Archive for the 'Benefits of Quitting' Category

Smoking Cessation and Weight Gain

August 18, 2011 posted by Len B.

Many smokers worry that they’ll gain weight if they try to quit. Some even use that concern as a reason not to quit.

“That’s a bad idea for many reasons,” says Scott McIntosh, PhD, associate professor of community and preventive medicine at the University of Rochester in New York and director of the Greater Rochester Area Tobacco Cessation Center. “Not every smoker who quits gains weight.” Even those who do, he points out, gain on average just 4 to 10 pounds – which is usually only temporary anyway. And, those extra few pounds should be the LEAST of a smoker’s health concerns.

Research shows that nicotine from tobacco boosts the body’s metabolic rate, increasing the number of calories it burns. Immediately after you smoke a cigarette, your heart rate increases by 10 to 20 beats a minute. This unnatural stimulant effect of nicotine is one reason smoking causes heart disease.

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When smokers quit, metabolic rate quickly returns to normal. That’s a healthy change. But if ex-smokers keep getting the same number of calories as before, they put on pounds.

When smokers quit, nicotine isn’t all they crave. They also discover that they miss the habit of lighting a cigarette and putting it to their mouths. Many smokers turn to food to satisfy this so-called need for “oral gratification.” That’s fine if it helps you to quit. But by choosing low-calorie or zero-calorie foods, you can avoid putting on weight. Some smart alternatives to weight-gaining foods include:

  • Sugar-free gum
  • Sugar-free hard candies
  • Celery or carrot sticks
  • Sliced sweet peppers
  • Slices of jicama
  • Chewing on a plastic straw
  • Using a toothpick

Protecting Our Lungs

August 14, 2011 posted by Len B.

The lungs are one of the most interesting organs in the body, and their job is one of the most vital to our survival. As the only internal organ that comes in direct contact with external elements, the lungs have the job of extracting oxygen for circulation in the bloodstream, plus filtering and protecting the body from many types of pollutants in the air. They accomplish this through an extraordinary structure.

Like any other organ, the lungs have to be used or they become less effective. Regular exercise is vital for maintaining good lung capacity, since deep respiration can allow air into all lung parts. Without regular exercise, the lungs can become less effective and daily tasks can become harder without the ability to draw breath fully. In addition, avoiding irritants to the lungs can keep them healthy, since they will have less to clog and disrupt their function.

Smoke, both direct and secondhand, can have extremely detrimental effects on the lungs. Smoking introduces tar into the lungs, and that tar can encourage uncontrollable cell growth and thus help develop cancer. If cancer doesn’t develop first then there are other diseases, such as emphysema and bronchitis, that are sure bets. Secondhand smoke is just as harmful, since that smoke hasn’t even gone through the filter on cigarettes that the smoke from cigarettes initially goes through. In addition, smoking releases other pollutants that disrupt general body health and good circulation, both conditions that affect lungs.

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Especially for the Children

August 9, 2011 posted by Len B.

Our children and grandchildren deserve better than having smoke blown in their faces by those who are supposed to love and care for them:

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For more information, watch the video below:

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