INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SMOKING
FACT NO. 1
The smoker’s brain is literally re-wired with each cigarette he smokes, keeping him trapped in a dependency as strong as one to heroin and cocaine.
FACT NO. 2
The average density of cigarette butts found in a study of 50 South African beaches in 1999 was 8 butts per metre, or 8 000 per kilometer of beach. The filter in cigarette butts can take up to 5 years to decompose.
FACT NO. 3
Cigarettes are the only product in the world, apart from weapons, that kill people when used as they are intended to be used. Half of all smokers will die prematurely from their habit, and all will experience the adverse repercussions of their habit.
FACT NO. 4
Imagine standing next to a highway during rush hour and inhaling all of that carbon monoxide – then multiply that by 10 000 to get an idea how much carbon monoxide the average smoker is inhaling every day.
FACT NO. 5
Nicotine is the tobacco plant’s natural defense against being eaten by insects. In large doses it is highly poisonous and it is one of the most addictive substances known to man. Because nicotine’s chemical structure acts similarly to a chemical found in the brain, the brain is fooled into believing nicotine is not a poison.
FACT NO. 6
The damage caused to the skin by long-term smoking can make a smoker’s face look 20 years older than he or she really is. People who smoke and spend long periods in the sun have 10 times more wrinkles than non-smokers, and are twice as likely to develop skin cancer.
FACT NO. 7
As if smoker’s breath isn’t bad enough, more than 40% of smokers over the age of 65 are completely toothless. Don’t put it off. Put it out!
HOW DO I STOP SMOKING?
The first step to successfully quitting smoking is making the decision to quit for good. The success of your efforts is dependent on two factors: your motivation and your dependency on smoking.
The higher your motivation and lower your dependency the easier it will be for you to quit smoking, but the lower your motivation and higher your dependency the more difficult it will be.
You want to stop smoking, in fact you’ve tried numerous times, but it’s been impossible. Up to now, that is. Because now you’ve decided that you have no choice. You know it’s bad for you and it makes your hair, your car, you house and you stink like an old ashtray. You want to stop smoking, in fact you’ve tried numerous times, but it’s been impossible. Up to now, that is. Because now you’ve decided that you have no choice.
Quitting smoking is hard, there’s no doubt about it. However, if you can tough it out for at least two years, chances are good you’ll never light another cigarette again.
That’s the conclusion of a new study that appears in the Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Health experts found two years after quitting smoking, only two to four percent of ex-smokers picked up the habit again each year.
REASONS TO STOP SMOKING
No matter which way you look at it, it simply makes sense to stop smoking, in fact there is a good reason for every month of the year.
Osteoporosis is a progressive, silent condition that eats away at bone, the hardest, most durable substance in the body. It happens slowly, over years, so that often neither patient nor doctors are aware of weakening bones until one snaps unexpectedly. This is why osteoporosis is called the silent thief.
Osteoporosis is the main cause of hip fracture, which can lead to permanent disability, loss of independence, and sometimes even death.
Many factors can affect your chances of developing osteoporosis.
The good news is that you control some of them. Even though you can’t change your genetic heritage, you can lower your risk with attention to certain lifestyle changes that will help build and maintain bone mass. The younger you start, the better.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES YOU CAN MAKE TO REDUCE OSTEOPOROSIS:
- Don’t smoke
- Get enough vitamin D and calcium
iii. Exercise regularly, such as walking
- If you drink alcohol, do so moderately.
An inactive lifestyle, low calcium intake, excessive drinking and smoking all increase risk of osteoporosis dramatically. Other factors are beyond your control. Awareness of them can provide early detection and help you and your doctor to make early health-care choices. These risk factors are:
- Having a thin, small-boned frame
- Stooped posture or broken bones in older family members, suggesting a family history of osteoporosis.
- Being female: Women are at five times greater risk than men.
- Growth hormone deficiency in children.
- Oestrogen deficiency due to abnormal absence of menstruation.
- Early oestrogen deficiency in women who experience menopause before age 45.
- Ethnic heritage: White and Asian women are at highest risk.
- Advanced age.
Prolonged use of some medications, such as excessive thyroid hormone, some antiseizure medications, glucocorticoids (certain anti-inflammatory medications, such as prednisone, used to treat conditions such as asthma, arthritis and some cancers), certain cancer treatments, some treatments for endometriosis, excessive use of aluminium-containing antacids, and excessive thyroid hormone. It is important to discuss the use of these drugs with your doctor, and to not stop or change your medication dose without consultation.
THE PROCESS OF QUITTING
Most smokers try to quit many times. 95% of successful quitters have a history of at least 3 or 4 temporarily successful attempts before finally abstaining from smoking.
There are three stages of quitting:
- Deciding to quit
- Getting rid of the drug from your body using Nicotine Replacement Therapy.
- Getting rid of the drug from your mind.
It is also good to know that for most people stopping smoking is not a tortured, impossible process.
»» 10% find it very easy.
»» 80% between easy and difficult.
»» 10% very, very hard .
Bottom line, quitting is not easy, however if you stick to a good programme, such as Kick Butt with Nicorette, you are much more likely to kick the habit for good!
TIPS TO HELP YOU STOP
»»Get rid of all your cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters: remove the temptation by removing the source of the temptation.
»»Keep busy on your Quit Day: Go to a movie, go for a walk or visit friends.
»»Spend as much time in places where smoking is not allowed.
»»Drink lots of water and fruit juices.
»»Try to avoid coffee, alcohol or other beverages that you associate with smoking.
»»Laughter helps: try to watch a funny program, read a funny book or listen to humorous radio stations.
»»Enroll in a smoking cessation programme: Being involved in a support programme, such as Kick Butt, increases your success of quitting dramatically and reduces the chance of relapse.
»»Set a ‘Quit Date’: Set a date for quitting, get mentally prepared and stick to your guns.
»»Get support: Ask family, friends and workmates for their help and support.
»»Plan a survival strategy: Substitutes for smoking can help. Gain oral satisfaction from low-calorie snacks, chewing gum or toothpicks, and keep your hands busy with worry beads, pencils or a stress ball.
»»Do something else: Make a list of quick and simple tasks that you can do when the urge to smoke strikes. e.g. crossword puzzles, read a magazine, listen to music, nibble on a carrot or take a long, soothing bath.
»»Reward yourself: Put money saved on cigarettes into a jar and then buy yourself gifts, like books, flowers or even a back massage.
»»Don’t think of eternity: Give yourself small, achievable goals. You quit by taking it one day at a time.
»»Avoid temptation: spend more time with non-smokers and avoid places where you used to smoke.
»»Develop a coping strategy: When the urge strikes, remind yourself of your reasons for quitting. Practice the Five D’s: Drink water, Deep breathing, Do something else, Discuss the problem with friends, Delay your desire for smoking.
»»Exercise: Physical activity helps you cope with stress and improved fitness is a reminder of a key benefit of not smoking.
»»Try positive reinforcement: Make a list of benefits enjoyed by non-smokers; e.g. improved health, no more smelly ashtrays or smelly clothes, you can save more than R4,000 a year by not buying a pack a day, you don’t turn your children into passive smokers, you protect the health of your baby, you can enjoy fresh air again, you can taste food and savour a good wine, etc. Read the list when you need a lift.