they don’t like about your use of cigarettes. When the negative side outweighs the positive side, you are ready to quit.

2. Then make another list of why quitting won’t be easy. Be thorough, even if the list gets long and discouraging. Here’s the important part: Next to each entry, list one or more options for overcoming that challenge. For instance, one item might be: “Nicotine is an addictive drug.” Your option might be: “Try a nicotine replacement alternative.” Another reason might be: “Smoking helps me deal with stress.” Your option might be: “Take five-minute walks instead.” The more you anticipate the challenges to quitting, and their solutions, the better your chance of success.

3. Set a quit date and write a “quit date contract” that includes your signature and that of a supportive witness.

4. Write all your reasons for quitting on an index card and keep it near you at all times. Here are some to get you started: “My daughter, my granddaughter, my husband, my wife…” You get the idea.

5. As you’re getting ready to quit, stop buying cartons of cigarettes. Instead, only buy a pack at a time, and only carry two or three with you at a time (try putting them in an Altoids tin). Eventually you’ll find that when you want a smoke, you won’t have any immediately available. That will slowly wean you down to fewer cigarettes.

6. Keep a list of when you smoke, what you’re doing at the time, and how bad the craving is for a week before quitting to see if specific times of the day or activities increase your cravings, suggests Gaylene Mooney, chair of the American Association for Respiratory Care’s Subcommittee on Smoking and Tobacco-Related Issues. Then arrange fun, unique things to do during those times, like some of the ones we recommend here.

7. Prepare a list of things to do when a craving hits. Suggestions include: take a walk, drink a glass of water, kiss your partner or child, throw the ball for the dog, wash the car, clean out a cupboard or closet, have sex, chew a piece of gum, wash your face, brush your teeth, take a nap, get a cup of coffee or tea, practice your deep breathing, light a candle. Make copies of the list and keep one with you at all times so when the craving hits, you can whip out the list and quickly do something from it.

Reduce and Replace

8. When your quit date arrives, throw out anything that reminds you of smoking. That includes all smoking paraphernalia — leftover cigarettes, matches, lighters, ashtrays, cigarette holders, even the lighter in your car.

9. Instead of a cigarette break at work, play a game of solitaire on your computer. It takes about the same time and is much more fun (although, like cigarettes, it can get addictive). If your company prohibits games like that, find another five-minute diversion: a phone call, a stroll, or eating a piece of fruit outdoors (but not where smokers congregate).

10. Switch to a cup of herbal tea whenever you usually have a cigarette. That might be at breakfast, midmorning, or after meals. The act of brewing the tea and slowly sipping it as it cools will provide the same stress relief as a hit of nicotine.

11. Switch your cigarette habit for a nut habit — four nuts in their shell for every cigarette you want to smoke. This way, you’re using your hands and your mouth, getting the same physical and oral sensations you get from smoking.

12. Carry some cinnamon-flavored toothpicks with you. Suck on one whenever a cig craving hits.

13. Make an appointment with an acupuncturist. There’s some evidence that auricular acupuncture (i.e., needles in the ears) curbs cigarette cravings quite successfully, says Ather Ali, N.D., a naturopathic physician completing a National Institutes of Health-sponsored postdoctoral research fellowship at the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Derby, Connecticut. You can even do it yourself by taping “seeds” (small beads) onto the acupuncture points and squeezing them whenever cravings arise.

14. Swing by the health food store for some Avena sativa (oat) extract. One study found that, taken at 1 milliliters four times daily, it helped habitual tobacco smokers significantly decrease the number of cigarettes they smoked.

15. Think of difficult things you have done in the past. Ask people who know you well to remind you of challenges you have successfully overcome, says Dr. Lieberman. This will give you the necessary self-confidence to stick with your pledge not to smoke.

16. To minimize cravings, change your routine. Sit in a different chair at breakfast or take a different route to work. If you usually have a drink and cigarette after work, change that to a walk. If you’re used to a smoke with your morning coffee, switch to tea, or stop at Starbucks for a cup of java — the chain is smoke-free.

17. Tell your friends, coworkers, boss, partner, kids, etc., how you feel about situations instead of bottling up your emotions. If something makes you angry, express it instead of smothering it with cigarette smoke. If you’re bored, admit to yourself that you’re bored and find something energetic to do instead of lighting up.

State of Mind

18. If you relapse, just start again. You haven’t failed. Some people have to quit as many as eight times before they are successful.

19. Put all the money you’re saving on cigarettes in a large glass jar. You want to physically see how much you’ve been spending. Earmark that money for something you’ve always dreamed of doing, but never thought you could afford, be it a cruise to Alaska or a first-class ticket to visit an old college friend.

20. Switch to decaf until you’ve been cigarette-free for two months. Too much caffeine while quitting can cause the jitters.

21. Create a smoke-free zone. Don’t allow anyone to use tobacco in your home, car, or even while sitting next to you in a restaurant. Make actual “No Smoking” signs and hang them around your house and in your car.

22. Find a healthy snack food you can keep with you and use in place of cigarettes to quench that urge for oral gratification. For instance, try pistachio nuts, sunflower seeds, sugarless lollipops or gum, carrot or celery sticks. The last ones are best if you are concerned about weight gain.

23. Picture yourself playing tennis. Or go play tennis. British researchers found volunteers trying to quit smoking were better able to ignore their urges to smoke when they were told to visualize a tennis match.

24. Quit when you’re in a good mood. Studies find that you’re less likely to be a successful quitter if you quit when you’re depressed or under a great deal of stress.

25. Post this list in a visible location in your house. Whenever you’re tempted to light up, take a look at all the ways smoking can damage your health:

  • Increases risk of lung, bladder, pancreatic, mouth, esophageal, and other cancers, including leukemia
  • Reduces fertility
  • Contributes to thin bones
  • Affects mental capacity and memory
  • Reduces levels of folate, low levels of which can increase the risk of heart disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Increases likelihood of impotence
  • Affects ability to smell and taste
  • Results in low-birth-weight, premature babies
  • Increases risk of depression in adolescents
  • Increases risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure
  • Increases risk of diabetes
  • Increases your child’s risk of obesity and diabetes later in life if you smoked while pregnant

Lastly, realize that Smoke Away will support you in any form or fashion. The bottom line is we want you to quit smoking,  If you do, with or without our help, then we as well as YOU have succeeded beyond our wildest expectations. For more help feel free to contact our Smoke Away Support forum, to talk with people just like you!

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