Smoker’s Corner

There is strong evidence that smoking is related to more than two-dozen diseases and conditions. Many organs and body systems are adversely affected by tobacco smoke. Fortunately, most of this starts to reverse after a smoker quits smoking.
All smokers are at extra risk for:

  • Coronary heart disease (e.g., heart attacks)
  • Peripheral vascular disease (circulatory problems)
  • Aortic aneurysm
  • High cholesterol (LDL)
  • Lung cancer
  • Cancer of the mouth, throat and voice box
  • Cancer of the pancreas
  • Cancer of the kidney, and urinary bladde
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Pneumonia
  • Influenza (the “flu”)
  • The common cold
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Chronic bowel disease (Crohn’s disease)
  • Tooth decay (cavities)
  • Gum disease
  • Osteoporosis

Sleep problems (falling asleep inappropriately and/or frequent waking)

Second –hand smoke is the smoke that comes from the tip of a burning cigarette, pipeor cigar and when a smoker exhales. It contains over 4000 thousand camical compound, 50 are which are associate with, or known to cause cancer .

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Nasal cinus Cancer
  • Respiratory problem
  • Stroke
  • Miscarriage
  • Sudden infant death syndrome
  • Low birth weight babies

What a difference a smoke- free day makes! Quitting now means immediate benefits to your health and it just keeps getting better.
The day you have your last cigarette, your body begins to heal itself..

  • 20 minutes, your Blood pressure drops to your pre- cigarette level.
  • 8 your after quitting, the carbon monoxide in your blood drops to normal.
  • 24 hours after quitting, you lower your chances of having a heart attack.
  • 48 hours after quitting, your sense of smell and taste improve and begin to return to normal.
  • In the months and years to come , your body continues to recover.
  • 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting , your circulation improves and your lings work better.
  • 9 months after quitting, you experience less coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath.
  • 1 year after quitting, your risk of heart disease is about half of what it would have been if you had continued to smoke.
  • 5 years after quitting, your risk of stroke is greatly reduced. Within 5 to 15 years after quitting , it becomes about the same as a non- smoker’s risk.
  • 10 years after quitting, your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half of what it would have been if you had continued to smoke . Your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas also decreases.
  • 15 years after quitting, your risk of heart disease is the same as a non – smoker’s risk

01. Start with some pre-preparation by ensuring that you really do want to quit smoking cigarette and understanding why you smoke.
Are these reasons powerful enough to motivate you when you are faced with those tricky situations?
Write down your reasons for quitting. You may want to take a look at some of the benefit of quitting.

02. Set yourself a date for quitting. Try and choose a date that will be stress free but when you can find plenty to do to keep yourself busy. Try and set a date within about two weeks of reading this.

03.Ask your doctor for advice. This is especially important if you have health problems or are concerned about issues such as weight gain.

04.Consider finding yourself a quitting partner relatives, work colleagues and friends are a good place to start. Set a date to quit together and you will be able to give each other support.

05.Tell your family and friends about your intentions. Ask them for their support before you quit and explain that you may not be yourself while experiencing withdrawal. When you reach your quitting date rely on those that have been most encouraging for support.

06.Think about starting an exercise program and a sensible eating plan. Again speak to your doctor or dietician. Exercise will give you more energy and help you to relax and relieve stress.

07.You should know what triggers your desire for a cigarette, such as stress, the end of a meal, drinking in a bar, etc. Avoid these triggers while you are trying to quit or if that’s not possible, decide how you will deal with the triggers.

08.Decide what you will do when you experience cravings. As we’ve discussed deep breathing, a short walk and keeping you self busy will help to take your mind off the cravings. Perhaps you can think of other ways. Write them down. Remember these cravings will only last for 3-5 minutes at a time.

09.If you have tried quitting before maybe you came across a stumbling block which we have discussed such as finding something to do with your hands. If so, you need to arm yourself with a solution to these foreseeable problems. Get yourself a pen, or stress relief aid to fiddle with, if occupying your hands is a problem.

10.Be positive and confident you can quit. You have spent time and energy planning how you will deal with the task ahead by following our tips for giving up smoking. Believe you can and you will do it if you persevere.

Ten of thousands of people are quitting every day around the world. You can be one of them.

MYTH 1: There are no immediate benefits when someone stops smoking and have to wait years for any benefit.
TRUTH: The health benefits of smoking cessation (quitting) are immediate and substantial. Almost immediately, a person’s circulation begins to improve. The level of carbon monoxide in the blood begins to decline. A person’s pulse rate and blood pressure, which may be abnormally high while smoking, begin to return to normal. Within a few days of quitting, a person’s sense of taste and smell return, and breathing becomes increasingly easier.

MYTH 2: Cessation only benefits the young smoker.
TRUTH: Smoking cessation benefits men and women at any age. Smokers who quit before the age 50 have half of the risk of dying in the next 16 years compared with people who continue to smoke. Older adults who quit smoking also have a less risk of dying from coronary heart disease and lung cancer.

MYTH 3: The best way to quit is going “cold turkey”.
TRUTH: Each person’s success is different, however, the most effective way to quit is by using a combination of counseling and nicotine replacement therapy or non-nicotine medicines (Zyban, Chantix etc).

MYTH 4: Freedom to smoke is a choice and does not impact on others.
TRUTH: 53,000 people a year die from second hand (passive smoking) smoke. Researchers have found that infants as young as three months old accumulate nicotine and carcinogens in their bodies when they are exposed to tobacco smoke.

MYTH 5: Everyone knows how bad smoking is.
TRUTH: While most of the people are generally aware that smoking is not healthy practice, instances of poor knowledge about the health risks. Relatively few women are aware of gender-specific health risks, including Cervical Cancer, Osteoporosis, early Menopause, Miscarriage, Ectopic Pregnancy, and Infertility. Fewer than half of Canadian adults aged 55 to 74 years identified that smoking is a major cause of heart disease and in China 90% smokers are at risk.

MYTH 6: If you cannot quit the first time you try, you will never be able to quit.
TRUTH: Quitting cigarettes are sometimes the hardest of all addictions. The number of doses delivered to the brain is about 200 per day, if the person smokes one pack per day. Multiple tries are usually the norm.

MYTH 7: Quitting cigarettes are expensive.
TRUTH: A pack-a-day smoker can spend $1500 per year or more. Quitting smoking has the potential for large savings on future health costs. Men, less than one in four smokers believe smoking causes serious health problems.

MYTH 8: Just a few cigarettes a day cannot hurt.
TRUTH: Although lung cancer has, in general, a linear dose-response relationship with tobacco use, the risk for cardiovascular disease, which accounts for a significant proportion of tobacco-related illness and death, becomes evident with the consumption of 3 to 5 cigarettes per day.

MYTH 9: “Light” cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes.
TRUTH: The so-called “light” cigarettes are just as harmful to health as “regular” brands, but most smokers remain sadly misinformed about this fact. More than 160 countries have signed the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which prohibits the use of descriptors that may create the false impression that a particular tobacco product is less harmful than other tobacco products.

MYTH 10: It is easy to stop smoking; if people want to quit, they will.
TRUTH: While many smokers are able to stop on their own, many find it difficult or impossible to quit because nicotine is addictive. Nicotine may be comparable to heroin, cocaine, and alcohol in addiction potential. The benefits of quitting smoking are well documented, and many people who are serious about quitting make several attempts before they quit for good.

MYTH 11: Once a smoker, always a smoker.
TRUTH: More than half the Americans who have ever smoked have already quit. Despite the difficulty many people have quitting smoking, the millions of former smokers are living proof that people can quit – and in many places, most smokers already have.

MYTH 12: Smokers may die earlier, but all they really forfeit are a couple of bad years at the end of life.
TRUTH: The average smoker who dies from tobacco-related causes loses about 14 years of life. Elderly smokers have the physical health expected of people two to four years older and the mental health expected of people 10 years older than their actual age. The chemically dependent patient in recovery experiences devastatingly high rates of tobacco-related deaths.

MYTH 13: Tobacco is good for the economy.
TRUTH: The World Bank analyzed the net economic effect of tobacco and concluded that money not spent on cigarettes would instead be spent on other goods and services that in turn would generate other jobs and economic activity to replace any that would be lost from the tobacco industry.

MYTH 14: The tobacco industry no longer markets to kids or undermines public health efforts.
TRUTH: Cigarette advertising continues to reach children. Children who own tobacco company promotional items (T-shirts, caps, etc.) are up to seven times more likely to smoke than those who do not own these items. Children aged 12 to 17 years – the most likely age
(Adolescences) of smoking initiation – are twice as likely as adults to be exposed to tobacco advertising and teenagers are three times more sensitive to cigarette advertising than adults are.

MYTH 15: Psychiatric patients cannot quit cigarette use.
TRUTH: Effects of a tobacco ban on long-term psychiatric patients research by Harris1 looked at one year before and one year after the ban. 23 smoking patients had cardiopulmonary compromise before the ban and 17 were given a clean bill of health one year later.

MYTH 16: Smokeless tobacco is safe and is a good way to stop smoking.
TRUTH: Snuff contains 10 times the amount of nitro- amines found in cigarettes and this is 100 times the amount that the FDA allows in other products. Levels of cancer causing tobacco specific nitro -amines (TSNA) were significantly higher in US brands than Swedish brands, suggesting that companies can produce a product with lower levels of TSNA if they choose to.

MYTH 17: We have already solved the tobacco problems.
TRUTH: The public health problems caused by tobacco use are far from solved. More than one in five US adults (nearly 50 million people) smoke, and globally, about 1.3 billion people are smokers – more than at any time in human history – and more than 1 billion will die from tobacco-related causes during this century unless urgent action is taken on the local, national, and international levels.